Sasha Ingber | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Sasha Ingber

Sasha Ingber is a reporter on NPR's breaking news desk, where she covers national and international affairs of the day.

She got her start at NPR as a regular contributor to Goats and Soda, reporting on terrorist attacks of aid organizations in Afghanistan, the man-made cholera epidemic in Yemen, poverty in the United States, and other human rights and global health stories.

Before joining NPR, she contributed numerous news articles and short-form, digital documentaries to National Geographic, covering an array of topics that included the controversy over undocumented children in the United States, ISIS' genocide of minorities in Iraq, wildlife trafficking, climate change, and the spatial memory of slime.

She was the editor of a U.S. Department of State team that monitored and debunked Russian disinformation following the annexation of Crimea in 2014. She was also the associate editor of a Smithsonian culture magazine, Journeys.

In 2016, she co-founded Music in Exile, a nonprofit organization that documents the songs and stories of people who have been displaced by war, oppression, and regional instability. Starting in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, she interviewed, photographed, and recorded refugees who fled war-torn Syria and religious minorities who were internally displaced in Iraq. The work has led Sasha to appear live on-air for radio stations as well as on pre-recorded broadcasts, including PRI's The World.

As a multimedia journalist, her articles and photographs have appeared in additional publications including The Washington Post Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, The Atlantic, and The Willamette Week.

Before starting a career in journalism, she investigated the international tiger trade for The World Bank's Global Tiger Initiative, researched healthcare fraud for the National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association, and taught dance at a high school in Washington, D.C.

A Pulitzer Center grantee, she holds a master's degree in nonfiction writing from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor's degree in film, television, and radio from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Seeking to quell concern about the U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday described the American exit as a "tactical change" in military strategy that wouldn't deter efforts to defeat ISIS or hurt U.S. interests in the region.

Pompeo's remarks in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, come after the Pentagon announced Friday that "the process of our deliberate withdrawal" had begun.

China is letting more than 2,000 ethnic Kazakhs drop their Chinese citizenship and leave the country, according to Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry.

The Associated Press first reported Beijing's decision, which was later confirmed by the ministry.

It's unclear who among the ethnic Kazakh community can leave China or under what circumstances. China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to NPR's request for comment.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

A Saudi woman who fled her family in hopes of seeking asylum in Australia, only to be detained in Thailand, may receive Australia's protection after all.

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, 18, plotted an escape from what she describes as persistent abuse and oppression by family members in Saudi Arabia. She began by boarding a plane by herself to Thailand, but the plan quickly spiraled out of control.

A Venezuelan Supreme Court judge who once supported President Nicolás Maduro has fled to the United States and publicly denounced Maduro's re-election days before the inauguration.

Justice Christian Zerpa left Venezuela with his wife and two daughters, according to Miami broadcaster EVTV. Their destination in the U.S. was unclear.

Defense Secretary James Mattis released a farewell message to all employees on Monday, in the waning hours of his job as Pentagon chief.

"I am confident that each of you remains undistracted from our sworn mission to support and defend the Constitution while protecting our way of life," he wrote.

He said that the Pentagon is at its best "when the times are most difficult," and told them to "keep the faith in our country and hold fast, alongside our allies, aligned against our foes."

Updated at 10:30 a.m.

A U.S. citizen has been arrested in Moscow on suspicion of espionage, Russia's Federal Security Service announced Monday.

The domestic security agency named the detained individual as Paul Whelan. It said in a short statement that he was caught during a spying operation, without adding further details.

The security service said a criminal investigation is underway. If convicted of espionage, Whelan faces up to 20 years in prison.

Friends remember Washington state social worker Alan Naiman as being frugal. He wore old shoes held together with duct tape, bought his apparel at the grocery store, drove jalopies and ate at cheap restaurants. But when he died of cancer in January 2018, at age 63, the people around him learned that he had quietly saved millions for a higher cause.

Naiman left most of his $11 million estate to organizations serving abandoned, impoverished, sick and disabled children.

A 16-year-old is scheduled to graduate from high school in Kansas and Harvard University within the span of two weeks.

Braxton Moral, a senior at Ulysses High School, plans to attend the school's commencement May 19, then the university's ceremonies later in the month, reported The Hutchinson News.

"I'm not any different; I just do a little thing on the side," he told NPR. "I try to play it down at high school because if I talk about it, it becomes a divide."

The United States has lost its oldest World War II veteran. Richard Overton, who fought overseas in a segregated unit, died Thursday at age 112.

Japan's birthrate has dropped to a historic level, the lowest since data gathering began in 1899.

That's what The Japan Times has reported, citing government figures released Friday.

For years, Japan has seen a decline in its population, leading experts and lawmakers to consider the economic and social repercussions.

When an Amazon customer in Germany contacted the company to review his archived data, he wasn't expecting to receive recordings of a stranger speaking in the privacy of a home.

Updated at 5:21 p.m. ET

The streets of Paris were filled with thousands of protesters again on Saturday, in what has become French President Emmanuel Macron's biggest challenge as demonstrations grow more intense.

It's the fourth rally by the gilets jaunes, or "yellow vests," protesters wearing the fluorescent jackets required by French law to be in every vehicle.

Prosecutors have unsealed the first U.S. criminal charges filed since the Panama Papers, a trove of secret documents revealing details of offshore shell-companies, were leaked to reporters and published in 2016.

In a 67-page indictment, the Southern District of New York named four individuals: Ramses Owens, Dirk Brauer, Richard Gaffey and Harald Joachim Von Der Goltz. They are charged on 11 counts, including conspiracy and lying to investigators.

A North Carolina graduate student who led a protest against her university's plan to bring a Confederate statue back to campus has been arrested and charged with inciting a riot and assaulting a police officer.

Maya Little, a 26-year-old graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, turned herself in at the Orange County Courthouse on Tuesday, UNC spokesperson Randy Young told NPR.

A vocal critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte posted bail on Monday, after returning to her country to face an arrest warrant and charges of tax violations.

On Sunday night at Manila's international airport, Maria Ressa, the CEO and executive editor of digital news outlet Rappler, thanked reporters for showing up to cover the event.

Updated at 9:00 p.m.

The current and former U.S. presidents have been offering their condolences and paying tribute to the 41st president, George Herbert Walker Bush, who died Friday night at his Houston home. He was 94.

President Trump shot down reports on Saturday that his administration was considering extraditing a Pennsylvania-based foe of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in order to diffuse tensions between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Erdogan says Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who has been living in Pennsylvania since the late 1990s, was involved in a failed coup in 2016. The government has requested the U.S. send him back to Turkey.

Updated at 2:14 p.m. ET on Sunday

The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of outspoken Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to media reports.

Protesters across Ireland took to the streets this week chanting and carrying thongs, after a 27-year-old man was acquitted of rape during a trial in which his lawyer cited the lacy underwear worn by his 17-year-old accuser.

"You have to look at the way she was dressed," defense attorney Elizabeth O'Connell said, according to the Irish Examiner. "She was wearing a thong with a lace front."

Updated at 5:50 a.m. ET on Tuesday

Militants in Gaza fired rockets into Israel for a second day on Tuesday as Israel bombed targets in the Palestinian territory — a round of violence prompted by an Israeli military operation over the weekend that caused the deaths of seven Palestinians and one Israeli.

Updated at 4:35 a.m. ET

Altogether, at least 25 people have died and more than 250,000 people have been driven out of their homes as California was engulfed by five identified fires, from north to south, on Saturday. Strong winds, low humidity, drought and vegetation so dry it has acted like matchsticks have exacerbated the flames.

President Trump met with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Saturday — a visit that began with a spat as dozens of leaders came together to commemorate the centennial anniversary of World War I's end and all that has since been built between nations in a multilateral world.

The selections were winnowed down from 1,637 books.

On Wednesday, the National Book Foundation announced the 25 books that remain in the running for the National Book Awards, now in its 69th year.

The writers come from such places as Pittsburgh, Norway, Iran and Poland, and many of them have delved into some of the most pressing conversations of our time: racism, masculinity, addiction, the destruction of indigenous culture, class divides and corporations.

And for the first time since the 1980s, the judges will also honor a work in translation.

Lara Alqasem, a 22-year-old Florida native, landed at Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport last Tuesday, expecting to start her studies in human rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Instead, she has spent the past week detained.

Alqasem, whose father is of Palestinian heritage, was barred from entering the country and accused of supporting a boycott of Israel that was started by Palestinian leaders.

Updated at 12:28 a.m. ET Monday

To celebrate her upcoming 30th birthday, Amy Steenburg and more than a dozen close friends and relatives packed into a stretch limousine for an afternoon of wine- and beer-tasting around upstate New York.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrapped up his fourth visit to North Korea on Sunday, describing his talks with leader Kim Jong Un as productive.

Pompeo met with Kim for about two hours, according to a pool report from CBS' Kylie Atwood, the only U.S. journalist who accompanied the secretary on his trip. The visit comes after President Trump's historic summit with Kim in June, which resulted in a vague commitment from Pyongyang to denuclearize.

A German state official apologized Friday for an incident of mistaken identity that left a Syrian man imprisoned and then dead.

In July, the 26-year-old man was arrested for failing to pay a fine for theft. But police officers did not thoroughly check his identity, said Herbert Reul, interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia state in western Germany, according to the Associated Press.

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET October 17

This month, Nadia Murad became the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Dr. Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who treats victims of rape.

The mayor of Osaka, Japan, is ending its "sister city" relationship with San Francisco this week, following a dispute over a statue that honors women and girls who were sexually enslaved by Japan's Imperial Army during World War II.

The Column of Strength memorial consists of three women in bronze who are holding hands in a circle as they look into the distance. An older woman stands to the side.

The statue commemorates "comfort women," a euphemism for thousands who were forced, coerced and deceived into serving men at brothels near the front lines.

Women seeking abortions in Missouri have just one clinic to turn to, after another Planned Parenthood facility that performed the procedure couldn't meet newly imposed state requirements.

It comes at a time when abortion rights activists fear the 1973 landmark ruling Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion, could be nullified if President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is confirmed.

Pages