After nearly an hour's flight north from Baghdad, a cavernous C-130 military cargo plane touches down. Aboard are reporters, Pentagon officials and the man who has occasioned this trip, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

The plane taxis along an airstrip that as recently as July was controlled — and then largely destroyed — by Islamic State fighters.

This is the Qayyarah Airfield West, just 30 miles south of Mosul.

From Cambridge and Oxford to Lancashire and Surrey, the fees at all English universities are capped — and a new rate hike, from £9,000 to £9,250 (roughly $11,070 to $11,378) is angering critics, particularly those who say the increase didn't undergo legislative review.

President-elect Donald Trump's transition team has asked the State Department to list its workers who focus on gender equality and ending violence against women, in what's being seen as an echo of an earlier request for the Energy Department to list employees who work on climate change.

The plan began with an idle thought.

Glancing at a map earlier this month, Owen Delaney realized something funny: Seen from above, the Diana Fountain in London's Bushy Park bears a striking resemblance to the bulbous nose of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer — at least, it would if that famous nose of his were blue. At any rate, that fountain-nose would look better if seen in the context of a full face.

So, Delaney decided to do it himself.

Rare Snowfall Blankets Dunes in The Sahara

Dec 22, 2016

On Monday, a rare and beautiful thing happened: There was a dusting of snow on the red sand dunes of the Sahara.

The snow fell on the northern Algerian town of Ain Sefra, which is known as the "gateway to the desert."

Karim Bouchetata, an amateur photographer there, grabbed his camera and took a number of photos before the snow melted later that day. He uploaded them to Facebook, where the surreal images quickly went viral.

Pope Francis has outlined more reforms to the Roman Catholic Church, including elevating more women and lay people to leadership positions and focusing more on the multicultural nature of the modern church.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reported that it's the third year in a row the pope has used his Christmas address to Vatican employees to lecture them about how they must change:

Donald Trump, it seems, has been listening to NPR.

On Wednesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Rachel Martin spoke with former House speaker and Trump adviser Newt Gingrich on a wide range of topics concerning the president-elect's transition to the White House.

The holiday season is a time when lots of people take to the air, flying to see relatives or go on vacation. But when it comes to seasonal travel, humans are totally outnumbered by insects.

That's according to a newly published study in the journal Science, which found that more than 3 trillion migrating insects fly over south-central England each year.

There was no shortage of sad news in 2016.

And because we're a blog that covers global health and development, we covered a lot of those sobering stories: the toll of diseases like Zika, the bombing of hospitals in conflict zones, the suffering caused by poverty and by discrimination against women.

But we published a lot of hopeful stories as well. We asked our team at Goats and Soda to pick some of the stories from this year that inspired them the most. We hope you're inspired too.

In the midst of multiple fundraising attempts that raised questions about whether the Trump family is selling the promise of personal access to the highest bidder, Eric Trump says he will stop directly raising money for his personal charity.

"As unfortunate as it is, I understand the quagmire," Trump told the New York Times.


Housing Choice Wait List Opens Soon

Feb 9, 2018

February 9, 2018 -- The wait list for the housing choice voucher program, also known as Section 8, opens on February 13. This is a program for income-eligible people to get partially subsidized housing on the open market.

I caught up with Heather Blough , the housing manager for the Community Development Commission of Mendocino County, to ask about what it takes to participate in the program, either as a landlord or a voucher holder.

40+ Properties May Have Been Over-Excavated

Feb 8, 2018

February 8, 2018 -- Army Corps sub-contractors may have over-excavated up to 45 properties in the burn zone, during the debris removal process. Some disaster survivors have paid tens of thousands of dollars for engineering fees and fill dirt, before they can start to rebuild. At the Board of Supervisors meeting on February 6, supervisors questioned Army Corps of Engineers Colonel Eric MacFadden. FEMA Branch 1 Director Robert Pesapane assured the board that he has asked for a review of all excavations deeper than two feet.

Interview with John Haschak

Feb 6, 2018

Feb 6, 2018 -- John Haschak, one of the candidates for the Third District supervisor's seat, held his kick-off event at Brickhouse Coffee in Willits on Saturday. I interviewed him just before the event got going. 

Housing Task Force Talks Long-Term Recovery

Feb 6, 2018

February 6, 2018 -- At a recent meeting about housing strategies in the wake of the fires, county officials and non-profit leaders met with representatives from FEMA, CalOES, and HUD to talk about the way forward. We'll hear from a critic of how the recovery effort is being handled. We'll also talk with two FEMA officials about the upcoming build-out at Ky-En Campground on Lake Mendocino and attempts to get local people to work.

Homeless Point-In-Time Count In Potter Valley

Jan 26, 2018

January 26, 2018 -- Thursday morning was the annual point-in-time count of people experiencing the most dire winter homelessness. In this story, we go out in the dark and the rain, trying to find out how many people are sleeping in their cars in rural Mendocino County.

More Local News

Station News

Jeffrey Parker

Candidate applications for the Mendocino County Public Broadcasting board of directors election closed at 5 p.m. on 30 January 2018. The following candidates qualified for the ballot:


District 2 Board Member (one open seat; members vote for one candidate)

  • Dina Polkinghorne

District 3 Board Member (one open seat; members vote for one of the two candidates)

  • David Hulse-Stephens
  • Patricia Kovner

District 5 Board Member (one open seat; members vote for one of the two candidates)

Program Showcase

ResolutionCare Indiegogo campaign

Here in largely rural Mendocino, is it possible to grow old with grace and dignity in one's own home, especially for those with chronic illnesses? An innovative organization in Humboldt county thinks it has the answer, and it's bringing the model to Mendocino County. On Wednesday 7 February, KZYX Mendocino Works interviewed Dr Michael Fratkin, founder and president of ResolutionCare, a community-based in-home palliative care organization, and Lynn Dress-Meadows, who is working with Dr Fratkin to build the Mendocino Care Network. Click the link to hear the entire interview.

Child & Family Services

In collaboration with Mendocino County's child and family service organizations, KZYX is running regular Public Service Announcements (PSAs) highlighting a different agency each month. For the month of January, 2018, we are featuring the Positive Parenting Program, in conjunction with
Raise & Shine and FIRST 5 Mendocino.

Contact information:

raise& — (707) 462-1233