This privacy policy was last updated on December 21, 2017.

Thank you for visiting shout.news, a media destination for news and information. Shout! News Inc. ("Shout!," "we," "us" and "our") is committed to protecting your privacy. We have prepared this Privacy Policy to describe our practices regarding the Personal Information (defined below) we collect from users through the websites on which this Privacy policy is displayed (each, a "Site") and in connection with services and content made available by us through the Sites and our third party distributors Facebook and Apple News (collectively "Services"). This Privacy Policy does not apply to our interactions with you outside of the Services (e.g., if you call our offices by telephone). Capitalized terms not otherwise defined in this Privacy Policy have the meanings given in our Terms of Use located at shout.news/sp/privacy-and-terms/#tos (the "Terms").

This Privacy Policy will apply whether you are a "Visitor" (which means that you simply browse the Services) or an "Authorized User" (which means you have registered to use the Services). Visitors and Authorized Users are individually referred to as a "User" and collectively as "Users".

User Consent. By submitting Personal Information through our Services, you agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy and you expressly consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your Personal Information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

A Note to Users Outside of the United States. Your Personal Information may be processed in the country in which it was collected and in other countries, including the United States, where laws regarding processing of Personal Information may be less stringent than the laws in your country. By using the Services you agree to such processing.

Information We Collect. "Personal Information" means information that allows someone to identify or contact you, including, for example, your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, as well as any other non-public information about you that is associated with or linked to any of the foregoing Information. "Anonymous Information" means Information that is not associated with or linked to your Personal Information. Anonymous Information does not, by itself, permit the identification of individual persons. We collect Personal Information and Anonymous Information, as described below through the Services.

Information You Provide to Us.

  • Registration. When you register to become an Authorized User and open an account (an "Account") we collect your name, email address and a password.
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  • Information Collected from Others About You. We may receive Personal and/or Anonymous Information about you from third parties. We may add this information to the information we have already collected from you via the Services and use it as contemplated by this Privacy Policy. You may contact us at team(at)shout.news to request the removal of this information from our database.
  • Feedback. If you provide us feedback or contact us via e-mail, we will collect your name and e-mail address, as well as any other content included in the e-mail, in order to send you a reply.
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  • Other Information. We may also collect Personal Information in other ways within the Services, where we state that Personal Information is being collected. For example, as part of a survey, competition, sweepstakes or contest.

Information Collected via Technology.

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  • Collection of Information in Connection with Advertising.
    • Through the use of Cookies and Pixel Tags, we may associate your activities on the Services with certain interests or characteristics. Based on your interests, demographic information and /or your Profile, we may serve you advertising and content through the Services that is likely to be of the most interest to you.
    • Advertisers that advertise on the Services may use Cookies and Pixel Tags to learn more about your interests. In addition, we may use third parties to assist us in selecting and serving advertisements through the Services – and these third parties may also collect information about your visits to this and other websites using Cookies, Pixel Tags or other technologies. Information collected by advertisers and these third party companies may be used by them, among other things, to deliver advertising targeted to your interests on websites and in applications that are not affiliated with us. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, you may so by visiting www.aboutads.info/ or networkadvertising.org/choices/, or if you are located in the European Union www.youronlinechoices.eu/.
  • Analytic Services. We use third party analytics services such as Google Analytics ("Analytics Services") to help analyze how users use the Services. The Analytics Services use information generated by Cookies or other technologies about your use of our Site and Services to compile reports on user activity, which we use to improve our Services. Analytics Services may transfer information to third parties where required to do so by law or where such third parties process information on their behalf. Each Analytics Service's ability to use and share information it collects is restricted by its Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. By using our Site and Services, you consent to the processing of data about you by Analytics Services in the manner and for the purposes set out above. For a full list of Analytics Services, please contact us at flavius(at)byshout.com.

Use of Your Personal Information

General Use. In general, Personal Information you submit to us is used either to respond to requests that you make, or to aid us in serving you better. We may use your Personal Information in the following ways:

  • Facilitate the creation of and secure your Account on our network;
  • When you create an Account, you may receive an e-mail from us to verify ownership of the email address provided when your Account was created
  • We may use your e-mail address information to provide you with administrative email notifications, such as Services updates
  • Provide the Services you request
  • Provide improved administration of our Site and Services
  • Respond to your inquires and other requests
  • For fraud protection and/or to verify your identity; and
  • Customize the content and advertisements you see based upon your interests and Profile
  • Send newsletters, surveys, offers and other promotional materials related to our Services and for the benefit of our advertising and marketing partners.

Creation of Anonymous Information. We may create Anonymous Information records from Personal Information by excluding information (such as your name) that make the Information personally identifiable to you. We use this Anonymous Information to analyze request and usage patterns so that we may enhance the content of our Services and improve Site navigation. We reserve the right to use and share Anonymous Information for any purpose.

How Do We Share Your Personal Information? We disclose your personal information as described below and elsewhere in this Privacy Policy.

  1. Third Party Service Providers. We may share your personal information with third party service providers to: (i) provide you with the Services; (ii) facilitate creation of Accounts; (iii) provide technical support; and/or (iv) provide other services to us.
  2. Affiliates and Corporate Restructuring. We may share your Personal Information with our parent company, subsidiaries, joint ventures, or other companies under a common control ("Affiliates"), in which case we will require our affiliates to honor this Privacy Policy. We may also share some or all of your Personal Information in connection with any merger, financing, acquisition or dissolution transaction or proceeding involving sale, transfer, divestiture, or disclosure of all or a portion of our business or assets. In the event of an insolvency, bankruptcy, or receivership, personal information may also be transferred as a business asset. If another company acquires our company, business, or assets, that company will assume the rights and obligations regarding your personal information as described in this Privacy Policy.
  3. Social Networking Sites. Some of our Services may enable you to post content to SNSs, such as Facebook or Twitter. If you choose to do this, we will provide information to such SNSs in accordance with your elections. You are solely responsible for your use of such SNSs and it is your responsibility to review the terms of use and privacy policy of the third party provider of such SNSs. We will not be responsible or liable for: (i) the availability or accuracy of such SNSs; (ii) the content, products or services on or availability of such SNSs; or (iii) your use of any such SNSs.
  4. Other Disclosures. Regardless of any choices you make regarding your personal information (as described below), we may disclose Personal Information if it believes in good faith that such disclosure is necessary (i) in connection with any legal investigation; (ii) to comply with relevant laws or to respond to subpoenas or warrants served on us; (iii) to protect or defend our rights or property or those of our Users; and/or (iv) to investigate or assist in preventing any violation or potential violation of the law, this Privacy Policy, or our Terms of Use.
  1. Your Choices Regarding Your Personal Information Newsletters and email. We will periodically send you newsletters and e-mails that promote the use of our Services. When you receive newsletters or promotional communications from us, you may indicate a preference to stop receiving further communications from us and you will have the opportunity to "opt-out" by following the unsubscribe instructions provided in the e-mail you receive, by terminating your Account or by contacting us directly (please see contact information below). You may also limit the communications you receive from us through your account settings feature within the Services. Even if you opt of receiving marketing related messages, we will continue to send messages regarding the administration of the Services.
  2. Correcting, Updating or Deleting Your Personal Information. You can correct, update or delete some of your Personal Information by re-registering and/or editing your profile via the Services. We will use commercially reasonable efforts to honor requests to delete personal information. We may retain an archived copy of your records as required by law or for legitimate business purposes.
  3. Changes to This Privacy Policy. This Privacy Policy may be updated from time to time for any reason. We will notify you of any changes to our Privacy Policy by posting the new Privacy Policy here and we will change the "Last Updated" date above. You should consult this Privacy Policy regularly for any changes.
  4. Questions and Feedback. We welcome your questions, comments, complaints and concerns about this Site, the Services, this Privacy Policy and/or our privacy practices regarding information we collect from users of the Site and Services. If you would like to report any security violations to us, or otherwise have any feedback or questions pertaining to our Site, Services and/or Privacy Policy please contact us at: flavius(at)byshout.com, or Shout! News, 1133 15th Street, NW, Floor 12, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005.
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Pope Francis attends an audience with President of Iraq Barham Ahmed Salih at the Apostolic Palace on November 24 2018 in Vatican City Vatican (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Pope Francis to plan first ever papal trip to ​Iraq

Pope Francis said on Monday he wants to travel to Iraq next year, which would be the first ever papal trip there, Reuters reported.

Why it matters: Iraq's conflicts since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 and the spillover from the Syrian war have led to a dramatic decrease in the country's Christian population.

What's happening: Iraqi Christians trace their presence back to Christianity's founding, and they preserve ancient customs including the Aramaic languages, which some Christian villages in Iraq and Syria still consider their mother tongues. Caught between repressive, apathetic or hostile governments and a Sunni Islamist insurgency, Iraq's Christians have suffered persecution, death and exile.

  • Before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, there were 1.5 to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.
  • Today, the number is about 200,000, according to the documentary Christian in the Mirror, which premiered in Washington, DC on June 10, 2019.

Between the lines: The first papal trip to Iraq is all but certain, despite Pope Francis' willingness. In 2000, the late Pope John Paul wanted to visit the ancient Iraqi city of Ur, traditionally held to be the birthplace of Abraham. But negotiations with the government of then Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein broke down and he was unable to go, Reuters reported.

What's next: If Iraqi Christians all but disappear, the loss for Iraq goes beyond the immediate loss of life to the identity of the country. Iraq will no longer be seen as a culturally diverse society, home to ancient religions and rich cultures.

Go deeper: Syrian Christian Perspectives on the War

A general view shows the Syrian flag flying in front of the Syrian Saint Sarkis Church for Armenian Orthodox as Armenians celebrate Christmas in Damascus on January 6, 2015. (Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images)

Exclusive: Syria war is driving Armenians back into exile

The Associated Press reported yesterday that Armenia sent a team of experts to Syria to help clear mines and provide medical assistance. That this team will be based in Aleppo in northern Syria is no coincidence. Before the war, Aleppo was home to 110,000 ethnic Armenians, one of the world's largest Armenian diasporas.

The big picture: About 22,000 ethnic Armenians have moved to Armenia since the start of the war in 2011. An additional 12,000 headed to Europe, America and Russia. Most are from Aleppo and some from the area controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in northeastern Syria, Alexandre Goodarzy, the chief of mission for Syria at SOS Chrétiens d'Orient, a non-governmental organization providing relief services in Syria, told Shout! News.

Details: The neighborhood where ethnic Armenians live in Aleppo is called Midan. While in the Syrian government-controlled western Allepo, during most of the war Midan sat on the front line with rebel-controlled eastern Aleppo. But the territorial demarcation of Midan was also disputed by Kurdish armed forces on the northwest side of the neighborhood and by al Qaida's affiliated Jabhat al Nusra on the northeast side. Therefore, Midan's inhabitants were being shelled by both Kurdish forces and Jabhat al Nusra.

As a result, from all the Christian communities in Aleppo, ethnic Armenians suffered the most from shelling and bombardments.

Why it matters: Ethnic Armenian numbers decreased considerably because of the war. Their presence in Aleppo dates back many centuries. But Midan's Armenians came as a result of the genocide that took place during last century's two World Wars. There presence increased Allepo's population by 25%.

The impact: Bringing ethnic Armenians back to Syria will be a challenge, Goodarzy from SOS Chrétiens d'Orient said. They will likely not return, and those in Armenia might not stay either, because of the catastrophic economy there, he said.

A veiled woman living in alHol camp which houses relatives of Islamic State group members sits next to her child in the camp in al-Hasakeh governorate in northeastern Syria on March 28, 2019. (GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

These are the latest countries to repatriate their Islamic State-affiliated citizens

It is estimated that the Syrian Democratic Forces have custody of more than 9,000 foreign citizens affiliated with the Islamic State. They are from around 60 other countries.

United States

Two American women who were detained for Islamic State links in Syria have been repatriated to the U.S. together with their six children, the second such transfer between the two countries since the defeat of the terror group's caliphate, the Independent reported.

France

Last month, France repatriated five young children from camps in northern Syria, which are home to tens of thousands of Islamic State families, French media reported.

Why it matters: Repatriation of women and children affiliated with the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq has been the least controversial. Children of foreign Islamic State fighters in Syria are "among world's most vulnerable" and should be brought home, says the United Nations.

Yes, but: Government officials from the Islamic State-affiliated citizens' countries of origin worry about the security risk these children can pose. For example, the British government has so far refused to repatriate any of its citizens who went to join the Islamic State, citing security fears. Shout! News learned of similar security concerns from a Belgian diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter.


Clockwise from top left, French nationals Vianney Ouraghi, Salim Machou, Mustapha Merzoughi, Brahim Nejara, Leonard Lopez, Yassine Sakkam, Kevin Gonot and Fodil Tahar Aouidate, all sentenced by a Baghdad court to death for joining the Islamic State. (Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

Iraq condemns French Islamic State supporters to death

Iraqi terrorism courts sentenced 11 French citizens and one French resident to death for support of the Islamic State, the New York Times reported. The French government claimed it reiterated its opposition to capital punishment to the Iraqi government. However, prominent French defense lawyers signed a letter that blasted the government, saying it violated the constitution by risking the execution of its citizens.

Driving the news: The fate of citizens from France and other Western countries in Iraqi courts where they face the death penalty for joining the Islamic State is under scrutiny. Should those Western countries that ban capital punishment pressure Iraqi courts to try to get death sentences commuted?

Why it matters: There could be more cases to come. There are some 450 French citizens in camps in Syria who joined the Islamic State, according to France's Foreign Ministry.

What they're saying: Judge Ahmed Mohamed Ali, who heard all 12 cases, said that the French who joined the Islamic State played a special role by legitimizing the organization in the eyes of the world, and that what it did in Syria reverberated in Iraq. "[The Islamic State] wanted to be an international organization and thousands of Syrians and Iraqis joined it," Mr. Ali said. "That had an impact on Iraq." "The foreigners — the Belgians, the French — they came and created legitimacy for this organization."

Go deeper: What will the President do?

Home Secretary of the United Kingdom Sajid Javid (Getty Images)

As the Syrian conflict drags on, UK bans its citizens from Syria

Under a new law, British citizens going to terror hotspots face 10 years in jail, The Guardian reported. The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 creates a criminal offense of entering or remaining in "designated area" overseas.

The designated areas: So far, the British government has yet to identify designated areas. Asked by the House of Commons which areas were being considered, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said his designation will be subject to parliamentary debate and approval:

"Of course we are [looking at designated areas]. In anticipation of the Bill becoming an Act, we had already commenced some work on that. It would not be appropriate at this point for me to say which areas we looked at specifically—for an area to be designated, it has to come before the House and it has to be the will of the House to designate that area, and I do not want to prejudge that."

Sajid Javid

The Home Secretary later mentioned Syria, with a focus on the city of Idlib and the north-east region. It is not clear whether areas controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces will be included or not.

Details: In an explanatory note, the Home Office said that the act will not be retrospective, but a person already in a designated area at the time of designation will have to leave the area within one month. The law also contains a number of exempted purposes for traveling to designated areas, such as humanitarian aid and journalism.

The big picture: 900 individuals of national security concern from the UK have travelled to engage with the conflict in Syria, the Home Office said. About 40% of these individuals are still in Syria.

Interviews
Radwan Ziadeh, a Syrian democracy and human rights advocate, exits the Canadian embassy on August 8, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Amanda Voisard/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Interview: The Syrian Army disappeared completely

Radwan Ziadeh, a scholar and human rights activist who founded the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies in Syria told Shout! News that only a liberal democracy can work for Syria and accommodate the country's various religious and ethnic communities.

Mr. Ziadeh is a critic of what he sees as the current Syrian Kurds leadership's "imagined identity." Syria's 8% Kurdish minority can't replicate northern Iraq's self-governance, where the Kurds make up one third of the country. From the late 1960s onward, Mr. Ziadeh said, Syria's Kurds went through persecution, indiscriminate Arabisation and an extreme policy that forbade the use of their language and the celebration of their holidays. Yet, they have significantly contributed to Syria's political life, notably by providing seven presidents and prime ministers. There will be no room for identity politics if Syria's Kurds are granted full rights.

Highlights from the interview:

  • The international community is lacking a common response to the 5 to 6 million Syrians displaced by the war. In this vacuum, recipient countries have come up with their own policy, which is adversely affected by the rise in populism and is beyond the capacity of any country.
  • Syrian refugees who return home are not safe. Out of the 400 refugees who recently returned to Syria from Germany, 35 are missing, for example. In addition, studies show that refugees settle in their host country past the third year.
  • Only a liberal democracy can accommodate the religious and ethnic communities that make up Syria, such as the Druzes, Armenians, Kurds and Assyrian Christians.
  • There won't be any successful mechanics the international community can design to attract the Syrian government to deal with the opposition. Why would the regime negotiate now when it never negotiated in hard time. There isn't any rationality in its approach anyway.
  • The Syrian Army disappeared completely. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, local militias leaders where given full power to suppress the opposition by any means and at any cost: barrel bombs, siege, crimes based on gender and ethnicity. This policy empowered local leaders. They have proven that they could suppress the opposition and will not accept to negotiate their power away.
  • The U.S. has become irrelevant in the resolution of the conflict. The kind of U.S. strategy required for Syria right now can't be developed by the Trump administration. The Secretary of State can't initiate a long-term strategy without the risk of being reversed or challenged by the president's tweets. As a result, the U.S. strategy continues to be in limbo, leaving the initiative to Russia and Iran.
Analysis
(Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

U.S. to leave a residual military force in Syria

Trump administration's special envoy for Syria James Jeffrey claimed at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing that the president had never intended a comprehensive troop withdrawal, but instead to leave a residual force in northern Syria.

Why it matters: Jeffrey's statement is another departure from President Trump's order, announced in December, that all 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria would leave, since their mission to destroy the Islamic State caliphate, in his view, had been achieved.

  • Jeffrey claimed since the U.S. could not get other members of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State to agree to replace all of American forces in northeast Syria, the president decided to slow down the withdrawal and leave a residual force.
  • Yet, Jeffrey also said the administration wants other coalition members to bear the cost of stabilizing Syria: "We are shifting the focus from an exclusively American funded largely American boots on the ground to a more balanced one...It is burden sharing."

The big picture: Both the Obama and Trump administrations have sought to prevent its Kurdish partners from establishing an independent state in Syria. They also have had to take into consideration the position of Turkey, another ally in the fight against the Islamic State, for whom Syrian Kurdish forces are one and the same with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, a group designated as a terrorist organization by both Ankara and Washington. Nevertheless, Jeffrey said in the hearing that the United States would stand by its Kurdish allies in northern Syria, as evidenced by the residual U.S. force to remain in Syria.

Go deeper: Interview: Trump left a tripwire military presence in Syria

News
A young Yazidi student attends a class in the Newroz refugee camp in Syria, near the Faysh Kabur border with Iraq. May 18, 2015. Tens of thousands of mainly Yazidis have fled to Syria since Islamic State militants captured Sinjar and other northern Iraqi towns in August 2014. (Flavius Mihaies/Shout! News)

Children of Yazidi women raped by ISIS men banned from community

1. The offspring of Yazidi women captured, raped and impregnated by Islamic State fighters have been barred from joining the community in Iraq, the Media Line reported. Islamic State fighters murdered thousands of Yazidi men, forced young boys to join their ranks and abducted Yazidi women to use as sex slaves. Those children born to female captives have been the subject of fierce debate in the community, which recognizes children as Yazidis only if both parents are members of the sect.

2. Both prisoners Israel set to release, following the return of the body of Israeli soldier, ask not to be returned to Syria, Haaretz reported. One of the two, an accused drug smuggler, refuses to go back to Syria where he says authorities persecute him, while the other, a Fatah operative, requested to be placed in Hebron where he wishes to get married.

3. Astana process: Syria talks end without deal on key constitutional body. The Syrian government and armed opposition groups have failed to agree on the makeup of a constitutional committee during two-day talks in Kazakhstan that were led by Russia along with Iran and Turkey, Al Jazeera reported.


Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters stand by a pick-up truck near the village of Baghouz in eastern Syria. February 11, 2019 (Reuters)

The stakes of Syria's gas shortage

Syria's acute gas shortage is a stark sign of the daunting challenges the country will face in post-war reconstruction. A step up in economic sanctions imposed by the United States are partly responsible for the crisis.

Details: A Shout! News source in Damascus describes unprecedented scenes of cars and people waiting for petrol in lines spilling into the streets. The wait has been counted in days with drivers leaving their cars in the line at night to sleep and coming back to take their spot in the morning. This energy crisis is even worse than what the country experienced during the war, the source says.

The big picture: The U.S. dialed up its sanctions against Iran and the Syrian regime lost access to supply from the oil field captured from the Islamic State by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

  • The Trump administration aims to drive Iran's oil exports to zero by ending sanctions waivers on May 2. It also asked the Sissi government in Egypt to close the Suez Canal to Iranian oil tankers supplying Syria.
  • Concurrently, the Syrian regime lost access to oil supplied by the Islamic State when the jihadist group lost access to oil field captured by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) backed by American and coalition's airpower. It is unclear whether the SDF will resume supply to Damascus, which the U.S. will most likely oppose.
  • The source in Damascus does not exclude the Syrian government's role in exacerbating the gas shortage, as a mean to enrich those close to the regime.

So far, Iran found a way around the increased economic sanctions by supplying oil from Iraq through trucks at the Baghouz border crossing, Shout! News learned. Freed from the Islamic State last month by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the village of Baghouz sits along the Euphrates River at the Iraqi border in eastern Syria. Iran is considering building a railroad on that supply route.

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Please email team@shout.news

News
Sri Lankan local people pray near to St Anthony Church on April 23, 2019 evening in Colombo, Sri Lanka. At least 321 people were killed with hundreds more injured after coordinated attack on churches and hotels on Easter Sunday rocked three churches and three luxury hotels in and around Colombo as well as at Batticaloa in Sri Lanka. Based on reports, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks while investigations have shown that the attack was carried out in retaliation for Christchurch mosque shootings last month. Police have detained 40 suspects so far in connection with the suicide bombs, which injured at least 500 people as the blasts took place at churches in Colombo city as well as neighboring towns and hotels, including the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand. (Atul Loke/Getty Images)

Islamic State 2.0: A global platform

Today's news roundup

1. The Islamic State relaunches as a global platform and the Sri Lanka bombings were a preview of its future, Charlie Winter and Aymenn al-Tamimi say in The Atlantic. In fact, Winter and al-Tamimi argue, the Islamic State has been ideologically strengthened by its failed proto-state, which the jihadi group claims was a way to build a global platform that would ensure the movement's future by mobilizing tens of thousands of supporters.

2. Syria's gas shortage has worsened. A Shout! News source in Damascus describes unprecedented scenes of cars and people waiting for petrol in lines spilling into the streets. The wait has been counted in days with drivers leaving their cars in the line at night to sleep and coming back to take their spot in the morning. This energy crisis is even worse than what the country experienced during the war, the source says.

3. Amnesty criticizes U.S.-led coalition's 'indiscriminate' actions in Raqqa, against the Islamic State, which killed about 1,400 more civilians than the U.S. military has acknowledged. Amnesty International produced names of more than 1,000 people reported killed from June to October 2017 in the northern Syrian city, NPR reported.

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Please email team@shout.news