NPR News Coverage

The Pentagon is suspending its debt collection program to claw back bonuses paid to thousands of California National Guard soldiers who re-enlisted to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, with Defense Secretary Ash Carter calling the current situation "unacceptable."

Citing a duty to keep promises to service members, Carter said he's ordering the Pentagon's Defense Finance and Accounting Service to "suspend all efforts to collect reimbursement from affected California National Guard members" until he's satisfied that the process has become more efficient and fair.

Sharbat Gula, whose piercing stare and bright green eyes brought new attention to the plight of refugees fleeing Afghanistan in the 1980s, is now in a Pakistan jail. Gula was arrested in an investigation into identity-card fraud, local media report.

Gula, who's also known as Sharbat Bibi, is facing a possible prison sentence after federal agents arrested her in Peshawar as part of an inquiry into forged national identity cards, according to the Dawn news agency in Pakistan.

Gambia says it is withdrawing from the International Criminal Court in The Hague — the third nation to do so this month. The small West African country alleges that the court is biased against Africans.

Inside Lewisburg Prison: A Choice Between A Violent Cellmate Or Shackles

Oct 26, 2016

On Feb. 3, 2011, corrections officers at the Lewisburg federal penitentiary in central Pennsylvania arrived outside Sebastian Richardson's cell door. With them was a man looking agitated, rocking back and forth and staring down at Richardson, who at 4 feet, 11 inches was nicknamed "Bam Bam."

The man, officers told Richardson, was his new cellmate. The two would spend nearly 24 hours a day celled together in a concrete room smaller than a parking space.

In a political season full of "did they really go there?" moments, there was another last night on the Fox News Channel. Host Megyn Kelly, a past target of Donald Trump's tweets, was interviewing former House speaker, now Trump surrogate, Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich expressed his ire over the amount of time the news media have devoted to coverage of the women who have accused Trump of making unwanted sexual advances, compared with coverage of Hillary Clinton's speech leaked to WikiLeaks in which she talks about open borders.

The EpiPen, the anti-allergy device that has been under investigation because of huge price increases, is soon going to have some competition.

Kaleo Pharmaceuticals, a small privately held drugmaker, says it plans to bring the Auvi-Q epinephrine auto-injector back onto the market in 2017.

Both the Auvi-Q and EpiPen devices inject a dose of epinephrine into the thigh of a person experiencing a severe allergic reaction.

Two legislatively-referred constitutional amendments have found traction with voters although both have a sizable number of undecided opinions.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has insulted the U.S. and called for an end to joint military exercises between the two countries, said Wednesday that he'd like all foreign troops to leave his country — possibly within the next two years.

Duterte was speaking to an audience in Japan, where he's on a three-day visit.

What The Real Witches Of America Eat

Oct 26, 2016

What do witches eat? If you're thinking of blood and feathers and cauldrons bubbling with eye of newt and toe of frog, you couldn't be more off-menu.

The correct, and disappointingly dull, answer is pizza, bread, fruit, nuts, granola bars, Cornish hens, Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks coffee, leg of lamb, beer, cheese, Merlot, frozen cheesecake and other supermarket comestibles.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Nearly two decades after California banned bilingual education, voters next month will have a chance to restore it. Proposition 58 would officially end the era of English-only teaching and re-introduce instruction in English and a second language as an option.

About 1.4 million English Language Learners, or ELLs, make up roughly 23 percent of California's public school students. Most are Spanish-speakers.

After a bruising career in the rough and tumble NHL, who could blame a guy for wanting to take it easy? At age 55, Wayne Gretzky is still playing charity games with other old timers, but "I'm getting older and slower," he says with a laugh.

Sounds, particularly those made by other humans, rank as the No. 1 distraction in the workplace. According to workplace design expert Alan Hedge at Cornell, 74 percent of workers say they face "many" instances of disturbances and distractions from noise.

"In general, if it's coming from another person, it's much more disturbing than when it's coming from a machine," he says, because, as social beings, humans are attuned to man-made sounds. He says overheard conversations, as well as high-pitched and intermittent noises, also draw attention away from tasks at hand.

Most parents have experienced sticker shock when they find out just how much it will cost to care for their infant or toddler full- or even part-time. For parents who have little choice, this can be a big financial strain.

In fact, the most common challenge parents face when looking for child care is the high cost. That's the finding of a recent poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The New York Giants have released kicker Josh Brown over his admitted abuse of his then-wife, in a case that has previously raised questions about the NFL's willingness to punish players who commit acts of domestic violence.

"We believed we did the right thing at every juncture in our relationship with Josh," team President John Mara said in a statement. "Our beliefs, our judgments and our decisions were misguided. We accept that responsibility."

When you're facing a major life change, it helps to talk to someone who's already been through it. All Things Considered is connecting people on either side of a shared experience, and they're letting us eavesdrop on their conversations in our series Been There.

Liv Aannestad has known she wanted kids as long as she can remember.

Along the border between the U.S. and Mexico, armed groups on patrol — mostly men — look for illegal immigrants and drug traffickers. They're not U.S. Border Patrol, but regular people who've decided to take matters into their own hands.

They call themselves militias. Groups such as these have been around for decades, but they exploded in number after Barack Obama was elected president. Today, there are 276 militia groups around the country, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

For years, the United Nations has refused to publicly acknowledge that its troops were the source of a massive cholera outbreak in Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake.

But now the U.N. is accepting "moral responsibility" for the outbreak that has sickened nearly 800,000 people and killed more than 9,000 others.

Researchers have launched an innovative medical experiment that's designed to provide quick answers while meeting the needs of patients, rather than drug companies.

Traditional studies can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and can take many years. But patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease don't have the time to wait. This progressive muscle-wasting disease is usually fatal within a few years.

We keep hearing that this election is like no other, but when I watch old movies, I often hear echoes of what's going on in the campaign.

The guy who opines in A Face in the Crowd (1957), say, that in the then-new age of television, "instead of long-winded public debates, people want capsule slogans."

In a cavernous, dimly-lit auditorium in Washington last month, three officials took the stage.

They settled themselves into tan, leather armchairs and fielded questions, including this one: Name a global flashpoint you're looking to with concern?

"North Korea," came the reply from one. "And how the United States and China deal with that situation."

The exchange is worth noting because the three people on stage were current or former CIA officials.

Cori Bargmann's new job description includes "to help cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of the century." That's quite a lofty goal.

Bargmann is a neuroscientist and president of science for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the joint venture of pediatrician Priscilla Chan and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. The couple pledged $3 billion to solve major medical problems by helping scientists and engineers collaborate long term, over 25, 50, even 80 years.