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Austin Bombing Latest

10 hours ago

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It's 1995, and Chris Cox is on a plane reading a newspaper. One article about a recent court decision catches his eye. This moment, in a way, ends up changing his life — and, to this day, it continues to change ours.

The case that caught the congressman's attention involved some posts on a bulletin board — the early-Internet precursor to today's social media. The ruling led to a new law, co-authored by Cox and often called simply "Section 230."

Clash Over Abortion Stalls Health Bill, Again

10 hours ago

The Affordable Care Act very nearly failed to become law back in 2010 because of a dispute among Democrats over how to handle abortion in the bill.

Now a similar argument between Democrats and Republicans is slowing progress on a bill that could help cut soaring premiums and help stabilize the ACA.

At issue is the extent to which the Hyde Amendment — language commonly used by Congress to prohibit most federal abortion funding — should be incorporated into any new legislation affecting the health law.

Updated at 7 a.m. ET

Authorities said a "serial bomber" was behind the explosions that killed two and injured several others in the Texas capital. Early Wednesday morning, police said a suspect in the bombings killed himself in an explosion in his vehicle.

Updated at 2:46 p.m. ET

A man whom police had identified as their top suspect in a string of deadly bombings in the Austin, Texas, area this month killed himself early Wednesday by triggering an explosion in his car as officers approached the vehicle to make an arrest, police said Wednesday.

Officials identified him as 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt, from Pflugerville, Texas, outside Austin.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


It has been a bad week for Cambridge Analytica.

Talking About Periods in Public

20 hours ago

"Shark week," "Aunt Flo," "Carrie at the prom" — these are a few common nicknames for periods, according to Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, author of Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity. But the list is far from exhaustive: "There are something like 5,000 euphemisms for periods," she says.

For years Harjit Masih has been talking about what happened outside of the Iraqi city of Mosul, the Associated Press reported. He and 39 other Indian men — all construction workers working on the Mosul University campus — had been kidnapped by members of ISIS as the extremist group waged its assault on the city.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


The turmoil for Facebook isn't letting up. The social media giant is facing more blowback from users, regulators and investors following reports that its user data was misused by Cambridge Analytica, a firm that worked for the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.

That has spurred a user boycott, as angry former Facebook users started turning to Twitter over the weekend to express their discontent. David Chartier, a freelance writer in Chicago, was one of them:

President Trump Adds New Lawyer To His Legal Team

22 hours ago

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Classroom Skeleton: Whose Bones Are These?

22 hours ago

Remember that skeleton hanging in the front of your biology — or art — classroom?

It's possible those bones are not plastic, but actual human remains. A lot of classroom skeletons, in high schools, universities and medical schools, are real.

Democrats Grill DeVos On Guns, Schools And Money

22 hours ago

Democrats got their shot at Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday, when she testified before a House committee about her department's proposed budget.

The hearing followed widespread criticism of DeVos for lackluster performances on 60 Minutes and the Today show earlier this month. She remains one of the most unpopular members of President Trump's Cabinet and continues to anger Democrats over many issues.

With recent backlash surrounding analytics firm Cambridge Analytica's access to and alleged misuse of massive amounts of Facebook user data, NPR wants to hear from social media users.

Fill out the form below. An NPR producer might be in touch, and your response may be used for an upcoming story.

From Clues To Capture: Forensics, Profiling And The Hunt In Austin

23 hours ago

The task of catching a criminal – such as the one(s) behind the apparent serial bombings in Austin, Texas – often hinges on forensic experts, whose job may involve concocting a profile of the perpetrator or perpetrators.

"You're building the outline of who this individual is, and you'll fill it in as more information becomes available," retired FBI agent Mary Ellen O'Toole told NPR's All Things Considered on Tuesday.

North Korea has earned a reputation as a country that knows how to play a weak diplomatic hand well. Or at least, it is known to have confounded U.S. negotiators and persisted in its nuclear drive by hook or by crook, despite both its relative weakness and repeated American efforts to halt and reverse North Korea's nuclear development.

What lessons should the U.S. government bear in mind if President Trump indeed ends up sitting across the negotiating table from Kim Jong Un, and what should Trump do differently?

José López doesn't have a deed for the little house at the edge of a dairy farm where he was raised and still lives — only the stories his grandfather told him about how the house came to be.

It began with an agreement between gentlemen 39 years ago. His grandfather, a foreman on the farm, needed a house for his recently divorced daughter, López's mother. So he asked the farm's owner if he could have a little corner of the sprawling estate to build her one.

"My grandfather worked on the farm for 44 years," López said, "and his boss was a good man. He said yes."

When Roger Severino tells his story, discrimination is at its heart.

"I did experience discrimination as a child. And that leaves a lasting impression," he tells me.

Severino directs the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. When I meet with him at his office in the shadow of the Capitol, he talks about his childhood as the son of Colombian immigrants growing up in Los Angeles.

Robots have taken over many of America's factories. They can explore the depths of the ocean, and other planets. They can play ping-pong.

But can they pick a strawberry?

"You kind of learn, when you get into this — it's really hard to match what humans can do," says Bob Pitzer, an expert on robots and co-founder of a company called Harvest CROO Robotics. (CROO is an acronym. It stands for Computerized Robotic Optimized Obtainer.)

The city council in Los Alamitos, Calif., voted on Monday night to exempt itself from the state's so-called sanctuary law, which limits cooperation between local enforcement and federal immigration agents authorities.

And in the process, the Orange County city of fewer than 12,000 is aligning itself with a harder line on immigration than the more liberal policies adopted elsewhere in California.

President Trump Congratulates Putin On Re-Election

Mar 20, 2018

President Trump congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday for winning re-election, in a contest marred by ballot-box stuffing and forced voting. Trump's words drew an immediate rebuke from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Armed Services Committee and a longtime Putin critic.

The congratulatory phone call came a day after the White House said no such message was anticipated. Officials noted on Monday that Putin's election to a fourth six-year term as president was not a surprise.

The Russian Embassy in London drew an uncommon scene Tuesday, gathering crowds of people, vans and diplomatic cars at its gate even as the building saw the departure of a number of far more familiar faces: the 23 Russian diplomats expelled by the British government. Russia's state-run news agency, TASS, reports that the diplomats and their families departed the compound to the strains of a Russian patriotic march.

It was November 2014, and I was working on a feature story about a hot new blood-testing company in Silicon Valley that promised to "disrupt" the lab industry with new technology.

The company, Theranos, claimed its new finger-prick test would be a cheap and less painful way to run tests with just a few drops of blood. Old-fashioned venous blood draws, where the patient watches as vial after vial of blood is collected, would quickly become obsolete, Theranos promised.

Updated at 7:38 p.m. ET

Top Republican lawmakers do not support legislation aimed at protecting Department of Justice special counsel Robert Mueller and his Russia investigation from White House interference, insisting that it is unnecessary.

"The special counsel should be free to follow through his investigation to its completion without interference, absolutely," House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters Tuesday. "I am confident that he'll be able to do that. I have received assurances that his firing is not even under consideration."

Usually the image of a pub is one of welcome, a cozy place where neighbors gather to share friendship and a pint or two. But Dan Margulis, an advertising professional with a personal interest in immigration issues, decided to use the concept for a kind of social experiment along Detroit's St. Patrick's Day Parade route — and there was no friendly welcome involved.