News From NPR

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Stung by the new threat of American sanctions, Russia's Foreign Ministry says the U.S. must downsize its diplomatic and technical staff in Moscow and other cities. The ministry is also suspending the U.S. Embassy's use of two sites — a storage facility and a dacha on an island in the Moscow River.

The ministry says the U.S. has until Sept. 1 to cut the number of its staff at the Moscow embassy and at three consulates to match the exact number of Russian diplomats who are working in the U.S. — 455 people, according to the ministry's announcement.

A ruling by Pakistan's Supreme Court has disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office, ending his tenure in dramatic fashion after a corruption scandal that stemmed from his family's financial dealings.

Many Americans don't believe Russia tried to meddle in the presidential election despite intelligence evidence to the contrary.

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The Ongoing Battle Between Science Teachers And Fake News

2 hours ago

Every year Patrick Engleman plays a little trick on his students. The high school chemistry teacher introduces his ninth-graders in suburban Philadelphia to an insidious substance called dihydrogen monoxide. It's "involved in 80 percent of fatal car crashes. It's in every single cancer cell. This stuff, it'll burn you," he tells them.

But dihydrogen monoxide is water. He says several of his honors classes decided to ban it based just on what he told them.

Detroit 1967: There's Still A Debate Over What To Call It

3 hours ago

It was after 3 a.m. on a Sunday: July 23, 1967. A group of African-Americans were celebrating the return of two Vietnam veterans. They were in what Detroiters call a "blind pig," an after-hours bar at the corner of 12th Street and Clairmount Avenue. Just before dawn, police raided the bar and began arresting the more than 80 people inside.

For 25 years, the Rev. Noel Hickie, 74, and Marcia Hilton, 70, helped families during their most trying moments.

Hickie was working as a hospital chaplain and Hilton as a bereavement counselor when the two met at a hospital in Eugene, Ore. The pair often worked together on hospice teams, helping patients and their families through illness and death. They spent decades of their lives doing this work, but in the beginning, neither was sure they were cut out for it.

"I thought that I would never want to be around sick people," Hickie says.

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The British playwright Alan Bennett once remarked that people are more interesting when they are trying to be good than when they are being bad. That's certainly true of Menashe, a recently widowed Orthodox Jew struggling to raise his young son alone in a Hasidic enclave of Borough Park, Brooklyn. Though he can be a religious dogmatist when it comes to others, Menashe errs abundantly himself and complains routinely in Rodney Dangerfield mode, which sounds funnier in Yiddish.

In a moment of unexpected high drama, Republicans were stymied once again in their effort to repeal Obamacare — and they have John McCain to thank for it.

The senator who earned the nickname "Maverick" over his long tenure showed why in the early morning hours Friday.

McCain, who was diagnosed with brain cancer and returned to Washington to advance the health care bill, turned around and bucked his party's leadership — and President Trump — by joining two moderate Republicans and every Democrat in voting against the so-called "skinny repeal" of the Affordable Care Act.

Texas has executed its fifth prisoner this year by lethal injection after failed appeals, including one at the last-minute to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lawyers representing the inmate, 46-year-old TaiChin Preyor of Texas who was convicted of killing a San Antonio woman in 2004, argued his execution should be stayed on the grounds that his previous legal team gave him insufficient and fraudulent representation when he began his appeals process, unfairly hindering his case.

A police officer attempting to help at the scene of a car accident was fatally shot, apparently by an occupant of the vehicle, near Indianapolis on Thursday.

Lt. Aaron Allan, a six-year veteran of the Southport Police Department with almost 20 years in law enforcement, was pronounced dead at Eskenazi Hospital, said Sgt. Kendale Adams of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department at a press conference, according to the Associated Press.

President Trump is now faced with a decision on whether to sign into law new sanctions meant to punish Russia for interfering in last year's presidential election, after the Senate overwhelmingly approved the measure Thursday.

The bill, the first major foreign policy legislation to emerge from Congress since the president took office, also includes sanctions on North Korea and Iran. It easily passed the Senate in a 98-2 vote after sailing through the House by a similarly veto-proof 419-3 margin.

A close-up of ice melting in brilliant sunshine is the first thing you see in An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. It's gorgeous — snow crystals glistening, moisture dripping from them into a pool of water so pure and clear it makes you thirsty.

For an entire generation of writers, Michiko Kakutani acted at times as intrepid champion, hated villain or helping hand. But from her perch as chief book critic at The New York Times, the Pulizer Prize winner rarely left one thing in doubt: her vast influence over the literary world she assessed.

On Thursday, after 38 years, Kakutani announced she is stepping down.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, speaking on Fox & Friends Thursday, said the Trump administration's hiring efforts are being hindered by the "hoops you have to jump through" to comply with Office of Government Ethics rules.

"There are so many qualified men and women who wanted to serve this administration and their country who have been completely demoralized and completely disinclined to do so based on the paperwork we have to put forward, divesting assets," Conway said.

Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET

The Republican's seven year quest to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act descended into chaos Thursday night as the Senate prepared for an unwieldy, all-night session.

Updated 8:25 p.m. ET

Just days away from a national vote to decide the delegates who will rewrite Venezuela's constitution, President Nicolas Maduro's government is trying a new method of clamping down on popular unrest: a complete ban on demonstrations nationwide for the next five days.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos became an even richer man on Thursday morning, when a sudden surge in Amazon stock made him $1.5 billion overnight. His fortune grew to over $90 billion.

For several hours, Bezos was the richest person on earth — surpassing Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The top billionaire title has previously been claimed by Mexican telecom titan Carlos Slim, Spanish fast-fashion giant Amancio Ortega and investor Warren Buffett — though most of the time, it's firmly in Gates' possession.

Sea levels are rising and climate scientists blame global warming. They predict that higher seas will cause more coastal flooding through this century and beyond, even in places that have normally been high and dry.

But mapping where future floods will strike has barely begun.

Tribal Council Orders 'Revenge Rape' In Pakistan

15 hours ago

It began with a gruesome crime: a 12-year-old girl was raped by a teenage boy in a field in mid-July.

What happened next was a reaction that Pakistan has been sharply condemned for over the years: A tribal council — or panchayat in Urdu — ordered a revenge rape.

Two days after the girl was raped, her brother sexually violated a 16-year-old girl. She is the sister of the first rapist, a 17-year-old boy.

The panchayat that ordered the rape is led by influential landlords who settle disputes according to tribal customs that predate Islam.

In a bucolic valley nestled in Romania's Carpathian mountains, herds of sheep graze the hillsides. Then, suddenly, all hell breaks loose.

Volleys of live artillery fire thunder across a wide hollow. Stryker fighting vehicles charge down a hillside as troops in camouflage brandish automatic rifles as they scramble through tall grasses.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

President Donald Trump has nominated a new ambassador for international religious freedom - Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

There's a new film out called "Menashe" about a widower who's trying to regain custody of his son. It's set in New York City, specifically in Borough Park, Brooklyn. And you will probably need the subtitles to follow it. It's in Yiddish.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

President Trump recently tweeted an unusual suggestion - all agree the U.S. president has the complete power to pardon. Which raised the question, can the president pardon himself? Legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg went to find that out.

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