News From NPR

When the Academy Award nominations were announced in 2015 — and again in 2016 — there was swift backlash against the Academy for the lack of racial diversity among the nominees. Now, a new study of Best Picture nominees has revealed yet another demographic that's been chronically underrepresented in Hollywood — older people.

The human species is about to change dramatically. That's the argument Yuval Noah Harari makes in his new book, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.

Harari is a history professor at Hebrew University in Israel. He tells NPR's Ari Shapiro that he expects we will soon engineer our bodies and minds in the same way we now design products.


Interview Highlights

On how we will begin to engineer bodies

The so-called Islamic State's financial fortunes are bound to the amount of territory it controls.

And the group's dramatic loss of ground in its strongholds in Syria and Iraq is putting pressure on its finances, according to a new report from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation.

There's a lesson about one of the testosterone studies released this week that has nothing to do with testosterone: The study on how testosterone affects anemia was designed with an ethical lapse that nobody noticed until the study was complete.

Rex Tillerson is heading on his second foreign trip as secretary of state later this week. But, as in his visit last week to Germany, Tillerson is expected to try to keep a low profile when he travels to Mexico on Wednesday.

Tillerson has said very little in public since taking office. There has been no State Department briefing since the Trump administration began a month ago.

President Trump on Monday named Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his new national security adviser, filling out the team that will advise him on issues such as ISIS and Russia.

The Department of Homeland Security has released guidance for implementing President Trump's executive orders on border security and immigration enforcement.

On Tuesday morning, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly unveiled new policies aimed at detaining and deporting more immigrants in the country illegally.

Millions of people have been displaced by the ongoing Syrian civil war.

About 5 million are living in neighboring countries — Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq — about 900,000 have applied for asylum in Europe and about 18,000 have come to the United States. But wealthy Gulf countries, like the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, have taken in almost no refugees.

Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos has resigned amid a social media backlash over comments he made that appeared to condone pedophilia.

In a news conference Tuesday, Yiannopoulos said his resignation was effective immediately and praised the website as "a significant factor in my success."

He also explained his views on sex with minors, insisting that he does not condone statutory rape.

At times, it sprinted. At others, it stood still, seeming to weigh how best to elude New York City police. For more than an hour Tuesday, a runaway bull kept its dreams of freedom alive — until officers managed to capture it in Queens.

"It was at least the third loose cow or bull in Queens in the last 14 months," New York's Channel NBC 4 TV reports.

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

A literary treasure buried for more than a century has been unearthed by Zachary Turpin, a grad student at the University of Houston.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, as anti-communist sentiment gained ground in the United States, paranoia and persecution swept through Hollywood. The House Un-American Activities (HUAC) began interrogating some of the country's most talented filmmakers and actors, accusing them of being communists or communist sympathizers.

She's done it again.

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross thought to be at least 66 years old, has hatched yet another chick at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial in Hawaii.

The United Nations says people are dying of starvation in north-central South Sudan, and it has issued a formal famine declaration for part of the country.

In all, nearly 5 million South Sudanese people do not have enough food, according to the U.N.'s food security arm, and that number is expected to rise to 5.5 million by the agricultural lean times in midsummer.

Of those, at least 100,000 people are at immediate risk of starving to death.

Five people were killed, including four U.S. citizens, when a plane crashed into a shopping complex in suburban Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday morning, according to police.

The Direct Factory Outlets mall was closed when it was hit by the twin-engine Beechcraft Super King Air, according to media reports. Police say nobody inside the mall at the time was injured.

As thousands protested outside the U.K. Parliament on Monday, members inside debated whether President Trump should receive the honor of meeting the queen on a state visit later this year. State visits by U.S. presidents are rare in Britain; Labour Party lawmaker Paul Flynn noted that only two — Barack Obama and George W. Bush — have made them.

The parliamentary debate was triggered by a petition opposing the state visit, signed by more than 1.8 million people. Another petition supporting a state visit garnered just over 300,000 signatures.

Updated 5:25 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is releasing more on its plans to crack down on illegal immigration, enforcing the executive orders President Trump issued in late January. Those orders called for increased border security and stricter enforcement of immigration laws.

The Department of Homeland Security issued the new rules on Tuesday, laid out in two documents signed by Secretary John Kelly.

Many men over 65 with low testosterone levels say their sense of well-being, not to mention sexual function, isn't what it used to be.

That's why some doctors prescribe testosterone replacement. But the effectiveness of testosterone has been controversial. Studies of the risks and benefits have been mixed, and the Food and Drug Administration beefed up its warnings about cardiac side effects of testosterone supplementation in 2015.

Several Jewish community centers across the U.S. were targeted by bomb threats on Monday, according to the JCC Association of North America, in the fourth wave of such threats in the past two months.

In total, there have been 69 threats at 54 JCCs, in 27 states and a Canadian province, the organization reports — including previous threats on Jan. 9, 18 and 31, as well as 11 threats by telephone on Monday.

In April 1991, I met a young U.S. Army captain in the moonscape of southern Iraq. He was frustrated.

Just weeks earlier, the officer and his troops had been part of the wave of U.S. forces that drove Saddam Hussein's Iraqi military out of Kuwait. The Americans kept advancing, pushing some 150 miles into southern Iraq — but then they received orders to halt in place.

Against a backdrop of turmoil and after big losses in November, the Democratic National Committee votes this week for its next leader. The winner of the DNC chair race will very likely reflect whether the committee's voting members think it prudent to align their party with the Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama camp, the Bernie Sanders camp — or neither.

When Vitaly Churkin was Soviet Foreign Ministry spokesman in the early 1990s, he would in effect brief the Moscow press corps twice.

First he'd speak in Russian, formally, behind a lectern.

Then he'd step to the side, his hands folded before him, and wait for the foreign broadcast journalists to approach with their cameras and microphones. The questions and answers were in English, and the audience, it was understood, was the United States.

Saying that he's been diagnosed with the same condition that struck his mother and grandfather, singer David Cassidy has revealed that he is fighting dementia. The star whose career was launched by 1970s TV show The Partridge Family had recently told fans that he was on a farewell tour.

"I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming," Cassidy, 66, tells People magazine, in an interview about his condition.

More than a month after an Israeli military court found Sgt. Elor Azaria guilty of manslaughter, the soldier has been ordered to serve an 18-month prison sentence. Azaria, who worked as an army medic, shot and killed Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, a Palestinian assailant who was already incapacitated.

The 114th North American International Toy Fair boosts a chance for industry players to see "hundreds of thousands of innovative new toys and games before they hit store shelves."

To attend the four-day event in New York City must be a lot like being a kid in a candy store — er — make that toy store.

At the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, hundreds of thousands of square feet are dedicated to the "hottest new toys and trends."

Health Insurance Woes Add To The Risky Business Of Farming

11 hours ago

There are many challenges to farming for a living: It's often grueling work that relies on unpredictable factors such as weather and global market prices. But one aspect that's often ignored is the cost of health care.

A University of Vermont researcher found that nationally, most farmers cited health care costs as a top concern.

Transitioning to adulthood isn't new, but there is a more modern way to describe it: adulting.

Get your car's oil changed? That's adulting. Cook dinner instead of order takeout? That's adulting.

And now a new school in Maine, called the Adulting School, is dedicated to teaching skills like these to fledgling adults so they can become successful grown-ups.

The cellphone video is vivid. A Border Patrol agent aims his gun at an unarmed 15-year-old some 60 feet away, across the border with Mexico, and shoots him dead.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a case testing whether the family of the dead boy can sue the agent for damages in the U.S.

Between 2005 and 2013, there were 42 such cross-border shootings, a dramatic increase over earlier times.

As a Seattle-based fiction writer and a part-time stay-at-home dad, Josh Mohr, 40, spends his days in the world of make-believe.

His routine begins at approximately 5:30 a.m. when his 3-year-old daughter, Ava, waves a magic wand to turn him into a children's storyteller.

Mohr cozies up to his toddler, who's dressed for the occasion in a purple princess dress and a sparkly crown with rainbow jewels. After they've finished a few readings of Curious George, Ava asks her dad to read the story again.

"Again, Daddy. Let's do it again," she says.

Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos lost both a speaking gig at a prominent conservative event and a book deal in less than 24 hours.

First, Monday afternoon the American Conservative Union rescinded its invitation to the right-wing provocateur — noted for his political posts on the Internet — to speak at its annual Conservative Political Action Conference this upcoming weekend. Then, a few hours later, Simon & Schuster announced that it was canceling the publication of Yiannopoulos' upcoming book, Dangerous.

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