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Tell Us Your Maria Story

Sep 19, 2017

NPR is working to bring you the latest news about Hurricane Maria, which struck several Caribbean islands already working to recover from Hurricane Irma.

But our reporters can't be everywhere. That is where you come in: How close were you to the storm's path? What is happening in your neighborhood? How are these storms affecting your mental and emotional state?

If possible — and if you're in a safe place — we would like to follow your story. You can choose a way to talk to us:

  • Fill out the form below.

A Girl's Love For Bugs Goes Viral

Sep 19, 2017

Canadian Sophia Spencer, 8, loves bugs. A tweet her mom sent out about that made headlines and led to a paper the girl co-authored in a science journal. NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Spencer and her co-author, scientist Morgan Jackson.

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Hurricane Maria threatens to devastate Puerto Rico, mere weeks after the U.S. territory was battered by Hurricane Irma. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello tells NPR's Ailsa Chang how the island is preparing ahead of one of the worst storms in recorded history.

Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET Thursday

There was some consternation Monday on Capitol Hill after President Trump told the United Nations General Assembly that "if [the U.S.] is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea." Congress is, after all, the only branch of government constitutionally authorized to declare war. And that would seem to include nuclear war.

But Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker says it's complicated.

Eight months after he packed up his White House office and vacated the premises, President Barack Obama's top lawyer is finally opening up.

In a speech at Columbia University's law school last week, Neil Eggleston told students that "I'm not sure where the lawyers are" in the vetting process for some of President Trump's controversial executive orders, from the travel ban that now covers visitors from six majority-Muslim countries to efforts to withhold federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities.

The attorneys general of 41 U.S. states said Tuesday that they're banding together to investigate the makers and distributors of powerful opioid painkillers that have, over the past decade, led to a spike in opiate addictions and overdose deaths.

Updated 6:30 a.m. ET Wednesday

The head of Mexico's civil defense agency has lowered the number of people confirmed dead in Tuesday's earthquake. Luis Felipe Puente now says 217 people were killed. Earlier he said the death toll was 248. He gave no explanation for the revised number.

Updated at 3:30 a.m. ET

The death toll continues to rise in Mexico after Tuesday's earthquake. The country's national civil defense agency confirmed the death toll stands at 248. Rescue teams are digging through the rubble to find survivors.

Officials in Puerto Rico are warning residents to prepare for catastrophic winds and floods as Hurricane Maria bears down on the island. The storm has already devastated the island of Dominica, where the governor describes the damage as “mind-boggling.”

Meteorologist Jeff Huffman (@HuffmanHeadsUp) of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network gives Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson the latest on Maria.

More than 100,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which left much of Houston underwater.

A welcome mat was literally rolled out for refugees resettled in the U.S. at a somewhat unexpected locale Saturday: President Trump's childhood home.

In a very pointed message, international charity Oxfam invited four refugees from three countries to spend the day at the Queens, N.Y., home where Trump spent his earliest years.

Rolling Stone magazine is facing a defamation suit — again — as a federal appeals court ruled that three former University of Virginia students have a plausible case that they were personally implicated in a now-retracted story about an alleged gang rape.

The lawsuit began more than two years ago but was dismissed by a district court. Now the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has said the case should move forward, at least in part.

Authorities say three people have been arrested after an eruption of violence on Georgia Tech's campus Monday night. The clash, which broke out during a vigil for a 21-year-old student shot and killed Saturday by police, left officers with minor injuries and one police vehicle damaged by fire.

It wasn't that long ago that the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act died once and for all in the Senate.

Women's Roles In Gangs

Sep 19, 2017

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Kids who start playing tackle football before the age of 12 are at much higher risk of developing behavioral and emotional troubles as adults, according to a new study.

Researchers found much higher rates of depression, apathy and other neurological problems among those who started young — whether or not they suffered concussions.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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His legacy lies in his eponymous AK-47 assault rifle, one of the world's most popular and lethal weapons, and now Mikhail Kalashnikov's likeness looms over Moscow in the form of a 30-foot-tall monument, but not everyone is happy to see it.

Kalashnikov's daughter, Yelena, unveiled the statue Tuesday at a square off Garden Ring Road, a busy thoroughfare in Russia's capital city, according to Reuters.

For the first time since Hurricane Irma, people who live in the lower islands of the Florida Keys are returning home. For many, that means arriving at a home to no power and no running water. And some who live in Marathon, Summerland and Big Pine Key — islands hard-hit by Irma — found their homes no longer livable.

When Hurricane Irma made landfall on Cudjoe Key last week, it carried winds of 130 miles per hour. For islands like Marathon Key on the "dirty" — more powerful — side of the storm, the storm surge was even more damaging than the winds.

It does not take a hurricane to put nursing home residents at risk when disaster strikes.

Around the country, facilities have been caught unprepared for far more mundane emergencies than the hurricanes that struck Florida and Houston, according to an examination of federal inspection records. And these nursing homes rarely face severe reprimands, even when inspectors identify repeated lapses.

In some cases, nursing homes failed to prepare for even the most basic contingencies.

Dylann Roof, on federal death row for gunning down nine people two years ago at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., wants his legal team dismissed because of the lawyers' ethnicity as he seeks to have his conviction and death sentence overturned.

"My two currently appointed attorneys, Alexandra Yates and Sapna Mirchandani, are Jewish and Indian respectively," Roof wrote in a letter filed Monday with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. "It is therefore quite literally impossible that they and I could have the same interests relating to my case."

'Why We Shoot'

Sep 19, 2017

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In 2009, food writer Emma Christensen began brewing beer at home. She quickly grew to love each stage of the hours-long process, much of which is spent tending to a crock of boiling wort, or unfermented beer, and adding hops every few minutes. Over the course of making more than a hundred batches, she has become skilled at the art of turning barley, water, hops and yeast into beer.

A group of angry young immigrants chanting "all of us or none of us" shut down a news conference by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi who was on her home turf in San Francisco on Monday to try to drum up support for legislation that would allow immigrants illegally brought to this country by their parents to stay in the U.S.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

President Trump delivered a stern warning to North Korea's leader at the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday.

Updated at 5:09 p.m. ET.

The Senate Intelligence Committee said it would require a longtime attorney for Donald Trump to appear in a future open session after his statement for a closed one on Tuesday began appearing beforehand in the press.

Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., said they had "postponed" a closed-door meeting between Michael Cohen and committee staffers.

Updated at 5:30 a.m. ET Wednesday

Even though Maria has weakened to a Category 4 storm, it remains a dangerous hurricane. Maria's maximum sustained winds are near 155 mph. The National Hurricane Center says the storm should keep that intensity until it makes landfall. Puerto Rico has long been spared from a direct hit by a hurricane.

Updated at 2:20 a.m. ET Wednesday

Sarah Dudas doesn't mind shucking an oyster or a clam in the name of science.

But sit down with her and a plate of oysters on the half-shell or a bucket of steamed Manila clams, and she'll probably point out a bivalve's gonads or remark on its fertility.

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