News From NPR

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Here to weigh in on all these topics and more - our Friday political commentators E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution. Hey there, E.J.

E J DIONNE, BYLINE: Great to be with you.

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions tried a new tack in defending the zero-tolerance crackdown that is resulting in separating immigrant children from their parents at the border. Sessions quoted the Bible.

As a child, author Minh Lê had a deep and loving relationship with his grandparents, but he also remembers a lot of "awkward silence."

"There were those moments where we just didn't know what to say to each other," he says.

Lê was born in the U.S. and grew up in Connecticut. His grandparents were from Vietnam. His new picture book — a collaboration with Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat — explores how a young boy and his Thai grandfather learn to bridge barriers of language, culture and age.

With a litany of alleged ethics controversies swirling at home, embattled Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt took the show on the road this week, meeting with farmers in a handful of Midwestern states to talk about his policy agenda.

While Thursday evening's meeting in Lincoln, Neb., was polite, the reception in other states has not been as welcoming, especially when it comes to conversations about his ethanol policies.

Right around dawn Sunday, an unidentified person stole into an art exhibition space in Toronto. Encased in a sweatshirt, with hands in armpits and face obscured by a camouflage cap, the dark-dressed lurker slinked into a room lined with works by Banksy.

The Environmental Protection Agency intends to block an Obama-era proposal and effectively shield companies from scrutiny about how they prevent and respond to chemical disasters. At a hearing Thursday, agency officials got an earful from dozens of people who live and work near refineries and chemical facilities across the country.

The U.S. Senate is set to vote as early as next week on whether to reinstate crippling trade sanctions against Chinese telecommunications company ZTE. With that move in sight, a number of U.S. senators are taking aim at a much bigger Chinese target: Huawei — the world's third-largest seller of smartphones, behind Samsung and Apple.

In an intense legal battle over the role of race in Harvard University's admissions policies, a group that is suing the school says Harvard lowers the rankings of Asian-American applicants in a way that is unconstitutional.

Harvard says that its admissions process is legal — and it notes that the plaintiff group, the Students for Fair Admissions, is backed by the same activist who previously challenged the University of Texas' affirmative action policy.

McDonald's says it will start using paper straws instead of plastic at all its locations across the United Kingdom and Ireland. And it plans to test sustainable alternatives to plastic straws in some restaurants in the U.S. and elsewhere around the globe later this year.

A huge study on the possible health benefits of drinking alcohol will be completely shut down, because its credibility was compromised by frequent and early interactions between alcohol industry executives, scientists and government officials.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

When La Guardia Cross first heard his wife was having a child, "it completely caught me off guard. I didn't feel ready."

By the time his daughter Amalah was born in 2014 — although still freaking out — he got out his camera and started recording. The hospital room — him holding his little baby in his arms. Amalah sleeping. Amalah crying. Lots of stuff about diapers and poop.

Milos Zeman, president of the Czech Republic, had an important announcement — but he wanted it to be a surprise. So he called a news conference Thursday.

Updated at 5:43 p.m. ET

President Trump took Capitol Hill by surprise on Friday morning when he said that he would not sign a House GOP immigration bill — only to reverse course later in the day.

"I'm looking at both of them. I certainly wouldn't sign the more moderate one," Trump told Fox News in a previously unannounced interview on the White House lawn.

Judge Orders Paul Manafort To Jail

Jun 15, 2018

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The Eiffel Tower is being retrofitted with bulletproof glass, the latest measure to protect the Paris site and visitors from potential terrorist attacks.

The panels are nearly 10 feet high and more than 2 inches thick. They will bookend the monument at its north and south ends, running parallel to the Seine River and Avenue Gustave-Eiffel. At the east and west sides, metal fencing has been installed to help stop any vehicles that try to ram into the grounds.

Jean Marie Rukundo did not accompany his wife to the clinic the first two times she gave birth. Here in rural Rwanda, that was considered the duty of another woman, like her sister. His main job was farming — though his wife farmed too. After work, Rukundo used to leave his hoe with her and then go play cards with men in the village. Meanwhile, his wife went home from the fields, gathered firewood and water, prepared dinner, cleaned dishes and cared for their children.

A painkiller prescription could become a ticket for medical marijuana in Illinois. Lawmakers there passed a bill making anyone with a prescription for opioids eligible for its medical cannabis program.

With this move, Illinois joins a growing number of states turning to legal cannabis in the fight against painkiller addiction.

"As we see the horrible damage inflicted by opioid use and misuse, it seems like a very low-cost and low-risk alternative," says state Sen. Don Harmon, a Democrat from Oak Park, Ill., and sponsor of the Senate version of the bill.

Updated at 12:00 p.m. ET

President Trump, in a freewheeling impromptu news conference in front of the White House on Friday morning, said the Justice Department inspector general's report looking into the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server "totally exonerates me."

Updated at 3:57 a.m. ET Saturday

President Trump is enacting a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of Chinese goods "that contain industrially significant technologies," after months of exchanging threats amid concerns over a potential trade war.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin to collect tariffs on the first $34 billion worth of Chinese imports on July 6. A second set of imports subject to tariffs is still under review.

Italian prosecutors dropped a sexual harassment case against a powerful sports executive, in part because they believed his alleged victim was too old to be intimidated, according to reporting by The Guardian and The New York Times.

Carlo Tavecchio — the former head of the Italian soccer federation, who stepped down last year after Italy was eliminated from the World Cup — is accused of groping and attempting to kiss female soccer executive Elisabetta Cortani in his office in 2015.

The Afghan government and the Taliban have begun a rare three-day cease-fire in honor of Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

The cessation in hostilities is actually two separate, unilateral cease-fires — one by the government, which began earlier this week and is expected to last about a week, and an overlapping three-day cease-fire by the Taliban.

Newly released body camera footage from January shows police officers in Mesa, Ariz., hitting and mocking a 23-year-old man they were taking into custody.

It's the third use-of-force controversy for the Phoenix suburb so far this month. The police chief told The Associated Press that the arrest is under review.

The video was shared with the press by Bret Royle, a lawyer representing Jose Luis Conde, the man arrested in the video.

Royle said that the video shows an arrest that was more brutal than the arresting officers described in their official report.

The Army has long had shortages of health care workers and speakers of certain languages, and in 2009 it started doing what other industries, including the medical field have done: It looked to skilled immigrants.

Updated at 12:31 p.m. ET

A federal judge ordered Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, to jail on Friday following allegations by prosecutors that he tampered with witnesses in his case.

"You've abused the trust placed in you six months ago," said Judge Amy Berman Jackson. "I thought about this long and hard, Mr. Manafort. I have no appetite for this."

But Berman Jackson said she could not turn a blind eye to the charges that Manafort had attempted to contact witnesses in his case after he was on bail.

The number of people graduating with nuclear engineering degrees has more than tripled since a low point in 2001, and many are passionate about their motivation.

"I'm here because I think I can save the world with nuclear power," Leslie Dewan told the crowd at a 2014 event as she pitched her company's design for a new kind of reactor.

Fifty years ago, photographer and folklorist Roland Freeman hitched his hopes to a humble caravan of mule-driven wagons. The Mule Train left the small town of Marks, in the Mississippi Delta, for Washington, D.C. It was part of Martin Luther King Jr.'s last major effort to mobilize impoverished Americans of different races and ethnic backgrounds.

Updated at 11:06 a.m. ET

The Justice Department's internal watchdog agency unveiled a doorstop-sized report Thursday that provides an inflection point — but no closure — in the never-ending war over the 2016 presidential campaign and its aftermath.

Pages