News From NPR

Ground control to Buzz Aldrin!

The Apollo 11 astronaut is reportedly recovering well in a New Zealand hospital, after being evacuated with medical problems from Antarctica last week.

And he's being helped by none other than Dr. David Bowie. Not the late pop star David Bowie, whose 1969 Space Oddity song was released just days before Aldrin walked on the moon.

His doctor is named David Bowie. Aldrin's manager posted a photo of the the astronaut and his doctor on Twitter, noting, you can't make this stuff up.

As an Asian-American woman, I've had any number of opportunities to see someone who looked like me on the big and small screen.

Since I was a little girl, I've seen Disney's Mulan, Trini Kwan from Fox Kids' Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and Dr. Cristina Yang on Grey's Anatomy, to name a few. And while the portrayal of Asian-American women by Hollywood and television could use some work – too often they're over-sexualized or rendered exotic – at least we're present and have some depth.

The revelation of a phone call between President-elect Donald Trump and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen last Friday startled leaders and diplomats in Washington, Beijing and beyond. In her first comments on the call, Tsai sought to dampen those fears.

"Of course I have to stress that one phone call does not mean a policy shift," Tsai said on Tuesday in a small meeting with American journalists in Taipei. "The phone call was a way for us to express our respect for the U.S. election as well as congratulate President-elect Trump on his win."

We live in a world of screens. And in this digital age — with so many devices and distraction — it's one of the things parents worry about most: How much time should their kids spend staring at their phones and computers? What's the right balance between privacy and self-discovery?

Seventy-five years after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, some Americans have never stopped believing that President Franklin Roosevelt let it happen in order to draw the U.S. into World War II.

"It's ridiculous," says Rob Citino, a senior researcher at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. "But it's evergreen. It never stops. My students, over 30 years — there'd always be someone in class [who'd say], 'Roosevelt knew all about it.'"

Traffic safety officials regularly warn us of the risks of driving while drunk or distracted.

But Americans still need to wake up to the dangers of getting behind the wheel when sleepy, according to a recent study of crash rates.

A report released Tuesday by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that drivers who sleep only five or six hours in a 24-hour period are twice as likely to crash as drivers who get seven hours of sleep or more.

It may sound like the plot of a movie: police find a young man dead with stab wounds. Tests quickly show he'd had Ebola.

Officials realize the suspects in the case, men in a local gang, may have picked up and spread Ebola across the slum. These men are reluctant to quarantine themselves and some – including a man nicknamed "Time Bomb" – cannot even be found.

This scenario actually unfolded in the West African nation of Liberia in 2015. And what followed was a truly unconventional effort by epidemiologists to stop a new Ebola outbreak.

Since her son Tommy went to jail, Dawn Herbert has been trying to see him as much as she can. He's incarcerated less than a 10-minute drive from her house in Keene, N.H. But he might as well be a lot farther.

"He's in that building and I can't get to him," Herbert says.

Dawn's visits probably don't look like what one might picture, where she's sitting across a table, or behind a pane of Plexiglas looking at and talking to her son.

Italian archaeologists discovered the plundered tomb of Queen Nefertari in Egypt's Valley of the Queens in 1904, and amid the debris, they found a pair of mummified knees.

Now, for the first time, researchers have conducted a broad array of tests on the knees and say they are confident they belong to Nefertari, who was the wife of Pharaoh Ramses II and one of the most famous of Egypt's queens.

More and more of the things we use every day are being connected to the Internet.

The term for these Internet-enabled devices — like connected cars and home appliances — is the Internet of things. They promise to make life more convenient, but these devices are also vulnerable to hacking.

Security technologist Bruce Schneier told NPR's Audie Cornish that while hacking someone's emails or banking information can be embarrassing or costly, hacking the Internet of things could be dangerous.

Eleven Americans describe what it's like to be transgender in Timothy Greenfield-Sanders' new HBO documentary, The Trans List. Though the individuals in the film come from varied backgrounds, there is at least one common thread to their experiences: "We all come out publicly," lawyer Kylar Broadus tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "There is no hidden way to come out as a trans person."

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

The judge in the murder trial of former North Charleston, S.C., police Officer Michael Slager declared a mistrial on Monday after the jury said it could not come to a unanimous decision.

"We as the jury regret to inform the court that, despite the best efforts of all members, we are unable to come to an unanimous decision in the case of the State vs. Michael Slager," a letter from the foreman of the jury read.

Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET on Dec. 6

The chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota is asking people camping near the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline to go home.

"I'm asking them to go," Dave Archambault III told Reuters on Monday, saying that the Obama administration "did the right thing," and that he hoped to "educate the incoming administration" of President-elect Donald Trump.

"Nothing will happen this winter," he said.

The high-stakes fight over who invented a technology that could revolutionize medicine and agriculture heads to a courtroom Tuesday.

A gene-editing technology called CRISPR-cas9 could be worth billions of dollars. But it's not clear who owns the idea.

U.S. patent judges will hear oral arguments to help untangle this issue, which has far more at stake than your garden-variety patent dispute.

Inside Mongolia's largest open-air market in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, it doesn't feel like the economy is on the brink of collapse. Alleyways are packed with people selling carpets, fabric, clothes and nearly anything else you could think of.

But vendors here have had a front-row seat to an economy that has quickly gone from the world's fastest growing to one of the slowest. Everyone here seems to have a riches-to-rags story.

In what may be the most unlikely meeting of the presidential transition process so far, former vice president, former Democratic presidential nominee, former senator and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore met with President-elect Donald Trump on Monday.

Gore has spent decades warning about the dire consequences of unchecked, man-made climate change, while Trump has regularly called climate change "a hoax" during the campaign.

Vladimir Putin said last week that he wants to normalize relations with the United States, and that the two countries should join efforts to fight international terrorism.

During the campaign, Donald Trump praised Putin as a leader, which raised some alarms among those who see Putin as an authoritarian ruler who poses a serious threat to the United States and its Western allies.

Ryan Speedo Green (@RyanSpeedoGreen) is the bass-baritone taking the opera world by storm. A recent New York Times review of the Metropolitan Opera’s “La Bohème” called him “a show stopper.”

A spate of high-profile police shootings in the last year have drawn attention to the way police respond to people dealing with mental illness.

For about a decade, Turkish and Ghanaian organized crime rings operated a fake U.S. embassy in Ghana's capital, where they issued fraudulently obtained legitimate and counterfeit visas and ID documents costing $6,000 to people from across West Africa.

That's according to the U.S. State Department, which detailed how the operation worked.

Native American and environmentalist protesters celebrated Sunday the Obama administration’s decision to halt construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline near Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

Italy is headed toward a period of political uncertainty following voters' crushing rejection of constitutional amendments and of their champion.

The 41-year-old Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is slated to hand in his resignation Monday after only 2 1/2 years in office and after acknowledging his stinging defeat in Sunday's referendum.

Just over an hour after the polls closed, Renzi appeared before the media.

Usually brash and confident, he held back tears acknowledging defeat.

Just as the recount that he requested came to a conclusion, incumbent North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory conceded the gubernatorial election to Democratic state Attorney General Roy Cooper.

The man accused of killing nine people during a Bible study in Charleston, S.C., last year has rehired his defense attorneys to represent him in the first phase of his federal murder trial.

Dylann Roof, 22, faces 33 federal hate crimes charges for walking into the basement of a historically black church and sitting among worshipers before opening fire, according to prosecutors. The government is seeking the death penalty.

After one of the founders of Corona beer died last summer at age 98, some news went viral: In his will, he'd apparently left his fortune to the tiny, hardscrabble village in northern Spain where he was born. Each resident — mostly retired farmers and miners of meager means — would receive more than $2 million.

Firefighters have temporarily halted efforts to recover bodies from the site of a devastating fire in Oakland, Calif., citing concerns that part of the building might collapse.

The "Ghost Ship" — a warehouse that was used as an artists' collective — burned down Friday night during a dance party. It was the deadliest fire in Oakland history.

At least 36 people are dead, authorities said Monday, and they expect the number of fatalities to rise when recovery efforts resume.

The people of southern Madagascar are on the brink of a famine and need immediate humanitarian aid, according to United Nations food agencies. A three-year drought, exacerbated by this year's El Niño, has caused harvests to continue to fail. And people are left with no money and almost nothing to eat.

Updated Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. ET

A man with a rifle who claimed to be "self-investigating" a baseless online conspiracy theory entered the Washington, D.C., pizzeria Comet Ping Pong on Sunday, according to local police.

The man allegedly pointed the gun at a restaurant employee, who managed to escape, then fired the weapon multiple times inside the restaurant. There were no reports of injuries, police say. A North Carolina man has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with the shooting.

Updated at 11 a.m. ET on Dec. 8

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Pearl Harbor later this month, becoming the first Japanese head of state to visit the memorial at the site of the surprise attack.

President Obama will accompany Abe on the visit, which is scheduled for Dec. 27. The 75th anniversary of the attack is this Wednesday.

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