National & International News

We follow stories about America and the world, with help from NPR.

Just days after President Trump tweeted his decision to double tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum, Turkey has announced that it, too, is ratcheting up retaliatory tariffs.

"Tax rates on imports of some products have been increased on a reciprocal basis against the U.S. administration's deliberate attacks on our economy," the country's vice president, Fuat Oktay, said in a pair of tweets.

Updated at 1:13 p.m. ET

Los Angeles' public transit system has announced that it is the first in the U.S. to purchase millimeter wave scanners to screen Metro riders for suspicious objects as they move through stations.

The technology "will help detect weapon and explosive device security threats on the county's transit system," the system says in a joint press release with the Transportation Security Administration on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the LA Metro tells NPR that the system has ordered several units, at approximately $100,000 each.

A two-year grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania resulted in what the state's attorney general, Josh Shapiro, called "the largest, most comprehensive report into child sex abuse in the Catholic Church ever produced in the United States."

A day after the sudden collapse of a section of highway bridge in Genoa, Italy, shock has given way to anger and blame as the number of people killed, which includes several children, climbs to 39.

The head of Italy's Civil Protection Department, Angelo Borrelli, confirmed the new death toll on Wednesday, also saying that at least 15 people were injured.

When Star Ames was a child there was a flood. The streets were like rivers and the houses like islands. It was 1960 and the village of Odanah, Wis. was up to its neck.

The town had been built on the banks of the Bad River, in the floodplain. "I remember watching the river come up," Ames says. "Every place we thought was high enough, the water kept coming up."

Updated at 1:23 p.m. ET

At Tuesday's White House briefing, press secretary Sarah Sanders misleadingly asserted that the Trump administration's use of nondisclosure agreements both during and after government employment was very common.

"Despite contrary opinion, it's actually very normal. And every administration prior to the Trump administration has had NDAs, particularly specific for anyone that had a security clearance." said Sanders.

Tuesday's elections in four states — Wisconsin, Minnesota, Connecticut and Vermont — produced some noteworthy results.

Here are four takeaways:

1. It was a big night for Democratic diversity

Christine Hallquist, a former energy company executive, became the first openly transgender person to win a major party's nomination for governor. And the Democrat's candidacy may not be one just for the trivia books — she has a chance at winning this fall.

A judge is facing death threats after granting bail to five adults in an abuse case involving nearly a dozen allegedly malnourished and dehydrated children found at a remote compound in New Mexico.

In an hours-long bail hearing on Monday, Judge Sarah Backus acknowledged "troubling facts" presented by prosecutors against Siraj Wahhaj, Jany Leveille, Lucas Morten, Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah Wahhaj, who were arrested and charged with child abuse. However, Backus said prosecutors failed to identify any specific threats.

A vast green space in one of the poshest neighborhoods in Los Angeles is slated to become a haven for homeless veterans. That's a big change for the campus of the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center.

For years, parts of the property were illegally rented to a variety of commercial enterprises having nothing to do with helping veterans. This month, two men involved in those deals will be sentenced to federal prison for bribery and fraud.

Updated at 9:57 a.m. ET

Australia's prime minister has condemned a fringe party lawmaker who called for a return to racially based immigration policies and invoked the term "final solution" in a speech before Parliament.

Malcolm Turnbull, who faces voters next year, joined all of Australia's major parties in rejecting the remarks by Queensland Sen. Fraser Anning, who is the only member of the federal Senate from the far-right Katter's Australian Party.

Puerto Rico's sole provider of electricity for 1.5 million residents says power has been returned to all homes that lost electricity from Hurricane Maria last September.

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority identified a family near the mountainous, rural barrios of Real and Anón, in Ponce, a city and municipality in the island's south, as their final customers to receive returned power. PREPA tweeted their image.

A Colorado school district intent on saving money has cut one of its greatest costs: teaching.

Updated at 12:30 a.m. ET

Vermont voters made history on Tuesday as Christine Hallquist, a transgender woman, won the Democratic primary for governor.

Hallquist, who will now face Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott in the general election, becomes the first openly transgender person to ever win a major party's nomination for governor in U.S. history. If she wins in November, she'd be the nation's first transgender governor.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a staunch ally of President Trump, has won the state's razor-thin Republican primary for governor after incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer conceded on Tuesday night.

"This election is probably the closest in America, but the numbers are just not there unless we were to go to extraordinary measures," Colyer said.

University of Maryland President Wallace Loh admitted at a news conference on Tuesday that the school's athletic training staff "misdiagnosed" the collapse of a 19-year-old football player and that their failures led to his death weeks later.

Loh said he apologized to Jordan McNair's parents in a private meeting Tuesday morning for the team's mishandling of their son's medical needs.

Tinder's co-founders, along with eight other current and former executives, have slapped the popular dating app's owners with a massive lawsuit. In the suit filed Tuesday in New York, the Tinder employees past and present say the companies that own the app deliberately undervalued it to swindle them out of the money they were owed.

A former Baltimore City police officer has been indicted by a grand jury on criminal charges including first-degree assault after a video surfaced on social media that showed him repeatedly punching a man in the face.

The incident in the video happened on Saturday. Hours later, the Baltimore Police Department suspended the officer, now identified as Arthur Williams. Late Sunday, the department accepted his resignation.

Updated at 4:33 p.m. ET

A long-awaited grand jury investigation into clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania was released Tuesday in an interim redacted form. The report detailed decades of alleged misconduct and cover-ups in six of the state's eight Roman Catholic dioceses.

In Paris, authorities are taking an unusual approach to combat the scourge of public urination: Make urination even more public.

The city is experimenting with completely exposed, eco-friendly urinals.

The devices are called "Uritrottoir," which combines the words for urinal and pavement. They're not at all subtle. They're bright red and in heavily trafficked areas — for example, directly next to the Seine near the Notre Dame Cathedral.

And if there's any confusion, a large white and red sign with a red arrow and a cartoon of a man peeing probably clears it up.

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET

President Trump's campaign arm has filed a complaint with an arbitrator, accusing former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman of violating a 2016 confidentiality agreement with her tell-all book and publicity tour.

In her book, Unhinged, and the accompanying tour, Manigault Newman has been harshly critical of the president, calling Trump a racist and suggesting that he suffers from dementia.

In the grand pantheon of cafeteria misdeeds, few are more dastardly than the crime of stealing lunch money. And popular culture offers up no end of usual suspects, from vindictive older siblings to schoolyard bully.

But in New Canaan, Conn., the whodunit has taken a new twist. Police say two unusual culprits are to blame after two public schools mysteriously lost nearly $500,000 of lunch money in a five-year span — the cafeteria workers behind the register.

Dozens of cars were set on fire overnight in western Sweden, in a series of attacks that Swedish authorities suspect may have been coordinated on social media.

Up to 80 cars were torched in Gothenburg, Sweden's second-largest city, as well as other nearby towns, Radio Sweden reports. Authorities say that groups of masked young people are responsible.

And the country's leaders are not happy.

Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET

Nebraska has executed its first prisoner since 1997, after a federal three-judge panel denied a drug company's request to halt the lethal injection over concerns about whether the drugs were obtained improperly by the state.

Tuesday morning's execution of Carey Dean Moore is also the first time the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl had been used in a lethal injection in the U.S.

Watch This Native Pollinator Build Her Bee-Jeweled Nest

Aug 14, 2018

While honeybees and their buzzing hives and hyper-fertile queens get all the press for pollinating our food supply, the hard-working blue orchard bee is one of 4,000 bee species native to North America that does its solitary work in relative obscurity. That is, until now.

Updated at 5 a.m. ET on Wednesday

A long section of the towering Ponte Morandi Bridge completely collapsed in Genoa, Italy, on Tuesday, sending cars and trucks on the A10 highway crashing down below. Dozens of people died in the bridge failure, officials say.

How To Make A Civics Education Stick

Aug 14, 2018

How do you teach kids to be active participants in government? Or to tell the difference between real news and fake news?

In their last legislative sessions, 27 states considered bills or other proposals that aim to answer these questions. Many of those proposals are rooted in popular ideas about the best ways to teach civics, including when kids should start, what they should learn and how to apply those lessons. Here's a look at some of those concepts.

Seven-year-old Aviana Conyers bounces around the bustling back-to-school aisles of a Walmart Supercenter. She grabs her second-grade supply list from her mother, Andrea.

"Mama, do you have any pencils in your bag?" Aviana asks, eager to cross off items on the list.

Primary voters in four more states — Connecticut, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Vermont — go to the polls on Tuesday.

This year's been dominated by talk of Democratic gains, but Tuesday, Republicans will pick nominees in several places where they hope to flip House seats and even governors' mansions.

Two Republicans who failed to win the White House are hoping voters will elect them to lead their states for a third time — but one is trying to make a political comeback after almost a decade out of office.

In Germany, beer consumption is up as temperatures remain unusually high. This is good and bad news for the beer industry.

While the breweries have more than enough beer to go around, they're running out of bottles because customers are not returning their empties quickly enough.

Germans care about the environment about as much as their beer; that's why the glass bottles are recycled. Customers pay a small deposit on each one, which they get back when they return it to a store.

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