National & International News

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

The next great insect repellent might come from a strain of bacteria that lives inside a common parasitic worm.

A study published Wednesday in Science Advances has found that a compound derived from these bacteria is three times more potent than DEET in repelling mosquitoes. More research must be done to demonstrate its safety, but this bacterial chemical could play an important role in the fight against mosquito-borne illness.

The partial government shutdown is inflicting far greater damage on the U.S. economy than the Trump administration previously estimated, the White House acknowledged.

President Trump's economists have now doubled projections of how much economic growth is being lost each week.

For many years, U.S. immigration favored immigrants from northern Europe. NPR correspondent Tom Gjelten explains how a 1965 law changed things — and led to the current debate about border security.

"UNPRESIDENTED," reads the giant headline. "TRUMP HASTILY DEPARTS WHITE HOUSE, ENDING CRISIS."

That shocking story was delivered on crisp newsprint to commuters around Washington, D.C., on Wednesday under what appeared to be the signature banner of The Washington Post.

Online, a website bearing an eerie similarity to the Post's, described a secretive resignation, global celebrations and the swearing-in of Mike Pence as president.

There is more than just January's cold currently gripping the city of Westbrook, Maine. An immense, icy disk doing a solitary pirouette on the Presumpscot River is dazzling observers, local and distant alike.

Scientists say the disk is naturally occurring and has been seen before. Most of us have spotted eddies in flowing water, that is when a cross current creates a small whirlpool. But winter's cold adds a whiff of mystery to this phenomenon.

The annual State of the Union message to Congress may be the latest casualty of the partial government shutdown.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., sent a letter to President Trump on Wednesday, suggesting a postponement until after the shutdown is over. The speech, which the president would deliver to a joint session of Congress and a national broadcast audience, was originally scheduled for Jan. 29.

American troops were killed in an explosion in northern Syria, the spokesperson for the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State says. The ISIS extremist group has claimed responsibility.

"U.S. service members were killed during an explosion while conducting a routine patrol in Syria today. We are still gathering information and will share additional details at a later time," Col. Sean Ryan, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, said in a statement.

Updated at 7:18 a.m. ET

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown took a step towards a 2020 presidential campaign, announcing a tour of states holding early presidential primaries next year.

Seeking to counter President Trump's appeal to white, working-class voters that helped him flip Ohio and other key midwestern states, Brown is launching a "Dignity of Work" tour through Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

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Hundreds of Honduran migrants have crossed the Guatemalan border as they travel in the direction of the United States.

The group that reached Guatemala on Tuesday is the first wave of a caravan that could consist of thousands. It's the first national border crossed by the migrants on their journey that started Monday night.

It's a Friday night and roommates Jason Jones and Tamiko Panzella are hanging out in the Oakland, Calif., apartment they share, laughing about an epic gym workout misfire.

"I get there and we have to take our shoes and socks off. And I'm like, oh no, she got me into yoga. She tricked me," Jones says, laughing.

What made the yoga session more jarring — it was Jones' first full day of freedom after more than a decade behind bars.

A decade-long fight ended at the Supreme Court this week, when justices refused to hear an appeal by veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who say that toxic smoke from burn pits made them sick.

As the standoff between President Trump and Congress continues over funding for Trump's proposed border wall, the partial shutdown of the federal government means workers will go weeks without a paycheck. That has some looking for temporary jobs to pay their bills.

In Boise, Idaho, Chris Kirk says he's worked for the federal government for 19 years. He administers contracts for the hundreds of millions of dollars the U.S. Forest Service spends on fighting wildfires. But these days he's on furlough and looking for extra income.

Sriracha sauce. It's everywhere. Even beer and donuts. The fiery chili paste concocted by Vietnamese-American immigrant David Tran has conquered the American market and imagination in the past decade.

But the original Sriracha is actually Thai — and comes from the seaside city of Si Racha, where most residents haven't even heard of the U.S. brand, which is now being exported to Thailand.

Netflix has raised its prices for U.S. viewers, as the company invests in original content amid growing competition from other streaming services.

The company's most popular subscription plan, which allows high-definition viewing on two screens, has jumped from $10.99 to $12.99 per month. Its cheapest, non-HD plan has risen from $7.99 to $8.99, and its premium plan from $13.99 to $15.99.

A Washington, D.C., judge ruled Tuesday that furloughed federal workers who are not getting paid because of a government shutdown must continue to do their jobs.

It's a setback for the workers who brought the lawsuit against the Trump administration.

"Calling people back to work, as the federal government is doing, without paying them is unlawful," attorney Gregory O'Duden tells NPR. O'Duden is general counsel for the National Treasury Employees Union that brought the suit in consolidation with a claim from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

The man who fatally shot Hadiya Pendleton, 15-year-old girl whose death became a symbol of the rampant gun violence plaguing Chicago, was sentenced Monday to 84 years in prison.

The convicted gunman, Micheail Ward, did not receive a life sentence as Hadiya's mother, Cleopatra Cowley had asked the court, but he will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for killing the girl and injuring two other people.

Ward is 24 years old.

More than half of the workforce of the Internal Revenue Service, or about 46,000 employees, will be recalled to work for the tax filing season despite the partial government shutdown, according to a Treasury Department announcement.

The recalled employees will not be paid during the shutdown, now in its fourth week, although all federal workers have been promised back pay when funding is approved.

Wait times at major airports around the country remain mostly within normal range, according to the Transportation Security Administration, despite an increase in absences among agents working without pay.

One of the last remaining Navajo Code Talkers, who relayed messages that were never decoded by enemies in World War II, has died at age 94.

Alfred Newman died Sunday afternoon at a New Mexico nursing home, one of his sons, Kevin Newman, tells NPR.

He says his father was a quiet yet courageous man. "My dad told me that the U.S. was in trouble and when they were calling for him, he needed to answer that call with the armed forces," he says.

Updated at 6:57 p.m. ET

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says she is running for president, joining a growing number of Democrats who are seeking to challenge President Trump in 2020.

Gillbrand announced her decision on CBS's The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, saying she is filing her exploratory committee for the White House on Tuesday evening.

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Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says his crackdown on gas thieves in the country is working, even though long lines at the pump in several states persist, distribution bottlenecks continue and new acts of fuel theft are reported.

As he has done every day since the gas crisis, now well into its second week, López Obrador insists gas sales and distribution will stabilize soon.

The Justice Department laid out what it called a series of lies Paul Manafort has told since agreeing to cooperate with the government, but few details are visible in the new court document.

The office of special counsel Robert Mueller filed new documentation on Tuesday that describes what it calls deliberate falsehoods that Manafort has told in support of the government's argument that his plea deal is now void.

For more than a century, a 52-foot obelisk has stood in the center of Birmingham, Ala., a monument to Confederate soldiers and sailors who fought in the Civil War.

In 2017, amid a national reckoning on racial violence and Confederate symbolism, the city's mayor decided the monument should be covered up. Tall plywood walls were installed around its base, obscuring inscriptions on the pedestal.

Huawei Founder Denies His Firm Spies For China

21 hours ago

The founder and CEO of Huawei denies his company spies for China. In a rare public appearance at the tech company's campus in Shenzhen, Ren Zhengfei told reporters he would refuse to share user data with the government if asked, and he said he misses his daughter, who is in Canada facing possible extradition to the U.S.

Updated at 6:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday

An attack on a luxury hotel in Nairobi killed 14 civilians Tuesday, including one American, before security forces subdued the gunmen.

Kenyan authorities declared that the violence had ended multiple times, only to be contradicted by bursts of gunfire that kept police busy for several more hours. Al-Shabab, the Islamic extremist group based in Somalia, claimed responsibility for the attack, carried out by at least four armed men.

A hint of a cotton plant is growing on the moon, inside China's lunar lander, scientists in China say.

Photos released on Tuesday by Chongqing University, in collaboration with the China National Space Administration, show the small, green shoot from a cotton seed reaching out of a latticed container aboard the probe Chang'e-4, named after the Chinese lunar goddess.

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The wind howls and snow drifts around a house in Koriyama, in northeastern Japan's Fukushima prefecture. The town is inland from Fukushima's coastal areas that were devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant meltdown.

Inside the home, several Vietnamese laborers prepare dinner. The house is a shelter, run by local Catholics, for foreign workers who are experiencing problems in Japan.

The overuse of technology has overtaken drugs, sex and bullying as the biggest parental worry, according to the annual Brigham Young and Deseret News American Family Survey.

But what are we actually supposed to be doing about it?

Jordan Shapiro, a Temple University professor whose background is in philosophy and psychology, has a prescription that might surprise you. In his new book, The New Childhood, his argument is that we're not spending enough screen time with our kids.

Episode #1903

Jan 15, 2019

Immortal Technique, Taina and Reyna Grande's New Memoir

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