National & International News

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

By night, they play gigs. By day, they sample ramen in cities across America.

Updated at 10 p.m. ET

Polls have closed in the closely watched Montana special election. The race was upended in the final hours following an altercation between the Republican congressional candidate, Greg Gianforte, and a reporter, adding even more uncertainty to an unusually tight contest.

Most anyone who has encountered a flamingo has probably been impressed by its signature ability to balance on a single long, spindly leg for remarkably long periods of time.

But actually, scientists have now shown that what appears to be a feat requires almost no muscle activity from the bird.

When it comes to poor Americans, the Trump administration has a message: Government aid is holding many of them back. Without it, many more of them would be working.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney said as much when presenting the administration's budget plan this week to cut safety net programs by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 10 years. The administration also wants to tighten work requirements for those getting aid, such as food stamps, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

May 25 is Red Nose Day in the United States.

And millions of people are probably going, "huh, what?"

At a NATO summit in Brussels, President Trump marked the unveiling of memorials of the Berlin Wall and the Sept. 11 attacks with a speech that, among other things, told gathered NATO leaders their levels of defense funding are "not fair" to U.S. taxpayers.

Trump also omitted any clear statement of support for Article 5, the NATO mutual-defense pledge — something other leaders had been hoping to hear.

U.S. aid for international family planning would be eliminated.

Programs to combat HIV/AIDS in the world's poorest countries would be slashed by 17 percent.

Efforts to fight malaria would be chopped by 11 percent.

Those are just some of the cuts to global health spending called for by President Trump in the proposed budget he unveiled this week.

On one level the reductions did not come as a surprise. Trump had already made clear in his "skinny budget" proposal, released in March, that he wanted to lower spending on foreign assistance by more than a third.

Four decades ago Friday, The Dallas Morning News committed an error so grave, so egregious, that it long remained shrouded in silence — out of a deep sense of shame and self-recrimination that one can only imagine.

The paper called Chewbacca a "Wookie."

In one of his most high-profile appearances since leaving the White House, former President Obama warned tens of thousands of young people in Berlin that "the international order is at a crossroads."

President Trump was also in Europe, chiding NATO members while in Belgium for not living up to agreed-upon defense-spending levels.

Obama delivered an implicit rebuke to Trump's "America First" policy, saying in the modern, interconnected world, "we can't isolate ourselves. We can't hide behind a wall."

Updated at 5:40 p.m. ET

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that President Trump's controversial travel ban should be kept on hold, maintaining a nationwide preliminary injunction that blocks key elements of the executive order from being enforced.

Skirting California's coastline, Highway 1 offers a popular and dramatic drive through the Big Sur region. On a normal day, a drive along the winding two-lane road gets one's heart pumping with fears of plunging down the hillside.

But a weekend landslide has reshaped the coastline and closed part of the route, as a third of a mile of highway is now covered with dirt and rocks at an area called Mud Creek.

As you can see in the before-and-after graphic below, where the coast used to form roughly a straight line, it's now a rocky bulge into the Pacific.

NASA's Juno spacecraft has spotted giant cyclones swirling at Jupiter's north and south poles.

That's just one of the unexpected and puzzling findings being reported by the Juno science team.

The sudden resignation of an Obama appointee who oversaw student aid at the U.S. Department of Education has brought forth competing explanations.

Many Adults Don't Think Exposure To Vaping Is Bad For Kids

May 25, 2017

Despite the toxic ingredients commonly found in e-cigarettes and other vaping products, many adults don't think secondhand e-cigarette aerosol poses a risk to children, according to a report published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About one-third of adults surveyed didn't know if secondhand aerosol caused harm to children, and 40 percent of the adults said this kind of exposure caused "little" or "some" harm to children.

Sure, it's not the singularity (yet) — but it is a rather singular achievement.

The Atlantic hurricane season could see between two and four major hurricanes in 2017, according to the latest forecast from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. There's only a 20 percent chance that this season will be less active than normal, the agency says.

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Updated at 4:46 p.m. ET

Police in Manchester, England, decided to stop sharing some intelligence with the U.S. after details from their ongoing terrorism investigation were apparently leaked to the American press, the city's mayor told CNN.

Health care groups that represent doctors and patients are warning members of Congress that the House Republicans' plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act would hurt people who need insurance most.

By heading straight to the homelands of Islam, Judaism and Christianity on his first presidential trip, Donald Trump took a major risk. The possibility of offending his hosts somewhere along the way with an ill-considered tweet or offhand remark loomed large. Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican are places where appearances matter and words must be chosen carefully.

Model Dani Mathers, whose haughty posting of a photo of a naked woman at her gym sparked outrage last summer, will be punished by spending a month removing graffiti in Los Angeles. Mathers pleaded no contest to a charge of invading the 70-year-old woman's privacy.

One of President Trump's boldest, most ambitious proposals on the campaign trail was to build a wall along the Southern border and get Mexico to pay for it. Amid the tumult of Trump's first few months in office, the border wall hasn't gotten as much attention as some other things. But new legislation has been introduced in Congress to help fund it.

It's called the Border Wall Funding Act of 2017, introduced on March 30 by Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

U.S. personnel "could not have predicted" that dozens of Mosul residents would be in a building where ISIS snipers were firing when they authorized a strike on it in March, the Pentagon says in a newly released report. That airstrike in Iraq killed at least 105 civilians.

The report also says the building collapsed after the strike triggered explosives that had been planted by ISIS.

Jason Cisneroz, a community service officer in Houston, is troubled. His job in the nation's fourth largest city is to forge good relations between the police and Hispanic immigrants, a population typically wary of blue uniforms.

"A couple of days ago there was a witness to a burglary of a motor vehicle," he said. "She saw the suspects run to a certain place and with items they stole from a car, but she was afraid to come to police, she was in fear they would ask for her papers."

At 43 years old, Katina Johnson is planning her high school graduation party. It's been about thirty years since she dropped out of middle school when she found out she was pregnant.

Even before then, though, she'd never had a stable education. Her mother was addicted to drugs and moved her around a lot before she died when Johnson was just 12 years old. "That was the last time I even seen the inside of a school," she says.

If you fly into Haines, Alaska, you'll be on a prop plane so small that your pilot will call the roll.

"Melissa." Yup. "Mary." Yes. "Joseph?" Right here.

Just 2,500 people live in Haines — a small town in southeast Alaska surrounded by water. The scenery is incredible, with snowy mountains and lush green forest beyond. The city center is just a few blocks, with several bars, a few restaurants and a beautiful, award-winning library.

Body cameras are spreading fast through American policing, and they're generating an ocean of video. Axon, a company that provides secure cloud storage for police departments, says it has received more than 4 million hours' worth of video uploads from its clients.

The Trump Organization appears to be making only a limited effort to live up to President Trump's promise to give the U.S. Treasury all foreign profits from his hotels and resorts, according to documents released in recent days.

Trump made the promise in mid-January as a way to avoid violating the U.S. Constitution's emoluments clause, which prohibits a president from accepting gifts and payments from foreign governments.

A video went viral earlier this week showing a sea lion grabbing a 6-year-old Canadian girl's dress and pulling her into the water from a dock in Richmond, British Columbia.

The girl's fast-acting grandfather jumped into the harbor and pulled her to safety.

During the ordeal, she received a superficial wound and is being treated for a possible bacterial infection.

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