National & International News

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Florida's Republican governor is calling for a range of measures that aim to prevent shootings like the one that occurred last week in Parkland, Fla., where 17 students and staff were killed.

In a news conference Friday in Tallahassee, Rick Scott said he wants new laws and programs that fall into three categories: gun laws, school safety and mental health.

No One's Quite Sure Why Lassa Fever Is On The Rise

Feb 23, 2018

Nigeria is tough on diseases.

With help from a few partners, it stopped Ebola's spread. It wrestled guinea-worm disease into a headlock, with no new cases since 2013. And it's nearly eradicated the transmission of polio.

But now a disease that usually just lurks in the background has roared into headlines. Since the beginning of the year, there's been a particularly large outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria's southern provinces.

President Trump on Friday announced a fresh round of sanctions against North Korea in an attempt to block oil and other prohibited products from getting to the Asian nation.

"We have imposed the heaviest sanctions ever imposed," Trump said at the conclusion of his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxen Hill, Md., just outside Washington. "Hopefully, something positive can happen. We will see."

One of the most common reasons patients head to an emergency room is pain. In response, doctors may try something simple at first, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. And, at least up until recently, if that isn't effective, the second line of attack has been the big guns.

"Percocet or Vicodin," says Dr. Peter Bakes, an emergency medicine specialist at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colo. "Medications that certainly have contributed to the rising opioid epidemic."

Updated at 5:28 p.m. ET

Rick Gates, the business partner of Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, pleaded guilty on Friday to two charges and will begin cooperating with federal prosecutors investigating the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Gates appeared in federal court on Friday afternoon. He told Judge Amy Berman Jackson he was making the plea of his own free will.

For the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled Myanmar and what authorities describe as a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing, the prospect of returning to their home villages might be more than just daunting. As satellite photographs show, a return home might be simply impossible.

A top official at the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund has announced his resignation following allegations that he engaged in inappropriate behavior during a previous job at the aid organization, Save the Children.

On the day Olga Skripnik fled her home in Crimea, many of her fellow Crimeans were celebrating.

On March 16, 2014, separatist leaders in the Ukrainian province rushed through a referendum on joining Russia in violation of Ukraine's constitution. The controversial measure, which few countries recognized, passed overwhelmingly under the watchful eyes of a Russian occupation force that had seized the Crimean Peninsula two weeks earlier.

California's attorney general has charged five former and current employees of the Panoche Water District in central California with felonies, including using public funds for personal items and illegally burying barrels of hazardous waste.

A second Russian athlete has failed a doping test at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Nadezhda Sergeeva, a bobsled athlete, failed a drug test for a banned heart drug, the Russian Bobsled Federation announced on Friday.

Sergeeva failed a test on Feb. 18, the federation said on its Facebook page. It adds, "A few days before that, on Feb. 13, her sample was clean."

The federation says that the bobsledder does not have a prescription for the drug.

Its location isn't a secret, and neither are its ties to Russia – but a visitor can be forgiven for feeling a bit surreptitious on arriving at the Sports House, a party hall for Russian Olympic fans to meet at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

After all, the Russian Olympic Committee is in the doghouse. It was suspended in December, and dozens of its athletes are banned. It had also been widely reported before the Olympics that Russia wouldn't be among the dozen or so countries to open a hospitality venue during the Games.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

All this week, we've heard the voices of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School - survivors of the mass shooting there - calling for tighter gun control, like student Cameron Kasky.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

New Bethany Home for Girls in Arcadia, La., opened in the early 1970s as a religious reform school for, as its founder said, "the incorrigible, unwanted rejects" who "haven't been loved and haven't had a chance in life."

Over the next three decades, law enforcement officials repeatedly investigated claims of physical and psychological child abuse at the school.

As the Trump administration sees it, U.S. steel and aluminum industries are in crisis, rapidly losing ground to foreign competitors and hemorrhaging jobs along the way.

But proposed import tariffs and quotas have other manufacturers worried that they'll become less competitive in the global marketplace.

How the administration responds to the problem is something Mark Vaughn is watching very closely.

Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET

During a meandering speech Friday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference, President Trump doubled down on arming some teachers and school personnel after last week's shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school that killed 17 people.

Anytime someone is booked into a county jail for a crime in the U.S., his or her fingerprints are automatically sent to federal authorities. If the suspect happens to be an undocumented immigrant, what happens next could depend on where the jail is located.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement often asks jails to hold undocumented people, so federal agents can pick them up and put them into deportation proceedings.

Some of the most inappropriate behaviors at the office, in Americans' minds, are also the most common — yet almost no one admits to them, in a new poll on workplace behavior from NPR and Ipsos.

President Trump made coal jobs a core of his presidential campaign, repeatedly vowing to bring back "beautiful" coal despite the industry's decades-long decline. And in pockets of the U.S. during Trump's first year in office, it may well have felt like a turnaround was underway.

A review of data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration shows 1,001 more U.S. coal jobs last year compared with 2016, although energy analysts say the reasons are short term and have nothing to do with White House policies.

Three executions were scheduled. Two were called off.

If the death sentences in Alabama, Texas and Florida had all gone ahead on Thursday night as originally planned, it would have marked the first time in eight years that three convicted killers were executed on the same day.

However, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott granted clemency to Thomas Whitaker, 38, commuting his sentence to life in prison. And late Thursday, the execution in Alabama of Doyle Lee Hamm was postponed after last minute legal wrangling pushed late into the evening.

Australia's beleaguered deputy prime minister has announced his resignation over allegations of sexual harassment that followed on reports earlier this month of an adulterous affair with a former staff member who is now pregnant with the couple's child.

At a news conference on Friday, Barnaby Joyce said he would step down Monday "as leader of the National Party and deputy leader of Australia."

It's been a painfully slow start to the ski season in the Western U.S. Some places have seen record warm temperatures and record low snowfall, prompting resorts to open late. Those that cranked out fake snow had trouble attracting avid skiers who prefer the real stuff. And all this means an economic hit.

Update at 12:50 a.m. ET Friday

Alina Zagitova narrowly beat her teammate Evgenia Medvedeva in the women's singles figure skating competition at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, winning the first gold medal for the Olympic Athlete from Russia team.

"I haven't fully realized yet that I've won," said Zagitova, who is just 15. "I think I need some time to understand that I won the Olympic Games."

It would begin to sink in, she said, when she gets her medal in tonight's ceremony in Pyeongchang.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted on one count of felony invasion of privacy and taken into custody in St. Louis in connection with reports of an extramarital affair that surfaced last month.

During that affair, Greitens is alleged to have taken a semi-nude photo of the woman and then threatened to blackmail her by publishing it if she revealed their relationship.

Two South Korean speedskaters who humiliated their teammate are facing a swift backlash from fans who are demanding the women be banned from the national team. The fans' petition has gathered more than 579,000 signatures over two days.

The painful drama played out on the ice on Monday during the pursuit team quarterfinals race when Noh Seon-Yeong was left behind by the two faster women on the team, leaving Noh to cross the finish line roughly four seconds later — a glacial delay in the sport.

In trying to clarify his Wednesday comments about arming teachers and other school personnel, President Trump, a day later, aligned himself even more closely with the National Rifle Association on the issue of teachers with guns and beefing up school security.

So much so, they seemed, at times, to be reading from the same script.

Here's how the day started — with NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC (emphasis ours):

Iran has announced its intent to establish a national cryptocurrency. In a tweet posted Wednesday, an Iranian official said that a test model for a "cloud-based digital currency" is being developed for submission to the Iranian banking system.

The official, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, heads Iran's Ministry of Information and Communications Technology. Jahromi made the announcement after a meeting with the state-owned Post Bank of Iran.

The school resource officer, a uniformed and armed deputy, was on the scene but didn't enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week when a gunman started firing at students and faculty members, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Thursday. Israel said the deputy stayed outside of the building in a defensive position during last week's attack.

Throughout his career as a preacher, the Rev. Billy Graham's message of faith drew massive crowds of believers to tents, arenas and stadiums. Next week, mourners will have a final opportunity to turn out for Graham.

His casket will lie in honor in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 28, and Thursday, March 1.

West Virginia's public schools were closed Thursday, as teachers across the state walked out and protested for better pay and benefits from state lawmakers.

Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill Wednesday to give teachers a 2 percent pay raise starting in July, and an additional 1 percent pay increase in 2020 and 2021.

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