National & International News

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

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Next month, several chain supermarkets in the U.K. will stop selling energy drinks to customers under 16. Anyone looking to buy a soft drink with more than 150 mg of caffeine per liter — a limit targeting drinks like Monster and Red Bull — will need to present an ID.

The head of Oxfam says the humanitarian group will appoint an independent commission to investigate claims that its staff engaged in sexual exploitation while working in disaster zones.

In an interview with the BBC, Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said the commission would "do justice" and "atone for the past."

After Elizabeth Moreno had back surgery in late 2015, her surgeon prescribed an opioid painkiller and a follow-up drug test that seemed routine — until the lab slapped her with a bill for $17,850.

A Houston lab had tested her urine sample for a constellation of legal and illicit drugs, many of which Moreno says she had never heard of, let alone taken.

"I was totally confused. I didn't know how I was going to pay this," said Moreno, 30, who is finishing a degree in education at Texas State University in San Marcos, and is pregnant with twins.

In her late 20s and attending college in Texas, Elizabeth Moreno suffered from debilitating back pain caused by a spinal abnormality. "I just could not live with the pain," she says. "I couldn't get dressed by myself, I couldn't walk across my house, let alone to class, and nothing, no drug that had been prescribed to me, even dulled the pain."

Coast Guard Petty officer Jake DiPaola arrived on St. John in the Virgin Islands about a week after Hurricane Maria. In Coral Bay, on the island's eastern end, he says the marina was a mess.

"There were two sailboats right here," he says, while standing on the water's edge. "The mangroves across the water were shoulder-to-shoulder sailboats completely. And all of those got hauled out."

NPR and Kaiser Health News are undertaking a project to investigate and dissect real-life medical bills.

We expect that examining the bills will shed light on the often surprising prices for health care in the U.S.

Along the way, we're hoping to help people learn how to be more active and successful in managing the costs of their care.

Do you have a medical bill or explanation of benefits that you'd like us to see and scrutinize? Submit it here and tell us the story behind it.

We may use it, with your permission, in one of our monthly features.

A scandal that erupted last week in Australia over an affair between Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and one of his female staffers has devolved into an open conflict between Joyce and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that threatens to take down the coalition government.

In an extraordinary news conference on Thursday, Turnbull announced a ban on government ministers having sex with staff amid pressure over Joyce to step down over the affair with his former press secretary, Vikki Campion.

Thousands gathered for a candlelight vigil in Parkland, Fla., to honor the memory of the 17 people killed on Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at a local high school.

There were tearful remembrances at the Pine Trails Park Amphitheater, as well as open sobbing, and at one point, some in the crowd erupted into a chant of "No more guns!"

It's not the only Pride House in South Korea, but it's the first in the world to be embraced by a national Olympic committee: Alongside poutine and beer, Canada Olympic House offers a message of inclusion and gender diversity by hosting a space for LGBTQ fans, athletes and friends.

Female inmates in Arizona had their allotment of free sanitary napkins increased threefold, after protesters denounced the 12-pad-per-month policy through an online campaign and by sending a state lawmaker tampons in the mail.

Mikaela Shiffrin narrowly missed a podium finish in the slalom at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, falling short in her bid to become the first U.S. skier to win three gold medals and failing to win a medal in the event she won at the 2014 Games.

Shiffrin wasn't able to claw back enough time from a first run that left her in fourth place and nearly half a second behind the leaders — and that's where she remained after the top skiers raced their second and final run of the day. In the end, she was a combined 0.40 seconds off the No. 1 time and just 0.08 seconds from being third.

Austrian snowboarder Markus Schairer broke his neck during the men's cross quarterfinals at the Pyeongchang Olympics on Thursday.

Schairer fractured his fifth cervical vertebra during the fall, according to a statement from the Austrian Olympic Committee shortly after the accident.

Updated at 10:50 p.m. ET on Friday

In the shooting Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 17 people were killed. Three were on the staff as coaches or teachers; 14 were students. On Thursday afternoon, the Broward Sheriff's Office identified them.

Here are their names.

Alyssa Alhadeff

President Trump expressed grief Thursday over the school shooting in Florida and sought to comfort victims and their families in his first public address since the mass killing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 people dead and many others injured.

"To every parent, teacher and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain," he said.

Jeffrey Tambor, Emmy-winning star of Transparent, will not be returning to the cast for the show's upcoming fifth season. Amazon Studios confirmed his firing to NPR on Thursday.

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

Why The AR-15 Is America's Rifle

Feb 15, 2018

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Israeli police believe billionaire Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan bribed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with expensive cigars and pink champagne in exchange for a series of favors, among other corruption allegations police unveiled this week.

Netanyahu denied he did Milchan a single favor — except for one.

"The visa," Netanyahu said.

Updated Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m. ET

President Trump's inaugural committee raised twice as much as any of its predecessors, but its final filing with the IRS shows it spent most of the money on events that were significantly scaled back from past years.

It's a story that has stunned the public.

Last week, a report by The Times of London found that in 2011, the national director for Oxfam in Haiti and senior aid workers hired local sex workers while working in the country. After an internal investigation, the Times reported, Oxfam accepted the resignations of three men and fired four for gross misconduct.

The Kurdish soldiers stand watch at this rustic outpost, nothing more than sand bags and hardened earth, like some sort of prehistoric fortress. Some of the fighters carry AK-47s, others hold machine guns. And all are looking to the south and the front line with ISIS in northeast Syria.

It's a vast open plain.

Gen. Hassan commands these troops. He's a short, squat man with salt-and-pepper hair, and he points out in the distance where the enemy is located, just a couple of mud huts on the horizon.

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Now we're going to update a list that we first compiled a few weeks ago on January 24 after a school shooting in Benton, Ky.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

In the shooting Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., 17 people lost their lives.

Two of those who were killed were beloved coaches. Aaron Feis was an assistant football coach and security guard at the school, while Chris Hixon was the athletic director and wrestling coach.

Pages