National & International News

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

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ELISE HU, HOST:

Country star Mel Tillis died yesterday after a long illness. He was 85. Blake Farmer of member station WPLN says the prolific songwriter's road to fame wasn't an easy one.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Good-government types may look askance, but Donald Trump now has a new place to cash in on his White House role.

The Trump Organization recently started a website, TrumpStore.com, to sell Trump-branded merchandise such as T-shirts, baseball caps and coin banks.

It's not to be confused with Trump's other website, DonaldJTrump.com. That site sells a lot of the same kind of merchandise, but its profits flow to Trump's presidential campaign.

How Much Hotter Is It In The Slums?

Nov 20, 2017

When Nairobi gets hot, its slums get even hotter.

That's what a new study published in PLOS ONE has found. In 2015, researchers put dozens of thermometers in poor communities and monitored them during Nairobi's warmest months of December, January and February — during what turned out to be the capital's hottest summer in 30 years.

They found that slums were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the city's official weather station less than half a mile away.

"Shine bright like a diamond!!!!" said an early post on the "Miss Albinism Zimbabwe" Facebook page, a nod to Rihanna. Another message, "Beauty beyond the skin!!! Come and witness beauty of albinism, see you there!!!!"

Last Friday night, 15 women had planned to compete in the beauty pageant. But with protesters calling for an end to the 37-year-old rule of President Robert Mugabe, the show just couldn't go on.

After a Japanese man was killed early Sunday in a car crash involving a U.S. service member, U.S. forces in Japan are prohibited indefinitely from purchasing or drinking alcohol.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

When President Trump announced Monday that the U.S. intends to designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, he said the U.S. will also announce the imposition of additional sanctions on Pyongyang.

The Trump administration is increasingly using economic sanctions to try to influence behavior, but experts warn the strategy doesn't always work — and can backfire.

Trump hotels are meant to exude a sense of luxury in some of the most exciting and exotic cities worldwide. Now the president's organization is due to open a new hotel — this time in the heart of the blues-soaked Mississippi Delta.

The Keystone XL pipeline, an $8 billion project that has attracted significant protest from environmental groups, has cleared a major regulatory hurdle on its path to completion. On Monday, the Nebraska Public Service Commission certified the pipeline to run through the state.

Updated at 4:12 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is putting North Korea back on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism. President Trump says the move "supports our maximum pressure campaign to isolate this murderous regime."

President Trump told reporters on Monday that the Treasury Department will officially announce additional sanctions and penalties on the North Korean regime on Tuesday.

Spit Test May Help Reveal Concussion Severity

Nov 20, 2017

A little spit may help predict whether a child's concussion symptoms will subside in days or persist for weeks.

A test that measures fragments of genetic material in saliva was nearly 90 percent accurate in identifying children and adolescents whose symptoms persisted for at least a month, according to a study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.

That's in contrast to a concussion survey commonly used by doctors that was right less than 70 percent of the time.

As an icon, the Georgia Dome stood commandingly on the Atlanta skyline. Host to the 1996 Summer Olympics, two Super Bowls and countless Atlanta Falcons home games, the imposing stadium was a fixture for roughly 2 1/2 decades, since its completion in 1992 at a cost of $214 million.

Now, it's little more than a massive heap of concrete, steel and fiberglass.

Jana Novotná, the Czech tennis star who took home 17 Grand Slam championship trophies across the span of her career, died Sunday at the age of 49. The Women's Tennis Association announced the news "with deep sadness" on Monday, saying Novotná died surrounded by family in the Czech Republic after waging "a long battle with cancer."

President Trump has tweeted boldly about his power to pardon, used it once for a controversial ally, and this week he'll put his pardon pen to use for a couple of turkeys. Literally.

Yerianne Roldán wants to be a graphic designer, or maybe a writer, or maybe both. Her good friend and classmate, Zuleyka Avila, has already made up her mind. She's going to be a pediatrician.

Those plans hit a bump in the road this fall, though, when Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, where both girls lived with their families. Forced to leave the island — much of which is still without power — they've both relocated to Orlando.

When was the last time you were asked to sit without saying a word for five minutes before your blood pressure was measured? If your answer was "I never remember doing that," you're in good company.

Yet that is one of the many rules that medical professionals are supposed to follow when measuring your blood pressure.

If you're gluten-free, you may turn up your nose at Aunt Betsey's macaroni and cheese. And what if you've got a vegan teenager in the family who'd like the Thanksgiving feast to be turkey-free?

A poll from the University of Michigan finds that for families with a picky eater or someone on a special diet, holiday meals can be tricky.

If Houston's record deluge during Hurricane Harvey highlighted the dangers of unchecked, sprawling development, then Tulsa — another city built on oil — is a showcase for the opposite.

Updated at 6:18 a.m. ET

Kenya's Supreme Court on Monday affirmed the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, dismissing two petitions that challenged last month's re-run of nationwide polling – a move likely to spark more violence in the east African country.

NPR's Eyder Peralta reports from Nairobi that the six judges of the high court agreed unanimously that the petitions have no merit. That means Kenyatta will be sworn in for another term on Nov. 28.

Updated at 6:25 a.m. ET

German Chancellor Angela Merkel emerged without agreement from marathon talks on forming a new coalition government, raising the prospect of new elections.

Merkel met with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to inform him that she was unable to come to a deal after the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) pulled out of talks.

Updated at 4:10 a.m. ET

Stormy conditions off the coast of Patagonia were hampering efforts to locate a missing Argentine submarine with 44 crew members. Doubts also surfaced over the origin of satellite signals that were initially thought to have come from the vessel.

Charles Manson, the cult leader who drew lasting infamy for directing mass killings in 1969, has died at the age of 83.

Manson had been removed from prison in Corcoran, Calif., where he had been serving nine life sentences, and placed in a nearby hospital for a serious illness. It was the second time this year the mass murderer had been hospitalized.

Kenya's opposition leader is asking for "international intervention" as violence is escalating in the country's post-election crisis. Overnight into Sunday at least four people were killed in an "area that's opposition heavy," reports NPR's Eyder Peralta from Nairobi.

"The country's just really tense," Eyder says.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga said those who died overnight were his own supporters and called their deaths "state-sponsored thuggery," reports The Associated Press.

In a new hour-long special, "Sexual Harassment: A Moment of Reckoning," Weekend Edition Sunday host Lulu Garcia-Navarro takes a deep dive into a national conversation that is growing louder by the day.

Updated at 5:15 a.m. ET on Monday

A noon Monday deadline for President Robert Mugabe to voluntarily step down has come and gone with no word whether the longtime strongman of Zimbabwe will comply. Parliament has promised to initiate impeachment proceedings to remove him.

In 2012, after Devin P. Kelley was convicted of domestic violence by a military court, Holloman Air Force Base failed to input that conviction into a federal database used for gun-purchase background checks.

The oversight enabled Kelley to buy multiple weapons from licensed gun dealers, which the ATF says were found at the scene after he killed 26 people at a Texas church.

Pages