National & International News

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

The forecast from the Congressional Budget Office on Senate Republicans' latest health care strategy isn't great — but it's no surprise either.

The CBO estimates that legislation that repeals key pillars of the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") would trim $473 billion off the federal deficit, but result in 32 million fewer insured Americans in the next decade. It would also see premiums rise, and likely force private insurers to abandon the individual market.

And nearly every Republican has already voted for it.

They talk about being weighed down by self-doubt, then laugh off the offensive term "feminazis."

Some idolize Priyanka Chopra, a Bollywood actress who "acts like a boss" chasing bad guys in ABC's thriller, Quantico.

And no one is afraid to "ooh and ah" when one girl says her sister won Miss Chinatown US, a beauty pageant for Chinese-Americans.

The city of Salem, Mass., has opened a memorial to commemorate the people who were convicted and killed during its notorious series of "witch trials" in 1692.

The memorial stands at the site where 19 innocent women and men were hanged. According to the city, the memorial opened on the 325th anniversary of the first of three mass executions at the site, when five women were killed: Sarah Good, Elizabeth Howe, Susannah Martin, Rebecca Nurse and Sarah Wildes.

Few inventions in modern history have been as successful as plastic. It's in vehicles and building materials and most of our electronic devices. We wrap stuff in it and even wear it.

Now a research team has tallied up how much plastic has been produced and where much of it has gone. Turns out, it's literally almost everywhere.

A presidential commission born of a presidential tweet held its first meeting on Wednesday to look into problems with voting that may undermine the public's confidence in elections.

But the tweet in question, where President Trump alleged without evidence that millions of people voted illegally last November, hung over the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity's first meeting after Trump made a surprise appearance.

The colorful scene melded two time-honored Texas traditions: political protest and the quinceañera.

With skirts flouncing, 15 young women ascended the steps of the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Wednesday morning to a traditional Mexican birthday song played in a mariachi style.

But there was no birthday to celebrate. Instead, the girls had gathered to protest a controversial immigration enforcement law that goes into effect September 1.

On Monday morning, the employees of a Louisville, Colo., office arrived to a confusing scene.

Two glass doors of their office were smashed, suggesting a break-in — but nothing was missing.

A review of the security footage shows a goat appearing hell-bent on breaking through the Argonics Inc. office doors.

California's Obamacare exchange scrubbed its annual rate announcement this week, the latest sign of how the ongoing political drama over the Affordable Care Act is roiling insurance markets nationwide.

The BBC has released salary information for its on-air talent for the first time, igniting simultaneous debates over the size, and the fairness, of the salaries — particularly over a conspicuous gender gap.

The public broadcaster has always included executive salaries in its annual report*. But this year, the government required the public broadcaster to reveal what the highest-paying presenters and actors make, too.

The resulting list includes approximate salary ranges for all 96 radio and TV staff making more than $195,000 a year.

Over a span of roughly a half-century, at least 547 boys at a famed Catholic choir school experienced some form of significant abuse, according to an independent investigation released Tuesday. The 440-page report details an environment that some former pupils likened to a "prison, hell and a concentration camp," which persisted for decades under the direction of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's older brother.

Tymia McCullough fidgets in front of a mirror in her hotel room as her mom, Susie Pitts, puts the final touches on her hair and nervously drills her on what she is going to say when she gets to Capitol Hill.

"And this is where you let them know that Medicaid is what?" Pitts asks.

"Health assurance," Tymia responds.

"Health insurance that does what?"

"It pays for the need to see your doctor," Tymia says.

Tymia is just 11 years old. She came to Washington last week to lobby Congress over health care. Her family saw it as a life-or-death fight.

The Supreme Court has upheld parts of a lower court order that had widened the definition of which citizens from the six Muslim-majority countries covered by the Trump administration's travel ban are still eligible to travel to the U.S.

The order issued Wednesday leaves in place the action of a U.S. District Court judge in Hawaii who broadened the definition of close family to include categories such as the grandparents and cousins of a person in the U.S.

"It's terrible; it's a bad situation." That is how the creator of that situation, YouTube star Jake Paul, describes what his neighbors in West Hollywood are going through because of his rowdy lifestyle and made-for-video antics.

A Thai army general and local politicians are among the dozens of people found guilty at a Bangkok court Wednesday in one of Thailand's largest human trafficking trials.

Thailand has faced international criticism for years over human trafficking in the country, and the rights group Fortify Rights called this trial an "unprecedented effort by Thai authorities to hold perpetrators of human trafficking accountable."

Updated at 12:40 p.m. ET

New Hampshire police had to contend with some unlikely fugitives on the lam on Tuesday: a small herd of bison.

As many as 16 of the massive animals fled a farm owned by Armand Bolduc, busting through a fence in the morning. For several hours, the bison were "scared and running" through front lawns, forests and busy roadways, according to the Gilford Police Department.

Job growth seems to be strong in one of Washington's specialized professions: defense attorneys for the White House. Investigations by Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller and several congressional committees are driving the demand.

One question is this: Who is paying for all those lawyers?

Those who have recently lawyered up include President Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Vice President Pence.

A wildfire in the foothills near Yosemite National Park has consumed eight structures — and is threatening 1,500 more in tiny Mariposa, Calif.

The town's 2,000 residents have been ordered to evacuate because of the blaze known as the Detwiler Fire, and Gov. Jerry Brown has issued a state of emergency for Mariposa County.

Why Zika Is Especially Hard On The Women Of Brazil

Jul 19, 2017

Did the Zika virus put a heavier burden on women than it did on men when the virus swept through Brazil?

Washington's most notorious ambassador is going home.

Sergei Kislyak, 66, has been due to return to Russia since last year, after serving throughout the Obama years. But his departure became the subject of fierce speculation when it emerged that Kislyak had communicated with key members of President Trump's team before he took office.

British retailers will be forbidden from forcing customers to pay surcharges when they use a credit card, under new rules announced by the U.K.'s Treasury Ministry on Wednesday.

"Rip-off charges have no place in a modern Britain," said Economic Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay.

British consumers sometimes face steep surcharges for using a credit card — as much as 20 percent for purchases such as airfare, the Treasury says. The new rule, which takes effect in January, will also apply to government agencies.

Elon Musk is warning that artificial intelligence is a "fundamental existential risk for human civilization," and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is looking into how states can respond.

The Hamptons condo and apartment complex in Tampa is quintessential Florida. Lush and modern, the stucco homes are painted in a soft rainbow of pastels. All around are palm trees, Spanish moss and lily pads.

"It is a very quiet place. You have a lot of children that live here. A lot of professionals live here, retirees," said resident Michael Colon, 66.

But on May 19, that tranquility was shattered in an improbable case that involves four young roommates at the complex.

Two of the men are dead and the other two are in jail.

The White House announced Tuesday night that President Trump intends to nominate former Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah to be U.S. ambassador to Russia.

If confirmed, Huntsman would take over a high-profile post amid ongoing probes into Russian meddling in the presidential election and potential ties between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.

The House budget plan would slash spending by $5.4 trillion over 10 years, including more than $4 trillion in cuts to mandatory spending like Medicaid and Medicare, while ramping up defense spending.

President Trump has summoned all Senate Republicans to the White House on Wednesday for a debrief on the state of health care legislation effort in their chamber. Based on the week so far, the meeting may be more like a post mortem.

In nursing homes and residential facilities around the world, health care workers are increasingly asking dementia patients questions: What are your interests? How do you want to address us? What should we do to celebrate the life of a friend who has passed away?

The questions are part of an approach to care aimed at giving people with memory loss and other cognitive problems a greater sense of control and independence. At its core is the idea that an individual with dementia should be treated as a whole person and not "just" a patient.

President Trump's Advisory Commission on Election Integrity holds its first public meeting on Wednesday under what seems to be an ever-expanding cloud.

The panel has faced credibility problems right from the start, and the concerns have only grown:

There's a good chance you're hungry for information you didn't even know you wanted, but Google knows — and the tech giant is going to spoon-feed it to you.

Google is following in Facebook's footsteps, with plans to redesign its popular search page on mobile phones so that you'll get something similar to the social media site's news feed. Only Google's will just be called "feed."

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

In addition to a formal meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, earlier this month, the two leaders held a separate, private conversation that has not been previously disclosed, a White House official confirmed on Tuesday.

On July 7, the two leaders held a formal two-hour meeting in which Trump later said that his Russian counterpart had denied any interference in the 2016 election.

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