National & International News

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

President Trump awarded the Purple Heart to Sgt. 1st Class Alvaro Barrientos at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

Barrientos was wounded in Afghanistan on March 17 and had to have his right leg amputated below the knee, according to The Associated Press. He was accompanied at the ceremony by his wife, Tammi. First Lady Melania Trump was also in attendance.

Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers killed more than 100 Afghan Army soldiers Friday at a base in northern Afghanistan, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defense. It is one of the deadliest attacks on an Afghan military base since the war began.

Another nightmare encounter between a passenger and an airline is going viral and sparking an outcry against an industry accused of routinely mistreating its customers.

An American Airlines employee allegedly took a stroller from a woman boarding Flight 591 from San Francisco to Dallas Friday, and knocked her with it while she held a baby in her arms.

Indiana University will no longer allow prospective student athletes with a history of sexual or domestic violence to compete.

Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET

Enthusiasts say their March for Science on Saturday in communities around the world is intended to "support science for the public good."

The main event is happening in Washington, D.C., but satellite marches are planned in all 50 states, and at least 610 marches have been registered on the March for Science website across the world on all continents except Antarctica.

Most days they're mild-mannered window washers, but earlier this week they donned the colorful tights and masks and became Power Rangers, rappelling down the side of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and thrilling the young patients.

Employees of Jenkintown Building Services started at the eighth floor and stopped along the way to interact with kids through the glass.

A legendary airplane that helped America win World War II is being reborn at age 75. The B-17 bomber "Memphis Belle" flew 25 missions against Nazi Germany and then came home to help sell war bonds and raise spirits.

In recent years, the Belle has been undergoing a patient and precise restoration at the National Museum of the Air Force Museum near Dayton, Ohio. I went to see the work in progress and talk with some of the many technicians and volunteers.

Recovering alcoholics tend to avoid the bar. But when the bar is your office, that's not so easy. New Orleans bluesman Anders Osborne figured out how to get back to work despite the temptations, and now he's trying to help others.

Drugs and alcohol nearly destroyed Osborne's career, and his family. The guitarist and singer-songwriter was showing up for tour dates unable to perform. At his worst, he was spending nights on a park bench.

The foods we choose to put on our plates — or toss away – could have more of an ecological impact than many of us realize.

On Earth Day, here are some ways to consider how our diet impacts the planet.

Waste not, want not

You've heard the numbers on food waste. More than 30 percent of available food is tossed each year in America. It's enough to fill Chicago's 1,450-foot-tall Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) 44 times over.

To say that the U.N.'s peacekeeping mission in Haiti has been controversial is an understatement.

The peacekeepers are blamed for bringing cholera to the island nation for the first time.

They were accused of sexually abusing locals. Haitians have accused them of being an occupying army.

But the peacekeepers also have been credited with bringing a measure of stability to one of the most impoverished, unstable nations in the hemisphere.

And now, after 13 years, the end of the mission is in sight.

Things were going well for the Democrats in Miami.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., hadn't exactly sold out the downtown theater they were campaigning in, but the audience was solid and energetic.

The anti-DNC catcalls that had plagued early stops on the uneasy allies' weeklong unity tour hadn't surfaced. And both Perez and Sanders had delivered fiery speeches that had pumped up the crowd in a key city of a critical swing state.

Sanders was shaking hands with supporters as David Bowie's "Starman" blared.

Greetings and welcome to NPR Ed's weekly roundup of education news from Washington and around the country.

Supreme Court hears a voucher-related case

Peter Uribe left Chile at 21 with his wife and 2-year-old daughter, landing in Baltimore and finding steady work in construction. His social life revolved around futbol, playing "six or seven nights a week in soccer tournaments," he says.

A couple of years after his arrival, he broke his foot during a game and afraid of the cost, didn't seek medical care.

It's prom season at Eagle High School in suburban Boise, where seniors are plotting for their futures and grown ups are dispensing life advice. Today's lesson in Jeff Clifford's American government class is courtesy of their congressman, Republican Raul Labrador.

"The relationships that really matter in life — whether you're a teacher, whether you're a professional, whether you're a politician — are those people that are with you before you become somebody," he says.

The Republican chairman and the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are taking a look into the slowly brewing controversy of foreign cash flowing into President Trump's hotel in Washington, D.C.

Not all of April's showers are soggy and flower-inducing. Late April is also the season of the Lyrids, the second of the year's established meteor showers. So get thee to the rooftops and wide open fields: The shower peaks tonight.

U.K. May Have 24 Hours Without Coal Power

Apr 21, 2017

The United Kingdom may be in its first full day without coal power in more than a century, its National Grid announced Friday.

"It looks likely that today will be the first ever working day in Britain without #coal since the industrial revolution!" the agency tweeted.

Most creepy, crawly bugs are pretty much harmless when it comes to infectious diseases.

But there are two classes of little critters that cause big — and we're talking big — problems: ticks and mosquitoes.

To learn how climate change could alter the course of tick- and mosquito-borne diseases, we talked to two scientists who have devoted a major chunk of their careers to answering that question.

Let's start with the bloodsuckers that can stay on your skin for days.

What do you want to know about world hunger?

One thing we do know is that more than 20 million people are now at risk of starvation and famine. The United Nations is calling it the biggest humanitarian crisis since the U.N. was founded in 1945. Conflict and drought are blamed for the looming crisis in four countries in Africa and the Middle East: Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeast Nigeria.

Both the U.S. and Uganda have called off the search for notorious warlord Joseph Kony and his followers, the Lord's Resistance Army, saying that Kony's power has dwindled to the point that he's no longer a threat.

The group carried out brutal murders, rapes and mutilations, and was known for kidnapping children and forcing them to become soldiers. Uganda has been battling Kony and his followers for decades, and U.S. Special Operations forces joined the search for the warlord in 2011.

A viral video in 2012 brought Kony international infamy.

Sometimes, it's the Internet of stings.

Juicero, a startup that sells a pricey juice press, found that out firsthand. The company's Wi-Fi-enabled machine produces cold-pressed juice out of packets sold exclusively to owners via subscription.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET.

The U.S. Justice Department has escalated its approach to so-called sanctuary cities, writing at least eight jurisdictions Friday to put them on notice they could be failing to cooperate with immigration authorities.

Alan Hanson, the acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's grant-making arm, warned the cities that they're required to submit proof that they comply with federal immigration law.

A remark U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made earlier this week about a judge in Hawaii isn't sitting well with the Aloha State.

In an interview on the The Mark Levin Show, Sessions was asked about the status of President Trump's executive order on travel.

Updated at 2:41 p.m. ET

An Egyptian-American aid worker and her Egyptian husband have returned to the U.S. after being imprisoned for nearly three years in Egypt, over charges of child abuse that were widely regarded as specious.

Is It Safe To Eat Moldy Bread?

Apr 21, 2017

Like politics and music, the question of whether to eat moldy food can divide families, with relatives' admonishments reverberating in one's head for years.

"Every time I throw out moldy bread, I can still hear my dad lecturing me: 'That's perfectly good! Just cut that part off! It's penicillin!' " says Shawna Iwaniuk, a graphic designer in Alberta, Canada. "But ... I just can't."

So, who's right? Is the furry green stuff a death knell for a baguette, or just a minor setback?

For food safety experts, the answer is clear: Moldy bread is bad news.

The cars were piled on top of each other and bleeding onto the curb of the highway as they inched west and north towards the Lake Ann Park parking lot, each blasting their favorite from the windows; families walked down the trail and under the tunnel beneath the highway they'd just come from, holding the strings of the purple balloons floating just behind them; families walking back to their cars had no balloons and little expression. Altars of brown paper lanterns, unlit during the overcast day, peppered the path towards the off-white, square-paneled compound.

German federal prosecutors say the bombing of a soccer team's bus in Dortmund, Germany, was carried out by a man apparently attempting to manipulate the team's stock for profit. The 28-year-old man has been arrested and charged with attempted murder, among other things.

Three explosions went off near the Borussia Dortmund team bus on April 11, as it was pulling out of the hotel where the players were staying. One player was injured and needed surgery on his wrist.

At the public library in the rural Morgan County town of Brush, Colo., Marissa Velazquez welcomes her students to class. It's a sunny Saturday morning, and the day marks the halfway point in Velazquez's class, a 10-week crash course on American history, civics and English.

Nearly all of the students work in either meatpacking or dairying. Everyone in it has the same goal: become an American citizen. In two hours, Velazquez runs through voting rights, the legislative process and some grammar tips.

Pop quiz: When do we celebrate the venerable American holiday of Flag Day?

Organizers of Saturday's nationwide March for Science have some pretty lofty goals: supporting science "as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity." Promoting "evidence-based policies in the public interest." Oh, and don't forget highlighting "the very real role that science plays in each of our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world."

Whoa, that's a lot of exalted ground to cover with one cardboard sign!

Editor's Note: This story contains a quote where a racial slur is used.

Calvin Burns has trouble getting his 15-year-old daughter, Stepheni Bellamy, to talk to him. It's something many parents of teenagers can relate to.

He hoped that doing a StoryCorps interview — and sharing stories from his own teenage years — might help her open up.

Burns tells her when he was growing up, he was usually the only black kid in school and often felt left out.

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