National & International News

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Venezuela's downward economic spiral has led to widespread food shortages, hyperinflation and now mass migration. Many Venezuelans are opting for the easiest escape route — by crossing the land border into Colombia.

The number of new HIV cases reported in the Philippines has surged over the last few years, according the country's health agency. In 2007, fewer than 400 new cases were reported; in 2017, more than 11,000 new cases were identified.

The U.S. Supreme Court has, once again, declined to hear a Second Amendment case, turning away a constitutional challenge to a 10-day waiting period for the purchase of guns in California. The court's decision not to hear the case came over an angry dissent from conservative Justice Clarence Thomas.

The NCAA has confirmed the University of Louisville must give up its 2013 national championship in men's basketball, denying the school's appeal of a decision last year that penalized the Cardinals' program for "arranging striptease dances and sex acts for prospects, student-athletes and others."

For a company that's all about the future of communication, Facebook is looking to the past to solve at least some of its problems.

After months of intense scrutiny over the role the company played in the 2016 presidential election, the social network giant announced it wants to use postcards to verify the identity of advertising buyers to prevent future foreign meddling.

Growing up in rural Idaho, Tara Westover had no birth certificate, never saw a doctor and didn't go to school. Her parents were religious fundamentalists who stockpiled food, mistrusted the government and believed in strict gender roles for their seven children.

As a girl, Westover says, "There wasn't ever any question about what my future would look like: I would get married when I was 17 or 18, and I would be given some corner of the farm and my husband would put a house on it and we would have kids."

NPR's "Take A Number" series is exploring problems around the world — and solutions — through the lens of a single number.

One of the places many people are first prescribed opioids is a hospital emergency room. But in one of the busiest ERs in the U.S., doctors are relying less than they used to on oxycodone, Percocet, Vicodin and other opioids to ease patients' pain.

There was no red carpet, but there were drums, dancing, and general mayhem.

Before my homeland of Nigeria entered a women's bobsled team in the Winter Olympics, I had no idea what a bobsled even was.

Now I do.

If you need cataract surgery, your eye surgeon may have to do double duty as your anesthetist under a new policy by health insurer Anthem. In a clinical guideline released this month, the company says it's not medically necessary to have an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist on hand to administer and monitor sedation in most cases.

Some ophthalmologists and anesthesiologists say the policy jeopardizes patient safety, and they are calling on Anthem to rescind it.

The Trump administration wants to allow insurance companies to offer more policies that have limited health benefits and that can reject customers if they have pre-existing medical conditions.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says the plans, which don't meet the legal requirements for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, will allow consumers who can't afford insurance now to find cheaper plans.

Directions, weather reports, water bottles. Those are some of the things we've seen robots offering at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics — helping to host thousands of visitors and media. They're also helping South Korea present itself as a tech-savvy nation with an eye on the future.

Most of the robots we've seen in Pyeongchang and Gangneung, the two areas where the Winter Games are being held, weren't made to look human. Instead, they present a wide range of looks — and autonomy.

A grocery store's baby formula aisle often stocks an overwhelming number of options. Aside from different brands of pastel-hued tins and tubs, there are specialized formulas — some for spit-up reduction, gas or colic. And in the past decade or so, companies have introduced formulas meant for toddlers who are leaving bottles behind.

Updated at 8:58 a.m. ET

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has offered an overture to his U.S. counterpart on Twitter, using President Trump's preferred medium Monday to ask for talks between the two countries.

Trump "campaigned promoting non-interference in other countries' domestic affairs," Maduro tweeted, tagging the U.S. president's account. "The time has come to fulfill it and change your agenda of aggression for one of dialogue.

Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitckii, who won a bronze medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics, has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug at the Winter Games, a spokesman for the Olympic Athletes from Russia team says. The team says it will investigate to learn how the banned drug came to be in the curler's system.

It was Saturday afternoon, and Abigail Spanberger was in a busy hallway at the Chesterfield County Public Library in Midlothian, Va., minutes away from training a room of about 40 campaign volunteers. She seemed ready for a quick interview, but then abruptly called out to her campaign manager.

"Hey Dana, Eileen Davis is about to come through. Can you head her off at the pass so she doesn't interrupt the — "

She cut herself off and turned to me.

"That's my mother," Spanberger said, laughing.

Her mom is volunteering for her campaign?

"Evidently."

It's shaping up to be one of the worst flu seasons in years.

If you are one of the thousands of Americans who are sick with the flu, this one's for you.

In 1984, two men were thinking a lot about the Internet. One of them invented it. The other is an artist who would see its impact on society with uncanny prescience.

First is the man often called "the father of the Internet," Vint Cerf. Between the early 1970s and early '80s, he led a team of scientists supported by research from the Defense Department.

Initially, Cerf was trying to create an Internet through which scientists and academics from all over the world could share data and research.

The strained — and often strange — relationship between President Trump and Mitt Romney just added another layer of complexity: In a tweet on Monday, the president endorsed Romney to fill the U.S. Senate seat left open by the retirement of Utah's Orrin Hatch.

Trump said Romney "will make a great Senator and worthy successor to [Orrin Hatch], and has my full support and endorsement!"

Romney's response (also on Twitter): "Thank you Mr. President for the support. I hope that over the course of the campaign I also earn the support and endorsement of the people of Utah."

MLB Sets New Rules To Speed Up The Game

Feb 20, 2018

The average nine-inning baseball game took 3 hours and 8 minutes to play last season. That's up from 2 hours and 46 minutes in 2005.

Major League Baseball has long had the goal of moving things along, and on Monday, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced new rules aimed at shortening how long it takes to get a game played.

Maia and Alex Shibutani rose to win a bronze medal in ice dance at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Tuesday, turning in an artful routine named "Paradise."

Canadian legends Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won gold, followed by France's Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron with silver, in a competition marked by both high scores and high drama.

As of today, Virtue, 28, and Moir, 30, are the most successful figure skaters in Olympic history, with five medals (including three gold). That's more than any other competitor, in singles or pairs.

While Ed Sheeran crooned about the shape of some unknown woman, French Olympic ice skater Gabriella Papadakis was struggling to keep her own shape under wraps.

Seconds into the routine, Papadakis said she felt the emerald collar of her costume become unhooked behind her neck. Apparently, the fabric of her bejeweled outfit pushed and pulled the opposite of the way a magnet do. [Hint: Ed Sheeran lyrics.] And despite her best efforts to keep the audience from discovering something brand new, her left breast was eventually exposed on live television.

What are the lives of the planet's wealthiest people really like?

Several years ago, sociologist Brooke Harrington decided to find out.

She knew she'd have a hard time gaining access to the world of the über wealthy, so she did something unusual: She took courses to become a wealth manager.

In the course of this training, Harrington met other wealth managers, who agreed to be interviewed for her research.

She discovered that, in order to manage money for the super-rich, these professionals learn a lot about the private lives of their clients.

Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly was in the penalty box after a third period fight with a Blackhawks defenseman on Saturday night in Chicago when four Blackhawks fans started taunting him in unison.

"Basketball, basketball, basketball," they chanted.

"It's pretty obvious what that means," Smith-Pelly said on Sunday. "It's not a secret." The nonsecret racial stereotype at play here is that basketball is a "black" sport and hockey is for white people.

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As the Senate tries to hash out a deal on immigration, it's not just immigrants that have a lot at stake. So do the businesses that hire them.

"We are suffering very much from shortage of labor — skilled labor — here in Dalton," said Ahmed Salama, the CEO of Oriental Weavers USA, the American branch of a giant Egyptian company. Salama recently showed me around his factory in Dalton, Ga., where hulking machines weave bright-colored yarn together.

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Violence in Rio de Janeiro has gotten so bad that Brazil's president recently put the military in charge of security there. The recent crime wave has many people worried. Those who live near banks have particular concerns, as NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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