National & International News

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All 65 people aboard an Aseman Airlines plane were feared dead when it slammed into Mount Dena in central Iran Sunday during a bout of bad weather, authorities told the Iranian state broadcaster.

But there was so much fog and rain that rescue crews had been unable to reach the crash site via helicopter and were hoping a drone could aid in their search, reports IRNA, the country's official news agency.

The Trump administration is proposing to dramatically cut funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a move critics say is an ongoing assault on the 7-year-old agency.

The bureau was championed by Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats and created in the wake of the financial crisis to protect Americans from getting ripped off by financial firms.

Tommy Rock has had three graduations — high school, college and graduate school. And no one from his family was there — no one to cheer for him, no one to take his picture. And when he came home to Monument Valley, few really cared.

"I didn't get no congratulations or nothing," Rock said. "It was like 'Oh you think you're better than us?' I was like, 'Wow, OK.' "

In the hall at the ambassador's residence, there's a black-and-white photograph on the wall of two smiling young men at the center of a group.

In late January, NPR global health correspondent Jason Beaubien went to the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh for a series of radio and web reports. It was the week that a plan to send the refugees back to Myanmar was supposed to start. But that program was put on hold because of logistics.

We interviewed Beaubien about his trip.

Last week was supposed to be a pivotal moment for an immigration deal. But despite days of debate and numerous proposals, senators were not able to pass a concrete immigration solution.

Four separate immigration measures failed in the Senate.

For the more than 3,000 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Wednesday's mass shooting was terrifying and life-changing. But what of the tens of millions of other children, in schools across the country, who have since heard about what happened and now struggle with their own feelings of fear, confusion and uncertainty?

Beer has fueled a lot of bad ideas. But on a Friday afternoon in 2007, it helped two Alzheimer's researchers come up with a really a good one.

It's been a difficult week for schools in this edition of our weekly roundup.

School shooting in Parkland, Fla.

Ted Ligety, one of America's most decorated Alpine skiers, tied for 15th place in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics men's giant slalom. The favored Marcel Hirscher of Austria won gold, while Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway took silver and Alexis Pinturault of France took bronze.

Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper were two of three American athletes on the slopestyle skiing podium four years ago in the Sochi Winter Games. Slopestyle, an event in which skiers perform a variety of tricks and jumps down a mixed-terrain course, made its debut as an Olympic game there.

In the height of ski season this year, blades of grass and patches of dirt still dot cross country ski trails in Aspen, Colo. Conditions like this present a conundrum for professional skiers: Their livelihood relies on snow and cold temperatures, but essentials like travel and snow-making come with an environmental cost.

Updated Feb. 18 at 9 a.m. ET

President Trump chided his national security adviser on Sunday, tweeting that H.R. McMaster "forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians."

McMaster said on Saturday that it is now "incontrovertible" Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

Thirteen people died and 15 were injured Friday night after a military helicopter carrying government officials assessing earthquake damage crashed in southern Mexico, said the Oaxaca state prosecutor's office.

Her murder triggered rioting in Pakistan and rippled the world-over, and on Saturday the man convicted in 7-year-old Zainab Ansari's death was sentenced to die four times over.

Mohammad Imran, a local man who knew Zainab's family, pleaded guilty to raping and killing the little girl, reports The Associated Press.

Her body was found on a trash heap on Jan. 9 in the city of Kasur near Lahore, four days after she was reported missing.

Prosecutors say Imran, 24, is a serial killer who has also admitted to killing several other children.

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

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Evelyn Baker is a retired St. Louis Circuit Court judge who ruled in thousands of cases. There is one defendant she's not been able to forget - 16-year-old Bobby Bostic, who was convicted of robbery and other charges.

In the brave new world of synthetic biology, scientists can now brew up viruses from scratch using the tools of DNA technology.

The latest such feat, published last month, involves horsepox, a cousin of the feared virus that causes smallpox in people. Critics charge that making horsepox in the lab has endangered the public by basically revealing the recipe for how any lab could manufacture smallpox to use as a bioweapon.

Remember how happy you were as a kid to hear the distant music of the ice cream truck get louder as it drove closer to your block?

Residents of New Orleans would get that feeling when they heard the song of local produce vendor Mr. Okra, who drove up and down the streets of the city, hawking his wares.

"I have the mango, I have spinach, I have yellow squash, corn on the cob," he'd chant in rhythm from a PA system attached to the roof of his bright red pick-up truck. "I have eggplant, I have onion, I have garlic."

Outside a Trump campaign rally in West Palm Beach, Fla., there was a cage holding a person dressed up like Hillary Clinton in a prison uniform. In the outrageous state of the 2016 campaign, it wasn't altogether shocking to see someone at a Trump event staging the visual stunt, after the "lock her up!" chants that punctuated Trump rallies.

But it's now known that this moment was set up by Russians.

This week in the Russia investigations: A major new indictment from the special counsel's office that charges thirteen individuals and three companies and shakes up the political rhetoric as new facts are revealed in the sprawling imbroglio.

Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller prefers to let his work do the talking for him. On Friday, he delivered a stemwinder.

You can buy a remarkable number of items on Copacabana Beach just by sitting on the sand a few yards from the Atlantic waves, and waiting.

Without leaving your beach chair, you can purchase a piece of cheese, a kiddie pool, a blanket, a skewer of shrimp, a string bikini, a selfie-stick, a tropical shirt, a pineapple or a coconut.

Be under no illusions: Copacabana is not merely a beach. It's a giant, restless market, staffed by vendors who drift around in steaming heat, flourishing their wares at the multitude of near-naked basking bodies.

Earlier this week, we shared the remarkable story of Abby Beckley — and her run-in with eye worms.

When this young woman felt something crawling around in her eyes, she had the presence to remove said worm and then, over the course of a few weeks, not one, not two nor three ... but 14 nematodes came out from her eye.

At first doctors didn't believe her. Then they saw one squiggle across her eyeball.

While Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was on lockdown, with an active shooter in the building, students were on their phones.

By the time the first week wrapped up at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the powerful, icy winds that earlier disrupted or delayed competition had largely calmed. Norway's team led in medals, with 19, and Germany won more gold — nine medals — in the first week than any other country.

The U.S., meanwhile, earned eight medals by Friday, including five gold. Snowboarder Redmond "Red" Gerard, a 17-year-old who overslept on the day of his event and had to borrow a too-big jacket after he couldn't find his own, clinched Team USA's first gold medal last Sunday.

Native American leaders are once again pushing for a seat at the decision-making table, saying this week that tribal nations have been overlooked for "too often and too long."

Their latest concern comes with President Trump's proposed infrastructure plan. The president sent it to Congress on Monday, saying he aimed "to help build a better future for all Americans."

She went up the hill a snowboarder but came down an Olympic champion skier. That's one way to tell the story of Ester Ledecka, the Czech athlete who stunned the world — and herself — by winning the women's Super-G race at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

"How did that happen?" she asked a cameraman at the bottom of her run.

The angst of teenage life can be overwhelming. The angst of being an adult and watching teenagers — some of whom aren't old enough to vote in the U.S. — complete amazing feats of human strength and mental fortitude is ... well, also overwhelming. An impressive number of adolescents are not only competing in the 2018 Winter Games. In some cases, they're winning.

Nathan Chen rewrote the story of his Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, performing an unprecedented six quad jumps in his free skate and launching himself from 17th place and nearly winning a medal in the men's singles competition.

Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu repeated as the Olympic gold medalist in this event, on the strength of two riveting performances. Hanyu's teammate Shoma Uno won silver, and Spain's Javier Fernandez won bronze at the Gangneung Ice Arena in South Korea.

A woman who had an alleged nine-month sexual relationship with Donald Trump more than a decade ago, is speaking on the record for the first time about signing a document from an apparent Trump media ally that effectively silenced her story.

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