National & International News

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

A flash flood swept through central Arizona on Saturday, killing at least nine people who had gathered at a popular swimming hole for a birthday celebration.

The family was relaxing alongside a mountain stream in Tonto National Forest, unaware that summer thunderstorms had just dropped heavy rains upstream.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, speaking to U.S. governors this weekend, told the political leaders that artificial intelligence poses an "existential threat" to human civilization.

At the bipartisan National Governors Association in Rhode Island, Musk also spoke about energy sources, his own electric car company and space travel. But when Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada, grinning, asked if robots will take everyone's jobs in the future — Musk wasn't joking when he responded.

Yes, "robots will do everything better than us," Musk said. But he's worried about more than the job market.

A woman died after being shot by a Minneapolis police officer late Saturday night, according to the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Her identity has not been released by authorities, but her fiancé Don Damond identified her to MPR as Justine Ruszczyk, an Australian woman who taught yoga and meditation.

Around 11:30 p.m. CT Saturday, two Minneapolis police officers responded to a 911 call of a possible assault in south Minneapolis. One officer shot and killed the woman.

The South Korean government made a rare formal overture to its counterpart in the North on Monday, proposing that the longstanding rivals open new military talks along their shared border. It is the first such offer under South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, who signaled his willingness to talk with Pyongyang during his campaign earlier this year.

Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

Just two weeks before an election to decide the delegates who will rewrite Venezuela's Constitution, opposition activists held a symbolic vote of their own on Sunday. In the nonbinding referendum, roughly 98 percent of voters rejected President Nicolas Maduro's plan to replace the constitution.

When Black Hair Violates The Dress Code

Jul 17, 2017

Raising teenage girls can be a tough job. Raising black teenage girls as white parents can be even tougher. Aaron and Colleen Cook knew that when they adopted their twin daughters, Mya and Deanna.

As spring came around this year, the girls, who just turned 16, told their parents they wanted to get braided hair extensions. Their parents happily obliged, wanting Mya and Deanna to feel closer to their black heritage.

When my editors asked me to report on forest bathing, I packed a swimsuit. I assumed it must involve a dip in the water.

It turns out, my interpretation was too literal.

I met certified Forest Therapy guide Melanie Choukas-Bradley and several other women who'd come along for the adventure at the footbridge to Theodore Roosevelt Island, a dense jungle of an urban forest along the Potomac River in Washington, D.C.

In November 2013, Donald Trump took the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow, bringing his trademark glitz and glamour to a country that had never hosted a major beauty contest.

Trump later boasted that he met a lot of important people at the pageant. They included the billionaire real estate tycoon Aras Agalarov, who is now figuring prominently in the investigations into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia. Here is a look back at how the Miss Universe contest came together and what happened there.

The political bomb that went off recently when Donald Trump Jr. revealed he met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer in hopes of getting damaging information about Hillary Clinton has raised new questions about the Trump family's connections to Russia.

And investigators are looking for clues in what might seem like an unlikely place: the glitzy November 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.

Academy Award-winning actor Martin Landau, known for his leading roles in North By Northwest and the 1960s Mission: Impossible TV series, has died. He was 89.

He died on Saturday of "unexpected complications" at the UCLA Medical Center, his publicist confirmed.

In his seven-decade acting career, Landau worked with a cast of Hollywood director greats, including Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen and Tim Burton.

The theory behind artificial sweeteners is simple: If you use them instead of sugar, you get the joy of sweet-tasting beverages and foods without the downer of extra calories, potential weight gain and related health issues.

In practice, it's not so simple, as a review of the scientific evidence on non-nutritive sweeteners published Monday shows.

Legendary filmmaker George A. Romero, best known for directing the classic horror movie, Night of the Living Dead, has died. He was 77.

Romero's death was confirmed by his manager, Chris Roe, in a statement to NPR.

Roe said Romero passed away peacefully in his sleep Sunday while listening to the score of one of his all-time favorite films, The Quiet Man. His wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero and daughter, Tina Romero were at his side. Romero had been battling lung cancer.

Updated at 1:13 a.m. ET Monday

At least nine people are dead and one person is missing after a flash flood plowed through the popular Cold Springs Swimming Hole in Payson, Ariz., the local Gila County Sheriff's Office says.

The search in the Tonto National Forest has been suspended for the night but it is expected to resume Monday, officials say.

It wasn't old age, or disease: A "bluish foreign body" that was found in an English woman's eye turned out to be a mass of contact lenses, surprising medical staff who were preparing the woman, 65, for routine cataract surgery. They report pulling 27 lenses from the woman's eye.

"She was quite shocked," specialist trainee ophthalmologist Rupal Morjaria tells Britain's Optometry Today.

Actress Jodie Whittaker will portray the Doctor in the next season of the beloved BBC series Doctor Who, becoming the first woman to play the role. The BBC announced the move after Sunday's Wimbledon men's final.

"It's more than an honor to play the Doctor," Whittaker said in a news release. "It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can't wait."

With Roger Federer at the top of his game — and his opponent, Marin Cilic, hobbled by a foot injury — the Swiss superstar seized his record eighth Wimbledon singles title on Sunday, winning in straight sets yet again.

For Federer, 35, the win breaks a tie he had held with Pete Sampras and William Renshaw. It also adds to his record for most Grand Slam singles championships, giving him 19. Federer's first win in Wimbledon came in 2003 — and after Sunday's victory, he said he'd like to come back next year.

Two teenage boys, 15 and 16, are facing numerous charges of grievous bodily harm and robbery after a string of recent acid attacks in London. Police arrested the teenagers after five attacks left one victim with life-changing facial injuries. The growing trend of acid attacks also has the government considering ways to increase the penalties for the crime.

The 16-year-old faces 15 charges, including possession of an item to discharge a noxious substance and five counts of attempted gross bodily harm with intent, according to London's Metropolitan Police.

Teenagers often have to wait years to do the things they want to do — drive, drink, vote. But for Mara Clawson, it was something different.

As a teen, Clawson loved making art — specifically drawing with pastels.

Last week sparked a deluge of speculation about Donald Trump Jr.'s 2016 encounter with a Russian lawyer, and what criminal charges — if any — might ensue.

But for a substantive answer, NPR asked a former federal prosecutor. Randall Eliason worked public corruption and government fraud cases; now he teaches law and writes the blog Sidebars, "a reflection on white collar crime and federal criminal law."

People like to make jokes about gonorrhea.

Maybe it's because this sexually transmitted disease is known as "the clap" (perhaps a reference to the French term "clapier," meaning brothel, or to an early treatment – clapping a heavy object on the man's sexual organ to get discharge to come out).

As the old (and not very funny) joke goes, "if you spread it around, is it called applause?"

Fernando Rojas is holding up a photograph of a pocket of countryside, between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains, that has been his home, his livelihood, and his passion for all of his 74 years.

His picture shows a lake, brimming with water, in front of a range of hills that are silhouetted by the sun. In the foreground, by the water's edge, there's a small boat, ready to set sail. Next to that, there's a wooden jetty, jutting out into the waves.

As a new parent, Jack Gilbert got a lot of different advice on how to properly look after his child: when to give him antibiotics or how often he should sterilize his pacifier, for example.

After the birth of his second child, Gilbert, a scientist who studies microbial ecosystems at the University of Chicago, decided to find out what's actually known about the risks involved when modern-day children come in contact with germs.

"I am overloaded and struggling. It's terrifying."

"I feel like I'll be making the last payment from my grave."

"It is an albatross around my neck. Years of paying and I feel like I'm getting nowhere."

"Help!"

Those were some of the comments we received from more than 2,000 respondents to NPR Ed's first Teacher Student Debt survey.

Harsh life experiences appear to leave African-Americans vulnerable to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, researchers reported Sunday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in London.

Several teams presented evidence that poverty, disadvantage and stressful life events are strongly associated with cognitive problems in middle age and dementia later in life among African-Americans.

The Senate will postpone its consideration of the GOP bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act until Sen. John McCain returns to Washington.

The Republican senator from Arizona is recovering from brain surgery performed Friday to remove a nearly 2-inch blood clot from above his left eye. The surgery was described as a "minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision."

President Trump has hired a former federal prosecutor to assist in how the White House handles its response to the expanding Russia probes.

Ty Cobb, whose legal expertise lies in white-collar crime and congressional investigations, will be "in charge of overseeing the White House legal and media response" to the investigations, according to Bloomberg News.

Days after dozens of Alfred Angelo Bridal stores closed with little or no warning, brides and their loved ones have been struggling to track down dresses they've paid for — and making contingency plans if they can't find them.

Alfred Angelo reportedly closed all of its 61 bridal stores at the end of business Thursday night as part of its plan to file for bankruptcy, infuriating customers and leaving employees in the lurch. The lawyer handling the case says she has received more than 7,000 emails about it.

Nearly three years after she became the first woman to win math's equivalent of a Nobel Prize, Maryam Mirzakhani has died of breast cancer at age 40. Her death was confirmed Saturday by Stanford University, where Mirzakhani had been a professor since 2008.

Mirzakhani is survived by her husband, Jan Vondrák, and a daughter, Anahita — who once referred to her mother's work as "painting" because of the doodles and drawings that marked her process of working on proofs and problems, according to an obituary released by Stanford.

Garbiñe Muguruza won her first Wimbledon title by overcoming Venus Williams in a women's final that was marked by long rallies and creative shotmaking in a gripping first set. Williams was unable to take advantage of early chances against Spain's Muguruza — who only grew more accurate and confident as the match progressed.

It's the second Grand Slam win for Muguruza, 23, who defeated Serena Williams in last year's French Open. Saturday's win comes two years after she lost on Wimbledon's Center Court to Serena Williams.

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