NPR News

When it comes to global politics off the rink — most of the spotlight has fallen on North and South Korea. But just as the two Koreas have been making nice, South Korea and Japan have gotten chilly.

On the ice — Nao Kodaira of Japan and two-time gold medalist Lee Sang-hwa of Korea are the world's best at the 500 meter speed skate. They have finished within fractions of a second of each other for years and are constantly compared to one another. Sunday's much-watched showdown between the two was packed with extra meaning because their countries compete so fiercely, too.

After the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history in Las Vegas last year, lawmakers discussed imposing restrictions on "bump stocks." The Las Vegas shooter used that type of gun modification, which makes a semiautomatic weapon fire like an automatic weapon, and killed 58 people.

After a gunman killed 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in November, lawmakers discussed how they could improve the background check system.

No new laws came of those discussions.

Updated at 9:30 a.m. ET

President Trump is facing calls to act in the wake of the latest mass shooting, which killed 17 people Wednesday at a high school in Florida, and the White House is not ignoring them. The president will participate in a pair of listening sessions on school safety this week, and on Monday morning the White House said he supports efforts to improve the federal background check system, something Congress has expressed broad support for without acting on after past shootings.

After Virginia Harrod was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2014, she had a double mastectomy. Surgeons also removed 16 lymph nodes from under her armpit and the area around her breast, to see how far the cancer had spread and to determine what further treatment might be needed. Then she underwent radiation therapy.

Each year, about 31,000 men and women in the U.S. are diagnosed with a cancer caused by an infection from the human papillomavirus, or HPV. It's the most common sexually transmitted virus and infection in the U.S.

In women, HPV infection can lead to cervical cancer, which leads to about 4,000 deaths per year. In men, it can cause penile cancer. HPV also causes some cases of oral cancer, cancer of the anus and genital warts.

Updated at 9:45 a.m. ET

The U.S. women's ice hockey team dismantled Finland in their semifinals matchup at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Monday, scoring goals early and often and claiming a spot in the gold medal game, where they will face Canada.

The U.S. team scored two goals in each of the first two periods; a pair of scores came in less than one minute in the second period.

He's emerged as a fan favorite, an athlete whose talent and personality shine through his skating — and whose sense of humor and humanity have been amplified by the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. But Adam Rippon says he's not ready to move from the Olympic Athlete's Village and join NBC.

News that the TV network had offered Rippon a job emerged on Sunday here at the Pyeongchang Games. But one day later, Rippon says he was glad to be asked — but that he still has work to do, cheering for his teammates.

Aleksandr Krushelnitckii, who won a bronze medal in mixed doubles for the Olympic Athletes from Russia curling team, is under suspicion of doping, after reportedly failing a preliminary control test at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

The result hasn't been confirmed; Russian news outlets are reporting that Krushelnitckii's "A" sample had tested positive for meldonium in a preliminary test, and that his "B" sample would be tested to confirm or refute the result. That test is being carried out around midday Monday in South Korea — Sunday night in the continental U.S.

Black Panther pounced on the weekend box office, breaking cultural barriers and earning the highest debut ever for a February film, with an estimated three-day domestic gross of $192 million, said Disney, Marvel's parent company.

The opening was the fifth highest-earning of any film, according to Disney. The only other movies that have brought in more are Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Jurassic World and The Avengers, according to The Associated Press.

President Trump spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort tweeting about the Russia investigation after a federal grand jury on Friday indicted 13 Russians and three Russian companies in connection with what prosecutors describe as a covert Russian campaign to help Trump win the presidency.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pages