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So last year, Ian Griffin, an astronomer in Dunedin, New Zealand, was able to catch a ride on the NASA SOFIA. It's a Boeing 747 airplane with an observatory on board.

IAN GRIFFIN: And on that flight it had an absolutely amazing view of the aurora australis.

A New Kind Of March Madness Hits Schools

13 hours ago

It's a little after 8 a.m. at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., and Michelle Harris' AP Environmental Science class is getting right to it.

"All right, you guys got your brackets out?" Harris asks.

The class of mostly juniors and seniors ruffle through folders and pull out pieces of paper with brackets — 64 slots, four quadrants, and one central box to predict the championship. But there's something a little different about these brackets ...

"We're going to jump down to the fourth-seeded spider monkey against the 12th-seeded antelope squirrel," Harris says.

Quick quiz: What do Judy Garland's rendition of "Over the Rainbow," N.W.A's seminal Straight Outta Compton and the inaugural episode of NPR's All Things Considered have in common?

That little riddle just got a little easier to answer on Wednesday: The Library of Congress announced that all three "aural treasures" — along with roughly two dozen other recordings — have been inducted into its National Recording Registry.

USA Hockey says it has a pay deal with players on the women's team, averting a threatened boycott of the world championships, which start Friday near Detroit.

Before the agreement team captain Meghan Duggan told NPR's All Things Considered that she and her teammates were paid poorly:

If you're looking for work, you might start with one of those websites that posts jobs. But if you're an older adult looking for work, you might have found yourself excluded from some of the features on those sites.

Port of Vancouver commissioner Brian Wolfe announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election this fall. He’s vacating his seat after nearly 12 years on the job.

Wolfe said he’ll be stepping down at the end of this year to spend more time with his wife.

Wolfe has supported a massive oil-by-rail project proposed for the port. He said increased pressure from opponents of the oil terminal have been taxing on him and his family.

A federal court ruled Tuesday that wildlife managers must reconsider a decision to deny endangered species protections to the coastal marten.

The red-orange mink relative was once believed to be extinct — a victim of the fur trade. But small populations have been found in the coastal mountains of Southern Oregon and Northern California.

In 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided the marten did not qualify for listing under the Endangered Species Act because the population was not small enough or isolated enough to be at risk of going extinct.

The 82,500-acre Elliott State Forest in southwestern Oregon may be staying in public hands after all.

Treasurer Tobias Read — who cast a crucial vote last month to proceed with the sale — announced Tuesday that he sees a "path forward" for keeping the forest in public hands.

Read said in an interview that it is too early to proclaim certainty that the forest would remain public, but he added, "I would not be making this statement if I did not think that I had a reasonable degree of confidence that this is achievable."

Michelle Taylor is 26 years old and keenly interested in the past.

The research associate at Virginia Commonwealth University is taking part in a program to reconstruct the grounds of Montpelier, the former estate of President James Madison, in Virginia. Taylor also has a personal connection to one of the slaves Madison owned, which makes her work rebuilding slave cabins especially meaningful to her.

Congress Overturns Internet Privacy Regulation

23 hours ago

The House of Representatives has gone along with the Senate and voted 215-205 to overturn a yet-to-take-effect regulation that would have required Internet service providers — like Comcast, Verizon and Charter — to get consumers' permission before selling their data.

President Trump is expected to sign the rollback, according to a White House statement.

Of all the men who have been U.S. president, just one is buried on the grounds of a state capitol. But that might be about to change.

Lawmakers in Tennessee have taken the first step to exhume the body of James K. Polk, who for a century has rested in a small, white, chest-high tomb with his wife, Sarah.

Teresa Elam remembers picnicking here with her grandfather, just downhill from the Tennessee Capitol.

"And so I did that with my children, and now we're doing it with our grandchildren," she says.

Groups that help low-income families get food assistance are alarmed by a recent drop in the number of immigrants seeking help. Some families are even canceling their food stamps and other government benefits, for fear that receiving them will affect their immigration status or lead to deportation. Many of the concerns appear to be unfounded but have been fueled by the Trump administration's tough stance on immigration.

This week, American Routes revisits the best live performances from the 2016 Baton Rouge Blues Festival. We’ll feature swamp blues, Mississippi Delta blues,  hill country blues, and the blues rocked out.  Artists include Howlin’ Wolf’s pianoman Henry Gray, harp player Lazy Lester, Kenny Neal and family, Slim Harpo’s right-hand guitar man James “Chicken Scratch” Johnson, songmaker Luke Winslow King,  New Orleans soul funkster Walter “Wolfman" Washington  and R.L. Burnside’s grandson, Kent Burnside.

Russians are still trying to understand exactly what happened over the weekend, when thousands of people — many of them teenagers — turned out for anti-government rallies in dozens of cities across the country.

President Obama called the Chesapeake Bay a “national treasure.” In a 2009 executive order, he helped launch a massive cleanup effort orchestrated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Now that restoration, and others like it around the country, are in limbo because President Trump’s budget blueprint would eliminate funding for the Chesapeake and other regional cleanup programs.

According to a recent Gallup poll, daily worry has increased among Americans since the presidential election. There was also an increase in worry after President Obama’s 2008 election, though not as much. Times of change and uncertainty often cause people to worry more.

Police Warning Shots May Be In For A Comeback

Mar 28, 2017

Why don't the police fire warning shots? That's a question that comes up a lot, especially after controversial shooting deaths.

Last fall, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and 10 other law enforcement groups got together to work out a consensus policy on the use of force — a sort of model document for local departments that want to update their rules. When the document came out in January, it contained a surprise: It allowed for warning shots.

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These are divisive times in the United Kingdom. Today, the Scottish Parliament voted to seek an independence referendum that could split the country apart. Tomorrow, the U.K. triggers Brexit, the process for breaking away from the European Union.

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