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

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

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

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer has words of praise for Sarah Sanders, his successor on the podium, and says she has figured out how to please President Trump in the job in a way he struggled to do.

"I think Sarah has done a great job of making sure that she understands what the president wants," Spicer told NPR's Mary Louise Kelly in an interview on Wednesday in advance of next week's release of his book The Briefing: Politics, the Press and the President.

When people think of particle accelerators, they tend to think of giant structures: tunnels many miles long that electrons and protons race through at tremendous speeds, packing enormous energy.

But scientists in California think small is beautiful. They want to build an accelerator on semiconductor chips. An accelerator built that way won't achieve the energy of its much larger cousins, but it could accelerate material research and revolutionize medical therapy.

First of all, what is an accelerator?

AI Innovators Take Pledge Against Autonomous Killer Weapons

25 minutes ago

The Terminator's killer robots may seem like a thing of science fiction. But leading scientists and tech innovators have signaled that such autonomous killers could materialize in the real world in frighteningly real ways.

During the annual International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Stockholm on Wednesday, some of the world's top scientific minds came together to sign a pledge that calls for "laws against lethal autonomous weapons."

More than a year after a landslide shut it down, a section of Highway 1 running along a coastal stretch in California's Big Sur region reopened early Wednesday.

The California Department of Transportation announced that the roadway at Mud Creek was opening about two months ahead of schedule, thanks to favorable weather and worker productivity.

"It's a big deal to open the highway unrestricted," Colin Jones, a Caltrans spokesman told NPR.

On The Seventh Day, They Played Soccer

1 hour ago

Jim McKay used to walk into video stores back in the 1990s, where he'd see versions of himself: white males, in all kinds of movies. Then he tried to imagine being someone else.

"You'd go in these aisles, and you'd see box after box after box of VHSes," McKay says. "And you'd just realize, like, for [a] young woman [of color], there's nothing there. She's not there. You're really not visible."

What Caused The Unrest In Haiti

1 hour ago

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

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

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

A federal magistrate judge ordered Wednesday that a Russian woman charged with being a Russian agent in the United States must be jailed ahead of her trial after prosecutors said she was a flight risk.

The woman, Maria Butina, has been in regular contact with Russian intelligence, the Justice Department says, and she attempted to offer sex in exchange for a position with an organization she targeted.

Composer Sawan Dutta had scored the music for two Bollywood movies. After meetings with movie executives, long nights in the studio, these two projects would be her most high-profile work yet. And then, disaster. One film lost distribution. The other lost its mega-star talent.

The scores? Left unheard, abandoned on a hard drive.

But Dutta turned her frustration into The Metronome Song Vlog, India’s longest-running song videoblog, or vlog. Now she’s a viral internet sensation.

Nicaragua is living an Orwellian nightmare.

Over the past three months, Daniel Ortega's government of "reconciliation and national unity" has killed more than 300 people, injured thousands and abducted and disappeared hundreds more. Sandinista "death caravans" of hooded police and government paramilitaries raid towns like hordes of invading Huns, firing battlefield weapons at unarmed protesters, dragging people from their homes, torching buildings and leaving dead bodies in the street.

In Illinois, prisoners with disabilities may end up staying behind bars, long after their release date has passed. Most inmates are put on mandatory supervised release, which requires a person to have stable housing before they can leave prison. An analysis by WBEZ in Chicago found many facilities on the department’s housing directory could not take people who use a wheelchair.

Lynn Visson is a teacher and writer, and was an interpreter at the United Nations for 22 years, interpreting French and Russian into English for politicians like former President Jimmy Carter.

Speed is key when doing high-stakes interpreting with delegates and other notable figures, Visson tells Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson.

A new study out this week has found that around a third of trials that look at antibiotics don’t report safety results, and almost a third didn’t report adverse affects of using probiotics.

In recent years, the model for US recycling has been to send it overseas to China. China gets a raw material worth money; the US gets rid of its rubbish. 

But since the start of this year, China has been refusing to take contaminated recycling, forcing communities across the US, like Lynn, Massachusetts, to quickly take action.

The Oregon Health Authority says there are higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria in the water at Nye Beach in Lincoln County and Sunset Bay State Park Beach in Coos County.

The bacteria can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes and upper respiratory infections — especially among children and older people.

Increased pathogens and fecal levels come from shore and inland sources like sewer overflows, failing septic systems and animal waste.

Updated at 3:05 p.m. ET

The White House is denying that President Trump believes Russia is no longer targeting U.S. elections and other infrastructure, despite his apparent answer to a reporter's question Wednesday morning.

Asked by reporters at the start of a Cabinet meeting whether Russia is still targeting the U.S., Trump shook his head and said "no."

Later, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders sought to clarify Trump's comments, saying his "no" meant that he was not taking any questions from reporters.

Comic Bo Burnham was still in high school when the satirical songs he posted on the Internet went viral — making him one of YouTube's first stars. Now 27, he's taken a turn behind the camera with a new film, Eighth Grade, that looks at what it's like to grow up in the age of social media.

The film centers on a socially awkward 13-year-old girl named Kayla who's navigating the final year of middle school. Burnham says the character was inspired by a period in his early 20s when he was dealing with panic attacks onstage.

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