National & World News from NPR

When Chris Ategeka was a boy of 7 in Uganda, his parents died of HIV/AIDS. And his brother, not yet 5, died of malaria.

Today he's 32. He's got a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley (where he was the commencement speaker for the college of engineering at his graduation in 2011). With his entrepreneurial spirit, he could have followed classmates to Silicon Valley.

But he didn't.

In his TED Fellows talk in Vancouver this week, he explained how his personal history set him on a different path.

We're always excited for the beginning of summer movie season. Despite the fact that it's almost guaranteed to contain some major disappointments and jarring disasters, we often find goofy fun, sharp writing and new stars blowing up (sometimes literally) our cinematic seasons.

The U.S. economy grew at just a 0.7 percent annual rate in the first quarter of this year, according to the latest report on the gross domestic product from the Commerce Department. That's below market expectations and indicates the economy grew at the slowest pace in three years.

Weak auto sales and lower home-heating bills dragged down consumer spending, offsetting a pickup in investment led by housing and oil drilling. Employment costs rose 0.8 percent in the first quarter.

President Trump says that while he would like to resolve the issue of North Korea's nuclear program diplomatically, it will be hard — and there is a potential for a major clash with the Asian nation, Trump said in an interview with Reuters.

"There's a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea, absolutely," the president told the news agency.

"We'd love to solve things diplomatically but it's very difficult," Trump said.

A female terrorism suspect is in the hospital in Britain after being shot during a police raid Thursday, and officials say they believe they've "contained the threats" posed by the woman and others. The raid came on the same day a man was arrested for carrying weapons near the U.K. Parliament.

The two developments are unrelated, Scotland Yard's senior national counterterrorism coordinator Neil Basu said in a briefing Friday morning, one day after what he called it "an extraordinary day in London." Police had stopped an active terrorism plot, he told reporters.

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

"Marcus Gavius Apicius purchased me on a day hot enough to fry sausage on the market stones."

So begins the tale of Thrasius, the fictional narrator of Feast of Sorrow. Released this week, the novel is based on the real life of ancient Roman noble Marcus Gavius Apicius, who is thought to have inspired and contributed to the world's oldest surviving cookbook, a ten-volume collection titled Apicius.

What makes a high-quality learning program effective not just for the child but the whole family? What else, besides a well-run pre-K, is essential to help families break out of intergenerational poverty?

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

When President Donald Trump selected retired Marine Gen. James Mattis for defense secretary, it was a rare choice. No recently retired general had been selected for the top Pentagon job since George Marshall, some 66 years earlier.

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Paula Hawkins' 2015 book — The Girl on the Train — was a massive bestseller. A tense domestic thriller with a boozy, unstable narrator, it caught the imagination of a reading public desperate for the kinds of dark deeds and desperate women Gillian Flynn pioneered in Gone Girl a few years earlier.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Here is a proposition that may seem self-evident to many people: As societies become more modern, religion loses its grip. People separate their religion from their institutions and from parts of their lives. Some may view that as superstition inevitably giving way to rationality or a belief in magic being replaced by a belief in science.

Sociologists have a name for this idea. They call it the "secularization thesis." Now, research suggests the story is more complicated.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Friday, for the first time since 1983, a sitting president will address the National Rifle Association at the group's annual convention — when President Trump, along with a who's who of gun rights advocates, is scheduled to talk at the NRA Leadership Forum in Atlanta, Ga.

In his first interview with NPR, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has a wide-ranging interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep.

Steve Inskeep: I want to begin with North Korea. We heard when you said, "the era of strategic patience is over," so we know what your policy is not. Is there a word or phrase you can give us to say what your approach to North Korea is?

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: Yes, our approach to North Korea is to have them change their posture towards any future talks.

Gerald Chinchar, a Navy veteran who loves TV Westerns, isn't quite at the end of his life, but the end is probably not far away. The 77-year-old's medications fill a dresser drawer, and congestive heart failure puts him at high risk of emergency room visits and long hospital stays. He fell twice last year, shattering his hip and femur, and now gets around his San Diego home in a wheelchair.

Above all, Chinchar hopes to avoid another long stint in the hospital. He still likes to go watch his grandchildren's sporting events and play blackjack at the casino.

Waffle House Founders Die Less Than 2 Months Apart

7 hours ago

In 1949, Thomas Forkner Sr. was in the real estate business when he helped Joe Rogers Sr. buy a house.

Rogers was working for the Toddle House restaurant chain and he convinced Forkner to join him in starting their own restaurant.

The two opened the first 24-hour Waffle House on Labor Day in 1955 in the Atlanta suburb of Avondale Estates.

By the time they sold the business in the late 1970s, the chain had grown to 400 restaurants.

The Atlanta-based company that owns the chain now has more than 1,500 locations.

The final member of President Trump's Cabinet — secretary of labor — was confirmed by the Senate Thursday in a bipartisan vote of 60-38.

Alexander Acosta, 48, will be the Cabinet's first Latino member. Acosta is dean of the Florida International University College of Law in Miami.

Acosta was assistant attorney general in the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division under President George W. Bush, who later appointed him U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Fox News has been under fire in the past year for sexual harassment. First Fox chair Roger Ailes, then the network's favorite pundit, Bill O'Reilly, were forced to leave after multiple women complained of unwanted advances—and the blocked advancement they experienced when they didn't put out.

Arkansas Executes 4th Inmate In 8 Days

11 hours ago

Arkansas has put to death convicted murderer Kenneth Williams. His was the last of a series of executions accelerated because the state's lethal-injection drugs were about to expire.

Williams was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m. Central time after the execution began at 10:52 p.m., Arkansas Public Media reports.

State officials initially scheduled eight condemned inmates to die over 11 days — the fastest pace of executions in decades. Some executions were blocked by the courts.

President Trump is set to sign an executive order Friday that aims to expand offshore drilling for oil and gas, and possibly reverse the designation of some marine sanctuaries. In a briefing with reporters at the White House Thursday night, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said, "This will cement our nation's position as a global energy leader."

Looking back at the 1992 Los Angeles riots, people often remember tensions between African-Americans, white law enforcement officers and Korean small business owners. That story gets even more complicated when you step into Pico-Union — a neighborhood that was, and still is, predominantly Latino.

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