National & World News from NPR

Saudi Arabia Lifts Ban On Female Drivers

21 hours ago

Updated at 6:23 p.m. ET

Saudi Arabia lifted its widely criticized ban on female drivers on Sunday, sparking jubilation among many women in the country who went out on the roads shortly after the ban was lifted.

Talk show host and writer Samar Almogren told The Guardian, "I always knew this day would come. But it came fast. Sudden. I feel free like a bird."

This converted schoolhouse still chirps with the sound of children. A volunteer teacher points at her eye and elicits the English word: "¿Cómo se dice 'ojo'?" she asks the group of 6- to 10-year-olds.

They hesitate and look at one another until one of them gets it, and they join in a collective scream: "Eye!"

It feels like a bit of normalcy for this group of Central American children who fled their home countries and are temporarily living in a family shelter in Mexico City.

Few species manipulate their surroundings enough to make big ecological changes. Humans are one. Beavers are another.

On March 16, 2017, Albino Quiroz Sandoval popped out of the house around 5 p.m. for a little trip to the shop. The 71-year-old lives in Tepoztlán, a small colonial town with little crime, a weekend getaway from hectic Mexico City. Quiroz had been a public school teacher for 48 years. Everyone knows him.

By 8 p.m., he wasn't home. His family grew worried. His son Juan Carlos Quiroz, who was a 90-minute drive away in Mexico City, got a frantic call from his sister.

"We didn't know what to do," Juan Carlos recalls. "My sister and I thought it could be a kidnapping."

Mexican actor Diego Luna first shot to fame in the United States after 2001's Y Tu Mamá También. Since then, he's starred in a handful of blockbusters — including, recently, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — and he's about to play the leader of a drug cartel in the upcoming season of Netflix's Narcos.

Luna could have happily continued to live a successful life in Hollywood, but he missed Mexico. At a café near his kids' school in Mexico City, he explains why.

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Mitt Romney On The Campaign Trail Again

Jun 24, 2018

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Some Animals Switching To Nocturnal Life

Jun 24, 2018

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'What The Eyes Don't See' In Flint

Jun 24, 2018

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It's got to be a bit daunting for a comics creator to contribute to an anthology revolving around Michael Chabon's Escapist. Chabon created the Escapist in his 2000 novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, which won a Pulitzer Prize and set a new standard for highbrow treatment of comics. He's an author who's always expected great things from the form; in the keynote speech at the 2004 Eisner Awards (included in this volume), Chabon called for writers and artists "to ...

Robert Lee, Chelsea Magee and Colt Chambers are political activists who all sound pretty typical for their generation when it comes to issues like immigration and same-sex marriage.

New advances in medicine also tend to come with a hefty dose of hype. Yes, some new cancer drugs in the hot field of precision medicine, which takes into account variables for individual patients, have worked remarkably well for some patients. But while many patients clamor for them, they aren't currently effective for the vast majority of cancers.

All it took was one Facebook post and it seemed the whole Internet, or Twitter at least, knew what happened at The Red Hen in Lexington, Va., on Friday night.

The Facebook status update posted by a server at the small farm-to-table restaurant in the Shenandoah Valley read: "I just served Sarah huckabee sanders for a total of 2 minutes before my owner asked her to leave." The post has since been deleted.

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Barbershop: The Media And The White House

Jun 23, 2018

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This past Sunday, as many Americans wrapped up their Father's Day celebrations, White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller — purported architect of the administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy at the southern border — had a hankering for Mexican food.

He decided on Espita Mezcaleria in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington D.C., where the menu features dishes from southern Mexico, including a vegetarian mole verde for $22 and fish tacos "to share" for $35.

Updated at 5:40 p.m. ET

Tens of thousands of people gathered Saturday in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, bearing flags and seeking a glimpse of a reformist leader whose tenure is just months old. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was in the central Meskel Square to deliver a speech — but not long after he finished, a deadly blast unraveled the crowd.

An explosion narrowly missed Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa Saturday at a rally filled with his supporters, in what the state-owned newspaper The Zimbabwe Herald is calling an assassination attempt.

Just about 10 days ago, Katie Arrington was celebrating a hard-fought electoral win. The conservative South Carolina state lawmaker had dealt longtime incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford a surprising defeat in the state's congressional GOP primary.

Now Arrington, 47, is in the hospital facing quite another kind of fight.

A friend had been driving the U.S. House hopeful Friday night when their car was struck by a vehicle driving the wrong direction on the highway, according to her spokesperson.

The U.S. and South Korea have called off upcoming military exercises that were set to occur over the next three months, the Pentagon announced Friday evening.

According to the statement, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made the decision to "indefinitely suspend select exercises," including the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise, which was put on hold earlier this week, along with two Korean Marine Exchange Program training exercises.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

The fact that rural, economically disadvantaged parts of the country broke heavily for the Republican candidate in the 2016 election is well known. But Medicare data indicate that voters in areas that went for Trump weren't just hurting economically — many of them were receiving prescriptions for opioid painkillers.

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And now time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Now, a story about how a high school history project ended up making history - the project, by a teenager in Nebraska, helped reunite twin brothers separated at death during World War II. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley sends this report from the American Cemetery in Normandy.

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