National & World News from NPR

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke about the dangers of the promulgation of fake news on Thursday after conspiracy stories involving her campaign spurred violence recently. "The epidemic of malicious fake news and fake propaganda that flooded social media over the past year, it's now clear that so-called fake news can have real-world consequences," Clinton said. She was referring to the "Pizzagate" incident in D.C. this weekend, which came to a terrifying head. A...

Thirty years ago, a new face debuted on daytime television: Oprah Winfrey. The new podcast, "Making Oprah," produced by member station WBEZ, chronicles Oprah's rise to stardom. Journalist Jenn White tells Oprah's story from her early days on her first talk show, AM Chicago , through to the biggest, most outrageous moments when 40 million people a week were watching her national show. It began with a station manager in Chicago, Dennis Swanson. He was the one who spotted something in the young...

With Donald Trump's choices for secretaries of transportation and of housing and urban development — Elaine Chao and Dr. Ben Carson, respectively — there may be hints about the urban agenda Trump's administration may be shaping. Some big-city mayors say they're worried about potential cuts in federal funding that candidate Trump warned about on the stump, and they are reaching out to the president-elect. They say they have plenty of ideas they want to share about the country's cities. Chicago...

In what could mark an escalation of tensions with the West, commercial satellite images suggest that Russia is moving a new generation of nuclear-capable missiles into Eastern Europe. Russia appears to be preparing to permanently base its Iskander missile system in Kaliningrad, a sliver of territory it controls along the Baltic coast between Lithuania and Poland. Arms control experts shared fresh satellite imagery with NPR, which they say provides evidence that the Iskander will soon be...

It's been nearly a year since Mayor Karen Weaver declared a state of emergency in Flint, Mich. Before she became mayor, the city switched its water supply to the Flint River in a cost-cutting measure. The water wasn't properly treated, which caused corrosion in old pipes — leaching lead and other toxins into the city's tap water. People were afraid to drink or even bathe in the water. Since then, a lot has happened. Charges were brought against several Michigan state officials and one Flint...

Without congressional intervention, about 16,000 retired miners in seven states will lose their health care coverage by the end of the year. A proposal to temporarily extend the benefits is working its way through Congress. But two Senate Democrats, who are advocates for a more comprehensive plan, say the temporary provision isn't enough. They are threatening to hold up a spending bill that needs to pass by Friday night to keep the government running. Coal mining is dangerous work. For many...

China's top court has handed basketball legend Michael Jordan a victory in a long-running trademark dispute over the use of his name by a Chinese company. "Nothing is more important than protecting your own name, and today's decision shows the importance of that principle," Jordan said in a statement after the ruling. Here's more from Jordan: "Over the past three decades, I have built my reputation and name into a globally recognized brand. From my earliest playing days in the NBA, through my...

Even non-Christians must allow that the New Testament is a formidable document. So any attempt to write what Jaco Van Dormael's comedy calls Le tout noveau testament (The Brand New Testament) requires careful deliberation. But the Belgian writer-director and his co-scripter, Thomas Gunzig, just didn't think very hard about their undertaking. The result is a satire whose whimsies and sight gags frequently click, but whose philosophical impact is negligible. The setup is the best part. In the...

The friction between art and life is director Damien Chazelle's ongoing obsession. It's a fine thing to ponder, though I didn't much care for his 2014 melodrama Whiplash , which worked up an overblown froth from the daffy proposition that you can bully a fledgling musician into becoming a genius drummer. La La Land , a frankly commercial but rapturous ode to art, love, and my much-maligned home town of Los Angeles, grows more organically out of Chazelle's charming 2009 debut, Guy and Madeline...

Slash fiction, for the unbent, is generally defined as fan fiction that pairs two characters or real people of the same sex in an intimate or erotic way: you've got your Kirk/Spock, your Sherlock/Watson, your Axl/Slash (sorry). The culture has been around for decades and is the subject of much queer-studies scholarship, but until the Internet such activity remained largely cloaked in shadow. Write slash fiction on your own and you may be thought a pervert; post it online and you gain...

In the shambling ensemble comedy Office Christmas Party , Kate McKinnon plays the uptight Human Resources person at an unruly tech outfit, a job about as thankless as hall monitor in Rock 'n' Roll High School . Every boozy party movie needs its requisite prude, but McKinnon keeps adding new layers of eccentricity, from a data-driven approach to cheese platter arrangement to secret perversions that dangle like loose threads from her interdenominational holiday sweater. And that doesn't account...

The U.S. surgeon general said Thursday that e-cigarette use poses a significant and avoidable health risk to young people. "We already know that e-cigarettes have the potential to cause lasting harm to the health of young users," said Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. "Most contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug that can damage normal development of the brain – a process that continues until about age 25." Murthy's comments were part of a report released Thursday on rising e-cigarette use by...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Under President Obama, the U.S. Justice Department has focused on civil rights. For the past eight years, its lawyers have made investigating discrimination in police departments and advancing protections for LGBT people top priorities. Once Donald Trump becomes president in January, the Justice Department's agenda could be very different. Here's NPR's Carrie Johnson. CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Transitions between...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Donald Trump keeps saying he'll keep American manufacturing jobs from going overseas. We're going to talk now with a former Michigan governor who knows how hard that can be. Jennifer Granholm led the state from 2003 to 2011 during the height of the economic recession. In 2009, the unemployment rate in Michigan topped 14 percent - the worst in the country. Granholm was known for a tactic used by many governors and...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Jewish and Muslim groups have sometimes been on opposite sides of debates. Now they've joined together to fight common enemies. The Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council is a new bipartisan group designed to fight Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. I'm joined now by two of the group's leaders. Farooq Kathwari is Muslim. He's the CEO of Ethan Allen and one of the co-chairs of this new council. Bob Silverman comes from the...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: President-elect Donald Trump has chosen a wealthy fast food executive to be his labor secretary. Andrew Puzder heads the company that runs Hardee's and Carl's Jr. restaurants. The hamburger chains employ tens of thousands of mostly low-wage workers. NPR's Scott Horsley joins us to talk about this latest Cabinet pick. Hi, Scott. SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Hi, Ari. SHAPIRO: What can you tell us about Andrew Puzder?...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is retiring, and today he gave his farewell address to the Senate. Reid's legacy is often a matter of debate. Republicans argue that he was an angry partisan who polarized the Senate. Democrats say he was a steady hand in the face of unprecedented obstruction. NPR congressional correspondent Susan Davis reports from Capitol Hill. SUSAN DAVIS, BYLINE: If there's one thing everyone...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: John Glenn, the former NASA astronaut and U.S. senator, has died. In 1959, NASA picked Glenn to join Project Mercury in the first group of American astronauts. Three years later in 1962, Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, rocketed into space on the Friendship 7. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Liftoff. JOHN GLENN: Roger. The clock is operating. We're on our way. SHAPIRO: John...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Donald Trump often lets loose on Twitter, and last night, his target was a union official in Indianapolis - Chuck Jones, president of Steelworkers Local 1999. Jones had called Trump a liar for overstating how many jobs would be saved in a deal with the Carrier company. Indiana Public Broadcasting's Annie Ropeik reports. ANNIE ROPEIK, BYLINE: Chuck Jones does not use Twitter. He's been dealing with fallout from...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: This week, Donald Trump announced Dr. Ben Carson as his choice to be the secretary of housing and urban development, or HUD. We're going to look now at what that might mean for one community with lots of public housing. Richie Torres is a New York City Council member representing the Bronx. He leads the Committee on Public Housing, and he grew up in a housing project himself. Mr. Torres, thanks for joining us....

Updated 5 p.m. ET The first American to orbit the Earth has died. John Glenn was the last surviving member of the original Mercury astronauts. He would later have a long political career as a U.S. senator, but that didn't stop his pioneering ways. Glenn made history a second time in 1998, when he flew aboard the shuttle Discovery to become the oldest person to fly in space. Glenn was 95 when he died; he had been hospitalized in an Ohio State University medical center in Columbus since last...

South Korea's national legislature is preparing to vote on the possible impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, who has been engulfed in a massive scandal involving allegations of corruption, influence-peddling and ties to a cult. The measure is coming up for a vote on Friday, a week and a half after Park said she would be willing to step down — but declined to resign . The complex scandal has destroyed Park's public support; her approval rating has fallen to 4 percent, according to a recent...

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen fast-food restaurant CEO Andrew Puzder as his secretary of labor, his transition team announced Thursday. Puzder is the CEO of CKE Holdings, the parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, and in a statement Trump praised him as someone who "has created and boosted the careers of thousands of Americans." "Andy will fight to make American workers safer and more prosperous by enforcing fair occupational safety standards and ensuring workers receive the...

The BOTS Act of 2016 is now on its way to President Obama's desk, after both houses of Congress approved the legislation that seeks to widen access to online ticket sales and foil scalpers who try to corner the market. The ban applies to ticket sales for any public event that can be attended by 200 or more people; it targets software that routinely defeats attempts by venues to try to limit the number of tickets one buyer can purchase. The full name of the legislation is the Better Online...

In 2010, Chris Bertish paddled into 25-foot waves en route to a win at the Mavericks Surf Contest, an annual competition at one of the world's most famous (and nastiest) big-wave breaks. On Tuesday, Bertish paddled out to conquer something even more massive — roughly 4,600 miles larger, in fact. The 42-year-old South African surfer and sailor set out to become the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean unassisted on a stand-up paddleboard. The journey he has laid out for himself takes him...

In a recent essay in the New York Times, Columbia professor and historian Mark Lilla issued a warning to liberals left stunned by President-elect Donald Trump's victory: Knock it off with the "identity politics" or be doomed to repeat this failure. "American liberalism," he wrote , "has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender, and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism's message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing." This admonition has...

I first got to taste Blue Seal ice cream 13 years ago. I was 24 years old and teaching English in a tiny mountain town called Furukawa, which means "Old River." One weekend, some Canadian friends and I flew to Okinawa, Japan's southern-most island. Once we arrived in downtown Naha, Okinawa's capital city, my friends decided to dine at a steakhouse. And as the only vegetarian in the group, I was on my own. As I wandered down Kokusai-dori, or International Street, I saw the welcoming orange and...

The surprise find of smallpox DNA in a child mummy from the 17th century could help scientists start to trace the mysterious history of this notorious virus. Smallpox currently only exists in secure freezers, after a global vaccination campaign eradicated the virus in the late 1970s. But much about this killer remains unknown, including its origins. Now scientists have the oldest complete set of smallpox genes, after they went hunting for viral DNA in a sample of skin from a mummified young...

President-elect Donald Trump's latest Twitter target is a local union official who questioned the billionaire's account of how many jobs he saved at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis. Trump has previously used social media to browbeat companies that move jobs offshore as well as entertainers whose acts he finds tiresome. On Wednesday, Trump took aim at Chuck Jones, president of the United Steelworkers Local 1999. Trump wrote on Twitter that Jones "has done a terrible job representing workers....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnRxQ3dcaQk In 2015, Lida Xing was visiting a market in northern Myanmar when a salesman brought out a piece of amber about the size of a pink rubber eraser. Inside, he could see a couple of ancient ants and a fuzzy brown tuft that the salesman said was a plant. As soon as Xing saw it, he knew it wasn't a plant. It was the delicate, feathered tail of a tiny dinosaur. "I have studied paleontology for more than 10 years and have been interested in dinosaurs for...

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