National & World News from NPR

On a typical block in Hong Kong, thousands of people live on top of each other. Pol Fàbrega thinks about all these people as he looks up at the towering high rises above the streets. And then he thinks about all that space above all these people.

"The square footage here is incredibly expensive," says Fàbrega, staring upwards. "But yet, if you look at Hong Kong from above, it's full of empty rooftops."

It is, he says, a big opportunity for growth.

The first problem with the airplane bathroom was its location.

It was March. Greg O'Brien and his wife, Mary Catherine, were flying back to Boston from Los Angeles, sitting in economy seats in the middle of the plane. "We're halfway, probably over Chicago," Greg remembers, "and Mary Catherine said, 'Go to the bathroom.' "

"It just sounded like my mother," Greg says. So I said 'no.' "

Mary Catherine persisted, urging her husband of 40 years to use the restroom. People started looking at them. "It was kind of funny," says Greg.

Slobodan Simic hardly looks like a donkey farmer. A 62-year-old lawyer and former lawmaker in the Serbian parliament, he's in dark glasses, chomping on a tobacco pipe.

"Jesus rode to Jerusalem on a donkey," he says. "They're special creatures, and that's why everyone in Europe used to have one. Ours was the Balkan donkey, and I want to preserve it."

Berlin, 1940. A young Nazi officer is given a new mission: The Reich is sending him to Holland, to guard the exiled former German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II. That's the premise of a new feature film, The Exception — it's a spy story, with steamy sex, intrigue and history rolled in.

What's In The GOP Health Care Bill

Jun 24, 2017

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Another no vote emerged from the Senate yesterday.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DEAN HELLER: This bill - this bill that's currently in front of the United States Senate - not the answer. It's simply not the answer.

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Snakebites Make The List Of 'Neglected Tropical Diseases'

Jun 24, 2017

Snakebites kill more than 100,000 people per year, the World Health Organization estimates. The organization recently took a step to reduce that number by adding venomous snake bites to its list of neglected tropical diseases – a classification that could help get more resources allocated to fighting this public health problem.

(WHO did acknowledge that snakebites aren't a disease but "an injury" but the "envenoming" — the injection of the snake's venom — can be considered a disease.)

"How do you cross the line? Step by step."

Internal monologue is a staple in cop books. There are rules, things you do and things you don't, and if the cop in your cop book can't talk to himself in his own head, how are the readers going to know that he's tortured? That he's a good man going bad (or a bad man going worse)? That he has hopes and dreams that extend beyond these streets and the barrel of this gun?

President Trump has brought on an eclectic team of outside lawyers to help him navigate the various investigations into Russian meddling in the election. At least six congressional committees are investigating.

Senate Republicans have little margin for error as they prepare for a vote this coming week on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Some lawmakers are already raising concerns that the bill could aggravate the problem of healthy people going without insurance, driving up costs for everyone else.

Welcome to this week's edition of our national education news roundup.

DeVos appoints current student loan company CEO to head student loan agency

Wayne A. Johnson will be the new head of Office of Federal Student Aid after James Runcie abruptly resigned last month, the U.S. Department of Education announced this week. FSA is the agency responsible for administering $1.4 trillion in outstanding student loans from 42 million borrowers, plus other aid programs for millions of college students.

He brooded, as Lincoln.

He seduced in The Unbearable Lightness of Being. And he murdered, in There Will Be Blood.

This week, Daniel Day-Lewis — a three-time Oscar winner, and incomparable film chameleon — announced he is retiring from acting at 60.

A statement released by his spokeswoman gave no explanation, saying this is a private decision, and that Day-Lewis will have no further comment.

The actor has often taken lengthy sabbaticals between films, but this time it's apparently permanent.

So what will he be doing?

Updated 8:51 a.m. ET Sunday

More than 90 people remain missing after rescuers found 10 bodies among the debris of a landslide in the town of Xinmo in southwest China's Sichuan province that happened Saturday.

Local officials had first estimated more than 120 people and 62 homes were buried under tons of rubble.

A Catholic bishop has instructed priests in his central Illinois diocese to deny communion, last rites and funeral rites to people in same-sex marriages – unless they repent.

In the decree he sent to priests, deacons, seminarians and staff in his Springfield diocese last week, Bishop Thomas Paprocki sets forth a set of norms on same-sex marriage and related pastoral issues that he says are the policy of the diocese.

Arkansas's pesticide regulators have stepped into the middle of an epic battle between weeds and chemicals, which has now morphed into a battle between farmers. Hundreds of farmers say their crops have been damaged by a weedkiller that was sprayed on neighboring fields. Today, the Arkansas Plant Board voted to impose an unprecedented ban on that chemical.

Venezuela's ongoing political and economic crisis has taken a toll on daily life there.

A crash in oil prices and political instability under President Nicolas Maduro have led to food shortages, and that has prompted almost daily street protests by thousands of Venezuelans.

A 35-year-old protester named Carlos tells NPR's Audie Cornish the food situation is "pretty extreme." NPR is using only his first name for his safety.

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Let's bring in our Friday commentators to talk about this health care bill and the rest of the week in politics. We've got E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution. Hi there.

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Back before inauguration, Donald Trump announced a deal with the air conditioning and heating company Carrier to keep one of their manufacturing plants on U.S. soil. Here's President-elect Trump in December at that factory in Indianapolis.

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If you were to go deep into the Santa Cruz Mountains in California, you might hear the wind rustling in the leaves and maybe a mountain lion chewing on a deer carcass.

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Oh sure, you could argue there are other, more important things happening in the world. And frankly, you'd be right. (For those things, by the way — which some people, in somber tones, might call newsplease see here.)

But sometimes, you just need to watch a big gorilla dance in a small pool.

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Jun 23, 2017

For all the talk this week, one group has been unusually quiet: the National Rifle Association. We’ll discuss why gun owners in particular have concerns surrounding the death of Philando Castile and why some want the NRA to speak out. Plus, back room dealing on healthcare, and is the President’s front man moving on?

GUESTS

Maria Hinojosa, Anchor and executive producer of NPR’s Latino USA

Laura Meckler, Staff writer, The Wall Street Journal

Shawna Thomas, Washington bureau chief, Vice News

Friday News Roundup - International

Jun 23, 2017

America’s relationship with North Korea worsens after 22-year-old Otto Warmbier’s return home in a coma. He died shortly after. The President has called Warmbier’s death “a disgrace.” What now? Also, the latest attack on London and Saudi Arabia’s King rewrites the rules on succession.

GUESTS

Tom Bowman, Pentagon correspondent, NPR.

Michael Goldfarb, Host of the First Rough Draft of History Podcast

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