NPR News

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Amazon on Monday will open its automated grocery in Seattle to the public, replacing cashiers with a smartphone app and hundreds of small cameras that track purchases.

For the past year, the 1,800-square foot mini-mart has been open to the company's employees.

There is no waiting in line for check out at Amazon Go, as the store is called — instead, its computerized system charges customers' Amazon account as they exit the store.

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. You might recognize this from the Beach Boys.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SURFIN'")

BEACH BOYS: (Singing) Surfin' is the only life, the only way for me. Now surf.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It has been called a "criminal cabal" rife with corruption. It's been said that its leaders need to be taken out in "handcuffs." And its reputation, one high-placed official has charged, is "in tatters."

The FBI has come under criticism before, but the ongoing barrage of allegations has left its current and former officials shaken. It also has fueled concerns that the bureau's reputation with the public could begin to crumble.

Maybe you got one of those find-your-ancestry kits over the holidays. You've sent off your awkwardly-collected saliva sample and now you're awaiting your results. If your experience is anything like that of me and my mom, you may find surprises — not the dramatic "switched at birth," but results that are really different than you expected.

The idea that each of us has a unique nutrition blueprint within our genes is a delicious concept.

Perhaps, this helps explain the growth in personalized nutrition testing and services such as Habit, Profile Precise and Nutrigenomix.

So, what exactly can these tests tell you?

When Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg began her legal crusade, women were treated differently than men by law. By the time she first put on judicial robes she had already worked a judicial revolution.

Today the issues are both the same and different. At front and center is the question of sexual harassment.

Review: 'The Alienist'

Jan 22, 2018

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And a new series is debuting tonight on TNT. "The Alienist" is the story of a group of sleuths in the 19th century on the hunt for a serial killer. It's based on the best-selling novel. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans says the show is really an attempt by TNT to redefine its brand.

A Close Up Look At Contract Workers

Jan 22, 2018

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Government employees aren't the only ones facing uncertainty today because of the shutdown. So are tens of thousands of government contractors. And this week, NPR is taking a closer look at contract workers, a fast-growing part of the American labor force.

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Updated at 8:10 a.m. ET

Hundreds of thousands of federal employees will either be sent home or have been told to not show up to work at all on Monday, as furloughs due to the government shutdown that began Friday night start to affect workers around the country.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., gave a foreboding warning from the Senate floor on Sunday.

"The shutdown is going to get a lot worse tomorrow," he warned. "A lot worse."

A new NPR/Marist poll finds that 1 in 5 jobs in America is held by a worker under contract. Within a decade, contractors and freelancers could make up half of the American workforce. Workers across all industries and at all professional levels will be touched by the movement toward independent work — one without the constraints, or benefits, of full-time employment. Policymakers are just starting to talk about the implications.

One busy week leads to another as Missouri lawmakers wrestle with tax credits, a major ethics bill, and next year’s state budget.

The House this week sent a proposed lobbyist gift ban to the Senate, which is conducting a public hearing on it next week. The bill has died two years in a row over concerns that accepting a piece of gum or a slice of pizza could become illegal. But Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, said he’s committed to crafting a gift ban that the full Senate can support.

It is a sign of the times: Tokyo has conducted its first public drill to prepare for the possibility of a missile attack from North Korea.

At the Tokyo Dome amusement park, rides came to a halt as the public address system blared an ominous warning: "An advisory about a missile launch was just issued. Everyone, please stay calm and seek shelter in the basement. Those who are already indoors, please stay there."

Updated at 9:05 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed a stopgap spending bill passed by Congress on Monday, ending the partial shutdown of the federal government after three days.

The White House has said normal government operations will resume by Tuesday morning.

Ask Republicans about Democrats, or vice versa, and sooner or later you will hear: "They're out of touch with the American people."

That statement was part of the soundtrack on Capitol Hill over the first weekend of the partial government shutdown, repeated so often that one ceases to hear it.

It's an all-purpose way of condemning the hated "other" party. And it conveys the assumption that whoever is speaking is not out of touch with the American people.

Saturday saw protesters take to the streets from New York to Los Angeles — from Nigeria to Iraq. Various incarnations of the second annual Women's March demanded social change, promoted female empowerment and declared a resistance to President Trump on the anniversary of his inauguration.

Turkey on Sunday continued a major attack inside northwestern Syria on a Kurdish militia it has called a "terror army" that presents a danger to Turkish security.

One day earlier Turkey sent tanks and armored vehicles lumbering across the border with Syria to add to artillery and aerial invasions already underway against the YPG, which Ankara seeks to drive out of the Afrin region of Syria.

Turkey also announced Saturday that the aerial component of its "Operation Olive Branch" had struck 108 YPG targets, as NPR's Peter Kenyon tells our newscast unit.

Lawmakers in Washington are locked in a standoff that has led to a partial shutdown of the federal government, and weekend attempts to dig out of it haven't made much progress.

The standstill is starting to send ripples of anxiety through Washington and the rest of the country that a shutdown could continue into the week.

NPR would like to know how the shutdown is affecting you — whether it's your job or a government service you might need.

After five hours of uncharacteristic sniping and emotion, Germany's Social Democrats at a party congress in Bonn on Sunday voted 362-279 to enter into formal talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel to form a new German government.

It's a vital step to ending a nearly four-month long political crisis in Germany after last September's elections failed to give any party – including Merkel's conservatives – a majority. Previous attempts by the chancellor to join with other German political parties in a governing coalition failed.

After talks with the leaders of Egypt and Jordan where he was made to explain and navigate the fallout from the Trump administration's controversial decision last month to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Vice President Mike Pence is now on his way to meet with the Israeli government, which many expect will receive him warmly. Pence is not scheduled to speak with Palestinian leaders during his tour of the region.

While a lot of furious negotiation has been going on behind the scenes on Capitol Hill to end a partial government shutdown, to voters and cable news viewers it may look like most of the work in Washington is going into pointing fingers.

As the countdown to shutdown hit zero, an official White House statement called Democrats "obstructionist losers."

Democrats pointed to President Trump's inconsistent statements on immigration to say he's an unreliable negotiating partner.

Updated at 10:01 p.m. ET

The Senate will vote at noon on Monday to end the government shutdown. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor Sunday evening and laid out a plan to restore government funding for three weeks and consider immigration proposals, while bipartisan talks continue to end the impasse that has triggered a partial government shutdown since Friday night.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer objected to a vote on Sunday evening, but not the plan to vote on Monday.

Last week in the Russia investigations: Will "infiltration" be the new "collusion" or "obstruction?" Another skirmish over executive privilege? Is the Russia imbroglio about the money-go-round? And will the shutdown disrupt Mueller's investigation?

The inside game

How much did Russia "infiltrate" political organizations inside the United States as part of its attack on the 2016 presidential election?

It was a highlight of the latest season of the Netflix series The Crown, which chronicles the early years of Queen Elizabeth II's reign: The year is 1961, the Cold War is heating up and the queen (played by Claire Foy), feeling self-conscious after learning that First Lady Jackie Kennedy (Jodi Balfour) called her "incurious" at a dinner party, decides to take a more proactive role in dealing with Ghana, a former colony whose new leader, Kwame Nkrumah (Danny Sapani), appears to be getting too cozy with the Soviets.

As President Trump marks the first anniversary of his inauguration, his lawyers are preparing for next week's preliminary arguments in a suit that alleges he is violating the Constitution's anti-corruption provisions, known as the foreign and domestic Emoluments Clauses.

President Trump is delivering on one of his biggest and most significant campaign promises: He is starting to reshape the federal judiciary.

In his first year in office, Trump welcomed a new, young and conservative lawyer, Neil Gorsuch, onto the Supreme Court. And he won confirmation of 12 federal appeals court judges — a record.

Please sign up here to get occasional updates from WBUR's ongoing series, "This Moment in Cancer."

Even three queasy pregnancies didn't prepare Kate Murphy for the nonstop nausea that often comes with chemotherapy.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

Gunmen attacked an upscale hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan Saturday night, killing at least 18 people, trapping hundreds of guests and setting off a firefight with Afghan security forces that lasted more than 13 hours.

Officials don't know how many staff and guests were inside the Intercontinental Hotel when the attack began around 9 p.m. Saturday local time, but Afghanistan's interior ministry says at least 150 people were rescued, including 41 foreigners, according to The Associated Press.

Pages