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The Affordable Care Act is not "exploding" or "imploding," as President Trump likes to claim. But Trump does hold several keys to sabotaging the insurance marketplaces, should he so choose — one of which his administration is reportedly weighing using.

Deadly Earthquake Strikes Greece And Turkey

Jul 21, 2017

At least two people were killed by a strong earthquake that struck Greece and Turkey in the early morning hours Friday, sending thousands of panicked vacationers and locals streaming outside.

Manal Idrees looks out the car window in shock at the streets of her neighborhood in the oldest part of Mosul, reduced to chunks of concrete and tangled metal.

She fled when ISIS moved in three years ago. Although she has seen images of the destruction after Iraqi forces retook Mosul two weeks ago, experiencing it in person is staggering.

"It's ruined — all ruined," she says as we drive by streets where not a single building is left standing. "Mosul is gone. Iraq is gone."

And then she starts to sob for the son she lost: "All the beautiful young men are gone."

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The U.S. government will ban American citizens from traveling to North Korea, citing safety and security concerns. The State Department confirmed the new restriction on Friday, after Young Pioneer Tours, which organized Otto Warmbier's fateful visit to North Korea, announced the pending move.

Warmbier's trip to the pariah nation ended in detention, imprisonment and a catastrophic head injury that resulted in his death after being released and deported to the U.S. last month.

Protesters, worshippers and security forces are massing in Jerusalem's Old City, where security measures at a religious shrine are angering Muslims. Tensions are high at the site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

There are reports of small skirmishes in Jerusalem, after Muslims gathered for Friday afternoon prayers outside Al-Aqsa mosque. Worshippers who refused to pass through the metal detectors chose instead to pray next to them.

From Jerusalem, NPR's Daniel Estrin reports:

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The only thing that appears certain in the Senate when it comes to health care is that there will be a vote next week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made that clear after a senators-only lunch with President Trump at the White House.

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This summer, scientists in California are releasing 20 million mosquitoes in an effort to shrink the population of mosquitoes that can carry diseases.

It sounds counterintuitive. But the plan is to release millions of sterile male mosquitoes, which will then mate with wild female mosquitoes. The eggs the females lay won't hatch, researchers say.

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Two things seem pretty certain about Republican Senator Mitch McConnell's health care push at this point. There is going to be a vote next week, and there's going to be a lot of vocal opposition to it.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

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Chester Bennington, the singer from the rock band Linkin Park, died yesterday at 41 years old. Authorities say they are investigating his death as a possible suicide.

Harry Obst, who worked as a German interpreter for seven U.S. presidents through Bill Clinton, says he can only remember one who ever dispensed with an interpreter during discussions with a foreign leader: Richard Nixon.

It was a bad idea for lots of reasons, the author of White House Interpreter: The Art of Interpretation tells NPR.

When it comes to U.S. sanctions against Moscow, the Cold War has never really ended.

President Gerald Ford signed off on trade restrictions against the Soviet Union and other communist countries in a 1974 measure known as the Jackson-Vanik amendment, for its congressional sponsors.

The message to Moscow: If you deny basic human rights — in this case, the right of certain people, especially Jews, to emigrate from the Soviet Union — you can't conduct normal business with the United States.

Less than two months ago, U.K. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was way behind in the polls when he took the stage at a music festival in Liverpool.

With his shirt untucked, Corbyn, 68, introduced the indy rock band the Libertines and delivered an impassioned defense of public funding for the arts before a crowd of some 20,000, most of them youngsters.

He urged them to demand "a government that cares about sport, culture and the arts — and gives you the space to play and rehearse your music!"

Asma Jama was out to dinner with her family at an Applebee's in Coon Rapids, Minn., in October 2015, when a woman seated nearby starting getting angry. Why? Jama, who is Somali-American and Muslim, was speaking Swahili and wearing a hijab.

The woman, Jodie Bruchard-Risch, demanded that Jama speak English — and then smashed Jama in the face with a glass beer mug.

"I could see it from the doctor's face that it was really bad," says Jama, who is 39. "I had lacerations across my chest, all over my hands, and 17 total stitches."

Kenneth Jay Lane turned designing "fake" jewelry into a global business. He didn't take himself too seriously — joking that his costume jewelry wasn't fake or junk. Instead, he would pronounce it "faque" and "junque."

Lane died in his sleep at his home in Manhattan, according to Chris Sheppard, executive vice president of Lane's company, who says it has not been determined whether he died Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Lane was 85.

The Trump Organization is asking the federal government for special visas to hire scores of foreign workers for two of President Trump's private clubs in Florida — the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach and the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter.

Exxon Mobil says it has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control, after the office said the oil and gas giant must pay a $2 million penalty for allegedly violating sanctions on Russia.

The alleged violations took place in May 2014, when Exxon Mobil signed a series of deals with Igor Sechin, the CEO of Russian oil company Rosneft.

On Thursday, the Senate unleashed yet another iteration of its effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and with it came another analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. If your head is spinning, you've got plenty of company, us here at Shots included.

Here are the key versions of repeal and/or replace legislation so far this year:

The first international robotics competition for high schoolers made headlines before it even started — and after the event was over as well.

First there was the story of the all-girl Afghanistan team, which was denied visas to attend for unknown reasons.

There was a time when Google Glass was deemed the future — one in which people might walk the streets wearing a glass tab over one eye to display information beamed from their smartphones. But after criticism and safety concerns, the idea was killed as a consumer project.

O.J. Simpson Up For Parole

Jul 20, 2017

A parole hearing is slated for this afternoon in Nevada for O.J. Simpson. Simpson, the former football star who was acquitted in 1995 of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman, is currently serving a nine- to 33-year sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping. He was convicted in 2008.

The Navy says it has its first female candidates for two elite special operations jobs previously closed to women — including a prospective SEAL.

One woman is in the pipeline to be a SEAL officer, and another is on the path to becoming a special warfare combatant crewman. The news was first reported by Military.com, an independent website. The Navy declined to identify the candidates, citing security considerations.

On a party-line vote, the U.S. Senate voted Thursday to confirm President Trump's most controversial judicial nominee to date.

He is John Bush, a Kentucky lawyer and political blogger whose posts disparaged gay rights and compared the Supreme Court's abortion decision in Roe v. Wade to its pro-slavery 1857 Dred Scott decision.

And he is now a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

Governments have struggled to come up with effective ways to stop people from cutting down trees.

That's because unchecked deforestation can cause soil to erode, worsen flooding and destroy natural habitats for wildlife. It's become a serious problem throughout the globe. Deforestation accounts for roughly 10 percent of worldwide emissions from burning, and loss of trees reduces the amount of carbon being reabsorbed into the ground.

Chester Bennington, one of the lead singers for the band Linkin Park and a former singer for Stone Temple Pilots, has died. His death was confirmed to NPR Thursday afternoon by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office, which said that his body was discovered at a house in the 2800 block of Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles and that investigators are currently on the scene. The death is "being looked at as a possible suicide at this time," according to Brian Elias of the coroner's office. Bennington was 41 years old.

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