It's not easy to snag an invite to a White House State Dinner.
So, imagine how 54 children — one from each state, U.S. territory and the District of Columbia — felt being honored in the elegant East Room by the President and first lady at an event Friday afternoon billed as a Kids State Dinner.
The pee-wee honorees were the winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a nationwide recipe contest for kids tied to the first lady's Let's Move Campaign. The event was co-sponsored by the food site Epicurious.
Journalist Noah Sneider was at the site in eastern Ukraine where Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down, killing all 298 people onboard. Sneider updates Audie Cornish on the state of the site and local reactions.
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I live in Tucson, Ariz. National news about thousands of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border — some as young as 2 years old — is local news here. A front-page headline from this week's Arizona Daily Star reads, "Immigration tension boils over in Oracle." It's subtitled "Protesters, supporters, clash; bus carrying children fails to show."
Now to recap the major stories of the day. The United States is pinning the blame for the crash of a passenger jet in Ukraine on pro-Russian separatists. President Obama said today that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile from an area controlled by the separatists. Mr. Obama called for a cease-fire to allow for a full investigation.
Quinn Schansman, the dual U.S.-Dutch citizen killed on Malaysia Airlines MH17, was reportedly planning to join his family in Kuala Lumpur for vacation when the plane he was on was shot down over eastern Ukraine.
USA Today says: "Photos on social-media accounts show a fun-loving college student who enjoyed hanging out with friends, had a girlfriend and liked to relax with a beer or a smoke, especially after exams. Some news reports say he was 19 when he died."
Just three weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts law that created a 35-foot buffer zone around clinics that perform abortions, lawmakers there are rushing through a replacement. The new bill, which they hope to pass before the legislative session ends in two weeks, would give police more power to disperse unruly protesters.
The bill has broad support, but opponents say it still goes too far.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 had been carrying several researchers and activists on their way to a global AIDS conference in Australia. Among them was Dr. Joep Lange, a leading researcher and former president of the International AIDS Society. He was a giant in the field and a mentor to many.
NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on the latest news from the Gaza Strip, where Israel has undertaken a ground invasion against Hamas operatives. It's the first time in five years that the Israeli military has conducted a ground operation.
The U.S. says that evidence suggests the missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was fired from separatist-held territory in eastern Ukraine. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports what is now known about the crash.
Now to a major decision that could bring big changes to as many as 46,000 prison inmates. Those are people convicted of drug crimes, and today, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted unanimously to reduce prison sentences for drug defendants who are already behind bars. This would start next year. NPR justice correspondent, Carrie Johnson, has our story.
The health care community is not doing enough to track and prevent widespread harm to patients, and preventable deaths and injuries in hospitals and other settings will continue unless Congress takes action, medical experts said Thursday on Capitol Hill.
"Our collective action in patient safety pales in comparison to the magnitude of the problem," said Dr. Peter Pronovost, senior vice president for patient safety and quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine. "We need to say that harm is preventable and not tolerable."
NPR's Jason Beaubien is in Sierra Leone, covering the Ebola outbreak that began in March in Guinea and has spread to neighboring countries. When we spoke Friday, he had an inspirational story to share.
Between the plane shot down in Ukraine and the war in Gaza, this has been a sad week for the world. How are things in Sierra Leone?
When Rob Rhinehart first created Soylent –– a powdered, synthetic food product made of industrial nutrients and oils –– he was a San Francisco techie trying to sustain himself cheaply without the inconveniences of grocery shopping, cooking or even eating.
A U.S. appeals court in Denver has upheld a lower court ruling that struck down Oklahoma's gay-marriage ban.
A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling on Friday, saying Oklahoma's voter-approved ban violates the U.S. Constitution. The decision mirrored the same court's June 25 ruling in a similar case involving Utah.
The AIDS world is reeling. Researchers, activists and officials were aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which was shot out of the sky on Thursday; they were headed to the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne.
The nearly 300 passengers on the plane were all killed. Twitter users were among the first to report the loss of leading figures in the fight against AIDS, including Dutch researcher Joep Lange, former president of the International AIDS Society.
Amazon launched a new subscription service for e-books and audiobooks on Friday called Kindle Unlimited.
The service, which will cost subscribers $9.99 per month after a free initial 30-day trial, offers access to more than 600,000 e-books and about 2,000 audiobooks. The reading and listening experiences can be linked through a syncing service.
Such "all you can eat" subscription models have become common for music and video. Amazon now enters into a space already occupied by unlimited reading services such as Scribd, Oyster and Entitle.
In a little over a year, the number of clinics that provide abortions in Texas fell to 20 from 41, and watchdogs say that as few as six may be left by September.
Many clinics closed because of a requirement that doctors at those clinics obtain hospital admitting privileges within a certain radius of the clinic, and many doctors couldn't comply. The requirement took effect last November. This week marks the first anniversary of the state law that started it all.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel to the Middle East on Saturday in hopes of finding a way to stop the fighting between Israel and Hamas.
"Israel has legitimate security concerns, and we condemn the indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza into Israel that ended yesterday's temporary cease-fire," Jeffrey Feltman, deputy U.N. secretary-general for political affairs, told the Security Council on Friday. "But we are alarmed by Israel's heavy response."