Real estate mogul Donald Trump this week stood firm by his claim that he saw a crowd of Muslim-Americans cheering in New Jersey following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, even though several of Trump’s Republican rivals backed away from those comments this week.

Meantime, a new poll showed Texas Senator Ted Cruz surged to second just behind Trump in Iowa. And Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders courted the African-American vote in Georgia and South Carolina.

The rate of deforestation in Brazil has increased by 16 percent over the past year, the country's Environment Ministry announced.

Brazil has often declared progress in reducing the rate of deforestation in the Amazon, but the government's own figures, released Thursday, show the challenges still facing the country.

As France held a national ceremony Friday in homage to the victims of this month's terrorist attacks, President François Hollande called on his compatriots to display the French flag in their homes.

For many Americans, it's something they would instinctively do after such a national trauma. But the French have an entirely different relationship with their flag.

In France, the flag flies on public buildings and is often waved at sporting events, but it is not traditionally a symbol people personally embrace.

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala. bus to a white man. That act of protest and her arrest sparked one of the most famous civil rights actions in American history. Through the boycott, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. rose to national prominence, and the U.S. Supreme Court eventually outlawed segregation on public transportation.

Las Vegas has The Mob Museum. Washington, D.C., has the International Spy Museum. And if a concerned citizen has his way, there will be a Museum of Political Corruption in Albany, N.Y.

New York is considered the nation's most corrupt state, according to a national poll by Monmouth University this year. This month alone, two politicians who were among the state's most powerful, are facing corruption charges in court.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. On Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you three items.

From Edith Chapin, executive editor of NPR News:

A rocket piece, most likely from the unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 that blew up after takeoff in June, was recovered off the Southwest coast of England near the Isles of Scilly.

France paid homage today to those who died in terrorist attacks in Paris two weeks ago. The names of the 130 people killed were read at a national memorial service at a historic military building in Paris called Les Invalides.

President Francois Hollande delivered a speech, saying France would continue to defend the values for which the victims were killed.

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Two years ago my mom fell at home and ended up being admitted to the ICU with four broken ribs and internal injuries. She was lucky. After two weeks in the hospital and a few more in a rehab unit she was back home, using her new blue walker to get around.

Dear Pope Francis,

We're excited to welcome you to Uganda. Catholics make up nearly half of the Christian population here — and they're eager to meet you!

Our's is a lovely country. Buzzfeed ranked us the 13th most beautiful country in the world! (But of course, we think it's No. 1.)

It's Thanksgiving week, and Team PCHH is enjoying some downtime, which makes it a perfect moment to bring you a special show. On Oct. 31 — a few hours before our live show with Fred Armisen — I sat down for a chat here in Washington with Trevor Noah, who was then about a month into his gig as the host of The Daily Show.

(I should also add that he had his appendix out four days later, so who knows? Maybe this was the very last interview for which his appendix was present.)

Robots Are Being Taught How To Say 'No'

8 hours ago
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

It has become de rigueur to write about the woes of Thanksgiving-table political arguments. If you are unlucky enough to actually experience these, you may have noticed that the fights at the Thanksgiving table have grown more heated in recent years. That would make sense — after all, we keep hearing that Capitol Hill is growing more polarized (and, relatedly, paralyzed).

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Love It Or Hate It, Black Friday Is Here

9 hours ago
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 Prairie Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit

Every year, the flu almost goes extinct in temperate places like the United States. The key word is "almost." It stays afloat by constantly moving.

"It looks like it's hopping between different cities and different populations," says Sarah Cobey, a computational biologist at the University of Chicago.

The virus does an annual migration across the world, hitting the Southern Hemisphere during its winter, the Northern Hemisphere right about now, and hanging out in the tropics in between — especially in parts of Asia.

Conjuring images of a dystopia, the shroud of bad air blanketing New Delhi in recent weeks has intensified global pressure on India to curb its greenhouse gas emissions.

India will arrive at the climate change summit in Paris next week as the third biggest generator of fossil fuel pollution blamed for warming the planet, after China and the U.S.

Half of India's emissions come from burning coal. A visit to the coal-rich northeastern Indian state of Jharkhand reveals how this stands to get even worse.

First thing Friday morning, Bill Florence is getting his two kids, Chloe, 11, and Austen, 8, ready to head out the door.

"Did you guys brush your teeth?" he asks. "Yes," they moan.

Monday through Thursday, Chloe and Austen catch the bus to Peralta Trail Elementary School, but today, their dad scoots them into the family's silver Honda.

Sweet Name Of Kids' Clinic Gives Some People Heartburn

9 hours ago

The name that UNC Health Care is giving its children's clinic in North Carolina has been raising a lot of eyebrows. The facility is slated to be renamed the Krispy Kreme Challenge Children's Specialty Clinic. But criticism from the medical community at the University of North Carolina and elsewhere is making the health care system rethink that choice.

Flu season is in swing and likely won't let up until April.

It seemed like high time to check in on how Americans feel about flu vaccination, so we asked more than 3,000 adults in the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll, conducted during the first half of October.

All told, 62 percent of people said they had been vaccinated or intended to get vaccinated against flu.

Is there ever a time when cool trumps science?

It's a question that becomes relevant when you consider NASA's plans to put a helicopter drone on an upcoming rover mission to Mars.

Where's This Painting? 30 Years After Its Theft, Nobody Knows

11 hours ago

Thirty years ago, one of the most valuable paintings of the 20th century vanished. It wasn't an accident and it wasn't some elaborate movie heist. It was a simple theft — and it's still a mystery.

It was the day after Thanksgiving in 1985. Staff at the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson were getting to work, just like any other day.

"It was almost 9 o'clock so the museum was gearing up to open the doors," says museum curator Olivia Miller. "The security guards opened the doors for one of the staff members, and two people followed behind."

In the last leg of his diplomatic tour to win support for a coordinated effort against ISIS, French President Francois Hollande on Thursday secured a pledge of cooperation from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports for our Newscast unit:

"With both countries still reeling from ISIS-claimed attacks that killed hundreds of their citizens, Hollande traveled to Russia to ask President Vladimir Putin to focus his offensive against ISIS, and not other opposition groups to President Bashar al Assad.