NPR News

NPR is your top choice for national and international news, special features, and more.

Since the diplomatic thaw with Cuba was first announced last December, the Obama administration has moved aggressively to ease restrictions on travel and trade. Looser rules were announced in January, and restrictions were eased further in September. But the Commerce and Treasury Departments can only go so far, unless Congress votes to lift the legal embargo.

The safety of the Metro in Washington will now be the responsibility of federal authorities.

Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said in a letter late Friday that the metro safety will be placed under Federal Transit Administration due to recent accidents, like an incident in January when the metro tunnel filled with smoke, killing one person.

Here we go: some international soccer news that doesn't involve FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

Over the summer, the Texas Forensic Science Commission, which sets standards for physical evidence in state courts, came to an unsettling conclusion: There was something wrong with how state labs were analyzing DNA evidence.

It seemed the labs were using an outdated protocol for calculating the probability of DNA matches in "mixtures"; that is, crime scene samples that contain genetic material from several people. It may have affected thousands of cases going back to 1999.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



We're going to turn now to Thanassis Cambanis. He has just returned from Syria. He was reporting for Foreign Policy magazine, and we reached him in Beirut. And Thanassis Cambanis, welcome to the program.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



And we're going to hear now from one of the other leaders of Tunisia's National Dialogue Quartet. Her name is Wided Bouchamaoui. She's president of the Tunisian employers union, and she joins us from Tunis.

A Scottish nurse who recovered from Ebola in January has been medevaced from Glasgow to London in a Royal Air Force C-130 Hercules transport plane specially equipped for infection control.

Doctors say Pauline Cafferkey is suffering "an unusual late complication" from her previous Ebola infection. They note that "Pauline previously had the Ebola virus and this is therefore not a new infection."

Chaos ensued in the halls of Congress Thursday when Rep. Kevin McCarthy unexpectedly took himself out of the running to replace John Boehner as speaker of the House.

The reason for the pandemonium and, yes, even tears: No one knows where this goes from here.

Here are the four likely ways it gets resolved:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



After a career working on Mideast policy in several administrations and many years trying to mediate a Middle East peace, Dennis Ross has written a book about U.S.-Israeli relations, and he joins us now. Welcome to the program.

Mexico says that it will allow a team of international experts to revisit the case of 43 students who went missing last year.

NPR's Carrie Kahn reports that the United Nations' top human rights official recommended the move after a visit to the country.

Carrie filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the U.N.'s High Commissioner on Human Rights, recommended the experts re-examine the site where the government says the bodies of the students were burned.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

For the first time in more than a decade, there’s a new treatment for patients diagnosed with one of the most common and deadly forms of brain cancer, known as glioblastoma or GBM. More than 12,000 Americans are diagnosed annually and until now, the median life expectancy after diagnosis was about 15 months.

Unlike traditional treatments, which include chemotherapy and radiation, this new treatment is non-invasive, doesn’t involve drugs and has few side effects. In fact, it looks a lot like an old-fashioned bathing cap hooked up to a backpack.

It sounds like a storyline out of Hollywood. A group of convicted inmates from the Eastern New York Correctional Facility, all of them participants in Bard College’s Prison Initiative, challenge Harvard University’s national championship-winning debate team. The inmates, who research without the Internet (because it’s not allowed), and wait weeks for the books they need to be cleared by security, win.

On Thursday, Volkswagen’s U.S. executive Michael Horn apologized before a congressional committee for the deception over software that evades emissions tests. The automaker is mired in an emissions cheating scandal that affects half a million cars in the U.S. and 11 million around the world.

There’s also news today that federal and California regulators are investigating a second computer program in Volkswagen diesel cars that also impacts emissions controls. Mike Regan of Bloomberg News joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details.

#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 Sam Sanders, a reporter on NPR's Washington Desk:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Many people were shocked Friday when the Nobel Prize Committee awarded this year's Peace Prize to a pro-democracy group that helped Tunisia restore the dream of democracy that was born in the Arab Spring of 2011.

Tunisia's National Dialogue Quartet beat out Pope Francis and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel — and 270 other candidates — to take the prize, which the Nobel Committee said had guaranteed "fundamental rights for the entire population, irrespective of gender, political conviction or religious belief."

Bill Cosby is expected give a videotaped deposition Friday in a lawsuit brought by a woman named Judy Huth, who says Cosby sexually assaulted her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974, when she was 15.

Lawyers for the 78-year-old entertainer went before a Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Wednesday asking for the case to be dismissed.

NPR's Mandalit del Barco filed this report:

The Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Teresa says it has shut down its adoption services in India over religious objections to the country's new adoption rules. The Catholic sisters known for their blue and white habits and vow of free service to the poor say they have asked the government to de-register 13 orphanages.

Color images of Pluto released by NASA this year show the dwarf planet has a reddish brown surface. But an even newer photo shows that despite those colors, Pluto's atmosphere has a blue haze.

The discovery results from the New Horizons probe's fly-by of Pluto, which also captured data showing that the planet contains "numerous small, exposed regions of water ice," NASA says.

But first things first: Why would a planet that's been known to be reddish — even pink — have a blue sky?

Donald Trump found love Thursday night. He's been trying to get the word out that he loves Latinos and "Latinos love Trump," after widespread criticism of his stance on immigration.

At a campaign event Thursday in Las Vegas, Trump pulled onstage an immigrant from Colombia who was holding a copy of the People magazine as he was talking about it.

The woman jumped up onstage screaming with come-on-down-you-just-won-a-car excitement, "Mr. Trump!"

Could A Mushroom Save The Honeybee?

19 hours ago

Honeybees need a healthy diet of pollen, nectar and water. But at a bee laboratory in eastern Washington state, Steve Sheppard fills their feeding tubes with murky brown liquid from the forest.

His bees are getting a healthy dose of mushroom juice.

Updated at 1:27 p.m. ET.

The United States has shelved a program that was intended to train moderate Syrian rebel fighters.

As we've reported, the $500 million program, which sought to train 5,400 fighters, has failed. At last count, the U.S. said it had been able to train only about 60 fighters.

When a family member of mine was dying of cancer, her husband's boss told him to take all the time he needed to care for her. She was granted her wish of being at home when she left this earth, surrounded by those she loved most.

But a wide base of support is needed in order for a patient's wish to die at home to be made real — including, in some cases, whether someone can take time off work to be with their loved one in their final days, a study finds.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Officials at Northern Arizona University say a suspect is in custody following a shooting at the campus of the Flagstaff school in the early hours of Friday morning. One person was killed; three other victims are in the hospital.

"The first call of shots fired came in at 1:20 a.m.," the school says via Facebook. It adds that the campus is not on lockdown.

All of the victims are students; some were shot multiple times, police say.

Update at 9:30 a.m. ET: Fraternity Says Its Members Were Involved

On Campus, Older Faculty Keep On Keepin' On

22 hours ago

Ken Nickerson could have retired from his job as a professor of biological sciences at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln 10 years ago, when he turned 62.

He could have retired five years ago, when the university offered faculty a year's salary to step down as part of a buyout to encourage more of them to leave.

He could have retired last year, when, in yet another buyout offer, administrators dangled the equivalent of 90 percent of one full year's salary in front of faculty who would finally agree to go.

But Nickerson stayed.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



National Dialogue Quartet, a group that helped preserve Tunisia's dreams of democracy in 2013, has won this year's Nobel Peace Prize, with the Nobel Prize Committee citing its "decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia."

"We are here to give hope to young people in Tunisia, that if we believe in our country, we can succeed," said Ouided Bouchamaoui, president of The Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, a group that's part of the Quartet.