KRWG

NPR News

Please note:  Sometimes, NPR publishes headlines before the story and/or audio is ready; check back for content later if this occurs.  We also publish national/world news on our home page from AP, BBC, and others.

President Trump is responding to another tough foreign policy crisis with gunboat diplomacy, but the second deployment is likely to look very different from the first.

U.S. Pacific Command has ordered the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its strike group, which includes a cruiser and two destroyers, to "report on station in the Western Pacific Ocean," instead of sailing for Australia as planned.

Rex Tillerson has touched down in Moscow. But well before his plane landed on the runway, heated words were already flying between the U.S. secretary of state and Russian officials over the situation in Syria.

"I hope that what the Russian government concludes is that they have aligned themselves with an unreliable partner in Bashar al-Assad," Tillerson said Tuesday at a meeting of G-7 foreign ministers in Lucca, Italy, shortly before he left for Russia.

U.S. presidents have a tradition of entering office and expressing hope for improved relations with Russia. With near perfect symmetry, this is matched by a tradition of presidents leaving office amid friction with Moscow.

Sometimes it takes years for optimism to turn to disillusionment. In the case of President Trump, there are warning signs after just a few months.

"If we could get along with Russia, that's a positive thing," Trump said shortly after his inauguration. "It would be great."

Tennessee caused a stir earlier this year when it ran an audit of the state's 2015 graduating class. The number crunchers in Nashville reported that nearly a third of students who received a diploma didn't complete the required coursework. One in three.

Naturally, parents and politicians alike were baffled and more than a little bothered.

North Korea is threatening "tough counteraction" after a U.S. Navy strike group was routed toward the Korean Peninsula following the rogue nation's continued ballistic missile and nuclear testing.

"We never beg for peace but we will take the toughest counteraction against the provocateurs in order to defend ourselves by powerful force of arms and keep to the road chosen by ourselves," the official Korean Central News Agency reported in English, quoting a Foreign Ministry official.

Be it Easter or Eid, holidays in the Levantine region of the Middle East are incomplete without a shortbread cookie called maamoul. Stuffed with date paste or chopped walnuts or pistachios, and dusted with powdered sugar, these buttery cookies are the perfect reward after a month of fasting during Ramadan or Lent.

The dough is made with wheat flour or semolina (or a combination of the two), then pressed into special molds, traditionally carved in wood. And the fillings are fragrant with rosewater or orange blossom.

A special election in Kansas on Tuesday has Republicans sounding worried about an enthusiasm gap in the Trump era.

Trump himself was apparently worried enough that he cut a robo call for Republican state party Treasurer Ron Estes.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This next story begins with a disturbing sound. It's from a video of a passenger being dragged from a United Airlines flight the other day. And it sounds like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Screaming).

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

So much has changed about the Trump administration in just a few days, or at least something changed about how the administration talks.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

An influential federal task force is relaxing its controversial opposition to routine screening for prostate cancer.

In the proposed revised guidelines released Tuesday, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says men ages 55 to 69 should decide individually with their doctors whether and when to undergo prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing.

New York state has passed legislation that would create the largest experiment in the country to offer free tuition at two- and four-year colleges. The Excelsior Scholarship, approved over the weekend as part of the state budget, would cover full-time students in the State University of New York system, which totals 64 campuses and 1.3 million students.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, appeared with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and state education leaders in an event hailing the new program, which would begin this fall and is estimated to cost $163 million per year.

When New Mexico state Sen. Michael Padilla was a child, he says he mopped the cafeteria floors to earn his school lunch, and he befriended the cafeteria workers so he wouldn't have to go hungry.

"I grew up in foster homes, multiple foster homes," the Democratic lawmaker tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "It's very obvious who the poor kids are in the school."

He says students in circumstances like his often have to watch as other children get served a hot lunch, while they are given a piece of bread — with "maybe a little bit of cheese."

Let's say you think you're having a stroke and you call 911 for an ambulance.

In a lot of cities across the country there's a good chance that a firetruck — with a full fire crew including a paramedic — will race to your door.

But that doesn't mean they can deliver the emergency care you might need.

In Chicago, like many cities, the fire department oversees both firefighters and paramedics who work on ambulances.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

What's the best way to bolster your country's bid for the World Cup?

The U.S., Canada and Mexico have settled on an unprecedented answer to that question: just combine forces. The chiefs of the three countries' national soccer organizations broke the news in New York City on Monday, announcing their joint bid to host the 2026 men's World Cup.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Updated at 9:05 p.m. ET

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has resigned after pleading guilty to abusing his office, allegedly to conceal an affair with a political adviser.

Supernumerary District Attorney Ellen Brooks announced Monday that Bentley "pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges: failing to file a major contribution report, in violation of Code of Alabama §17-5-8.1(c); and knowingly converting campaign contributions to personal use, in violation of Code of Alabama §36-25-6." She added, "He has resigned from office."

Updated at 8:50 a.m. ET April 17

An annual study of airline quality in the U.S. gave airlines the highest scores in the 26 years the rankings have been published.

You may be wondering: How is that possible?

After you see a case of elephantiasis, you can never forget it.

People's legs, feet and toes swell up so much that they can't walk. Or move easily. The skin thickens and breaks open, creating ulcers and infections.

"It causes so much pain. So much pain," says epidemiologist Christine Kihembo, at Makerere University School of Public Health in Kampala, Uganda.

Stella Nyanzi, one of Uganda's most controversial academics and activists, appeared in court Monday, after being arrested and charged Friday with cyber harassment and the misuse of a computer, for "shaming" the government.

Nyanzi's latest run-in with the 31-year-old regime of President Yoweri Museveni began with a fight for free sanitary pads for school-age girls.

Prompted by a chemical weapons attack, the U.S. loosed dozens of Tomahawk missiles last week on an air base operated by Syrian President Bashar Assad, the embattled ally of Russia.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

At a time of declining church attendance across America and growing disenchantment with traditional religion, a Catholic parish in Hyattsville, Md., thrives by embracing the very orthodoxy other congregations have abandoned.

Passover is a holiday of freedom, celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt. And what would a holiday celebration be without a festive meal? Resident chef Kathy Gunst spoke with Here & Now‘s Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson in 2016 about her favorite Passover foods and recipes.

Warm waters continue to bleach coral along Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in what scientists are calling the first-ever back-to-back bleaching event for the world’s largest coral reef. Last year two-thirds of the coral along the northern part of the reef died during an unusually warm El Niño year. Surprising many researchers, the bleaching continued in 2017, despite El Niño having ended.

Scientists with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Queensland made the dire assessment after a 5,000-mile aircraft survey of the reef.

Pages