NPR News

Beekeepers Feel The Sting Of California's Great Hive Heist

32 minutes ago

Seventy-one million. That's the number of bees Max Nikolaychuk tends in the rolling hills east of Fresno, Calif. Each is worth a fraction of a cent, but together, they make up a large part of his livelihood.

Nikolaychuk makes most of his money during almond pollination season, renting out the bees to California's almond orchards. This year, a thief stole four stacks of his hives.

"He knew about the bees, because he went through every bee colony I had and only took the good ones," he says. "But, you know, the bee yards — I don't have no security there, no fences."

Living With Zika: One Mother's Story

40 minutes ago

Summer is here and with the heat comes the threat of mosquitoes and the diseases they can spread, like the Zika virus. There are currently 80 infants in the mainland U.S. with birth defects caused by Zika, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The U.S. health system is at the very beginning of learning how to care for those babies.

It’s an intriguing tale of secrets, class and motherhood. “Leaving Lucy Pear” tells the story of a baby who is abandoned under a pear tree in Gloucester, Massachusetts, by her Jewish 18-year-old mother. Bea hopes that an Irish family who steals the fruit in the dark of night will take the infant and raise her as their own.

A Pentagon memo obtained by The Washington Post suggests that some foreign-born U.S. military recruits, who are not yet citizens, could face deportation. The memo describes “potential security threats” of the immigrants who were recruited under a program that fast-tracks citizenship.

Three investigative journalists at CNN have resigned after the network retracted a story about a congressional inquiry into a link between a Russian investment fund and an American financier who is an adviser to President Trump.

Those departing are a past Pulitzer Prize winner, a finalist for the award and a senior editor who had been at CNN since 2001.

The U.S. State Department has issued highly public criticism of China in its latest annual report on the global state of human trafficking.

China is among the worst offenders of human trafficking, according to the Trafficking In Persons report. It's now lumped in with "Tier 3" offenders such as Syria, Iran, Russia and North Korea — the worst designation.

Advocates for ending child marriage are trying a new tactic: Show governments just how much the practice is hurting their own bottom line.

Suddenly, John McEnroe and Serena Williams are involved in a tennis match of words, and the pace picked up Tuesday. Both are rushing the net — stick with the metaphor here — and firing volleys.

First it was McEnroe, who told NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro on Sunday that while Williams is "an incredible player," (she's won 23 major singles titles and 14 in doubles) she'd be "like 700 in the world" if she played on the men's circuit.

Updated 3:30 p.m. ET

With their health care bill facing a perilous path, Senate Republican leaders have decided to push off a vote until after Congress returns from next week's July Fourth recess, GOP aides confirm to NPR's Susan Davis.

If you've never heard of Alexander von Humboldt, a once world-renowned Prussian scientist who predicted man-made climate change in 1800 and was an adviser to President Thomas Jefferson, then a New Hampshire distillery is aiming to change that, one glass at a time.

Updated at 1:21 p.m. ET

Ransomware hit at least six countries Tuesday, including Ukraine, where it was blamed for a large and coordinated attack on key parts of Ukraine's infrastructure, from government agencies and electric grids to stores and banks.

The malware is being called "Petya" — but there is debate in the security community over whether the ransomware is new or a variant that has been enhanced to make it harder to stop.

States are not doing enough to improve safety on the roads, in the workplace and in the home, according to a new report from the National Safety Council.

The group, which graded all 50 states on safety, awarded no state an "A" grade for overall safety, but 11 states received an "F."

Updated at 12:28 p.m. ET

There's a big push in the U.S. from pediatricians to have mothers of newborns breast-feed exclusively for at least six months.

And many new moms want to. But only about 60 percent who start off breast-feeding keep it up for six months or more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A federal judge in Michigan has temporarily barred U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from deporting a group of more than 1,400 Iraqi nationals for at least two weeks, expanding an order that initially applied only to those in the Detroit area.

Note: This story contains a description of the alleged sexual assault at the center of the case.

A juror in the criminal trial of Bill Cosby says testimony from a second woman who said she was drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby did not weigh heavily on the panel's 52 hours of deliberations. That statement comes in spite of prosecutors' hope that hearing from an additional accuser would have shown jurors that Cosby had a pattern of behavior.

Two-thousand miles away from the Supreme Court's vaulted ceiling and marble friezes, 60-year-old jobless mother Maria Guereca sat in her $20-a-month, one-room apartment with a fan and a hotplate — beside a picture of her dead son.

On Monday, the Court gave Guereca, who lives in Juarez, Mexico, a partial victory, saying a lower court erred in granting immunity to an agent who shot and killed her son.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office weighed in on the Senate health care bill on Monday, saying that 22 million people would lose health coverage in the next 10 years under the Senate's plan. Of those, 15 million would lose Medicaid coverage. It's projected to lower the deficit by billions over 10 years, and also cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

The European Commission has fined Google 2.42 billion euros ($2.72 billion) after finding that the company used its dominant search engine to drive people toward another Google product, its shopping service.

"What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules," said European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager. "It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation."

Medicaid is the government health care program for the poor.

That's the shorthand explanation. But Medicaid is so much more than that — which is why it has become the focal point of the battle in Washington to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

President Trump, who is fond of dining at his Trump International Hotel near the White House, will have some company Wednesday — a roomful of people who paid as much as $35,000 or $100,000 each to be there.

The money will go to two joint fundraising operations — Trump Victory, which will take in large donations and Trump Make America Great Again Committee for smaller-dollar donors.

When Trump Victory started sending out invitations four weeks ago, it announced the price points, but kept the venue secret until a prospect had RSVP'd.

For a first time visitor, Anderson Street in Los Angeles' Boyle Heights neighborhood looks pretty gritty and industrial: old brick workshops, small factories, and a steady rumble of delivery trucks driving by.

But step inside some of the old, soot-stained buildings and you're in a world of high-end art, with paintings worth thousands of dollars on the walls.

The White House announced Monday night that it sees signs that the Syrian government is preparing to launch another chemical weapons attack in its war against insurgents. The White House press office released this statement:

"The United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children. The activities are similar to preparations the regime made before its April 4, 2017 chemical weapons attack.

The first book of the Harry Potter series went on sale in the U.K. 20 years ago today. It offers a convenient excuse to reacquaint yourself with a world before anyone on this side of the Atlantic had heard of muggles, horcruxes or pensieves, before tourists would crowd into London's Kings Cross railway station simply to peer wistfully at the space between Platforms Nine and Ten.

Here's the first story NPR ever aired about Harry Potter — a wonderful piece by the late Margot Adler, from All Things Considered in 1998.

Some gems, from that bygone era:

Transportation Security Administration agents at Logan Airport's Terminal C in Boston snapped to attention Sunday, when they came across a live 20-pound lobster lurking in a cooler among the checked luggage.

"The lobster was screened and allowed to continue on its way," TSA spokesman Michael McCarthy tells NPR in an email.

He tweeted about it Monday saying, "@TSA officers are skilled at screening all sorts of items in checked baggage...including this 20+ pound lobster at @BostonLogan."

Google will no longer scan emails in Gmail accounts in order sell targeted advertising, the company said Friday.

Updated at 8:10 pm ET

Congressional forecasters say a Senate bill that aims to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would leave 22 million more people uninsured by 2026.

That's only slightly fewer uninsured than a version passed by the House in May.

Advances in technology have made it much easier, faster and less expensive to do whole genome sequencing — to spell out all three billion letters in a person's genetic code. Falling costs have given rise to speculation that it could soon become a routine part of medical care, perhaps as routine as checking your blood pressure.

But will such tests, which can be done for as little as $1,000, prove useful, or needlessly scary?

Support for same-sex marriage is growing — even among groups traditionally opposed to it — according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. The report, based on a survey conducted earlier this month, suggests public opinion is shifting quickly, two years after the Supreme Court's Obergefell v.

Passengers at Boston's Logan International Airport were surfing their phones and drinking coffee, waiting to board a flight to Aruba recently when a JetBlue agent came on the loudspeaker, announcing: "Today, we do have a unique way of boarding."

On flights to the Caribbean island, JetBlue is experimenting with facial recognition software that acts as a boarding pass. The airline says it's about convenience. For the federal government, it's also about national security. But for privacy activists, it's an intrusive form of surveillance.

Pages