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Sen. John McCain made an unannounced trip to northern Syria last week to meet with U.S. forces stationed there, his office announced on Wednesday.

McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, went to discuss the campaign for defeating militants from the Islamic State.

"Sen. McCain's visit was a valuable opportunity to assess dynamic conditions on the ground in Syria and Iraq," according to a statement from spokeswoman Julie Tarallo.

The trip, which is considered official travel, was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

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The proposed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico would run right through Native lands, and tribal leaders in the region say it would desecrate sacred sites.

"Over my dead body will we build a wall," says Verlon Jose, vice chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation. "It's like me going into your home and saying 'You know what? I believe in order to protect your house we need some adjusting.' And you're going to say, 'Wait a minute, who are you to come into my house and tell me how to protect my home?' " he says.

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You've been hearing all about these raucous town hall meetings happening around the country. Voters have been confronting their lawmakers for weeks now. We're going to hear from three of them who spoke with Steve Inskeep.

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Scientists around the United States are getting ready to do an unprecedented experiment: They plan to march en masse in Washington, D.C., and other cities on April 22, to take a stand for the importance of public policies based on science.

Some researchers predict that this March for Science will release much needed energy and enthusiasm at a time when science is under threat; others worry it will damage science's reputation as an unbiased seeker of truth.

No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, health care under the Affordable Care Act is going to change in the next few years. The Republican-led Congress has vowed to "repeal and replace" the health law known as Obamacare.

That has left many people anxious and confused about what will happen and when. So NPR's Morning Edition asked listeners to post questions on Twitter and Facebook, and we will be answering some of them here and on the radio in the weeks ahead.

This story is part of Kitchen Table Conversations, a series from NPR's National Desk that examines how Americans from all walks of life are moving forward from the presidential election.

Keitra Bates is standing in front of an empty storefront on Atlanta's Westside. The walls are yellow-painted stucco over cinder blocks, with iron bars on the windows and doors, and a small side yard littered with abandoned tires. A corner store, the Fair Street Superette, is next door.

London's Metropolitan Police Service, better known as Scotland Yard, is Britain's oldest and biggest police force. More than 43,000 officers and staff work for the organization.

On Wednesday, Cressida Dick, 56, was named as the first female police commissioner in the organization's 188-year history.

In a statement, the former beat cop from London's West End, said she was "thrilled and humbled" by the appointment.

From 2011 to 2014 Dick was head of counterterrorism, and among other operations, she oversaw security for the 2012 London Olympics.

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In the waning years of the Civil War, advertisements like this began appearing in newspapers around the country:

"INFORMATION WANTED By a mother concerning her children.

At the Oscars this weekend, one spotlight will shine on African-American women in the space race, thanks to the movie Hidden Figures, which is nominated for three Academy Awards, including best picture.

Mae Jemison made history in this field as the first African-American woman in space, as part of the crew on Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992.

Flooding in San Jose, Calif., has prompted the evacuation of at least 14,000 residents.

The mandatory evacuation orders began overnight, and will remain in effect for at least another day, reports Peter Jon Shuler of member station KQED.

"Flooding along Coyote Creek came after a series of heavy rainstorms combined with water rushing down the spillway of nearby Anderson Reservoir, which is now filled to capacity," he says. "Emergency crews had to rescue more than 250 people from their homes by boat."

The Dakota Access Pipeline's route takes it over four states and nearly 1,200 miles, from the Bakken oil fields in northwestern North Dakota through South Dakota, Iowa and down to a terminal in Illinois.

But one Missouri River crossing just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota has become the focal point of a fight over how the pipeline's route was analyzed and approved by the federal government.

News of recent anti-Semitic acts in the U.S. — like the toppling of tombstones in a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis and bomb threats against Jewish community centers — is being followed closely in Israel. So is the Israeli government's response to these incidents.

Some Israelis are questioning whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has played down the incidents to keep pressure off his political ally, President Trump.

Disability rights activist Nick Dupree died last weekend. Tomorrow would have been his 35th birthday.

Back in 2003, he told NPR: "I want a life. I just want a life. Like anyone else. Just like your life. Or anyone else's life."

He got that life.

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Democrat Michelle Frankard of Wisconsin voted for President Trump, and she's hoping she won't regret it.

At the Garden of Eatin', a bustling diner in picturesque Galesville, Frankard is having breakfast with her adopted father, Ken Horton. A dozen shiny electric guitars line the walls, each next to a black-and-white framed poster with the likes of Johnny Cash and Janis Joplin. The deep-seated booths host a variety of regulars and those just passing through.

Four newly discovered frog species are so tiny that they can sit comfortably on a fingernail, making them some of the smallest-known frogs in the world.

Scientists said in a video that they were "surprised to find that the miniature forms are in fact locally abundant and fairly common." The frogs likely escaped notice until now because of their tiny size and secretive habitats, hidden under damp soil or dense vegetation.

Reform groups in Mexico have been trying for years to persuade politicians to regularly disclose their assets and income, pointing to their northern neighbor as an example of a place where financial disclosure is the norm in government.

Then came President Trump, who has steadfastly refused to release his tax returns.

During a sentencing hearing in Texas two decades ago, a defense attorney for a man named Duane Buck called on an expert who said his client's race made it more statistically likely that he would commit violent crimes in the future.

Because of that statement, the Supreme Court has ruled 6-2 that Buck, who is black, can appeal his death sentence.

It's the latest development in a case that Chief Justice John Roberts describes as "a perfect storm" of circumstances that he says culminated in a lower court "making a decision on life or death on the basis of race."

These days, almost every new movie, TV show, album or book feels so anticipated and pre-packaged that we're already tired of it by the time it's released. This makes it especially thrilling when something dazzling just appears like that alien spaceship in Arrival, startling even those whose business it is be in the know.

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While trying to catch a bus to school, Emilio Mayfield, 16, jaywalked. When he didn't comply with a police officer's command to get out of the bus lane, a scuffle ensued. Mayfield was struck in the face with a baton and arrested by nine Stockton, Cal. police officers. The arrest was captured on video by a bystander and the video went viral.

A small, faint star relatively close by is home to seven Earth-size planets with conditions that could be right for liquid water and maybe even life.

The discovery sets a record for both the most Earth-size planets and the most potentially habitable planets ever discovered around a single star.

A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked an attempt by state health officials to remove Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood, allowing the women's health provider to remain in the federal program at least until a lawsuit is settled.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he will appeal the decision, which he said "is disappointing and flies in the face of basic human decency," the Dallas Morning News reported.

The space capsule that took the first moonwalkers on their historic adventure is getting ready to take off on another trip — its first tour of the United States in more than 40 years.

Republican members of Congress aren't exactly getting a warm welcome in their home districts during this week's recess.

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