NPR News

When the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un collapsed at a Malaysian airport last week, poisoning was instantly suspected. But on Friday, Malaysian authorities revealed that an autopsy had turned up not just any poison, but a rare nerve agent known as VX.

At a stressful time for U.S. farmers, the government’s efforts at calming the agricultural waters took center stage Thursday, when the heads of the U.S. Senate’s Agriculture Committee left Washington for the Midwest to solicit opinions on priorities for the next Farm Bill.

U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts, R-KS, and Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, heard from Midwest farmers at their first field hearing on the 2018 Farm Bill at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.

Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has been tapped to give the Democratic response to President Trump's address to Congress next Tuesday night.

The announcement was made by the party's top congressional officials, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

They said the 72-year-old Beshear was chosen for his record extending access to affordable health care and lowering the state's uninsured rate from over 20 percent to 7.5 percent, "one of the biggest improvements in the nation."

Sixty-seven-year-old William Forsythe doesn’t look like a ballet superstar — he’s slightly built and he wears glasses. But the former dancer is completely at home in Boston Ballet’s rehearsal studio, wearing socks as he shows the dancers how to move.

He is known for deconstructing a dance tradition that goes back five centuries. There are times when he gets very theoretical about it. Describing ballet movements, he’ll say, “You have to vector it into space with very differentiated dynamics.” Other times he sounds very down to earth, saying, “It’s theater, we’re in show biz!”

President Trump signed an executive action on Friday aimed at reducing red tape. It directs each federal agency to set up a task force to identify costly regulations that could be scaled back.

"Every regulation should have to pass a simple test," Trump said. "Does it make life better or safer for American workers or consumers? If the answer is no, we will be getting rid of it — and getting rid of it quickly."

An ISIS-claimed car bomb exploded near the Syrian town of al-Bab, killing at least 51 people in an area that Turkish-backed rebels recently seized from Islamic State militants.

At least 34 of those killed were civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group. Witnesses told Reuters that the bomb went off in the village of Sousian, five miles north of al-Bab, at a rebel checkpoint crowded with people who had fled the fighting and were preparing to return to their homes.

Today, two table tennis pros met at the Qatar Open and ended up locked in a staggering 10-minute, 766-shot rally.

The International Table Tennis Federation, which runs the event, said in an Instagram video that it "has got to be the longest rally ever in modern table tennis history!"

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President Trump addressed the conservative conference known as CPAC this morning.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Great to be back at CPAC.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: It's a place I have really...

UNIDENTIFIED SUPPORTER: We love you.

Waymo, the company that began as Google's self-driving-car project, is suing Uber — alleging that when Uber bought a startup founded by Waymo veterans, it also bought thousands of design files that had been inappropriately downloaded from its servers.

In its lawsuit, Waymo cites forensic evidence as well as a vendor's email that it received by mistake.

From humble origins as the daughter of Eastern European immigrants, raised in the Bronx in the depths of the Great Depression, Mildred Dresselhaus scaled to great heights in the scientific community and attained the status of royalty — even if only in nickname.

Many studies designed to try out new drugs simply languish. They don't attract enough patients, and they aren't completed. That slows medical progress.

But here's a story of one study that has bucked that trend — in fact, it is so popular, scientists had to put the brakes on it for a while.

The White House is admitting that it discussed with the FBI media reports that Trump campaign officials were in contact with Russian intelligence agents and that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asked the FBI to publicly knock down the story.

FBI Director James Comey refused.

President Trump skipped the annual Conservative Political Action Conference last year, but this year he was the annual gathering's hero who had finally returned the White House to Republicans.

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

London Bridge isn't falling down, but Britain's Parliament building — which sits along the River Thames and includes Big Ben — needs a ton of work. U.K. lawmakers are now analyzing a massive rehab plan that will cost billions of dollars and could force legislators to work somewhere else for years.

Readers asked: "When a humanitarian group has helped a community become self-sustaining, how can the group create a good 'exit strategy.'"

Our sources answered: Create the exit strategy from the get-go.

In the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles, residential streets dead end at oil refineries. Diesel trucks crawl through, carrying containers from nearby ports. Longtime resident Magali Sanchez Hall says the pollution from all that has taken a toll, right on the street where she lives.

"The people that live here, the mother died of cancer," she says, pointing to a modest one-story home. "The people that live here, three people died of cancer."

Among the rolling hills of ancient Africa, sometime around 8000 B.C., a dusty traveler was making gastronomic history, quite by accident.

Thirsty from a long, hot journey, the weary herdsman reached for the sheepskin bag of milk knotted to the back of his pack animal. But as he tilted his head to pour the warm liquid into his mouth, he was astonished to find that the sheep's milk had curdled. The rough terrain and constant joggling of the milk had transformed it into butter --- and bewilderingly, it tasted heavenly.

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Spirit Of Inquiry.

About Liz Coleman's TED Talk

Former Bennington College President Liz Coleman believes higher education is overly-specialized & complacent. She says we need to encourage students to ask bigger questions & take more risks.

About Liz Coleman

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Spirit Of Inquiry.

About Kevin Jones' TED Talk

Sometimes, doctors just don't have the answers. Surgeon Kevin Jones says having the humility to acknowledge this leads to better medicine.

About Kevin Jones

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Spirit Of Inquiry.

About Naomi Oreskes' TED Talk

In school, we're taught we should trust science because the scientific method leads to measurable results and hard facts. But Naomi Oreskes says the process of inquiry doesn't end there.

About Naomi Oreskes

Initially, Clint Perry wanted to make a vending machine for bumblebees. He wanted to understand how they solve problems.

Perry, a cognitive biologist at Queen Mary University of London, is interested in testing the limits of animal intelligence.

"I want to know: How does the brain do stuff? How does it make decisions? How does it keep memory?" says Perry. And how big does a brain need to be in order to do all of those things?

A Kansas man is charged with murder in a shooting that left one man dead and two others wounded. Two of the victims are originally from India; their assailant was reportedly heard yelling "get out of my country" just before opening fire.

The FBI is jointly investigating the triple shooting with local authorities, an FBI representative tells NPR. The agency is working to determine whether the victims' civil rights were violated as part of the crime.

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FOOTLOOSE")

KENNY LOGGINS: (Singing) Got to, got to cut loose, footloose, kick off...

Chris Christie Will Soon Need A Job

Feb 24, 2017

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Department of Homeland Security issued new guidelines this week that call for hiring 15,000 additional Border Patrol agents and immigration officers. It also wants to greatly expand the number of unauthorized immigrants who are prioritized for deportation.

Michael Ryan, 45, is a juvenile judge in Cleveland, Ohio. And like many of the kids who end up in his courtroom, he didn't have an easy childhood.

He adored his mother, he tells his son — also named Michael, 19, at StoryCorps in Cleveland, but she was addicted to heroin.

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Brazilians like to call their Carnival the world's greatest spectacle. The multi-day festival officially begins today, but the street parties got going much earlier. And you can count on NPR's Philip Reeves, our new Brazil correspondent, not to miss them.

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Syrian peace talks got started again in Geneva this week. One Syrian woman hopes to get an issue on the agenda - the fate of hundreds of thousands of people detained. It is a very personal issue for her, as NPR's Alison Meuse reports.

Pages