NPR News

In an overnight operation, workers removed Baltimore's high-profile statues linked to the Confederacy, using cranes and trucks to haul away monuments that honored Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Roger B. Taney, author of the Supreme Court's Dred Scott opinion.

"It's done," Mayor Catherine Pugh said Wednesday, according to The Baltimore Sun. "They needed to come down. My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could."

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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

As a substitute for coveted elephant ivory, mammoth tusks can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. A rush is underway to dig them out of the frozen earth in Siberia and sell them, mostly to China. The hunt is making millionaires of some men living in this impoverished region — but it's also illegal.

Photographer Amos Chapple followed a group of tusk hunters in Siberia on assignment for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. He recalled his three-week journey with NPR's Ailsa Chang.

If you pull a fire alarm in any large U.S. city, it's likely that paid firefighters waiting at a nearby station will quickly respond. But seven out of 10 American firefighters are actually volunteers. They cover vast sections of the country, making up an aging network that is increasingly understaffed and overworked.

On a blazing hot day recently in western Kansas, two men have rushed from their jobs to douse a grass fire, for free.

"If somebody wasn't here to do it, this could get out of hand real quick," says Jason Lonnberg, with the Jetmore Volunteer Fire Department.

In July of 1878, Vassar professor Maria Mitchell led a team of astronomers to the new state of Colorado to observe a total solar eclipse. In a field outside of Denver, they watched as the sun went dark and a feathery fan of bright tendrils — the solar corona — faded into view.

Watch Out For 'Lizardmen'

Aug 16, 2017

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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And I think it's fair to say President Trump veered way off message yesterday.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Life in Charlottesville, Va., has been disrupted by the deadly violence at a white supremacist rally over the weekend. On the eve of the memorial for one of the victims, counterprotester Heather Heyer, President Trump blamed those counterprotesters — what he called the "alt-left" – for stoking the violence.

After Trump's remarks, Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy had to control his anger. He says the president is showing where his loyalties lie.

Health Insurance CEO On New CBO Report

Aug 16, 2017

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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Students Find Spacesuits In Thrift Store

Aug 16, 2017

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Most U.S. presidents pursue a two-track policy with Russia: confrontation on some fronts, cooperation on others.

President John F. Kennedy waged a showdown with the Soviet Union during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 — and signed a nuclear test ban treaty with Moscow the following year.

Ronald Reagan famously called the Soviets "the evil empire" — and reached a major arms control deal with them.

Barack Obama got Russia to join a sanctions campaign against Iran — and also imposed sanctions against Moscow.

Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank set off a social media firestorm last February when he voiced some overly positive words about the new administration of President Trump.

"To have such a pro-business president is something that's a real asset for this country. I think people should really grab that opportunity," said Plank, whose company makes sports apparel.

In a win for conservationists and environmental groups, British Columbia says it will no longer allow the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in the Canadian province starting on Nov. 30.

The new policy blocks all hunting of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest but still allows people to hunt them for food elsewhere in British Columbia.

Of the approximately 15,000 grizzlies in British Columbia, about 250 are killed by hunters annually, according to government figures.

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Updated at 7:26 p.m. ET

In a stunning reversal from comments he made just one day prior, President Trump said on Tuesday "there's blame on both sides" for the violence in Charlottesville, Va.

Demonstrators came from across the country to gather at the White House in support of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as toddlers and children.

Five years ago today, President Obama signed an executive order protecting them from deportation. It's known as DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Now immigrant rights groups — and immigrants themselves — worry that opponents and President Trump's administration are quietly working to revoke protection for DACA participants — young people like Claudia Quiñonez from Bolivia:

Applebee's announced this month that more than 130 of its restaurants will close by the end of the year.

The casual dining chain rebranded itself in the past few years as a modern bar and grill.

Applebee's executive John Cywinski recently told investors that the company had hoped the effort would attract a new kind of customer.

The chain aimed to lure "a more youthful and affluent demographic with a more independent or even sophisticated dining mindset, including a clear pendulum swing towards millennials," he said.

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Updated 4:31 pm August 16: On Wednesday, the White House said it would continue what's known as cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers for another month, buying President Trump some time to decide whether he'll continue the payments long-term or cut them off altogether.

The announcement came a day after the Congressional Budget Office released an analysis that found that ending the payments would increase the deficit by $194 billion over 10 years.

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled coverage to bring you this important public service announcement:

"Anyone offered large quantities [of chocolate] via unconventional channels should report it to the police immediately."

We trust you'll abide by those instructions from law enforcement in Germany, where more than 20 tons of chocolate treats have gone missing after thieves stole a refrigerated trailer packed with Nutella, Kinder Surprise eggs and other sweets.

As President Donald Trump continues to fill political appointments, his nomination for the top science job at the U.S. Department of Agriculture is raising unique concerns.

Trump has chosen Iowan Sam Clovis to be undersecretary of agriculture for research, education and economics. Clovis served as a fighter pilot in the Air Force, has a doctorate in public administration, and taught economics at Morningside College in Sioux City.

Sioux City is also where he gained a following as a conservative talk show host.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families is dealing with computer problems that brought down the system used to process welfare benefits applications.

Theresa Freed, spokeswoman for DCF, says people seeking benefits can still submit paper applications and required documentation. The applications will be entered after the system comes back online.

One way or another, Tim Keck wants to replace the state’s aging Osawatomie State Hospital with a new mental health treatment facility.

Though he is meeting with some resistance, the secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services is pushing lawmakers to consider privatizing the state-run psychiatric hospital, which in recent years has been beset by operational problems.

A decade after Kansas unveiled plans to migrate its driver’s license records from an aged mainframe to modern information technology infrastructure, the effort remains incomplete and, auditors say, troubled.

A new study in Kentucky is raising alarms about teens’ mental health in the state. The biannual Kentucky Incentives for Prevention survey found that 8.2 percent of Kentucky high school sophomores had attempted suicide in the past year. For sixth graders, that rate was 4.2 percent. The study found increases in every age group it looked at.

There have been five mass extinction events in the history of the Earth. In his book “The Ends of the World,” author Peter Brannen looks at what happened to cause these crises — from massive volcanic eruptions to asteroids — and tries to determine what our future might bring.

Promila Saigal remembers the men in her family tossing her "like a football" from the rooftop of one family home to the next, in a bid to save her from the frenzy that washed over the Indian subcontinent 70 years ago.

Saigal was just six when the events of India's Partition pressed in around her Hindu family's compound in Lahore.

"I remember very clearly, outside the main road, a mob had collected at 12 o'clock in the night. And they woke us up," she says.

Pages