NPR News

About three months ago, Bill Nelson got an unusual phone call.

Nelson oversees data and assessment for the Agua Fria Union High School District in southwest Phoenix, Ariz. The call was from a former student, who left the district back in 2011.

He was "not quite a graduate," Nelson recalls. At the time, the young man had failed part of Arizona's high school exit exam, called the AIMS.

But in 2015, Arizona rescinded the AIMS requirement, and made that retroactive. So this former student was in luck.

The Iowa caucuses are known for hoisting the little-known hopeful to glory. But for each skyrocket that actually launched here, many more have fizzled on the pad.

The slick talkers auditioning for media gigs.

The household name whose prominence fails to translate.

The ambitious up-and-comer seeking name recognition for the future.

The nonpolitician who strikes a nerve the year before the election year.

After Iowa, the bell tolls for these.

For every Obama ...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Egypt has an unusual law known as the "seasonal marriage" law, and the government says it's aimed at helping the many poor families who resort to selling their daughters into temporary or long-term marriages with wealthy, older foreign men to support themselves.

Egypt's Justice Ministry says it will begin strictly enforcing that law, which requires foreign men — usually from Gulf countries — to pay to marry women 25 years or more their junior. And it's increasing the amount the men must pay. All this, it says, is to protect Egyptian women.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics In The News: Iowa Caucuses

Feb 1, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And in Des Moines, Iowa, I am David Green. And, Renee, I'm at a coffeehouse in Des Moines with - this is a first for me - a live audience.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

If the advice to eat more fiber seems easy to ignore, you're not alone. Most Americans don't get the 25 to 38 grams a day that's recommended, depending on age and gender.

But if you're skimping on fiber, the health stakes are high, especially if you're a teenage girl.

A study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics concludes that eating lots of fiber-rich foods during high school years may significantly reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer.

Any day now, Ben Lecomte will plunge into the Pacific Ocean off a Tokyo beach toward San Francisco. He wants to become the first person to swim across the Pacific. He's already the first person to free swim across the Atlantic Ocean, without a kickboard.

No one knows how the physical feat of swimming 5,500 miles will affect Lecomte's heart, but cardiologists are anxious to find out. His swim offers a rare opportunity to study whether extreme athletic performance has a harmful effect on the heart.

Finally, after more than 10 months of campaigning from more than a dozen presidential candidates, voters get to weigh in. Iowa Republicans and Democrats will caucus Monday night, and the results could at long last provide some clarity to the Republican and Democratic nominating contests — or not.

Here are five things we're watching:

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has reached a long sought-after agreement with two major airlines — United and American — to build a new runway at O'Hare airport. The $1.3 billion project will increase capacity at the congested airfield in hopes of reducing delays.

However, the deal does not include an agreement with the airlines to increase terminal space and add new gates, which some travel industry experts say is critical to reducing congestion at O'Hare, an airport notorious among frequent fliers for delays.

About 40 years ago, when she was 24, Consuelo Hermosillo had an emergency caesarean section at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. In the new documentary No Más Bebés, she recalls asking her doctor what type of birth control she should use going forward.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

"Full employment" is a phrase economists use to explain how the job market recovers from a recession. We'll be hearing this phrase a lot as the Labor Department releases the latest jobs data on Friday. It's expected to show that employers added even more workers in January.

But the phrase doesn't tell the full story for millions of Americans either still out of work or who are looking for something better than part-time work.

What is full employment and what does it mean?

On a little patch of grass outside a police station in the small town of Rubayda in northern Iraq, a half-dozen women with small children sit on a rug, with a haggard-looking group of men nearby, eager to talk about how they walked here.

"Day and night, for 48 hours, without food or water or sleep," says Khalaf Hussein Karam, a former soldier with a deeply lined face. He escaped from his town in the Islamic State-held area around the city of Hawija. With numerous relatives including women and children, he crossed the Hamrin mountain range.

An attack by Boko Haram on a village in northeastern Nigeria killed at least 65 people on Saturday night, according to Reuters.

A Nigerian military spokesman told the wire service that Boko Haram militants attacked the village of Dalori, near the city of Maiduguri in Nigeria's northeast.

The initial death toll was provided by a Reuters reporter who counted bodies, burnt beyond recognition, at a hospital morgue. The Associated Press, citing a local official, reports the death toll much higher, at 86 people.

One month down, two to go.

For unemployed adults in 22 states, that's how long they can count on help with the grocery bills: Starting this January, they have three months to find a job or lose their food assistance.

SNAP benefits — formerly known as food stamps — have been tied to employment for two decades. Unless they are caring for children or unable to work, adults need to have a job to receive more than three months of benefits.

Ted Cruz has one of the most overtly religious stump speeches on the Iowa campaign trail.

In Emmetsburg, Iowa, Friday the Texas senator quoted the Bible and exhorted his supporters to pray "each and every day" until Election Day.

"He's real," said Bobbie Clark, a Cruz supporter from Algona. "There's something there. There's substance behind it. It's not just talk."

Three explosions near a shrine revered by Shiite Muslims in Damascus have killed at least 45 people, according to reports from Syrian media and human rights monitors.

NPR's Alison Meuse, reporting from Beirut for our Newscast unit, says the Islamic State has claimed responsibility through its media outlets. She continues:

Donald Trump has not only caused deep divisions in the GOP establishment, but he's also exposed a stark divide within the evangelical community.

Monday's Iowa caucuses are being billed, as they are every election season, as "a fight for the soul of the Party," both Democratic and Republican.

Yes, it's a worn-out cliché, but especially on the Republican side this year, it's a real battle.

As many know, parenting isn't an easy job. It can be hugely frustrating and even lonely trying to figure out what's best for your kid. Should you be a taskmaster or a best friend? Is there a middle ground? The pressures of full-time work and round-the-clock activities can make that question even more challenging to tackle.

Trump's Confidence Grows Amid Iowa Race Poll Results

Jan 31, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Latest On GOP Candidate Race Iowa

Jan 31, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And we are back with Morning Edition host David Greene, who's leading our coverage in Iowa. So the two big Democratic candidates, Clinton and Sanders, David, is that how Iowa Democrats are separating themselves, as diehards for either Hillary or Bernie?

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Pages