NPR News

A new year means it's time for new calendars. And a North Carolina man has created some of the most unusual you'll ever see.

In fact, they show scenes you once weren't supposed to see — official CIA paintings of past spy missions.

They include a depiction of a spy with a rifle shooting down an airplane from a helicopter, and images of two missions in which planes tried to snatch agents off the ground without landing.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And now it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This week in the Russia investigations: President Trump rows back on a potential Robert Mueller interview, Sen. Dianne Feinstein releases a big transcript, and Steve Bannon is headed to the House Intelligence Committee.

The exile

Once upon a time, Steve Bannon was among the princes of the universe. Loved by his allies and hated by his foes, he was, most importantly, feared by both.

In the small clinic where I work in Boston, it is rare to see a new, middle-aged patient who has yet to see a doctor in this city. Trust me — we are everywhere.

So when I saw an unfamiliar woman's name pop-up on my list for the afternoon, I was surprised to find an otherwise empty medical file. A recent transplant to Boston, I guessed.

"Same insult, different day."

Hello! Money is on our minds in this mid-January edition of the Weekly Roundup.

Student loan default is a "crisis," report says

The new U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands has said anti-Muslim comments he made in 2015 were "just wrong," two days after a news conference when he wouldn't say the comments were factually inaccurate.

Pete Hoekstra, a former Republican congressman from Michigan who was appointed to the ambassador position by President Trump, talked in 2015 about the "Islamic movement" being responsible for "no-go zones" and the burning of cars and politicians in the Netherlands:

Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET

The nation's top spy bosses scrambled to the White House early Thursday to urge President Trump to restate his support for a controversial surveillance law after he spent the morning trashing it on Twitter.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, White House chief of staff John Kelly and national security adviser H.R. McMaster all convened in the Oval Office with the president to urge him to row back his criticism. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., also joined in by telephone.

In the world of streaming workout videos, Shawn T is like Jay-Z or Mick Jagger. He's a superstar. Millions of people have done his workout programs. One is called "Insanity." Another, "Focus T25," aims to get you in shape in just 25 minutes a day without leaving your house.

In our ever more digital world there are all kinds of apps and other quick ways to fit fitness into your life. But you still have to do the exercise. And in his new book, T is for Transformation, Shaun T tells the story of his life and the lessons he's learned about finding that motivation.

In the Thursday meeting in which President Trump complained about "having all these people from shithole countries come here" — and singled out Haiti, El Salvador and Africa as examples — he also added that, "we should have more people from Norway."

In fact there was a time when we did.

From 1870 to 1910 a quarter of Norway's working-age population emigrated, mostly to the United States. You read that right — one-fourth of its workers left the country.

When President Trump announced Thursday that he was canceling his visit to the United Kingdom next month to open the new U.S. Embassy in London, he sounded less like the leader of the world's most powerful country and more like the real estate developer he once was.

On Twitter, he complained that the Obama administration (it was actually George W. Bush's) had traded an embassy located in one of the British capital's top districts, Mayfair, for a new one in "an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!"

General Motors says it is ready to mass-produce a self-driving car that has no steering wheel, pedals or any other manual controls.

The car company said Friday that it has filed a petition with the Department of Transportation for the fourth-generation Cruise AV to hit the streets in 2019.

Kentucky got the green light from the federal government Friday to require people who get Medicaid to work. It's a big change from the Obama administration, which rejected overtures from states that wanted to add a work requirement.

A new study suggests that the polar jet stream has been fluctuating more than normal as it passes over the parts of the Northern Hemisphere, and that's affecting weather in Europe and North America.

You may not have heard of them, but electronic sports, or e-sports, are a fast-growing industry in the U.S. Tournaments are now selling out arenas just like football and basketball games do.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus said in a statement Friday that President Trump’s comments about Haiti, El Salvador and several African countries are “shameful, abhorrent, unpresidential” and deserve “our strongest condemnation.”

Africa Tech Now, billed as the "No. 1 event showcasing African entrepreneurship," debuted at CES this year. The problem was, when I went to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to cover it for this blog, no one had heard of it. Not the media desk, the information booth or even the Moroccan and Egyptian aisles, which are obviously African but weren't part of the expo I was looking for.

I guess it's not surprising. Tech innovations from developing countries in Africa aren't exactly making headlines.

John Feeley, the U.S. ambassador to Panama, is stepping down from his post, citing irreconcilable differences with the Trump administration, Reuters reports.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

To take a broader look at the British relationship with the U.S. under President Trump, George Parker joins us now. He is the political editor with the Financial Times. Welcome.

GEORGE PARKER: Hello.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

With me now to talk about all this are columnists E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution - hey, E.J...

E J DIONNE, BYLINE: Great to be with you.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Pages