NPR

If you want to trace the history of the U.S.-Iran feud, you would have to go back decades. But the roots of the most recent escalation can be found in a series of developments over the past two years.

President Trump entered office expressing his strong opposition to the nuclear deal that Iran signed in 2015 with the U.S. and several other world powers. The agreement imposed strict limits on Iran's nuclear program for about a decade, and in return, the international community lifted sanctions that were squeezing Iran's economy.

More than a century after the RMS Titanic sank to the bottom of the sea — and nearly a quarter-century after its memory was dredged up for a Hollywood blockbuster — the U.S. and U.K. have implemented a formal agreement on how to safeguard and manage the ill-fated steamship's remains.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

The first case of an infection with the new coronavirus has been discovered in the United States.

A man from Washington state returned home after a trip to Wuhan, China, on Jan. 15, sought medical attention on Jan. 19 and now is in isolation at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Wash.

U.S. officials are weighing the benefits and risks of proposed experiments that might make a dangerous pathogen even worse — but the details of that review, and the exact nature of the experiments, aren't being released to the public.

Later this week, officials are to hold a meeting in Bethesda, Md., to debate how much information to openly share about this kind of controversial work and how much to reveal about the reasoning behind decisions to pursue or forgo it.

Updated at 1:50 a.m. ET Wednesday

After a long day and night of dueling between the House managers calling for impeachment and attorneys for President Trump declaring the articles of impeachment "ridiculous," the Senate adopted a set of rules that will govern its impeachment trial, in which opening arguments will get underway Wednesday.

The resolution, put forward by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, calls for each side to receive up to 24 hours to argue their case, spread over three days.

The former president of Interpol has been sentenced to more than a decade in prison. Meng Hongwei, the first Chinese national to assume the presidency of the France-based international law enforcement organization, received his 13 1/2-year sentence for corruption Tuesday in a Chinese courtroom.

Updated Jan. 22 at 3:41 p.m. ET

Near the iced-over Bering Sea, parka-clad workers for the U.S. Census Bureau are gathering in a remote fishing village along the southwestern rim of Alaska to resume a U.S. tradition seen only once a decade — a count of every person living in the country.

"I'm not anti-hospice at all," says Joy Johnston, a writer from Atlanta. "But I think people aren't prepared for all the effort that it takes to give someone a good death at home."

Hackers linked to Iran are probing American companies for vulnerabilities, cybersecurity researchers and U.S. government officials say.

The warnings suggest that the next phase of hostilities between the U.S. and Iran, following the Jan. 3 killing of a top Iranian general in an American drone strike, is likely to play out in cyberspace.

Weeks before the first votes of the 2020 presidential election, Americans report a high level of concern about how secure that election will be and worry about the perils of disinformation, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll.

Forty-one percent of those surveyed said they believed the U.S. is not very prepared or not prepared at all to keep November's election safe and secure.

Jan. 22 marks the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark court case that legalized abortion nationwide. People on both sides of the furious debate say this could be the year when everything changes.

In March, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear its first abortion case since Justice Brett Kavanaugh replaced Anthony Kennedy, who had been the swing vote on abortion cases. A decision is expected by summer.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

Scientists in the Philippines are defending their assessment of a volcano that has been spewing ash for more than a week after a local official demanded that they change their "opinion" of the danger it poses and urged people to defy authorities and return to their homes.

The vice mayor of the town of Talisay, located within a 9-mile zone around the Taal Volcano that has been subject to evacuation, criticized the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvolcs), questioning the science of predicting volcanoes.

Angry residents took to the streets of Puerto Rico on Monday.

Fury over the government's mishandling of disaster aid following a spate of devastating earthquakes earlier this month, coupled with the recent discovery of unused supplies — some dating back to Hurricane Maria — is driving frustrated demonstrators to the gates of the governor's mansion.

Amtrak has reversed course — at least partly — on its plan to charge two wheelchair users $25,000 for a short train ride, after hearing criticism, including from a U.S. senator.

On Friday, NPR reported that two riders, who use power wheelchairs, were told they'd have to pay at least $25,000 for a two-hour train ride from Chicago to the station in Bloomington-Normal, Ill. It's a ticket that usually costs $16.

Australia's southeast was already dealing with the terrible effects of historic bushfires and huge smoke clouds. Then Canberra, Melbourne and other places were hit by golf-ball-sized hail that destroyed car windshields, killed birds and shredded the leaves off trees.

The Bureau of Meteorology in New South Wales, the country's most populous state, warned residents of "damaging winds, large, possibly giant hailstones and heavy rainfall" as it issued severe thunderstorm warnings in the east and northeast.

New information is being reported about the new coronavirus that emerged in China in December and causes respiratory symptoms such as pneumonia — heightening concerns about its potential threat to humans.

On Monday, Chinese authorities reported that the total caseload has risen to over 200, roughly tripling the previous number. In addition, authorities in Wuhan, where the virus was first reported, confirmed a third death but did not release details except to say that the three victims, all men, had prior illnesses.

Updated at 12:58 p.m. ET

The White House is offering a fiery legal response to the articles of impeachment, in an executive summary of a legal brief obtained by NPR.

Decrying a "rigged process" that is "brazenly political," President Trump's legal team accuses House Democrats of "focus-group testing various charges for weeks" and says that "all that House Democrats have succeeded in proving is that the President did absolutely nothing wrong."

Updated 4:05 p.m. ET Sunday

Investigators in Honolulu are combing through the charred rubble of seven homes and searching for the remains of a man who police say stabbed his landlord, fatally shot two officers and set a fire that destroyed his bungalow and six other homes.

It wasn't just the fact that one of China's best universities had changed its charter last December to emphasize loyalty to the ruling Communist Party that raised eyebrows. Shanghai's Fudan University also deleted principles like freedom of thought, and did so publicly, as if expecting praise.

Furious students staged a rare and risky protest in the school cafeteria in December. They sang the school's anthem, which praises academic freedom.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

Thousands of gun ownership enthusiasts and armed militia members gathered at the Virginia State Capitol on Monday for a rally aimed at quashing new gun restrictions. The rally ended without any violence, but Richmond remains under a state of emergency and Gov. Ralph Northam's temporary ban on weapons on Capitol grounds will remain in place until Tuesday.

Updated at 7:50 a.m. ET Tuesday

The extradition hearing for Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer for the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, began Monday in Vancouver, British Columbia. American officials want Meng sent to the U.S. to face federal fraud charges.

Sometimes, the approval of a new generic drug offers more hype than hope for patients' wallets, as people with multiple sclerosis know all too well. New research shows just how little the introduction of a generic version of Copaxone — one of the most popular MS drugs — did to lower their medicine costs.

The United States now has 46 million people age 65 or older. That's a record number, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.

How confident are Iowa Democrats in their choices, now two weeks out from the caucuses?

The response Renee Kleinpeter gave NPR when asked which candidates she has narrowed her choice down to could sum it up: four seconds of laughter.

"I'll go with anybody who could beat [President] Trump," she said after laughing. "I wish somebody could tell me."

When Heather Woock was in her late 20s, she started researching her family history. As part of the project she spit into a tube and sent it to Ancestry, a consumer DNA testing service. Then in 2017, she started getting messages about the results from people who said they could be half-siblings.

"I immediately called my mom and said, 'Mom, is it possible that I have random siblings out there somewhere?'" Woock says. She remembers her mom responded, "No, why? That's ridiculous."

The Canadian Armed Forces are helping residents dig out of the snow after a powerful blizzard hit the easternmost province of Newfoundland and Labrador over the weekend.

In the capital city of St. John's, the snowstorm completely buried cars and caused thousands to lose power. The massive storm dumped as much as 30 inches of snow on the city, according to The Guardian.

The U.S. Navy says it will name an aircraft carrier after Doris "Dorie" Miller, the African American mess attendant who heroically leapt into combat during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It marks the first time that an aircraft carrier has been named for an African American, and the first time a sailor has been so honored for actions taken as an enlisted man.

From a launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center on Sunday, Elon Musk's SpaceX launched its latest rocket test into the Florida sky. Less than two minutes later, it exploded — just like the company hoped it would.

The explosion itself wasn't so much the success as was what came just before it. That's when the Crew Dragon, a capsule meant to carry astronauts into space, separated from the rocket. That separation was the goal of Sunday's test.

Jazz Saxophone Legend Jimmy Heath Has Died

Jan 19, 2020

Jimmy Heath, a prolific saxophonist, composer and bandleader who played alongside some of the biggest names of jazz, including Miles Davis and John Coltrane, has died.

Heath died Sunday morning in Loganville, Georgia of natural causes, his grandson told NPR. He was 93 years old. His family was at his side, including his wife of 60 years, Mona Heath, his children Mtume and Rozie, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and his brother, drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath.

The pricetag for President Trump's border wall has topped $11 billion — or nearly $20 million a mile — to become the most expensive wall of its kind anywhere in the world.

In a status report last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is overseeing wall construction, reported that $11 billion has been identified since Trump took office to construct 576 miles of a new "border wall system."

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