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Huang Xian'er came of age while watching Internet celebrities' streaming videos on her smartphone in western China's Yinchuan city.

"My mom knew I was watching Internet stars in school," she recalls. "She simplistically thought that all Internet stars sell clothes, get plastic surgery and all look the same."

Remember the California drought? It was all over the news a year ago, when the state took the unprecedented step of mandating statewide water cutbacks. The Sierra Nevada snowpack was at its lowest recorded level. Rivers and reservoirs were getting shallower and shallower. Wells in rural towns were literally running dry.

That drought is still very much a thing.

Dorothy's ruby slippers could use a little more magic these days — or at least some preservationist TLC.

The famous shoes from The Wizard of Oz are among the most popular items on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. But they're showing their age, and the museum is asking the public to pitch in to help keep the shoes intact for decades to come.

Giant panda Bao Bao, born at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., in August 2013, will be heading to China this winter.

Bao Bao's parents, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, are on loan from China, and the agreement calls for any pandas born to the breeding pair to be sent to the Chinese breeding program before they turn 4.

A guy who covers agriculture in the West who's never put a skinned, sliced, battered, deep-fried bull testicle into a cup of cocktail sauce and then into his mouth?

I couldn't let it stand.

They're known by many names: lamb fries, bull fries, Montana tenders, huevos de toro, cowboy caviar. In my corner of Colorado, they're Rocky Mountain oysters, and I somehow coaxed myself into thinking I needed to try them to be more a part of the place I live, to be a true-blue Coloradoan.

Donald Trump at Wednesday's presidential debate refused to say whether he would honor the results of the Nov. 8 election. But is that just a tease meant to build suspense?

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine tells Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep he doubts that.

Just 18 and still in high school, Camila Rodriguez did not feel prepared for motherhood when she learned she was unexpectedly pregnant. She began asking around her school, hoping to find someone selling Misoprostol, a pharmaceutical drug that treats stomach ulcers, but which has been banned in Chile since 2001 because it can also induce abortions.

In the final presidential debate, Donald Trump said he supports the federal ban on "partial-birth" abortion because, under the procedure, "in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother."

He added that this can happen "as late as one or two or three or four days prior to birth."

But that is not at all likely.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Cameron Smith was a fifth-grader with straight A's when her school, Fickett Elementary, was caught up in a national cheating scandal.

The story started in 2001, when scores on statewide tests across Atlanta began improving greatly. The superintendent, Beverly Hall, was hailed as a highly effective reformer, winning National Superintendent of the Year in 2009.

Our cars and trucks are being made with more safety features. New technologies such as lane departure warnings, blind spot detection, vehicle stabilizers and anti-lock brakes can, and do, save lives.

Yet more people are dying on the nation's roadways — nearly 18,000 in the first six months of this year. That's a huge jump of 10.4 percent over the same time period in 2015, and it's part of a disturbing trend, according to federal officials, because traffic fatalities rose significantly last year, too.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had one job in his third and final debate with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton: break out.

He needed to break out from the narrative that is fast enveloping his campaign — the way evening overtakes the late afternoon.

He needed a breakout performance showing himself to be disciplined and knowledgeable enough to be president.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


A federal jury in Los Angeles found New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose not liable Wednesday in a civil suit that accused him and two friends of rape. Ryan Allen and Randall Hampton, the two friends, were also cleared.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has launched an investigation into allegations that Wells Fargo & Co. engaged in criminal identity theft when the bank created millions of accounts without customer consent, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Carlos Santana and Coco Crisp homered and rookie Ryan Merritt delivered shutdown pitching as Cleveland beat Toronto 3-0 to win the American League Championship Series in five games.

The Indians are heading to the World Series for the first time since 1997 and will host the first two games. Cleveland last won a World Series in 1948.

Mike Napoli's double off of Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada put Cleveland on top in the first inning. Estrada also gave up two home runs.

Emergency Room Use Stays High In Oregon Medicaid Study

Oct 19, 2016

Will Medicaid expansion save the country money as people stop using expensive emergency rooms for primary care?

Not yet, suggest the latest findings from a landmark study published online Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study of Medicaid patients in Oregon who got Medicaid in 2008 found their ER use stayed high two years after they gained the health insurance coverage — even as they also increased their visits to doctors' offices.

As Donald Trump warns about the prospect of a "rigged" presidential election, he's getting some help from a conservative activist group.

Project Veritas, which has carried out several damaging video sting operations, has posted several videos in recent days purporting to show Democratic operatives bragging about inciting violence at Trump's campaign events, and appearing to detail how they could bus out-of-state supporters in to commit voter fraud.

Phil Chess, co-founder of the iconic Chicago blues and rock 'n' roll label Chess Records, died Wednesday in Tucson, Ariz. He was 95.

Phil and his brother, Leonard Chess, emigrated to the U.S. from Poland in 1928. Chess Records biographer Nadine Cohodas told their story to NPR in 2000.

"It was a scrappy kind of existence," Cohodas said of the Chess brothers' early years in Chicago. "Their father was very determined and he opened a junk shop, as did many other immigrants from Eastern Europe."

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The Pentagon says two Americans were shot and killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, and at least two others were wounded. One of those who died was a service member, the other was a civilian.

NPR's Tom Bowman reported the assailant opened fire at the entrance to an ammunition depot near Camp Morehead, a training center for Afghan commandos. The camp is about an hour's drive south of Kabul.

As Tom reported for our Newscast unit:

Regulators in Malaysia are trying to make something clear to food consumers: Hot dogs do not have dog meat in them.

According to The Associated Press, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department, a religious regulatory authority, has asked the U.S. company to change the name of its popular "pretzel dog" frankfurter wrapped in pretzel bread in order to obtain official halal certification.

Faculty members at more than a dozen Pennsylvania public universities went on strike on Wednesday. The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties represents educators at 14 public universities. The strike comes after negotiations broke down between the union and Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education.