Matthew S. Schwartz

Matthew S. Schwartz is a reporter with NPR's news desk. Before coming to NPR, Matt worked as a reporter for Washington, D.C., member station WAMU, where he won the national Edward R. Murrow award for feature reporting in large market radio. Previously, Matt worked as a technology reporter covering the intricacies of Internet regulation. In a past life, Matt was a Washington telecom lawyer. He got his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. from the University of Michigan ("Go Blue!").

Zimbabwe forces have engaged in "systematic torture" of protesters, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has found. The torture, mostly consisting of "indiscriminate and severe beatings," follows several days of looting, fires and street barricades by protesters angry over high fuel prices.

Russell Baker, the Pulitzer Prize winning writer who penned thousands of columns for The New York Times, and hosted the PBS television program "Masterpiece Theatre," died Monday at his home in Leesburg, Va. He was 93.

Zimbabwe has constricted Internet access amid a week of deadly protests following an increase in gasoline prices.

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the country's largest mobile phone operator, said early Friday that it had been directed by the government to shut down all Internet access for the second time in a week.

Hundreds of Honduran migrants have crossed the Guatemalan border as they travel in the direction of the United States.

The group that reached Guatemala on Tuesday is the first wave of a caravan that could consist of thousands. It's the first national border crossed by the migrants on their journey that started Monday night.

It's a scene often observed in the White House. Men in bow ties light golden candelabras while the president of the United States stands behind a table containing small mountains of food on silver trays.

So far, so good.

But look closely, and you'll see the labels on the packages: "Quarter Pounder." "Filet-O-Fish." Chicken nugget dipping sauces sit in serving bowls off to the side. Behind the current president, Abraham Lincoln looks down, his hand on his chin, surveying the scene.

If only paintings could offer witty commentary.

The 18-year-old Saudi woman who secured asylum in Canada hopes other women will be inspired to follow in her footsteps.

Updated at 12:35 p.m. ET

The mayor of the Polish city of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, has died a day after he was stabbed in the heart and abdomen at a charity event attended by thousands of people.

Adamowicz, 53, was onstage after speaking at Sunday's finale of the annual Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity event, which raises money for medical equipment to treat sick children. TV footage showed Adamowicz telling the audience it had been a "wonderful day" just before he was attacked, The Associated Press reports.

Updated at 5:58 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Pennsylvania has blocked the Trump administration from implementing a rule allowing employers to decline to offer contraceptive coverage on moral or religious grounds.

U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone in Philadelphia imposed a nationwide injunction Monday which has wider effect than a similar ruling issued Sunday by a federal judge in California.

Juan David Ortiz, a U.S. Border Patrol agent, pleaded not guilty Thursday to capital murder in the deaths of four women, The Associated Press reports. His "killing spree" might have continued, prosecutors say, had they not caught a "lucky break" when a fifth kidnapped woman escaped and contacted authorities.

A Nazi war criminal, living safely in the United States until his deportation to Germany last year, has died. He had been the last known World War II Nazi living in the U.S.

Australian police arrested a Shepparton man accused of mailing 38 packages containing a dangerous substance to diplomatic missions throughout southeast Australia.

Savas Avan was charged with sending dangerous articles through the postal service, Australian law enforcement officials said in a statement. The offense carries a maximum 10-year jail term.

A federal judge in Iowa says it's no longer a crime to go undercover at factory farms, slaughterhouses and any other ag-related operations. The 2012 law was a clear violation of the First Amendment, the judge said.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, one of the plaintiffs in the case, called the ruling "a win for free speech and animal protection."

Updated at 10 a.m. ET

The young Saudi woman who captivated the world with her harrowing tweets claiming abuse has been granted refugee status by the United Nations.

"The UNHCR has referred Ms Rahaf Mohammed Al-Qunun to Australia for consideration for refugee resettlement," the Australia Department of Home Affairs told NPR in a statement, referring to the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Australia will "consider this referral in the usual way, as it does with all UNHCR referrals."

After extending to an unexpected third day, trade talks between U.S. and Chinese officials have concluded, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry announced Wednesday morning. Delegates to the talks have not yet revealed what specifically was discussed, or if anything was agreed to. In a Tweet Tuesday morning, President Trump said the talks were "going very well!"

On Tuesday, the woman believed to be the oldest person in the U.S. passed away at her home in Cleveland Heights, the Associated Press reported. According to the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks and verifies the age of people aged 110 and older, Lessie Brown lived for 114 years and 108 days.

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