NPR Stories

After promising booster shots to all recipients of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, then only some, 20 million Americans are now officially eligible to receive them.

The fall of a Syrian opposition town to the government this week after a siege and threats of air strikes serves as a reminder that the civil war continues.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The pandemic, migration crisis, and Congressional gridlock continue to create stumbling blocks for the Biden administration.

BERLIN — Millions of Germans will head to the polls in a federal election on Sunday that will determine who will succeed Angela Merkel after 16 years as Germany's chancellor.

According to the latest polls, Germany's center-left Social Democratic Party is narrowly ahead of Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian partner, the Christian Social Union. They're closely followed by the Greens, the far-right Alternative for Germany and the libertarian Free Democratic Party, all holding onto double-digit poll numbers going into Sunday's election.

Selling an idea in Silicon Valley takes not only a grand vision but also swagger and bluster, says Margaret O'Mara, a historian of the tech industry.

"Being able to tell a good story is part of being a successful founder, being able to persuade investors to put money into your company," she said.

GRASSE, France — The town of Grasse sits in the hills above the more famous French Riviera city of Cannes, and it doesn't have the Mediterranean Sea at its doorstep. What it does have is fields of flowers — jasmine, May rose, tuberose, lavender. It is known as the perfume capital of the world.

It wasn't always this way. Back in the18th and 19th centuries, the industry took off in Grasse in part because this was an absolutely putrid-smelling town.

Adam Willmann was born in Goodall-Witcher hospital in Clifton, a small town in central Texas. Now he's its CEO, and he's worried his hospital may have to stop delivering babies.

That's because some of the experienced nurses in the Goodall-Witcher obstetrics department aren't vaccinated for COVID-19 and don't intend to be. But under a new federal mandate, hospitals will soon have to require their staff to be vaccinated.

In America, around 17 million children are battling hunger. An entrepreneur has teamed with rap star Gunna to open a free grocery store inside his old middle school in Georgia to try to begin to change that.

A 6-year-old Colorado girl fell to her death at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs earlier this month after ride operators failed to properly check her seatbelts, state officials said.

Wongel Estifanos of Colorado Springs, Colo., died from her injuries on Sept. 5 after investigators said she fell 110 feet from the Haunted Mine Drop ride.

The days of toilet paper shortages may not be over just yet: Costco has announced new limits on purchases of certain household items as supply chain issues bedevil the company and the delta variant spreads.

The company is putting "limitations on key items" such as toilet paper, bottled water and cleaning supplies so it can meet any uptick in demand due to the COVID-19 surge, Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said during the company's latest earnings call on Thursday.

Hurricane Sam is poised to become a major hurricane Saturday — just one day after it reached hurricane status. The storm will rapidly intensify as it passes over warm 84-degree water far out in the Atlantic Ocean, according to the National Hurricane Center. Wind conditions in the area are also favorable for storm growth.

No coastal watches or warnings are currently in effect for Sam, which is more than 1,300 miles east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands that rim the Caribbean Sea.

Two hosts of the popular ABC daytime talk show The View tested positive for the coronavirus moments before Vice President Harris was set to appear onstage in what the network had touted as her first in-studio talk show interview since taking office.

Editor's note: This report includes allegations of sexual and physical abuse.

It has been six weeks of hearing from accusers, former employees and expert witnesses. Now the jury decides what's next for R. Kelly.

Each week, we answer frequently asked questions about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions." See an archive of our FAQs here.

SEOUL — The race to become Japan's next leader looks like a tossup. In the nearly half-century that Tokyo-based journalist Hiroshi Izumi has been covering party politics and elections, "This is the first time that we cannot predict the result until the ballot box will be opened," he says.

President Biden says he will get a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as he can, urging Americans also eligible to do the same.

Updated September 24, 2021 at 4:01 PM ET

There are no longer any Haitian migrants in the camp under the Del Rio International Bridge in Texas, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters Friday.

The camp grew to hold 15,000 people at one point, with a total of nearly 30,000 migrants passing through since Sept. 9, Mayorkas said. He called it an "unprecedented" number.

The CIA has removed its station chief in Vienna, in part because of his handling of cases involving what's known as "Havana syndrome," according to current and former government officials.

A growing number of U.S. intelligence officials in Vienna have reported symptoms in recent months consistent with Havana syndrome, which include dizziness, migraines and memory loss.

For the past several weeks, Dr. Boghuma Titanji has been swamped with questions about COVID-19 vaccine boosters. Even the experts seem confused, she says.

"I'm even getting questions from my colleagues, who are doctors, asking me, 'What should I do?' " says the infectious disease specialist at Emory University.

Oxygen tank at her side, Isabelita Vinuya, 88, struggles as she sits up in her bed, too weak to stand and too listless to talk about the cause that animated her life the past 25 years. She organized the "Malaya Lolas," women who endured the Japanese Imperial Army's system of sexual slavery during its occupation of the Philippines in World War II. NPR's radio and digital account of the survivors' stories — and their decades-long struggle to win reparations from Japan — was honored with the Edward R.

The question of when humans first migrated to North America has long been a matter of hot debate among researchers who have continually uncovered evidence of ever-earlier dates. Now, analysis of ancient fossilized human footprints in New Mexico has pushed the date back once again — to at least 21,000 years ago.

The search for Jelani "J.J." Day is officially over, as the coroner's office in LaSalle County, Ill., identified a body found in a river as Day's. The Illinois State University graduate student had been missing since Aug. 24; the cause and circumstances of his death are being investigated.

Updated September 24, 2021 at 7:16 PM ET

A widely discredited GOP-led review of the 2020 election in Arizona's largest county has concluded that President Biden did indeed receive more votes there than former President Donald Trump.

Tens of thousands of Black girls and women go missing every year. Last year, that figure was nearly 100,000. Yet their cases hardly ever grab national headlines.

A journalist in California is doing what she can to try to change that, by telling as many of their stories as she can — and hopefully helping them get the justice they deserve.

Updated September 24, 2021 at 11:58 AM ET

The U.S. House on Friday approved a bill that Democrats say will protect a person's access to abortion.

RUEGEN, Germany — It was a cold, misty morning in November of 1990 when the fishermen noticed a woman standing outside their hut. They'd been fishing in the Baltic Sea and were approaching shore, trying to make out who it was. Hans-Joachim Bull was worried the stranger might be an inspector sent by the government to enforce fishing quotas.

"We offloaded our fish and then we asked her what she wanted," he remembers. "She said she was running for parliament and wanted to learn how we fishermen were doing. So we naturally invited her into our hut to drink schnapps with us."

If you want to know why it's hard to buy a car these days, just take a look at all the vacant spots at your local dealerships.

When Sarah Chismar, a Toyota salesperson, surveyed the empty pavement at her dealership in Missouri this week, she sighed.

"In a normal month, we probably will have, like, 120 new cars," she said. "Right now, I think we have maybe 10."

And she's happy to have 10. "Last week we had five," she added.

Updated September 23, 2021 at 8:39 PM ET

One person is dead and at least a dozen others are wounded after a mass shooting at a Kroger grocery store in Collierville, Tenn., a suburb east of Memphis, officials said.

According to Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane, officers received a call at 1:30 p.m. local time Thursday about an active shooter at the supermarket.

Pages