NPR Stories

It took just about two weeks from the public announcement to Sunday's legislative vote that erased presidential term limits from the constitution, potentially allowing Xi Jinping to rule China indefinitely.

"After it was announced, the move sent tremors through the Communist Party's intelligentsia," observes Zhang Xixian, an expert on party politics at the Central Party School in Beijing. But thanks to heavy government censorship of media and the Internet, there was little visible debate or opposition to the move.

The U.K. is expelling 23 Russian diplomats as punishment for a chemical weapons attack that took place in England. Prime Minister Theresa May has said Russia was likely behind the poisoning of a former Russian spy who, along with his daughter, was exposed to a lethal nerve agent that was developed in Russia.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

As students staged a national walkout Wednesday morning over gun violence, senior federal officials sat down for a grilling from Congress over law enforcement's failure to act on tips about the suspect in last month's school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

German lawmakers have officially elected Chancellor Angela Merkel to continue leading the country for a fourth term after months of grueling coalition talks that left the country in limbo following elections in September.

Members of Germany's Bundestag voted 364 in favor, 315 opposed and nine abstentions.

"I accept the vote," Merkel told parliamentarians.

Her fourth term ends more than five months of political wrangling and uncertainty that weakened Merkel's governing coalition.

"Creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status." That's one of the many quotes that has made Sir Ken Robinson's 2006 lecture on rethinking the nation's schools become one of the most popular TED talks — with more than 50 million views.

Virginia is among 18 states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. But this year, the state legislature is going into a special session to continue discussions about whether or not to include it in its budget.

No one knows how many people wrongfully convicted of crimes are in prison, but last year 139 of them were exonerated. That's a drop from 2016, when there were 171 such cases.

The numbers released today by the National Registry of Exonerations shows that Texas still led the nation with 23 exonerees last year followed by Illinois (21), Michigan (14) and New York (13).

Updated at 10:20 a.m. ET to reflect growing number of walkouts

Seventeen-year-old Egzona Rexhepi and many of her classmates in Boise, Idaho, will join students at schools and universities across the country as they walk out of their school Wednesday to protest gun violence.

Shortly after announcing a major shake-up on Twitter on Tuesday, President Trump told reporters, "We're getting very close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want."

Trump wished outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson well but said he expects a more simpatico relationship with Mike Pompeo, the current CIA director whom the president has tapped to be the nation's top diplomat.

Big black and white letters that spelled out "Preservation Hall New Orleans" made the jazz band's sousaphone hard to miss. That was, at least, until it went missing.

"If you're trying to identify the sound of the tuba in one of our recordings or when you hear us live, you listen to the low end," tuba player Ben Jaffe says. "You listen for the bass, you listen for the bottom, the thing that carries the band. It's the rhythmic and harmonic foundation of the band."

In its Race Issue, National Geographic magazine examines the state of race relations in the United States, including an acknowledgment of the racism that permeated its own pages for decades. Among the magazine's contributors this month: Michele Norris, former host of NPR's All Things Considered.

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

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

Seven weeks into Turkey's Operation Olive Branch, a mission to clear Kurdish fighters from Syrian regions along its southern border, the Turkish military says its troops and Syrian rebel allies have nearly surrounded Afrin. They announced Tuesday that the central section of the border city and other "critically important areas" have been seized from the principally Kurdish militia known as People's Protection Units, or YPG.

It seems like another example of television's gender pay gap: executive producers of Netflix's drama The Crown have admitted that star Claire Foy, who played Queen Elizabeth, was paid less than Matt Smith, the supporting actor who played her husband, Prince Philip.

But a look at the details of this deal also shows how well stardom pays off in show business, especially when an actor in a supporting role is more famous than the star of their new television series.

NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., about Gina Haspel's nomination for Director of the CIA. A member of Senate Intelligence Committee, he opposes confirming her, because of her involvement in enhanced interrogation techniques.

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

Updated at 5:47 p.m. ET

President Trump is making his first visit to California since taking office, using the whirlwind trip to view prototypes for his signature border wall proposal and promote his defense policies to troops stationed in San Diego.

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

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

Editor's note on March 16: During this report, we say that Gina Haspel ran a black site prison in Thailand where al-Qaida suspect Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded. She did run that site for a time after the Sept. 11 attacks, but as ProPublica has now acknowledged in a retraction of its reporting, she was not there when Zubaydah was waterboarded.

For the 2020 census, the U.S. Census Bureau is changing how it will ask black people to designate their race. Under the check box for "Black or African American," the bureau is adding a new space on the census questionnaire for participants to write in their non-Hispanic origins, according to a recent memo from the head of the 2020 census.

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://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/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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

SARAH MCCAMMON, 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/.

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

Nikolai Glushkov, a Russian exile who was a close friend of a noted critic of President Vladimir Putin, has died from an "unexplained" cause in London, police say. The Metropolitan Police says that its counterterrorism unit is handling the case "because of associations that the man is believed to have had."

The state attorney in Broward County, Fla., announced Tuesday that he intends to seek the death penalty in the Parkland school shooting case.

In a news release, Broward County State Attorney Michael Satz said he had filed the notice of intent to seek death in the case against 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz.

Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month.

Physical therapy helps Leon Beers get out of bed in the morning and maneuver around his home using his walker. Other treatment strengthens the 73-year-old man's throat muscles so that he can swallow food more easily, says Beers' sister, Karen Morse. But in mid-January, his home health care agency told Morse it could no longer provide these services because he had used all his therapy benefits allowed under Medicare for the year.

Pages