National & World News

Coverage of national and world news from New England Public Radio, NPR, and other NPR stations.

A bipartisan group of senators is "very, very close" to an agreement on a deal for an infrastructure package, Ohio Republican Rob Portman told Capitol Hill reporters Wednesday, and President Biden has invited the group to the White House Thursday.

The invitation follows meetings between White House advisers and the group of senators Wednesday.

Editor's Note: These videos include depictions of violence as well as offensive language.

The Department of Justice has released police body camera footage from the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot showing violent attacks on police defending the building from a pro-Trump mob.

A new study estimates that life expectancy in the U.S. decreased by nearly two years between 2018 and 2020, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And the declines were most pronounced among minority groups, including Black and Hispanic people.

In 2018, average life expectancy in the U.S. was about 79 years (78.7). It declined to about 77 years (76.9) by the end of 2020, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal.

Updated June 23, 2021 at 6:56 PM ET

Federal prosecutors secured their first guilty plea Wednesday in the Justice Department's sprawling conspiracy case involving the Oath Keepers extremist group in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

American software pioneer John McAfee, 75, was found dead on Wednesday in a prison cell in Barcelona, Spain, according to McAfee's lawyers.

Just hours earlier, a court in Spain had approved the extradition of McAfee to the U.S., where he was set to stand trial on federal tax-evasion charges.

Authorities are investigating the cause of death.

An eccentric and brash millionaire known widely for his eponymous antivirus software, McAfee sold his stake in the company in the mid-1990s and spent his life globe-trotting and stumbling frequently into legal trouble.

The storied space telescope that brought you stunning photos of the solar system and enriched our understanding of the cosmos over the past three decades is experiencing a technical glitch.

Scientists at NASA say the Hubble Space Telescope's payload computer, which operates the spacecraft's scientific instruments, went down suddenly on June 13. Without it, the instruments on board meant to snap pictures and collect data are not currently working.

Updated June 23, 2021 at 9:22 PM ET

Addressing a Los Angeles Superior Court judge via a remote connection, Britney Spears on Wednesday afternoon made her most public statement to date about her long-running conservatorship. For over a decade, the pop star's life has been ruled by an atypical court-dictated legal arrangement that removes practically all autonomy from her life. Until now, she has remained mostly quiet on the subject.

Updated June 23, 2021 at 5:32 PM ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 323 cases of heart inflammation have been verified in people who received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

The cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been seen mostly in teens and young adults between 12 and 39 years old — mostly after the second vaccine dose.

Several key House members, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have signed onto a groundbreaking Senate plan to overhaul the military's justice system, including how sex-related crimes are prosecuted, boosting the measure's chances. The legislation, now moving in both chambers, has momentum after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin backed a key provision on Tuesday.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Enormous amounts of construction materials are needed to repair and rebuild the thousands of homes and businesses that were damaged in Gaza in last month's conflict between Israel and Hamas.

But international donors, including the United States, that have pledged funds want to make sure those supplies don't end up in the hands of Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza.

As a principal, Jeff Reaves always tries to do something nice for each graduating class at his Florida high school. But this year, his fourth year working at Matanzas High, he wanted to do something extra special for the students who were freshmen when he first started the job.

MOSCOW — The British Defence Ministry has denied a claim that a Russian vessel fired warning shots at a Royal Navy warship approaching the Crimean Peninsula in the Black Sea Wednesday.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said that a warplane had also dropped four bombs in the path of the British destroyer, HMS Defender, to force it to change course.

One evening in late March, a mom called 911. Her daughter, she said, was threatening to kill herself. EMTs arrived at the home north of Boston, helped calm the 13-year-old, and took her to an emergency room.

On the corner of East 123rd Street and Imperial Avenue, in Cleveland, Shirley Bell-Wheeler watches over a community garden with freshly planted raspberries, purple asparagus, and a little apple tree.

"Trees are trees, but fruit trees are just better," she says with a hearty laugh. Bell-Wheeler is a full-time teacher aide, part-time gardener, and the guardian of all green things in this neighborhood. She wishes there were more of them.

For Gloria Majiga-Kamoto, her great awakening to plastic pollution started with goats.

She was working for a local environmental nongovernmental organization in her native Malawi with a program that gave goats to rural farmers. The farmers would use the goats' dung to produce low-cost, high-quality organic fertilizer.

The problem? The thin plastic bags covering the Malawian countryside.

At the World Cup in France two years ago, the U.S. Women's national team trounced the competition and came home with the trophy – all while demanding equal pay.

The U.S. hopes to repeat that winning performance at the upcoming Olympic Games – and today, head coach Vlatko Andonovski named the 18 players who are headed to Tokyo.

The roster includes the biggest names in U.S. soccer today, including Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle, and Christen Press.

Updated June 23, 2021 at 4:48 PM ET

In a victory for student speech rights, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a former cheerleader's online F-bombs about her school is protected speech under the First Amendment.

Updated June 23, 2021 at 12:31 PM ET

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police cannot always enter a home without a warrant when pursuing someone for a minor crime.

The court sent the case back to the lower court to decide if the police violated the rights of a California man by pursuing him into his garage for allegedly playing loud music while driving down a deserted two-lane highway late at night.

Updated June 23, 2021 at 1:35 PM ET

Buffalo, N.Y., appears on course soon to have its first socialist mayor after India Walton took the lead over incumbent Mayor Byron Brown in Tuesday's Democratic primary election.

Walton, a progressive candidate endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America, would also be the first female mayor of New York's second-largest city if she wins the general election in November.

Updated June 23, 2021 at 1:06 PM ET

The Supreme Court on Wednesday tightened the leash on union representatives and their ability to organize farmworkers in California and elsewhere. At issue in the case was a California law that allows union organizers to enter farms to speak to workers during nonworking hours — before and after work, as well as during lunch — for a set a number of days each year.

Right now, a couple of planets about as massive as Earth are orbiting a dim star that's just a dozen light-years away from us. Those planets could be cozy enough to potentially support life. But if any one is living there — and if these life forms have the same kinds of technology that humans do — they wouldn't be able to detect Earth yet.

The Biden administration is quietly engineering a series of expansions to Medicaid that may bolster protections for millions of low-income Americans and bring more people into the program.

Biden's efforts — which have been largely overshadowed by other economic and health initiatives — represent an abrupt reversal of the Trump administration's moves to scale back the safety-net program.

Soccer stadiums across Germany will light up with rainbow colors during a match Wednesday between Germany and Hungary, in part to protest a decision from the Union of European Football Associations denying Munich's request to illuminate its arena.

They're also showing solidarity with Hungary's LGBTQ community after the rival country passed a law denounced by human rights groups as homophobic.

The UEFA said Tuesday that it was denying a request for host city Munich's Allianz Arena to display the colors during the match.

Clarisa Andres, a petite 22-year-old, hasn't been home in over a month. She's homesick, but she says she can cope.

She's an emergency medical technician with the San Juan Early Response Network – one of the few women on the 63-member team – and the pandemic has amped up their work of responding to medical emergencies. They work 24-hour shifts, 7 days a week and when they're on call, they live in a dorm with other health-care workers.

A videogame changed Peter Tamte's life. And forever altered his view of military service.

In the early 2000s the U.S. Marine Corps recruited the developer to help design video training programs. Tamte, who had never served, befriended a bunch of the grunts who were testing his product. Then came the second battle of Fallujah in Iraq, the heaviest urban fighting for U.S. troops since Vietnam.

Today the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announces new grants for arts and culture organizations under President Biden's American Rescue Plan. The pandemic relief fund set aside $135 million for both the arts and humanities endowments, nearly double the amount that was available to cultural groups in President Trump's CARES Act. Eligibility requirements for NEA grants have also been modified to allow for a broader pool of applicants.

BEIJING – Hong Kong's most prominent pro-democracy newspaper is shutting down.

The paper, Apple Daily, had managed to survive the arrest of its founder and of its editor in chief, and of several top executives. But last week, the government froze its bank accounts, crippling the paper's operations.

Apple Daily will run its last edition on Saturday — signaling the end to Hong Kong's once freewheeling and muckraking reporting environment as well.

Updated June 23, 2021 at 12:10 PM ET

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams took the lead in the Democratic primary for New York City's mayoral race Tuesday, but it will still take weeks to produce an official winner. For now, Maya Wiley sits in second place, followed by Kathryn Garcia.

Jury selection in the trial of the gunman who fatally shot five employees at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md., on June 28, 2018 gets underway on Wednesday.

Jarrod Ramos, 41, has pleaded guilty — but not criminally responsible for reason of insanity — in the killings of John McNamara, Rob Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman, Wendi Winters and Rebecca Smith. The mass shooting was one of the deadliest attacks on journalists in modern U.S. history.

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