National & World News

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

The Michigan attorney general has offered to investigate the events leading up to the shooting last week that took the lives of four high school students.

"We have reached out to the attorney for the Oxford Community School District and have offered the services of the Michigan [Department] of Attorney General to conduct a full and comprehensive review" of the shooting "and the events leading up to it," Attorney General Dana Nessel said Sunday morning on Twitter.

When CNN fired primetime star Chris Cuomo on Saturday, the network cited new information casting fresh and harsh light on his efforts to aid his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in combating sexual harassment allegations.

Yet CNN also acted a day after a prominent Washington, D.C., workplace attorney arranged to share materials supporting accusations by a former colleague of Cuomo at ABC News that he had sexually harassed her there.

Updated December 5, 2021 at 3:21 PM ET

Bob Dole, a longtime Senate Republican leader and the party's presidential nominee in 1996, died Sunday at age 98.

Dole's death was confirmed in a tweet by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.

Thomas Gavin may be one of the most prolific artifact thieves in U.S. history.

There are no movies or books about him, and no wild police chases or Indiana Jones-like adventures. In fact, until a couple of years ago no one even knew who he was.

But Gavin had been on a tear in the '60s and '70s, hitting nearly a dozen museums on the East Coast. He mostly stole antique firearms and stashed them in his hideout — a cluttered, non-descript barn in rural Pennsylvania.

Buying stuff is a part of America's DNA.

It's a tradition that really took off near the end of World War II, when the economy was thriving and the market exploded with products Americans didn't even know they wanted.

And even in an economy rocked by a pandemic, buying is on track to exceed 2020 levels this holiday season. The result of all that spending means consumption drives 70% of our country's GDP, but it's also driving very real environmental issues.

There are more homeless families in the United States than in any other industrialized country. The main cause is the lack of affordable housing.

Nearly 172,000 families experienced homelessness in 2020, making up about 30% of the homeless population.

Updated December 5, 2021 at 10:27 AM ET

Since May 2021, people living in counties that voted heavily for Donald Trump during the last presidential election have been nearly three times as likely to die from COVID-19 as those who live in areas that went for now-President Biden. That's according to a new analysis by NPR that examines how political polarization and misinformation are driving a significant share of the deaths in the pandemic.

Updated December 4, 2021 at 8:34 PM ET

CNN has fired Chris Cuomo after new revelations detailed the journalist's role in advising his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in the face of sexual harassment allegations.

Across the U.S., the weather is simply weird: The highest peaks of Hawaii spent the weekend under a blizzard warning, while record rainfall drenched the Pacific Northwest, unseasonably warm temperatures stretched across the Midwest and South, and a major snow drought in the Rockies means Denver has still not seen its first snowfall of the season.

Meric Long had been playing guitar for three years when he realized the instrument could be more than his hobby — it could be his way of communicating, too, of feeling he had something important to say.

At a high-school friend's house party, Long, then an anxious California teenager, smoked too much weed and meandered on an acoustic guitar for several uninterrupted hours. He assumed he was improvising for no one. But people listened, captivated by the sudden volubility of a 16-year-old who considered himself awkward and uneasy.

Officials in Oregon are asking for public assistance to locate the person or persons responsible for poisoning eight wolves in the eastern part of the state earlier this year.

The Oregon State Police has been investigating the killing of all five members of the Catherine Pack in Union County, plus three other wolves from other packs, the agency said in a news release Thursday.

CARSON CITY, Nev. — When it was time for Winona James to return to school, her family hid her in brush near their home in the Carson Valley to prevent officials from the Stewart Indian School from finding her.

James, a member of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, was among the more than 20,000 students who were sent to the boarding school as part of a federal program designed to forcibly assimilate Native Americans into dominant Euro-American culture. She attended for one year, but her family feared for her life.

I've had açaí berries, being one of those Americans who longs to be healthier, especially if I can do it by plopping a few berries into a smoothie.

Açaí, which to me taste a little like dull blueberries, reportedly brim with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. They are said to promote energy, healthy digestion, and even a dewier complexion.

But how do açaí berries get from the tops of trees in Brazil's Amazon into the açaí bowls that sell in San Francisco, Austin and West Des Moines?

Many are picked by children.

When Karina Ahuanari's mother Teresa died of COVID on April 24, 2020, at a hospital in Peru's port city of Iquitos, their family had no idea what happened to her body.

At the time, the country was in lockdown and people couldn't leave their homes. Despite the COVID restrictions, Ahuanari's brother and sister-in-law went to the hospital to try to find the matriarch of their family.

Pastor Matthew Southall Brown Sr., a retired Baptist preacher and decorated war veteran, is being celebrated and remembered this weekend in Savannah, Ga. Brown died late last month of natural causes. He was 99.

Brown was a member of the 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, Company E, a segregated support unit. He was among the first African Americans to desegregate the military and fight during World War II. He earned the Good Conduct Medal, WWII Victory Medal, as well as an American Theater Ribbon, among other commendations.

BUDAPEST, Hungary — When President Biden greets scores of nations at his virtual "Summit for Democracy" this coming week, one member of the Western alliance won't be there.

Hungary, on the Eastern edge of the European Union, was not invited.

Here we go again.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to almost normal times, a new, highly mutated variant of the coronavirus has reared its ugly head in the U.S.

Updated December 4, 2021 at 5:17 PM ET

After an hours-long manhunt led to their arrest overnight in Detroit, the parents of the 15-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting four students at a high school in Michigan have pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges connected to the deaths.

Over the weekend, the moon, Earth and sun will all come into alignment, causing the California coast to see unusually high tides, known as king tides.

The planetary confluence combined with the gravitational pull of the sun and moon will bring some of the highest and lowest tides of the year and could lead to localized flooding in some coastal communities, particularly the San Francisco Bay Area.

The first witnesses in the trial of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell took the stand this week in a Manhattan federal courtroom.

Maxwell, 59, is accused of recruiting girls and even participating in sexual abuse by financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who died while in custody in 2019. She's charged with several felony counts, including the trafficking of minors.

It's a case that's caught global attention, in part because of the powerful and famous men who have been linked to Epstein.

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada's Supreme Court ruled gun manufacturers cannot be held responsible for the deaths in the 2017 mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip because a state law shields them from liability unless the weapon malfunctions.

The parents of a woman who was among the 60 people killed in the shooting at packed music festival filed a wrongful death suit against Colt Manufacturing Co. and several other gun manufacturers in July 2019.

DENVER — Experts have found a man charged with killing 10 people at a Colorado supermarket earlier this year is mentally incompetent to stand trial for now, attorneys said during a court hearing Friday.

Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 22, is accused of opening fire at a busy King Soopers in the college town of Boulder in March — killing a police officer, shoppers and several store employees including an Olympic hopeful distance runner.

(Heads up: This story contains spoilers about the movie House of Gucci.)

In House of Gucci, Lady Gaga's character, Patrizia Reggiani, is famous for two reasons. She was married to Maurizio Gucci, grandson of the company's founder Guccio Gucci — and she was convicted having the fashion heir killed in 1995.

To prepare for the role, Gaga said she spent months studying Reggiani for director Ridley Scott's new film.

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.

In Greenville, Miss., pop. 27,000, a modern, brightly lit juice bar stands out in the small downtown lined with mostly mom and pop businesses and a few taverns near the town's riverbank casino.

The chorus of friendly, neighborly hellos is a customer favorite, but what's really turning heads is the owner of Kay's Kute Fruit, 30 year-old Kenesha Lewis.

"I'm really excited for the young people to walk in, and they say, who's the owner, and they're like, what? I had somebody do that to me," Lewis says laughing.

The Philippine government, beset by charges of incompetence and corruption in its handling of the pandemic, has mounted a vaccination campaign that any of its Southeast Asian neighbors might envy. Over the course of just three days this week the country vaccinated 7.6 million people ages 12 and above. 34.53% of the country is now fully vaccinated.

The Portland Trail Blazers have fired Neil Olshey as their general manager, a dismissal that takes effect immediately. Olshey had been under investigation after workers reportedly accused him of creating a hostile work environment.

The Blazers said Olshey violated their code of conduct, in a brief statement the team issued on Friday.

The NBA team didn't provide details of Olshey's misdeeds, stating, "Out of respect for those who candidly participated in that privileged investigation, we will not release or discuss it."

MINNEAPOLIS — A mostly white jury was seated Friday for the trial of a white suburban Minneapolis police officer who said she drew her handgun by mistake when she fatally shot Black motorist Daunte Wright following a traffic stop.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is demanding that the FBI take full control over the investigation into the death of Jelani "J.J." Day.

President Biden has signed legislation to keep the government funded through Feb. 18, clearing the way for Congress to focus on a daunting year-end to-do list.

Congress has less than three weeks to resolve differences that have plagued both parties for the entire year.

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