National & World News

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

As former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial unfolds, a group of nine House Democrats will have the task of prosecuting the case before the Senate whose members will serve as jurors.

It was supposed to be a secret, a quiet way to support people who desperately need help. But word got out about what North Charleston High School Principal Henry Darby was doing – and the state has now presented him with its highest civilian honor.

It was an apology tour of sorts.

Neera Tanden instantly became one of President Biden's most polarizing Cabinet nominees when she was selected to head the Office of Management and Budget because of sharp-elbowed comments she had made about Republicans while running a left-leaning think tank.

So at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Tanden was contrite, apologizing for her remarks. She also promised to work in a bipartisan manner if she's confirmed.

Updated at 2:06 p.m. ET

The National Transportation Safety Board has determined that the probable cause of the crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and six other passengers last year was the pilot's decision to continue flight under adverse weather conditions. The result, they said, was the pilot's "spatial disorientation" and loss of control.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in today for Terry Gross.

Colombia will offer temporary protective status to nearly one million undocumented Venezuelan migrants, enabling them to work in the country legally as well as access healthcare and other essential services.

Updated at 1:07 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., pledged that Senate Democrats are moving "full steam ahead" on passing coronavirus relief legislation as they convene for the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

The board of the U.S. Capitol police union said it will move forward with plans to hold a no-confidence vote for the force's top leaders, including acting Chief Yogananda Pittman.

The vote will be held by week's end, a little more than a month after the Jan. 6 insurrection that left several people dead, including a Capitol police officer.

The Capitol's top three security officials, including the former police chief, Steven Sund, resigned in the days following the attack.

Updated on Saturday at 6:22 p.m. ET: Special coverage of the trial has ended.

The Senate acquitted former President Donald Trump of the charge of inciting an insurrection on Saturday.

The Senate voted to allow witnesses earlier Saturday, only to reverse course just a few hours later, avoiding what could have turned into days or even weeks of further proceedings.

When former President Donald Trump's historic second Senate impeachment trial gets underway Tuesday, he'll be relying on a legal trio that was hastily thrust together a little more than a week ago.

The novel coronavirus outbreak almost certainly did not start in a Chinese lab but its path from animals to humans needs further investigation, a World Health Organization team said Tuesday after wrapping up a visit to China.

The comments came as scientists from the WHO and Chinese health bodies jointly presented preliminary findings after two weeks of investigating in Wuhan, the Chinese city that first detected the virus in late 2019.

As the impeachment trial begins in the Senate on Tuesday, the Capitol complex remains on high alert — protected by National Guard troops and walled-off from the public by barbed wire and perimeter fencing after last month's violence.

Despite those precautions, though, one security threat remains: COVID-19. Most senators have received at least one shot of the vaccine, including all of the Democratic caucus, but that does not eliminate risk.

Open up any social media app on your phone and you'll likely see links to COVID-19 information from trustworthy sources.

Pinned to the top of Instagram's search function, the handles of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization are prominently featured. Click and you'll find posts and stories how to keep safe during the pandemic.

Updated on Saturday at 6:20 p.m. ET: The video for this event has ended.

Donald Trump's historic second impeachment trial came to a close on Saturday, with Democrats falling short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict the former president.

The final vote was 57 to 43. Seven Republicans joined with all of the chamber's Democrats and independents to vote to convict.

Trump faced a single impeachment charge, incitement of an insurrection, for his role in urging a mob to attack the Capitol complex on Jan. 6.

Updated at 11:54 a.m. ET

The Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump will feature evidence "that nobody has seen before," House Democrats say.

The trial gets under way Tuesday with up to four hours of arguments about the constitutionality of the Senate weighing whether to convict a former president no longer in office.

It started with a cursor moving on its own, sliding across a computer screen at the water treatment plant in Oldsmar, Fla. Someone had taken remote control of a plant operator's machine – and in just a few minutes, they increased the level of sodium hydroxide in the city's drinking water by a factor of 100. After spiking the caustic substance to unsafe levels, the hacker immediately left the system.

In an apparent signal to Beijing, the U.S. Navy announced Tuesday that a pair of carrier strike groups were conducting exercises in the South China Sea.

The move — a show of strength apparently meant to signal the new administration's determination to stand firm against China's steady encroachment in the strategic waterway — comes just days after the destroyer USS John S. McCain conducted operations in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands, a disputed archipelago in the region claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan.

With this summer's Tokyo Olympics already hanging in the balance due to the coronavirus pandemic, public outrage over sexist remarks by the Games' organizing chief has thrown the event into a deeper crisis.

Despite the efforts of Japanese and Olympic officials to quash the debate, pressure on 83-year-old Yoshiro Mori is mounting over his comments last week saying that women talk too much in board meetings.

When former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial begins in the Senate today, two of the people at the center of the action will have a common connection: Montgomery County, Pa.

Impeachment manager Madeleine Dean, a congressional Democrat, will try to make the case that Trump directly incited violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Trump attorney Bruce Castor Jr., the Republican former county district attorney and commissioner, will argue that Trump can't be convicted because he has already left office.

Fox News on Monday asked a judge to dismiss a $2.7 billon lawsuit against the network and some of its hosts filed by election technology company Smartmatic, claiming the suit is an attempt to "chill" First Amendment rights.

When Dirigo High School, in western Maine, moved to remote learning for a few weeks last fall, sophomore Mason Ducharme started falling behind. And without athletics, he lost any motivation to keep his grades up.

"I just didn't do anything, I just sat in my room all day," he said. "And I didn't do any work. I didn't attend any classes."

Many school districts across the country have reported big drop-offs in attendance as they've shifted to remote learning. Some students, like Ducharme, dropped off the map entirely.

A constitutional law professor whose work is cited extensively by former President Donald Trump's lawyers in their impeachment defense brief says his work has been seriously misrepresented.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

Mary Wilson, one of the co-founders of The Supremes, died Monday at the age of 76, her publicist announced.

Wilson "passed away suddenly" at her Henderson, Nev., home, the singer's longtime friend and publicist Jay Schwartz said in a statement. No cause of death was given.

Wilson was a "trendsetter who broke down social, racial and gender barriers," Schwartz said in his statement.

James McCombs was 13 years old in 2008 when he found out the money set aside for his college tuition was gone.

"I was old enough to know what was going on, and old enough to hear my parents' conversations," he remembers. "Old enough for them to tell me that the college fund was gone."

The fund had been tied up in the stock market, and it didn't survive the market crash sparked by the global financial crisis.

Editor's note: This story was first published on Feb. 9, 2021. It is regularly updated, and includes explicit language.

Nearly every day since insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol, the list of those charged in the attack has grown longer. The government has now identified more than 250 suspects in the Jan. 6 rioting, which ended with five people dead, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.

The Senate trial of former President Donald Trump for one article of impeachment — incitement of the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 — starts Tuesday with a debate over whether the Constitution allows for prosecution of a president once he leaves office. The debate comes about a year after the Senate acquitted then-President Trump on two counts of abuse of power and obstruction.

A judge has barred Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón from implementing a significant piece of his criminal justice reforms, ruling the progressive's policy to end sentencing enhancements in criminal cases is unlawful.

Ethan Nordean, a self-described "Sergeant of Arms" in the extremist group the Proud Boys, will remain in custody for his alleged role in the U.S. Capitol riot until his trial hearing later this month.

A Seattle magistrate judge on Monday ruled that Nordean, who also goes by Rufio Panman, would be released on bond but then halted the decision, giving the Department of Justice time to appeal. Hours later, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in Washington, D.C., ordered Nordean's return to the capital pending the appeal.

The U.S. is currently administering about 1.4 million vaccination shots a day. About 9.5% of people in the U.S. have already gotten one dose.

But demand still outstrips supply in cities across the country, while anecdotes abound about difficulties of trying to get appointments.

Scientists say vaccinations need to be as fast as possible to prevent more contagious coronavirus variants from taking over.

When websites flooded with hate speech or harmful disinformation become too radioactive for the Internet, the sites often turn to one company for a lifeline.

That company is run by Rob Monster, a 53-year-old Dutch-American.

"If you wanted to cast a villain who was going to be the Lex Luthor of the Internet, Rob Monster is about as good as it gets," he joked during a recent interview at his lakeside home in the former logging community of Sammamish, Wash., outside Seattle.

Pages