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A California man pleaded guilty Thursday in a federal court to an elaborate kidnapping that law enforcement had initially branded a hoax.

In court documents, 39-year-old defendant Matthew Muller is identified as a former Marine who suffers from bipolar disorder. He is described as a Harvard-educated lawyer who was later disbarred.

During the presidential debate on Monday night, Hillary Clinton raised a 1973 federal lawsuit brought against Donald Trump and his company for alleged racial discrimination at Trump housing developments in New York.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a special travel advisory Tuesday for pregnant women — and those trying to get pregnant.

They should "consider postponing nonessential travel" to 11 countries, the agency says. These countries include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, East Timor and Vietnam.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

One week after a House panel highlighted sexual harassment claims at Yosemite National Park and elsewhere in the National Park Service, the superintendent of Yosemite, Don Neubacher is stepping down, the agency says.

According to NPS regional spokesman Andrew Munoz, the agency "acted to move Don Neubacher from his role" leading the park to protect the integrity of its investigation into allegations of a hostile work environment at Yosemite.

A new study highlights differences between the races as they view the recent spate of deadly encounters between blacks and law enforcement.

Water containing low-level radiation and other pollutants has poured into Florida's primary drinking water aquifer through a gaping sinkhole 45 feet wide.

It happened at a plant owned by fertilizer giant Mosaic in central Florida's rural Polk County, Robin Sussingham of member station WUSF reports.

It's been nearly eight months since Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died unexpectedly, leaving the nation's highest court short-handed, and evenly divided on some of the most important legal issues of the day.

While Democrats had expected to exploit GOP stonewalling on a replacement, Republicans have played the issue shrewdly.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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On Wednesday evening, the city of Reykjavik, Iceland, turned off street lights and encouraged people to darken their homes so that everyone could watch the northern lights.

The city council released a statement saying street lights would be turned off in multiple sections of the city between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. local time and warning people to drive carefully.

The Supreme Court has decided to hear a case that might decide whether the government can deny Washington's NFL team a trademark because it has deemed the team name is offensive.

The court granted certiorari on Lee V. Tam. If you remember, The Slants, an Asian-American rock band, sued the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office because it refused to trademark their name saying it proved offensive.

The main characters of the FXX series You're the Worst don't follow the rules of polite society. They are narcissists who talk in movie theaters, think everyone else is annoying and are frequently mean to the people they encounter. They also happen to be in love with each other.

Series executive producer Stephen Falk tells Fresh Air's Ann Marie Baldonado that the characters, Jimmy and Gretchen, are "stand-ins for the dark parts of all of us that are still deserving of love at the end of the day."

Since their launch in 2012, cellphone emergency alerts have become a frequent tool for public safety officials to alert people to missing children, warn them of impending weather calamities or notify them of dangers specific to the local community.

The federal government has announced a new rule that guarantees the rights of patients and families to sue long-term care facilities.

The rule, released Wednesday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, bans so-called pre-dispute binding arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts, which require patients and families to settle any dispute over care in arbitration, rather than through the court system.

The rule applies to facilities that receive money from Medicare or Medicaid — which is nearly all of them.

In Mountain View, Calif., a couple of miles down the road from Google, there's a new pizza shop. Only instead of a dozen blue-collar workers pouring marinara sauce, Zume Pizza has — you guessed it! — robots and algorithms running the show.

Their job is to solve a familiar problem: It's game night. You order pizza for you and your buddies. It arrives later than you'd hoped, aaaand it's cold.

"Pizza is not meant to sit in a cardboard box, ever," Zume co-founder Julia Collins says. "The best pizza you ever had came right out of the oven."

Are Golden Tickets That Speed Drugs Through FDA Worthwhile?

12 hours ago

Drugmaker Sarepta Therapeutics won a big victory when its $300,000 muscular dystrophy drug was approved Sept. 19, despite questions about its effectiveness.

But the company had other reasons to celebrate. It was also awarded the pharmaceutical industry's version of a Willy Wonka golden ticket.

Federal health officials are urging all Americans to get their flu shots as soon as possible, and are especially concerned that too few elderly people are getting vaccinated.

"Flu is serious. Flu is unpredictable," Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters during a joint briefing Thursday with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. "Flu often does not get enough respect."

Americans want to stay in control of their cars, a new study finds.

According to a study by Kelley Blue Book, 80 percent of Americans say people should always have the option to drive themselves.

This study comes just a week after the Department of Transportation released regulatory guidelines for self-driving vehicles.

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