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Last year, Georgia's former governor, Sonny Perdue, called up a farmer named Gary Paulk for some advice about planting blackberry bushes. Paulk thought it was a prank.

"I picked up the phone and he said, 'Gary, how you doing? This is Sonny Perdue,' " Paulk recalls. "And I said, 'Yeah right, and I'm Mickey Mouse.' " Paulk says he apologized when he realized it actually was Perdue on the line.

Perdue is now Donald Trump's pick for secretary of agriculture, and Paulk expects that he'll keep calling farmers for advice, and maybe just conversation.

Frantic diplomatic efforts are underway to persuade longtime Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh to step down and make way for the newly sworn-in and democratically elected president, Adama Barrow.

Jammeh is facing a sizable military threat if he refuses to go. West African troops crossed the border into Gambia on Thursday and say they are prepared to remove him by force.

NPR's Eyder Peralta reports that the approximately 7,000 troops from Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana Togo and Mali stopped before they reached the capital. They encountered no resistance.

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At least four people were killed and 20 more injured when a man deliberately drove his car into a crowd of pedestrians at a mall in Melbourne, Australia, according to officials. In a statement released Friday, Victoria state police said a young child was among the dead.

"The incident is not terrorism related," the department added.

Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

At least 10 survivors, including children, have been found inside the rubble of a ski hotel in central Italy that was engulfed by an avalanche on Wednesday, according to fire officials — and several of them have been safely removed from the remnants of the building.

About 30 people had been in the hotel when the disaster struck. Many still remain missing, Christopher Livesay reports for NPR from Rome, while four others have been confirmed dead. The death toll is expected to rise.

African-American women are more likely to be infected with HIV than other women, and many don't know it. So public health officials and advocates are trying to get the word out about PrEP, pre-exposure prophylaxis. It's a daily medication that helps prevent HIV infection.

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Good morning. I'm David Greene. On big news days, it's so fun to look at the witty headlines in the tabloids. OK, cover of the New York Daily News, "Don Of A New Day." Don as in D-O-N for Trump.

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Later this morning, the 45th president of the United States will be sworn into office. Donald Trump arrived in Washington yesterday.

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Gene Demby of NPR's Code Switch team is in our fourth chair this week as we start by trying to make sense of all our reactions to HBO's new drama The Young Pope. The cardinals! The intrigue! The smoking! The ... unexpected animal cameos! It's a really interesting show that has us a little perplexed in places, so please join us as we try to figure out whether we like it or not.

Two famous ancient structures in the city of Palmyra have been destroyed by ISIS forces, Syria's antiquities chief says.

The Tetrapylon and the facade of the city's Roman theater have both been almost completely demolished, the official says, according to NPR's Alison Meuse.

"Activist Khaled al-Homsi, who is from Palmyra, shared satellite imagery to Twitter, which appears to confirm the scale of the damage," Alison reports. "The face of the Roman theater is a pile of rubble and only four of the Tetrapylon's 16 columns appear to be standing."

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John Marboe is a Lutheran pastor who grew up admiring his local garbage collectors in Alexandria, Minn. When times were lean for his family, he decided to take on some shifts hauling trash.

At StoryCorps in Minneapolis, Marboe tells his 13-year-old daughter, Charlie, that he's been hauling trash since she was about 8.

Art and science can seem so different. Scientists work in teams, in the laboratory; their progress is piecemeal and, by-and-large, they know how to measure its occurrence. Art, so often at least, in contrast, is personal; it's about the signature achievement of the individual artist. And as for progress, well, that question doesn't really come up.

Just over 10 weeks after the idea was first proposed in a Facebook post, tens of thousands of protesters are heading to the nation's capital for the Women's March on Washington on Saturday.

Similar marches are planned in more than 600 other cities and towns around the world. But the largest is expected to take place in Washington, D.C., less than 24 hours into the presidency of Donald Trump.

Standing on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon, Simon Tam, the bassist and frontman of the Asian-American rock group The Slants, was fired up. He'd just watched as most of the eight justices questioned whether the government should back his right to use his band's name, which is a racial slur.

"If the government really truly cared about fighting racist messages they would have canceled the registrations for numerous white supremacist groups before they even approached our case," he told a crowd of reporters.

For many pregnant women, understanding what seafood is safe and healthy, and what should be avoided because of mercury concerns comes with a lot of hand-wringing. In part, that's because the federal government's advice on the matter, first issued in 2004, has long been criticized as unclear.

That guidance has included advice on how much seafood to eat, and which species pregnant and nursing women should avoid over concerns about mercury contamination.

President-elect Donald Trump kicked off his inaugural festivities on Thursday evening with a concert at the Lincoln Memorial, promising to unify the country but also reflecting on his unlikely election.

"This journey began 18 months ago. I had something to do with it, but you had much more to do with it than I did," Trump said. "I'm the messenger. I'm just the messenger."

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Mexico has extradited to the United States its most notorious drug trafficker, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, according to statements from officials of both countries.

A statement by the U.S. Justice Department says Guzman landed Thursday evening at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Islip, N.Y. The department also says he faces six separate indictments around the country for crimes "in connection with his leadership of the Mexican organized crime syndicate known as the Sinaloa Cartel."

You would think the people of Brazil would be hard to shock after the turbulence that they have endured in the past few years, including a deep recession, and the impeachment of a president.

But today's sudden death of a Supreme Court justice who was a pivotal player in an investigation into the huge Petrobras corruption scandal has come as a blow to the nation of such severity that the government has called for three days of national mourning.

Even Rick Perry changes his mind.

At his confirmation hearing as President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of Energy, the former Texas governor said he no longer wants to do away with the department he once said should be eliminated.

Or, at least, that was something he tried to say.

In 2011, during one of his presidential campaign debates, Perry could only remember the names of two of the three agencies he wanted get rid of. The third agency is the very one he was chosen by Trump to head.

Among the guests at Friday's inauguration will be one of Donald Trump's political kindred spirits, a fellow populist who railed against immigration and helped drive an electoral upset that stunned the world.

British politician Nigel Farage was a crucial force behind last June's Brexit referendum. Trump became so fond of him, the president-elect suggested the British government appoint Farage to be the U.K.'s ambassador to Washington — advice Prime Minister Theresa May ignored.

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Many Americans are still deeply divided about the next president. That includes some married couples, like Marty and Jessica Halprin of Woodbridge, Conn. He supported Trump, she supported Clinton.

In November, they talked about their tense night watching the election results.

These days, Jessica says things have gotten less tense in their house. She says she's even noticed some cracks in Marty's support for Trump.

Why Is It Important To Be Touched?

Jan 19, 2017

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Five Senses

About David Linden's TED Talk

Neuroscientist David Linden thinks that of the five senses, touch is the most overlooked, and perhaps the most important for promoting psychological health.

About David Linden

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