NPR News

This winter, the Syrian government regained control over the entire city of Aleppo. For years before that, it was the largest urban stronghold of anti-regime rebels. Over those years, there were countless government bombings, and the city was reduced to rubble.

The documentary Last Men In Aleppo, by Syrian filmmaker Feras Fayyad, takes viewers inside the city. "I grew up in the countryside of Aleppo," he says. "And Aleppo — it's my city, where I know every single street and every single store."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Along with gun control, the link between mental illness and gun violence has been a major focus in the days since the shooting. NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch put it this way in a CNN town hall this week.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The Seychelles have brokered a novel deal that will allow the island archipelago to swap millions of dollars in sovereign debt for protecting nearly one third of its ocean area.

It's hailed as the first of its kind. "Seychelles is clearly breaking new grounds and with it, it has positioned itself as a world leader in ocean governance and management," Seychelles vice president Vincent Meriton said in remarks announcing the new protections.

Last fall, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration started looking for dangerous bacteria in a few of America's most beloved fresh foods: parsley, cilantro, basil, and prepared guacamole. The very freshness of these foods carries a risk. Since they aren't normally cooked, they may harbor nasty bugs like salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The chemical BPA isn't living up to its nasty reputation.

A two-year government study of rats found that even high doses of the plastic additive produced only "minimal effects," and that these effects could have occurred by chance.

The finding bolsters the Food and Drug Administration's 2014 assessment that water bottles and other products containing BPA are not making people sick.

A conservative group on the UCLA campus, the Bruin Republicans, recently invited controversial far-right activist Milo Yiannopoulos to speak on campus — then quickly rescinded the offer.

Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with UCLA student Mariela Muro about why the group decided to uninvite Yiannopoulos.

The Justice Department this week focused new attention on the 2001 murder of federal prosecutor Thomas Wales in Seattle.

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET Saturday

As a groundswell grows against the National Rifle Association in the aftermath of last week's school massacre in Parkland, Fla., several businesses say they are ending their partnerships with the gun advocacy group.

The brands — ranging from insurance companies to airlines to rental car agencies — announced their decisions on social media, many apparently in direct response to tweets demanding change under the trending hashtag #boycottNRA.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, BYLINE: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross, who's off this week.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "COCO")

ANTHONY GONZALEZ: (As Miguel Rivera) Abuelita runs our house just like Mama Imelda did.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, BYLINE: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross, who's off this week.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "COCO")

ANTHONY GONZALEZ: (As Miguel Rivera) Abuelita runs our house just like Mama Imelda did.

I think I'm coming down with something.

Usually that means I prepare a mug of tea, add a spoonful of honey kept solely for such occasions, and add a dash of lemon juice. This elixir, I've been told, will soothe my sore throat and coax my raspy voice back to normalcy. But does it actually work?

Florida's Republican governor is calling for a range of measures that aim to prevent shootings like the one that occurred last week in Parkland, Fla., where 17 students and staff were killed.

In a news conference Friday in Tallahassee, Rick Scott said he wants new laws and programs that fall into three categories: gun laws, school safety and mental health.

President Trump on Friday announced a fresh round of sanctions against North Korea in an attempt to block oil and other prohibited products from getting to the Asian nation.

"We have imposed the heaviest sanctions ever imposed," Trump said at the conclusion of his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxen Hill, Md., just outside Washington. "Hopefully, something positive can happen. We will see."

A second Russian athlete has failed a doping test at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Nadezhda Sergeeva, a bobsled athlete, failed a drug test for a banned heart drug, the Russian Bobsled Federation announced on Friday.

Sergeeva failed a test on Feb. 18, the federation said on its Facebook page. It adds, "A few days before that, on Feb. 13, her sample was clean."

The federation says that the bobsledder does not have a prescription for the drug.

Updated at 5:28 p.m. ET

Rick Gates, the business partner of Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, pleaded guilty on Friday to two charges and will begin cooperating with federal prosecutors investigating the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Gates appeared in federal court on Friday afternoon. He told Judge Amy Berman Jackson he was making the plea of his own free will.

No One's Quite Sure Why Lassa Fever Is On The Rise

Feb 23, 2018

Nigeria is tough on diseases.

With help from a few partners, it stopped Ebola's spread. It wrestled guinea-worm disease into a headlock, with no new cases since 2013. And it's nearly eradicated the transmission of polio.

But now a disease that usually just lurks in the background has roared into headlines. Since the beginning of the year, there's been a particularly large outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria's southern provinces.

The origin of the universe, the nature of space, the reality of time: These are ancient questions.

Libraries across the world are filled with heavy books that are, themselves, heavy with equations on these issues. But how many graphic novels are exploring these questions? More importantly, how many graphic novels written and drawn by expert theoretical physicists are there?

One of the most common reasons patients head to an emergency room is pain. In response, doctors may try something simple at first, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. And, at least up until recently, if that isn't effective, the second line of attack has been the big guns.

"Percocet or Vicodin," says Dr. Peter Bakes, an emergency medicine specialist at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colo. "Medications that certainly have contributed to the rising opioid epidemic."

Annihilation -- the movie, not the experience — is creepy. Very creepy. There are elements of traditional horror in the latest film from Alex Garland (Ex Machina), which is based not very closely on the Jeff VanderMeer novel of the same name. But more than that, it's a film that capitalizes on its ability to create creeping, visceral dread.

For the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled Myanmar and what authorities describe as a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing, the prospect of returning to their home villages might be more than just daunting. As satellite photographs show, a return home might be simply impossible.

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Confronting Stigma.

About Johann Hari's TED Talk

To stop illegal drug use, we typically punish, isolate and shame addicts. Journalist Johann Hari explains how these methods perpetuate addiction, and how human connection can be an effective antidote.

About Johann Hari

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Confronting Stigma.

About Nikki Webber Allen's TED Talk

After her nephew's suicide, Nikki Webber Allen began to speak out about mental illness — including her own. She explains why the stigma keeps people, particularly people of color, from seeking help.

About Nikki Webber Allen

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Confronting Stigma.

About Arik Hartmann's TED Talk

As treatments for HIV have advanced, the stigmas surrounding it have not diminished as quickly. Arik Hartmann argues for more transparency to tackle misperceptions surrounding HIV.

About Arik Hartmann

A top official at the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund has announced his resignation following allegations that he engaged in inappropriate behavior during a previous job at the aid organization, Save the Children.

Updated at 6:28 p.m. ET

The United Nations Security Council is delaying until Saturday a vote to approve a resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire in Syria.

The move came after diplomats had scheduled a vote for midday Friday but were unable to come to an agreement on a draft resolution on when the fighting should stop.

As NPR's Michelle Kelemen reports, Kuwait's U.N. Ambassador and the current council president, Mansour Al-Otaiba, said "we are close ... but until now there's no consensus."

They are both Hungarian. They are both powerful. And three decades ago, they both worked to topple communism in their homeland.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Pages