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Imagine you're a contestant on the hit game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? You're on the final question for one million dollars. You think you might know the answer, but you're not certain. The spotlights are beating down on you, the dramatic music is playing, your hands are shaking with adrenaline. In this situation, you are not the only one freaking out. The show's producers are backstage sweating bullets over what you're going to do. It's their job to set up the rules just right, so that there's drama, tension, and the promise of a massive payout...

The Federal Reserve has voted to keep interest rates where they are, but noted that "near-term risks" to the economy have diminished, a sign that a hike is on the horizon.

As was widely expected, the Federal Open Market Committee decided to keep the target for the federal funds rate at a quarter to a half percent. However, a statement released Wednesday afternoon sounded decidedly more optimistic about the economic outlook.

Dozens of women and girls have reportedly been raped by South Sudanese government soldiers near a U.N. compound in the country's capital, Juba.

About 30,000 civilians have taken shelter in the U.N. base amid fighting in South Sudan, as we reported. The Associated Press spoke to witnesses and civilian leaders about the rampant sexual violence against ethnic Nuer women and girls there.

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Hilda Solis, former U.S. labor secretary, took the stage at a meeting of the Hispanic caucus in Philadelphia this week and immediately launched into Spanish.

Solis, who is the first Latina to have served in a cabinet position, issued a ringing endorsement of the vice presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket.

"We are here to support Tim Kaine, our next vice president," she said. "Que habla muy bien Español. Mejor que yo!" (Who speaks good Spanish, she said, Better than I do.)

With antibiotic-resistant super bugs on the rise, researchers are on an urgent hunt for other bacteria that might yield chemicals we can harness as powerful drugs. Scientists once found most of these helpful bacteria in soil, but in recent decades this go-to search location hasn't delivered.

Now, researchers at the University of Tübingen in Germany say that to find at least one promising candidate, we need look no further than our own noses.

A judge granted John Hinckley Jr. his freedom this week, 35 years after Hinckley shot President Ronald Reagan.

His release from a mental hospital comes with a handful of limitations: Hinckley will live with his elderly mother in Williamsburg, Va., he cannot contact his victims, their relatives or the actress he was obsessed with at the time of the shooting, Jodie Foster.

Donald Trump urged Russian agents to "find" his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's emails and release them, an unprecedented move by a candidate for president encouraging such a foreign breach.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," the GOP presidential nominee said at a news conference in Miami on Wednesday. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

Warning: This post discusses the basic plot elements of the Netflix series Stranger Things, the comic Paper Girls, and the film Super 8.

Autumn 1979. Ohio. Five kids on bikes tool around their suburban development and stumble into an adventure involving monsters and sinister authority figures.

Autumn 1983. Indiana. Four kids on bikes tool around their suburban development and stumble into an adventure involving monsters and sinister authority figures.

A pet 75-pound tortoise has been reunited with his owners who were forced to leave him behind, after sheriff's deputies found the animal trying to escape the wildfires that had prompted an evacuation order in Los Angeles County.

This is the third in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.

Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby has dropped the remaining criminal charges connected to Freddie Gray's death but she stands by the legitimacy of the original charges.

Ethan Dean, a 6-year-old boy with cystic fibrosis, spent Tuesday as the recycling and garbage superhero of Sacramento, Calif., complete with a fluorescent sanitation safety T-shirt and a green cape.

Jupiter's Great Red Spot is such a crazy, turbulent storm that it creates sound waves that travel hundreds of miles up and actually heat the planet's upper atmosphere.

That's the conclusion of scientists who found a striking hotspot right above the Great Red Spot. They describe their finding Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Whatever South Korean women are eating, pass it around!

The country is having a massive growth spurt. And it doesn't look like it's slowing down anytime soon.

Women in South Korea have gained a whopping 8 inches in height, on average, in the past century — the biggest jump of any other population in the world, researchers report Tuesday.

For men, Iranians are the big winners, gaining 6.5 inches in the past hundred years.

QUIZ: How Much Do You Know About Presidents And Food?

Jul 27, 2016

It's convention season, which means the presidential election is in full swing.

There has always been a lot to divide politicians, but we at The Salt are interested in what brings them together: They all have to eat.

So we paged through our archives for stories about U.S. presidents and their predilections for — and embarrassing mishaps with — certain foods. How much do you know about presidents and food? Take our quiz to test your credentials.

Bill Clinton had a formidable challenge on Tuesday: to sell the American people on one of the most disliked presidential nominees in U.S. history. He had to "humanize" her, in punditspeak — Hillary Clinton is more of an idea or icon to people than a person, as NPR's Steve Inskeep suggested Tuesday night.

In the Facebook Live video streamed earlier this month by Diamond Reynolds after her fiance, Philando Castile, was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in a Minnesota suburb, Reynolds identified the man who shot Castile as "Chinese" as she narrated the scene.

Prosecutors in Baltimore have dropped all remaining charges against police officers related to the death of Freddie Gray in 2015, reports NPR's Jennifer Ludden.

A total of six officers had been charged in connection to the death. Four trials had ended without convictions — one, a jury trial, ended with a hung jury, and three bench trials returned verdicts of not guilty. Three more trials were scheduled.

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The man who shot Ronald Reagan in 1981 is now set to go free.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

John Hinckley Jr., 35-years after he tried to kill a president, has won his freedom.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has granted a request for Hinckley to leave the mental hospital where he's resided for decades, to go live full-time with his elderly mother in Williamsburg, Va.

A street in Qamishli, a city in northern Syria that sits along the border with Turkey, was hit by a powerful car bomb Wednesday, killing at least 44 people and devastating a residential area, according to Syria's state-run media. Nearby buildings were severely damaged, collapsing walls and floors.

Minicomics May Be Small, But They Pack Big Thrills

Jul 27, 2016

Shouldn't minicomics be obsolete by now? Printed by their creators in tiny batches and sold for a few bucks at "alternative" comic shops and conventions, they're as cumbersome to produce as they are to obtain. It would be much more sensible for the artists to just put up their work online — right?

There was a time when Sandra Gologergen's freezer never ran out. Packed with traditional Inuit foods like whale, walrus, seal and fish, her freezer has been an essential lifeline, ensuring her husband, three kids and grandson make it through the long harsh winters of Savoonga, Alaska.

"Then that changed," she says.

The Tuesday night session of the Democratic convention was really three events, each with its own atmosphere and impact, but all contributing to a single theme: The Clintons are back.

Tonight President Obama will take the stage at the Democratic National Convention with one goal: convincing voters to elect Hillary Clinton as his successor.

The stakes are high for the newly minted nominee, but they are arguably even higher for the incumbent president. A Clinton win would mean his policy legacy is kept intact and there's validation of his tenure in the White House.

When Joe Biden takes the stage at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night, there is probably a part of him that still wonders, "What if?"

But his own White House dreams and reported rivalry with Hillary Clinton will have to be in the rearview mirror in order for him to deliver a home run endorsement, starting on stage and continuing through November.

President Obama likes to say he has run his last campaign. But he's determined to give Hillary Clinton a running start toward her own November election, mindful that much of his legacy depends on her crossing the finish line into the White House.

"I'm ready to pass the baton," Obama told supporters at a joint rally with Clinton in Charlotte, N.C., earlier this month. "I know she can run that race: the race to create good jobs, and better schools, and safer streets, and a safer world."

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