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National News from NPR

Details about the forthcoming assistance for earthquake victims remain vague but a spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency told NPR the funds will be released "on an ongoing basis."
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 19:23

Island officials were quick to thank the president for the designation, which makes residents eligible for more financial assistance from FEMA. They were just told aid for 2017 hurricanes is coming.

A view of Jeffrey Epstein's stone mansion on Little St. James Island. Prosecutors in the Virgin Islands on Tuesday filed a civil lawsuit that accuses Epstein of human trafficking that victimized young women and children as young as 11 years old. Some of the alleged activity happened as recent as 2018.
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 17:36

The Virgin Islands Attorney General's Office says Epstein recruited and abused young women and girls over two decades on his two private islands. Some victims allegedly were as young as 11 years old.

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 17:07

J.R.R. Tolkien's son was instrumental in cultivating his father's legacy, shepherding unpublished works to readers and helping extend the world of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during the unveiling of the Tesla Model Y in Hawthorne, Calif., on March 14, 2019.
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 15:40

For years, Elon Musk skeptics have shorted Tesla stock, confident the electric carmaker was on the brink of disaster. Instead, share value has skyrocketed, costing short sellers billions.

FBI headquarters in Washington. The bureau is changing its policy on election security notifications to prepare for the 2020 presidential race.
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 15:34

The bureau was faulted after the Russian attack on the 2016 election for keeping too much information from state and local authorities. It says it'll use a new policy going forward.

Carlos Beltrán is out as manager of the New York Mets. The team announced the move Thursday.
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 15:02

The fallout continues from a sign-stealing scandal involving the Houston Astros during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Beltrán was part of the team in 2017, and a league investigation said he was involved.

Boeing 737 Max aircraft operated by Southwest Airlines crowd the tarmac of the airport in Victorville, Calif., after the Federal Aviation Administration grounded the planes last year.
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 14:36

Amid difficult questions about the steps taken by Boeing and regulators, the review commissioned by the Department of Transportation largely validated the process that put the jetliner in the air.

A team of Stanford University researchers designed the PigeonBot.
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 14:01

Birds change the shape of their wings far more than planes. The complexities of bird flight have posed a major design challenge for scientists trying to translate the way birds fly into robots.

Fire swept through Australia's Wollemi National Park, but firefighters were able to save rare groves of prehistoric Wollemi pines.
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 13:48

Fire swept through the canyons where the rare trees had outlived the dinosaurs. For days, the smoke was so thick that no one knew whether the careful plan to protect them had worked.

Former Canadian military reservist Patrik Jordan Mathews and two Americans face charges related to possessing an illegal assault rifle, as part of an extremist group called The Base. Mathews is seen here in an undated picture from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Winnipeg, Manitoba, last August.
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 13:28

The three suspected members of The Base had discussed going to Monday's pro-gun rally in Virginia, a law enforcement official tells NPR. The FBI says they also made an assault rifle.

Microsoft has announced new, more ambitious climate change targets for the coming decades.
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 13:25

The tech giant, which says it has been "carbon neutral" for years, is vowing to go "carbon negative" — by cutting emissions, planting trees and investing in new carbon removal technology.

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 13:16

Intercept journalist James Risen says new documents show how Iran has embedded itself in the politics of its neighbor — and that the late Gen. Soleimani oversaw Iran's proxy wars in Iraq and Syria.

The Transportation Security Administration said the 4,432 guns seized at checkpoints in 2019 were the most in the agency's 18-year history.
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 12:09

The Transportation Security Administration said 87% of the guns taken at U.S. airport checkpoints in 2019 were loaded. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International had the most firearms confiscated: 323.

Sepsis arises when the body overreacts to an infection, and blood vessels throughout the body become leaky. Researchers now estimate that about 11 million people worldwide died with sepsis in 2017 alone — that's about 20% of all deaths.
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 11:43

Sepsis, or blood poisoning, arises when the body overreacts to an infection. An analysis finds that it may be involved in 20% of deaths worldwide, twice the proportion previously estimated.

Nick Selby and NYPD officer Luis Sayan interview a retired New York City teacher who lost more than $300,000 to online scammers posing as Chinese police.
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 11:40

Local police often don't feel equipped to investigate cybercrime. The NYPD is trying to teach patrol officers to ask the right questions about IP addresses, Bitcoin and phone spoofing.

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