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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. It's President's Day, and today, we take a look at the Trump presidency through the eyes of two Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters from The Washington Post, Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig. I spoke with them in January when their new book was published, but our interview was preempted on most stations by special coverage of the impeachment trial in the Senate. Today, we'll air that interview along with an update on events since it was recorded.

Updated at 5:11 p.m. ET

Virginia's Democratic governor seemed poised to make broad changes to his state's gun control laws, but was dealt a stinging blow by his own party Monday when a state Senate committee blocked a bill that would have, among other things, banned sales of assault weapons.

Four Democrats on Virginia's Senate Judiciary Committee broke ranks with their party handing the Republican minority a victory in tabling the bill for the remainder of the year. It also sent the measure to the state's Crime Commission for further review.

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A senior Taliban official says the group may sign a peace deal with the United States by the end of this month. That deal would start the process of an American withdrawal from Afghanistan if it can be pulled off. NPR's Diaa Hadid is on the line with us from Kabul.

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

Fourteen U.S. passengers evacuated from a cruise ship in Japan and flown to military bases in California and Texas have tested positive for the new coronavirus, U.S. officials confirm.

Earlier, on Sunday, U.S. officials announced that 44 people from the Diamond Princess ship had tested positive for coronavirus. Those who were sick were to remain in Japan to be treated.

A proposed bill in the Oregon legislature would boost funding for a new model of behavioral health clinics aimed at treating both the physical and mental health of patients.

House Speaker Tina Kotek wants more homeless shelters built around the state and soon. 

“We are really trying to take an emergency mindset to the thousands and thousands of Oregonians who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness,” the Portland Democrat testified to lawmakers on Wednesday. 

But one way she suggests doing so — bypassing local zoning rules and laws — has some city leaders concerned. 

The Big Picture

Jeremy Christian is accused of killing two people and injuring a third in a stabbing attack on a MAX light rail train in Portland in May 2017.

Witnesses have testified that Christian was shouting racist comments while two black teenage girls — Walia Mohamed and Destinee Mangum — were nearby on the train. Mohamed is Muslim and was wearing a hijab.

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Public schools in Puerto Rico were shut down after a string of earthquakes and aftershocks a few weeks ago. One school collapsed entirely; other buildings had cracks through them. Kids had to stay at home while safety inspections were carried out.

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Some states call them assisted living facilities; others, residential or personal care homes. These state-licensed facilities promise peace of mind for families whose elders require long-term care. In Vermont and elsewhere, investigations into these homes have revealed lax oversight, injuries and deaths.

Few understand the risks like June Kelly. Her mother, Marilyn Kelly, was energetic and loved to go fishing when she moved into Our House Too, a 13-bed facility that advertised its memory-care expertise. Over the next eight months, almost everything went wrong that could.

Johnpeter Mwolo was 15 when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

His body, unable to produce the hormone critical for regulating blood sugar, would now rely on manufactured insulin. He learned to give himself the treatment — four injections a day.

But as he was growing up in Tanzania, insulin was expensive and not always available. Mwolo resorted to rationing his insulin, sharing a vial with his cousin, who also had Type 1 diabetes. "It was one vial to two people," he says. "Many of the necessities that we are supposed to have are not there."

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Efforts to stem the tide of teen vaping seem to be a step behind the market. By the time Juul pulled most of its flavored pods from the market in October of 2019, many teens had already moved on to an array of newer, disposable vape products.

In love, timing is everything, the saying goes. The same is true for fruit and nut orchards in California's Central Valley, which depend on a synchronized springtime bloom for pollination. But as winters warm with climate change, that seasonal cycle is being thrown off.

Cold is a crucial ingredient for California's walnuts, cherries, peaches, pears and pistachios, which ultimately head to store shelves around the country. The state grows around 99% of the country's walnut and pistachio crop.

In China, Quarantine Tests Cooks To Get Clever

Feb 17, 2020

As cities across China remain on quarantine lockdown to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, the epidemic is testing the country's ability to get food to its citizens.

Restaurants and cafes have been closed since the end of January, leaving grocery stores as one of the few options for buying food. With families encouraged, or sometimes forced, to stay at home, supplies are often hoarded. Shipments of food from other cities across China take time, as many places have closed off roads.

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Prominent Chinese legal activist and civil rights lawyer Xu Zhiyong has been detained in southern China, after spending nearly two months on the run as he taunted Chinese authorities and encouraged his followers through a steady stream of political commentary posted on social media and his personal blog.

Government Contracting Disparities Hurting Minority Businesses

Feb 16, 2020

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More than 1,100 former Department of Justice officials are calling on Attorney General William Barr to resign after his department lowered the prison sentence recommendation for Roger Stone, a longtime ally of President Trump, in a move that's led to accusations of political interference.

Singer, writer and producer Natasha Khan moved to LA to write scripts and music for film after her 2016 release, The Bride. The release marked the end of her recording contract with EMI and she wasn't sure she'd write another album as Bat for Lashes.

A new documentary, Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution, introduces us to heroes of the American Revolution who aren't typically found in history books. They are a writer, a double agent, a martyr and a soldier — and they are all black.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the executive producer. He is a Hall of Fame basketball player, writer, activist, and in 2016 the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Elton John had to end a concert in Auckland, New Zealand, early on Sunday after losing his voice.

He revealed on Instagram that he had been diagnosed with "walking pneumonia," a less severe form of pneumonia.

Another 70 cases of the coronavirus infection have been confirmed aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, currently quarantined in Japan, according to Japanese health officials.

This brings the total number of cases aboard the vessel as of Sunday to 355, the largest confirmed cluster outside mainland China. People with confirmed infections have been taken to hospitals in Japan.

Forecasters in Mississippi are bracing for what could be one of the most devastating floods in the state's history, as days of heavy downpours stoke fears that a river in the state capital of Jackson will continue to swell beyond its banks and threaten the homes of thousands of people.

Flooding has already began to ripple across parts of Jackson and surrounding areas, and state and federal officials are working to contain the severity of the flooding in the face of additional rainfall expected in the days ahead.

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