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Shutdown could affect security clearances

11 hours ago

The partial government shutdown could start affecting federal workers’ credit scores, if they fall behind on bills because they’re not getting paid. If their credit scores take a hit, that in turn, could affect their security clearances. 

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Clearance insecurity

11 hours ago

For some government workers, the shutdown might mean skipping bill payments and subsequent bad credit, and that could have implications on their security clearances. A fuel price hike has triggered deadly protests in Zimbabwe, prompting the government to cut off internet access. Plus, for all this talk about a trade war, the share of traded goods around the world looks like it's shrinking.

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Updated 6:47 p.m. ET

Former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke was sentenced to 6 years and 9 months in prison Friday for the 2014 murder of teenager Laquan McDonald — an event that he called the worst day of his life.

The shooting was captured on an infamous police dashcam video that showed McDonald, who was carrying a knife with a three-inch blade, walking away from Van Dyke just before the officer shot him 16 times. The release of the video sparked protests and political upheaval in the city.

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The weather clearly does not care that the U.S. government is partially shut down.

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In its quest to blunt the effects of the partial government shutdown, the Trump administration is using broad legal interpretations to continue providing certain services.

Critics argue that the administration is stretching — and possibly breaking — the law to help bolster President Trump's position in his fight with Democrats over funding for a border wall.

Even with the creative use of loopholes and existing funds, though, the actions the administration is taking will be hard to sustain if the shutdown continues to drag on.

From the BBC World Service… German business leaders and politicians published an emotional letter in one of the U.K.'s biggest daily newspapers, making an emotional plea for Britain to stay in the E.U. We'll hear from the organizer about what she hopes the letter will actually accomplish. Then, Bentley blows out the candles on its 100th birthday cake today, but as ultra-luxury goods go out of style, is there a place for tricked-out cars anymore? Plus, members' clubs are becoming increasingly popular, but what do these venues offer business people looking to network?

Updated at 3:14 p.m. EST.

Joseph Daskalakis' son Oliver was born on New Year's Eve, a little over a week into the current government shutdown, and about 10 weeks before he was expected.

The prematurely born baby ended up in a specialized neonatal intensive care unit, the only one near the family's home in Lakeville, Minn., that could care for him.

Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET

On Friday, as they have for decades, anti-abortion rights activists marched through Washington, D.C., to the U.S. Supreme Court – a location that symbolizes the long-held goal of reversing the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the procedure nationwide in 1973.

But this year's rally comes at a moment when many anti-abortion activists are feeling more hopeful about that goal, on the heels of the confirmation and swearing-in of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

It's been a big story that tech companies are staying private longer. And there are fewer and fewer tech IPOs. It seemed like the drought was lifting: Uber and Lyft have filed for initial public offerings, and there were rumors that Airbnb, Pinterest and Slack might finally pull the trigger. But three weeks into 2019 and the Securities and Exchange Commission isn't picking up the phone. The SEC lawyers and accountants who work on IPOs are shut down, along with the government.

It's been a big story that tech companies are staying private longer. And there are fewer and fewer tech IPOs. It seemed like the drought was lifting: Uber and Lyft have filed for initial public offerings, and there were rumors that Airbnb, Pinterest and Slack might finally pull the trigger. But three weeks into 2019 and the Securities and Exchange Commission isn't picking up the phone. The SEC lawyers and accountants who work on IPOs are shut down along with the government.

The State Department on Thursday ordered employees to return to work next week, despite the partial government shutdown, saying it would figure out how to cover the next paycheck.

In a note posted on its website and emailed to staff, the department said it "is taking steps to make additional funds available to pay employee salaries."

If the shutdown continues beyond the next pay period, State Department officials say they will have to work with Congress to reprogram funds in order to cover salaries.

Updated Jan. 18 at 4:35 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is appealing a federal judge's ruling that blocks plans to add a controversial citizenship question to the 2020 census.

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Survivors of California's recent wildfires are bracing for the possibility that the utility Pacific Gas and Electric may go into bankruptcy protection by the end of this month. Investigators are looking into whether the company's equipment started the Camp Fire. For victims suing PG&E, a company bankruptcy could impact their compensation. From member station KQED in San Francisco, Lily Jamali has more.

LILY JAMALI, BYLINE: For the last several weeks, California's Butte County has been inundated with TV ads like these.

The White House has blocked an emergency effort to finish major U.S.-funded school, water and sewage projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to documents reviewed by NPR.

It is the latest of a series of moves by the Trump administration to shut down U.S. aid to Palestinians, which is scheduled to end Feb 1.

Could a meme be helping facial recognition software?

Jan 17, 2019

The 10-Year Challenge is the latest meme to go viral on social media. It features two photos, taken 10 years apart, that show how much someone has aged. Technology writer Kate O’Neill took note when she saw the meme get popular. But instead of uploading two photos, she couldn't help but wonder if the trend could be contributing to the development of facial recognition software.

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Survivors of California's recent wildfires are bracing for the possibility that the utility Pacific Gas and Electric may go into bankruptcy protection by the end of this month. Investigators are looking into whether the company's equipment started the Camp Fire. For victims suing PG&E, a company bankruptcy could impact their compensation. From member station KQED in San Francisco, Lily Jamali has more.

LILY JAMALI, BYLINE: For the last several weeks, California's Butte County has been inundated with TV ads like these.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Survivors of California's recent wildfires are bracing for the possibility that the utility Pacific Gas and Electric may go into bankruptcy protection by the end of this month. Investigators are looking into whether the company's equipment started the Camp Fire. For victims suing PG&E, a company bankruptcy could impact their compensation. From member station KQED in San Francisco, Lily Jamali has more.

LILY JAMALI, BYLINE: For the last several weeks, California's Butte County has been inundated with TV ads like these.

Copyright 2019 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Radio.

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Signet Jewelers, the company behind Kay Jewelers, Jared and Zales, is reporting weak holiday sales figures.

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Updated Jan. 18 at 11:02 a.m. ET.

At least 21 people were killed and dozens injured in a car bomb blast at a police academy in Colombia's capital, Bogotá, on Thursday morning, according to officials, who called it a terrorist act.

Columbia's defense minister blamed the attack on a leftist rebel group called the National Liberation Army, or ELN, which has carried out occasional attacks in the country. The bombing has stoked anxiety about a return to the decades when innocent Colombians got caught up in conflicts with rebel groups and drug cartels.

Netflix, by the numbers

Jan 17, 2019

Remember the days of the technological yesteryear when we’d obsessively rearrange our online movie queue and obsessively watch our mailboxes for that familiar red and white envelope?

No? Just me?

Netlfix has come a long way since that time. Today, Netflix is the world’s leading streaming content platform, with over 130 million paid subscribers in 190 countries around the world. And other streaming services like Amazon Prime and Hulu right are right at its heels.

It turned out to be the little sprout that couldn't.

The vaunted cotton seeds that on Tuesday China said had defied the odds to sprout on the moon — albeit inside a controlled environment — have died.

China's state-run Xinhua News Agency announced the news, simply stating: "The experiment has ended."

The Islamic State has jumped back into the headlines by claiming responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed four Americans and more than a dozen civilians at a restaurant in northern Syria.

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