News From NPR

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Students who experience traumatic events while growing up in poor, turbulent neighborhoods could be considered disabled, a federal judge has ruled in a high-profile case involving the Compton, Calif., schools.

The ruling from U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald, released on Wednesday, involves a class-action lawsuit filed against the Compton Unified School District. The plaintiffs argued that students who have experienced trauma are entitled to the same services and protections that schools must provide to traditionally disabled students.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Fancy A Fig? California's Growers Desperately Hope You Do

Oct 1, 2015

For many Americans, their only association with figs comes in the form of a Fig Newton. And indeed, once upon a time, most of the figs grown in California ended up in fig pastes and cookies like those familiar chewy squares.

But tastes change, and the fig industry has gone through tough times. Lack of demand and the state's ongoing drought has pushed some growers to other crops. Others went out of business.

FBI Director James Comey said he is closely monitoring the investigation into the possible compromise of security information on Hillary Clinton's email server, but he declined to offer details about the politically sensitive matter.

"If you don't have any money, then what's the point of managing it?"

That's a question that Stuart Rutherford encounters a lot. And, he says, it's a common "trap of thinking." People who have money think that people who are extremely poor — living on less than $1.25 a day — don't have even a penny to put away for a rainy day or a daughter's wedding or a fund for a new home.

Last week, I reported a story on the U.N.'s pledge to wipe out extreme poverty by 2030, and I fell into that trap. Sure, I thought, the poor can't save money!

Updated at 10:50 p.m. ET

After a shooting at a community college in western Oregon, 10 people are dead and seven others are wounded, according to the Douglas County sheriff. Officials would not say whether the shooter, who was killed by police in an exchange of gunfire on campus, was included in the 10 fatalities.

In a evening news conference, Sheriff John Hanlin said that investigators believe they know the name of the attacker, and it will be released by the medical examiner.

While it's hard to find a person who doesn't at least like tacos, they don't always get the respect they deserve.

According to Déborah Holtz and Juan Carlos Mena, authors of Tacopedia, an impressive new tome, the taco is a focal point not just of Mexico's cuisine but of its culture, too.

Laticia Aossey was flat on her back in an Iowa hospital bed with a tube up her nose, a needle for a peripheral IV stuck in one arm and monitors pasted to her body. It was early June 2014, a week after her 18th birthday, when a friend brought Aossey's mail from home — including one ominous letter. Aossey's health insurance was about to be discontinued.

"My heart dropped. I just wondered to myself, 'Are they going to pull this tube out, unhook me from everything and roll me down to the street?' " Aossey said. "Could I get the medicine I needed?"

The New York City Police Department is making widespread changes to to its use of force policy.

The announcement came just after the NYPD Inspector General published a report looking at 179 cases of substantiated excessive use of force by police.

What's come to be called "the nation's T. rex" now stands — though not in the United States. It's in Canada.

The nearly complete and much heralded Tyrannosaurus skeleton — the first ever owned by the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History — was discovered in 1988 by a Montana rancher, Kathy Wankel, and will eventually find a new home in a grand display in the Washington, D.C., museum.

Why do we humans like to play so much? Play sports, play tag, play the stock market, play duck, duck, goose? We love it all. And we're not the only ones. Dogs, cats, bears, even birds seem to like to play. What are we all doing? Is there a point to it all?

Today is the day — the beginning of the end for the venerable (but woefully open to abuse) magnetic stripe, a technology pioneered in the 1960s. Enter the more secure age of the chip, or "EMV" cards.

At least in theory.

It's actually a bit more complicated. Here are three things to know:

Is today (Oct. 1) the deadline for the switch from magnetic-stripe cards to the chipped cards?

The world's annual death toll from AIDS has been falling in recent years — 1.5 million in 2013, a 35 percent drop from the peak of 2.4 million in 2005.

Now the number of deaths could soon drop even more.

The World Health Organization issued new guidelines Wednesday that recommend greatly increasing the number of people who take antiretroviral medications for the treatment and prevention of HIV infection.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

Former CEO of Massey Energy Don Blankenship goes on trial Thursday in West Virginia over charges that he conspired to violate federal mine safety laws at company mines.

As West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Ashton Marra reports, the charges stem from a 2010 explosion at the Massey-owned Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 men — the worst U.S. mining disaster in 40 years.

If you're struck by a macaw, sucked into a jet engine or are having relationship problems with your in-laws, fear not: Your doctor now has a medical diagnosis code for that.

On Thursday, doctors, hospitals and health insurers must start using the ICD-10, a vast new set of alphanumeric codes for describing diseases and injuries in unprecedented detail.

At the stroke of midnight, it became legal for Oregon dispensaries to sell marijuana to anyone over 21 years old. The state has also been allowing residents to wipe old pot charges from their criminal records.

Oregon becomes the third U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana sales, joining Colorado and Washington.

From the Northwest News Network, Chris Lehman reports for our Newscast unit:

This post was updated at 12:48 p.m.

The latest release of more than 3,800 emails totaling more than 6,000 pages from Hillary Clinton's time at the State Department contained revelations into both the security of her controversial personal server, her dealings with her aides and top officials, and, of course, some humorous insights into the now-Democratic candidate for president.

The New York Police Department unveiled a new set of rules regarding its use of force, The New York Times, Newsday and the New York Post are reporting.

Russia says it has carried out at least 20 airstrikes in Syria. But many of those attacks hit areas miles from the ISIS strongholds that were initially named as targets. Syria's opposition says Russian forces are hitting any opponents of President Bashar Assad — and that civilians are paying a price.

"We want clear condemnation for the Russian brutality, and we want protection for the civilians," Khaled Khoja, leader of the anti-Assad Syrian National Council, said at a news conference in New York.

Updated, 1:20 a.m. ET

The National Hurricane Center's projections for Hurricane Joaquin in the past two days have incrementally moved the storm east. Now the government agency is saying the storm is likely to miss the United States altogether.

Some coastal flooding is still likely from the storm's surge, the hurricane center says, and unrelated rains could cause flooding in parts of the Carolinas and Virginia.

The official reporting deadline isn't until Oct. 15, but Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are already out with big numbers for the third quarter.

And those numbers tell us something about the state of the presidential race on the Democratic side.

This post was updated at 4:00 p.m. ET Thursday

Reading the tea leaves about Vice President Biden's intentions has become a consuming parlor game in Washington.

Political junkies and journalists have been breathlessly speculating about whether Biden will get into the Democratic presidential race. Every phone call from a Biden aide is examined for hidden meaning.

Three days after Taliban fighters swept into Kunduz, Afghanistan's government says its troops have retaken the strategically important northern city, but reports suggest the fighting is not yet over in the city.

Update at 1:15 p.m. ET: Americans' Role In Combat

New details have emerged about the combat Americans were involved in this week, as they sought to protect the Kunduz airport from the Taliban.

From Col. Brian Tribus, public affairs director for the Army's mission in Afghanistan:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



A tragic incident this week in Yemen is intensifying scrutiny of a Saudi-led military campaign there, as well as the U.S. role in backing that Saudi offensive.

The Saudis are fighting rebels called Houthis who ousted the government. And while all sides are accused of abuses, increasing blame is turning toward the Saudis and their allies.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Russia joined the combat in Syria without coordinating its approach with the United States. Now planes from both nations are bombing targets in Syria.


Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit