News From NPR

Rep Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the lead House impeachment manager said Wednesday that "We're trying this case to two juries: the Senate and the American people."

It's not just the prosecutors who are approaching the Senate trial as having two distinct audiences.

There's a book you might have heard of by now. It's called American Dirt, and it's the much-hyped new novel from author Jeanine Cummins that was released this week.

It's the story of a Mexican woman named Lydia and her 8 year old son Luca, who flee their home and undertake a harrowing journey to the U.S. border after gunmen from a local drug cartel murder most of their family. It's been hailed as "a Grapes of Wrath for our times." In fact, that quote is on the cover of the book.

Morning News Brief

43 minutes ago

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

When thousands of anti-abortion rights activists march in Washington, D.C., on Friday, President Trump will be there. It's the first time a sitting president will address the March for Life, an annual event organized decades ago in response to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Amidst fears about cybersecurity and the spread of disinformation, New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary — along with the guardian of that tradition - is under scrutiny like never before.

A new strain of virus that appears to have originated in China is spreading rapidly and crossing borders. There are hundreds of confirmed cases and at least 17 reported deaths. Here's what we know so far about this virus, as reported by NPR's daily science podcast Short Wave.

What kind of disease is this?

Just a few months ago, Tom Inglesby helped gather top officials from governments, businesses and health organizations around the world to play a kind of war game.

"It was a scenario looking at global consequences of a major new epidemic," says Inglesby, who directs the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

Former billionaire and pharmaceutical executive John Kapoor has been sentenced to five years and six months in prison. His sentencing is the culmination of a months-long criminal trial in Boston's Moakley U.S. Courthouse that resulted in the first successful prosecution of pharmaceutical executives tied to the opioid epidemic.

Updated at 9:50 p.m. ET

[Editor's note: Chinese health officials say cases of Wuhan coronavirus in the country have increased to 830 and deaths to 25. Most of the new cases are relatives or health care workers who have come into close contact with a sick person.]

Since the Wuhan coronavirus was first reported in December, the bulk of the confirmed cases have been in China, but there have been cases also reported in nearby countries like Japan and Singapore as well as in the U.S.

The U.S. government says it's on high alert for cyberattacks from foreign countries in this election year. Yet private cybersecurity firms have often been the ones sounding the alarm, and in some cases, they are selling their services to the U.S. intelligence community.

"We've seen Iran impersonating political candidates," said Sandra Joyce, the head of global intelligence at FireEye, a leading cybersecurity company.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

And now to politics - the impeachment trial of President Trump continues today in Washington.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN ROBERTS: The Senate will convene as a court of impeachment.

CHANG: Chief Justice John Roberts there kicking off the second day of Democrats presenting their opening arguments after eight hours yesterday and another 16 hours and 42 minutes until the president's lawyers would get their turn.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Not that anyone's counting.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

And now to politics - the impeachment trial of President Trump continues today in Washington.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN ROBERTS: The Senate will convene as a court of impeachment.

CHANG: Chief Justice John Roberts there kicking off the second day of Democrats presenting their opening arguments after eight hours yesterday and another 16 hours and 42 minutes until the president's lawyers would get their turn.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Not that anyone's counting.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

And now to politics - the impeachment trial of President Trump continues today in Washington.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN ROBERTS: The Senate will convene as a court of impeachment.

CHANG: Chief Justice John Roberts there kicking off the second day of Democrats presenting their opening arguments after eight hours yesterday and another 16 hours and 42 minutes until the president's lawyers would get their turn.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Not that anyone's counting.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

The White House has invited Israeli leaders to visit next week to discuss the administration's long-awaited Middle East peace plan. Meanwhile, on their own, Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have brokered something that's already having a modest impact.

Strawberries and snacks from Gaza may now be sold abroad. Gazan fishermen can venture farther into the Mediterranean for a better catch. Thousands of unemployed Palestinians are suddenly allowed to leave the territory to work in Israel after more than a decade.

If Jeff Bezos can't keep his phone safe, how can the rest of us hope to? The most obvious first step: Be careful about WhatsApp messaging with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

"I think if a Saudi prince is after you, you have a lot of things to worry about," says Matthew Green, a computer science professor at Johns Hopkins University and an expert on cryptography and cybersecurity.

Jim Lehrer, the veteran journalist and writer known for his steady, low-key presence in the often noisy world of TV news, died Thursday. He co-founded PBS' NewsHour and won numerous honors — including Peabody and Emmy awards and a National Humanities Medal — in a career that spanned some 50 years.

The State Department plans to deny tourist visas to pregnant women if officials believe they are traveling here to secure American citizenship for their child by giving birth on U.S. soil.

The Trump administration says it is targeting the practice known as "birth tourism." The State Department says that traveling to deliver a child in the U.S. is not "a legitimate activity for pleasure or of a recreational nature."

Isabel dos Santos, the billionaire former first daughter of Angola who is said to be one of Africa's wealthiest people, has been accused of rampant financial misconduct in order to line her own pockets.

The allegations, announced Wednesday by Angola's top prosecutor, come just days after a major media investigation released more than 700,000 documents related to dos Santos' business empire — and the questionable conduct that built it — in what has become known as the Luanda Leaks.

Updated at 9:50 p.m. ET

Airports around the world are screening travelers from certain parts of China for symptoms of an illness that has sickened 830 people and killed 25. The illness, caused by a novel form of the coronavirus, originated in the city of Wuhan, China, and the bulk of the confirmed cases are in China.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. President Trump fired his first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, after complaining that Sessions had failed to protect him from a special counsel investigation. In his replacement, current Attorney General William Barr, Trump has a fierce advocate.

Updated at 10:40 p.m. ET

House Democrats finished their second day of oral arguments on Thursday, contending that that President Trump's attempt to pressure Ukraine into investigations was not only an attempt to cheat in the 2020 election, but Democrats said it was also the kind of behavior the nation's founding fathers hoped to guard against.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

To Adam Schiff, the lead impeachment manager in the Senate trial against President Trump, the case boils down to this.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The International Court of Justice in The Hague has ordered Myanmar to prevent a genocide of the country's remaining Rohingya Muslims — the target of a brutal army crackdown that led to the deaths of tens of thousands.

Presiding Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, reading the unanimous opinion of the 17-judge panel, said the United Nations court "is of the opinion that the Rohingya in Myanmar remain extremely vulnerable" after the 2017 crackdown in the country's western Rakhine state.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a law Wednesday aimed at bringing more young people into the civic conversation.

Copyright 2020 WKAR Public Media. To see more, visit WKAR Public Media.

NOEL KING, HOST:

More than three in five Americans are lonely, with more and more people reporting feeling like they are left out, poorly understood and lacking companionship, according to a new survey released Thursday. Workplace culture and conditions may contribute to Americans' loneliness.

Pages