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That shocking story was delivered on crisp newsprint to commuters around Washington, D.C., on Wednesday under what appeared to be the signature banner of The Washington Post.

Online, a website bearing an eerie similarity to the Post's, described a secretive resignation, global celebrations and the swearing-in of Mike Pence as president.

There is more than just January's cold currently gripping the city of Westbrook, Maine. An immense icy disk doing a solitary pirouette on the Presumpscot River is dazzling observers, local and distant, alike.

Scientists say the disk is naturally occurring and has been seen before. Most of us have spotted eddies in flowing water, that is when a cross current creates a small whirlpool. But winter's cold adds a whiff of mystery to this phenomenon.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit

Is 50 Years A Life Sentence For A Teenager?

2 hours ago

The Illinois Supreme Court is considering whether sending a teenager to prison for 50 years is effectively a life sentence.

The annual State of the Union message to Congress may be the latest casualty of the partial government shutdown.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., sent a letter to President Trump on Wednesday, suggesting a postponement until after the shutdown is over. The speech, which the president would deliver to a joint session of Congress and a national broadcast audience, was originally scheduled for Jan. 29.

American troops were killed in an explosion in northern Syria, the spokesperson for the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State says. The ISIS extremist group has claimed responsibility.

"U.S. service members were killed during an explosion while conducting a routine patrol in Syria today. We are still gathering information and will share additional details at a later time," Col. Sean Ryan, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, said in a statement.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit

Updated at 7:18 a.m. ET

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown took a step towards a 2020 presidential campaign, announcing a tour of states holding early presidential primaries next year.

Seeking to counter President Trump's appeal to white, working-class voters that helped him flip Ohio and other key midwestern states, Brown is launching a "Dignity of Work" tour through Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

Hundreds of Honduran migrants have crossed the Guatemalan border as they travel in the direction of the United States.

The group that reached Guatemala on Tuesday is the first wave of a caravan that could consist of thousands. It's the first national border crossed by the migrants on their journey that started Monday night.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker spent his first full day in office taking steps aimed at setting himself apart from his predecessor.

Before leaving office, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner granted a pardon to a man wrongly convicted of attempted murder. What makes this clemency unique is that man, Grover Thompson, is now deceased.

Sign up for the CommonHealth newsletter to receive a weekly digest of WBUR's best health, medicine and science coverage.

Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan gets rejected, so how does Britain move forward? Plus, we take a peek inside the world of lifestyle concierges, who cater to every whim of the wealthy and, every once in a while, the not-so-rich.

Today's show is sponsored by SignNowPitney Bowes and Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage.

It's a Friday night and roommates Jason Jones and Tamiko Panzella are hanging out in the Oakland, Calif., apartment they share, laughing about an epic gym workout misfire.

"I get there and we have to take our shoes and socks off. And I'm like, oh no, she got me into yoga. She tricked me," Jones says, laughing.

What made the yoga session more jarring — it was Jones' first full day of freedom after more than a decade behind bars.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit

Sriracha sauce. It's everywhere. Even beer and donuts. The fiery chili paste concocted by Vietnamese-American immigrant David Tran has conquered the American market and imagination in the past decade.

But the original Sriracha is actually Thai — and comes from the seaside city of Si Racha, where most residents haven't even heard of the U.S. brand, which is now being exported to Thailand.

As the standoff between President Trump and Congress continues over funding for Trump's proposed border wall, the partial shutdown of the federal government means workers will go weeks without a paycheck. That has some looking for temporary jobs to pay their bills.

In Boise, Idaho, Chris Kirk says he's worked for the federal government for 19 years. He administers contracts for the hundreds of millions of dollars the U.S. Forest Service spends on fighting wildfires. But these days he's on furlough and looking for extra income.

A decade-long fight ended at the Supreme Court this week, when justices refused to hear an appeal by veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who say that toxic smoke from burn pits made them sick.

From the BBC World Service… Britain's prime minister suffered a much bigger-than-expected defeat on her Brexit proposal last night, a plan that took two years to negotiate with the E.U. So, now what? We hit the streets to talk to workers in the U.K.'s financial hub about what it all means for investors and the future of the economy. Then, how do you plan for an event that's been dubbed the world's biggest gathering of people in one of the most impoverished cities?

Chef concierge Michael Romei needed to get blood oranges to a film crew in Mexico.  

His client was making a movie named after the fruit. The last shot of the film was a dissolve onto a basket of blood oranges. But there were none to be had in all of Mexico. The VIP knew Romei would find a solution.

“I purchased the blood oranges at Grace’s Marketplace [in New York City] and sent them with someone by plane to Mexico City,” Romei said.

Many users think of Instagram as the younger, cooler Facebook. And advertisers think so, too. In the first installment of my interview with Mark Rabkin, vice president of ads and business platform at Facebook, we talked about how Facebook has changed some rules around ads as part of an effort to clean up its "data supply chain," and whether that has advertisers leaving the platform. Many ad dollars are migrating from Facebook, but not away from the company altogether. They're shifting to Instagram (which is owned, of course, by Facebook). 

In yesterday's show we talked about how advertisers are not leaving Facebook. But lots of them are migrating from Facebook proper to another platform it owns: Instagram. One analyst estimates that ads on Instagram will account for 70 percent of Facebook's new revenue by 2020. And the most exciting thing for the company is Stories, the little posts that expire after 24 hours. Instagram may have stolen the idea from Snapchat, but it's working.

APM Reports documentary: Teaching Teachers

12 hours ago

Listen to the documentary here

This is "education week" on MPR News Presents, featuring American Public Media documentaries about some of the ways education could be improved. Gov. Tim Walz says education is key to Minnesota's success, and legislative leaders say they're going to focus on it.


Let's bring in one of the senators now who was in that Judiciary Committee hearing room today questioning attorney general nominee Bill Barr. That senator is Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island. Senator Whitehouse, welcome.

SHELDON WHITEHOUSE: Thank you, good to be with you.

KELLY: Good to have you with us. So let me start with the central question, whether Barr will protect the Mueller investigation. Based on what you heard today, are you persuaded that he will?