News From NPR

How safe is your Uber ride? That question has dogged the company for years, as it has faced complaints from passengers and drivers alleging they have been sexually assaulted in an Uber.

Now Uber is revealing the scale of those complaints for the first time.

The company received 5,981 allegations of serious sexual assault in the U.S. over two years, according to a new report covering 2017 and 2018. The claims range from unwanted touching and kissing to rape.

A law enforcement scandal that could impact thousands of criminal cases in Orange County, Calif., is pitting the region's top attorneys and sheriffs against one another.

The county's public defender's office on Wednesday suggested that top prosecutors covered for law enforcement, helping to keep widespread lapses in evidence booking out of public view. Now, Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders is demanding to know who knew what and when.

With Democrats in the House of Representatives formally moving to draft articles of impeachment against President Trump, the top Republican on the committee that will author those articles is saying the White House should participate in the impeachment inquiry. But participation should happen only, he says, "when there is an actual opportunity in which it is a situation in which they can present, do the presentation that they need to."

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

How safe is your Uber ride? That question has dogged the company for years as complaints have piled up from passengers and drivers alleging they were sexually assaulted inside an Uber. Now Uber is revealing the scale of these complaints for the first time. A new report tallies the number of sexual assaults, deaths and fatal crashes that happened during Uber rides in the U.S. in 2017 and 2018. NPR's tech correspondent Shannon Bond has more.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

How safe is your Uber ride? That question has dogged the company for years as complaints have piled up from passengers and drivers alleging they were sexually assaulted inside an Uber. Now Uber is revealing the scale of these complaints for the first time. A new report tallies the number of sexual assaults, deaths and fatal crashes that happened during Uber rides in the U.S. in 2017 and 2018. NPR's tech correspondent Shannon Bond has more.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

How safe is your Uber ride? That question has dogged the company for years as complaints have piled up from passengers and drivers alleging they were sexually assaulted inside an Uber. Now Uber is revealing the scale of these complaints for the first time. A new report tallies the number of sexual assaults, deaths and fatal crashes that happened during Uber rides in the U.S. in 2017 and 2018. NPR's tech correspondent Shannon Bond has more.

After decades of progress against one of the most contagious human viruses, the world is seeing measles stage a slow, steady comeback.

The World Health Organization and the CDC say in a new report that there were nearly 10 million cases of measles last year, with outbreaks on every continent.

An estimated 140,000 people died from measles in 2018, WHO says, up from an all-time low of 90,000 in 2016.

And so far 2019 has been even worse.

A study designed to test the effectiveness of a controversial practice known as "abortion pill reversal" has been stopped early because of safety concerns.

Researchers from the University of California, Davis, were investigating claims that the hormone progesterone can stop a medication-based abortion after a patient has completed the first part of the two-step process.

Updated at 11:12 p.m. ET

As a 23-year-old woman in India was heading to testify against a man who allegedly raped her, a group of men that she says included her rapist attacked her and set her on fire. It's yet another horrifying incident in a country grappling with high levels of sexual violence against women.

One of her doctors at a hospital in Uttar Pradesh says she is in very serious condition.

All Things Considered host Mary Louise Kelly interviews Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, on Capital Hill about the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Mary Louise Kelly: We are speaking on the day that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced the House is ready to move forward with articles of impeachment. What's your response?

O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree. How lovely are thy branches.

Those are the lyrics to a popular Christmas carol about a tree so wondrous it roused musicians to write an entire song about its green boughs and unchanging leaves. But this year, one London Christmas tree isn't exactly inspiring people to burst into holiday carols.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden squared off with a voter in Iowa on Thursday, calling the man a "damn liar" after he accused Biden of helping to get his son on the board of a Ukrainian gas company in an attempt to win access with Ukraine's president.

In the testy exchange at a town hall packed with Biden supporters, the former vice president took umbrage with another accusation from the voter: that Biden is too old to run for president.

Updated 4:55 p.m. ET

Members of the United Auto Workers executive board Thursday approved Rory Gamble as president of the union through June 2022.

He was elevated from his acting role and will serve the rest of the term vacated by former president Gary Jones, who resigned last month after being implicated in a years-long federal investigation looking into embezzlement and bribery at the union.

General Motors and LG Chemical plan to make battery cells for electric-powered vehicles, unveiling a joint venture that they expect to create more than 1,100 jobs in northeast Ohio. The companies say they'll invest up to $2.3 billion in the venture.

The project is centered around Lordstown, Ohio, where GM shuttered a plant last March that had produced the Chevrolet Cruze. The new plant in the Lordstown area will make battery cells for GM's upcoming all-electric vehicles, from a Cadillac sedan to a new electric truck that's slated for release in late 2021.

The Trump Administration has named its choice to lead the federal office on homelessness: Robert Marbut, a well-known consultant to cities trying to tackle the issue.

High school students through the decades have sweated over the college admissions tests, the ACT and the SAT.  Now, more and more schools are not requiring applicants to take the standardized tests.

Lawmakers are calling for an investigation into a troubled student loan discharge program one day after an NPR report revealed that the program — meant to erase the student debts of borrowers with significant, permanent disabilities — wasn't helping the vast majority of those who are eligible.

A comet from another star will swing by our sun Dec. 8.

Known as 2I/Borisov, it is the first comet to ever be seen coming from interstellar space. But despite its alien origins, astronomers say it actually looks pretty familiar.

"Borisov is a comet very like what we have in our own solar system," says Michele Bannister, a planetary astronomer at Queen's University Belfast told NPR's Short Wave. Whatever planetary system it formed in, "it's a lot like our own."

A new Gilded Age has emerged in America — a 21st century version.

The wealth of the top 1% of Americans has grown dramatically in the past four decades, squeezing both the middle class and the poor. This is in sharp contrast to Europe and Asia, where the wealth of the 1% has grown at a more constrained pace.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

One of opera's leading men, Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo, was dismissed Thursday by two of the world's most prestigious houses: the Royal Opera in London and New York's Metropolitan Opera.

His firing comes after an investigation by the Royal Opera [RO], which determined that he had demonstrated "inappropriate and aggressive behavior" during an RO tour of Japan in September.

Scientists know that if they transfuse blood from a young mouse to an old one, then they can stave off or even reverse some signs of aging. But they don't know what in the blood is responsible for this remarkable effect.

Researchers now report that they've identified hundreds of proteins in human blood that wax and wane in surprising ways as we age. The findings could provide important clues about which substances in the blood can slow aging.

Roughly a week after a massive explosion tore through a petrochemical plant in Port Neches, residents of the Southeast Texas city are being asked to leave to avoid its lingering effects.

On Thursday morning officials in town and Jefferson County reaffirmed a voluntary evacuation order due to high levels of a harmful chemical in the area.

Thousands of people are marching in the streets of Paris, Lyon, Marseilles and other French cities Thursday, as more than 30 unions launch a massive workers' strike that's meant to shut down the country and force President Emmanuel Macron to reevaluate his plans for pension reform.

The strike is being compared to the crippling protests of 1995, which were also triggered by a retirement reform effort and which unraveled the career of former Prime Minister Alain Juppé.

Updated at 1:43 p.m. ET

Federal law enforcement officials have announced criminal charges against two Russian nationals who operate a hacking organization known as Evil Corp., a group officials say is responsible for one of the most sweeping banking fraud schemes in the past decade.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This morning, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that the House Judiciary Committee will draft articles of impeachment against President Trump. She said the president's abuse of power warrants his removal from office.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

NANCY PELOSI: If we allow a president to be above the law, we do so surely at the peril of our republic.

Updated at 12:43 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced Thursday morning that House Democrats will move ahead with drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump, though she did not define the scope of those articles.

"His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our Constitution," Pelosi said, referring to Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate political rivals while hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid were on hold earlier this year.

David Pierce was never someone who sat around watching life go by. He worked as a chef and had a catering business on the side. He sang in his church choir and did community theater, where he met his wife.

Then, in his mid-50s, doctors removed part of Pierce's foot, a complication of diabetes.

"My health just went, kind of really downhill. It really took a turn for the worse," says Pierce, sitting at his dining room table in his tidy home in Apalachin, N.Y. "I couldn't maintain even a part-time schedule."

Copyright 2019 WPLN. To see more, visit WPLN.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Pages