NPR News

When it comes to watering your lawn during drought and wildfire season, what’s the sweet spot between water conservation and fire hazard?

Anti-abortion groups are calling for an investigation into Planned Parenthood, and now, state and federal lawmakers are getting involved.

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Boston bows out of Olympic bid, but Toronto may be in

9 hours ago
Gary Hershorn/Reuters

Boston will not host the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The US Olympic Comitte dropped Boston amidst concerns about the cost of building new infrastructure, transportation issues, and a lack of residential support. But that could open the door for a bid from another North American city, like Toronto.

A former Taliban prisoner remembers Mullah Omar

9 hours ago

The Afghan government says the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, is dead. A statement said there was credible information that he died two years ago in Pakistan. A White House spokesman agreed that the reports were credible. There's been no word from the Taliban or from Pakistan.

The life of renowned Afghan author Qais Akbar Omar was directly affected by Mullah Omar and the Taliban.

Qais wrote the much-acclaimed autobiography "A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story," which culminates in his family's flight from war-torn Afghanistan.

For most of us, debt is a big part of life. According to a new study by Pew Charitable Trusts, 80 percent of Americans have some form of debt — from student loans to credit card balances.

There are many among the so-called silent generation, those born before World War II, who are still paying off mortgages and credit cards.

A lot of people who want a Birkin bag — a handbag popular among celebrities that can cost more than $100,000 — will get on multiple-year waiting lists to get one. But its namesake wants nothing to do with one version of it.

Specifically, Jane Birkin no longer wants to be affiliated with the popular crocodile-skin version. Her request comes after PETA published a graphic video on how crocodiles are allegedly treated before being killed.

The dramatic failure of a test flight by Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket last October cost the co-pilot his life and left the pilot severely injured. New data from investigators suggest that the pilot survived in part because the craft essentially came apart around him.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Iran has the potential to be a boom market for American tech companies. The majority of the population is under 30 and well educated, and over half the country has access to the Internet.

Many businesses have to wait until more sanctions are lifted, but certain tech companies can already go into Iran legally because the U.S. has lifted sanctions on various communication technology. They just aren't sure they want to.

The drought in California has gone on so long, and is so severe, that it's beginning to change the way people are designing residential communities — in unexpected ways, and unexpected places.

Planning is under way, for instance, for one of the first eco-friendly communities in California's predominantly agricultural Central Valley.

The site is in the town of Reedley, 30 miles southeast of Fresno.

There were a number of factors that distinguished Reedley, says Curt Johansen, the San Francisco developer who's spearheading the project.

They were under watch by the FBI and the New York Police Department. And by the early 1970s, the Young Lords emerged as one of the country's most prominent radical groups led by Latino activists.

Inspired by the Black Panthers, a band of young Puerto Ricans wanted to form a Latino counterpart to the black nationalist group. In fact, one of the founding Young Lords in New York City almost started a group called the "Brown Tigers."

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world, by surface area, and it has something the other Great Lakes do not: stable populations of mostly native fish species.

But scientists say a key fish in Superior's food web is now in trouble because of mild winters and an appetite for caviar in Europe.

There wasn't much demand for lake herring 10 years ago. It used to be fed to mink and used as fertilizer, according to Craig Hoopman, a commercial fisherman in Wisconsin who fishes around Lake Superior's Apostle Islands.

Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

Outrage over the killing of a well-known lion in Zimbabwe has been loud. So loud, in fact, and so amplified by social media that Dr. Walter Palmer had to suspend his Minnesota dental practice after admitting to hunting down the feline icon named Cecil. 

The big cat's death is leading some in Zimbabwe to speak out against the practice of big game hunting.  

Johnny Rodrigues, who chairs the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force in Harare says he frequently saw Cecil in the bush.