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Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

The White House said on Thursday that it has ruled out making a former diplomat or other Americans available to Russian interrogators following a wave of criticism of that idea.

It was the latest in a series of reversals since President Trump's summit on Monday with his Russian counterpart in Helsinki.

California will be staying in one piece, at least for now, after the state's supreme court ruled that a proposal to divide California into three cannot be placed on the ballot in November.

Joan Baez reflects on these 'ghastly' times

44 minutes ago

The 1960s was a turbulent decade in American history. There were political assassinations, the US was embroiled in the Vietnam War and marchers for civil rights occupied the country's streets. One of the voices who defined the music of that decade was Joan Baez, who debuted her first album when she was just 19 years old. 

Now 77, Baez says for all the turmoil that occurred in the '60s, she never could "have dreamed that things could be this ghastly [in the United States] ... Nobody could have written this stuff."  

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


It's a rusty old bucket of a plot contrivance: throw a bunch of strangers together on a boat and roil the waters with a big storm or a white whale. But, in her latest novel, The Last Cruise, Kate Christensen demonstrates there's life yet to be found in what may appear to be the creakiest of fictional premises.

In the early days of American democracy, you could always count on Benjamin Franklin for a good political joke to put things into perspective. In the early days of Egypt's democracy, you've got Bassem Youssef. He's been called the "Egyptian Jon Stewart." The former heart surgeon, shot to fame during Egypt's revolution in 2011 after he posted videos on YouTube lampooning political figures. And those videos paved the way for a TV show with millions of viewers. But over the weekend Bassem Youssef saw what happens when he thinks he's funny, but the Egyptian government does not.

Their words helped ensure Larry Nassar will spend his life behind bars, and on Wednesday, the "sister survivors" of the disgraced sports doctor's abuse accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2018 ESPYS in Los Angeles.

Dressed in glittering gowns and with hands gripped, more than 140 women gathered onstage to share the prize awarded to athletes whose bravery "transcends sports," as the audience rose in a standing ovation.

Sarah Klein, a former gymnast who said she was among Nassar's earliest victims three decades ago, was the first to address the audience.

Updated at 3:19 p.m. ET

The Federal Reserve got a rare piece of advice from the president Thursday. The central bank is an independent agency and usually the commander in chief doesn't comment directly on Fed policy.

The American brand might be on the decline

1 hour ago

(Markets Edition) President Trump has threatened "tremendous retribution" against the European Union over trade, possibly targeting imported cars, trucks and auto parts. We'll look at how groups representing automakers feel about these potential penalties, and what they mean for car prices. Afterwards, we'll chat with Diane Swonk, chief economist for the firm Grant Thornton, about what she expects the country's second-quarter GDP results to look like, and then we'll talk with political risk consultant Ian Bremmer about how America is doing as a brand.

Each spring, barnacle geese migrate more than 1,800 miles from the Netherlands and northern Germany to their breeding grounds in parts of Russia above the Arctic Circle.

The journey north usually takes about a month, and the geese make multiple stops along the way to eat and fatten up before they lay their eggs, says Bart Nolet of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and the University of Amsterdam.

Democrats on the powerful Senate Banking Committee said Kathy Kraninger is not qualified to be the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency the White House has nominated her to run.

Republicans at her nomination hearing Thursday said her management experience at the White House Office of Management and Budget qualifies her for the job.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is clarifying remarks he made about whether his platform should remove content posted by Holocaust deniers, saying he wasn't defending them when he commented that it was hard to know their intentions. His initial comments set off intense criticism earlier this week.

Tall, dreadlocked Josh Scheper knew he was out of place as he surveyed the scene at a Santa Ana, Calif., parking lot on a Sunday morning this past April. And the 46-year-old loved it.

Hundreds of people waited in line at stalls for vegan food, but few people looked like the Los Angeles resident. Nearly everyone in the crowd was young and Latino, as were the chefs. The food on sale was Mexican — but not hippie-dippy cafe standbys like cauliflower tacos, or tempeh-stuffed burritos. Instead, chefs reimagined meaty classics that were honest-to-goodness bueno.

It's as if the pianos were haunted. Somewhere about midway through this Tiny Desk, as Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds performed on his electronic keyboard, two upright pianos were playing lilting melodies behind him, absent any performer at the keys. And yet these "ghosts," along with Ólafur's band of strings and percussion, put together some of the most beautiful music I've heard at the Tiny Desk, made all the more mysterious through its presentation.

A Texas nonprofit that works with families separated at the border has turned down a $250,000 contribution from Salesforce, a company under pressure for its work creating software for the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

It has been an epic clash of media titans worthy of a blockbuster movie itself like, say, the X-Men — notably a property of 21st Century Fox. And as with any blockbuster franchise, there are already sequels lined up.

The broadband, cable and entertainment giant Comcast announced Thursday that it would withdraw from the field, conceding defeat in its audacious bidding war for most of the entertainment assets of Fox, controlled by the Murdoch family.

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When Saudi Arabia started allowing women to drive last month — a historic shift in the last country in the world to ban women from getting behind the wheel — Samah Damanhoori was watching closely from California. The 29-year-old Saudi woman has a lot at stake.

At New Mexico's state capitol Monday, state legislators heard, for the first time, testimony from people who have been detained inside the two for-profit immigration detention centers in the state. What they heard were memories of trauma and allegations of abuse — and calls to end privately-run detention in New Mexico for good.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Who Knew The World Bank And The U.N. Are Emoji Lovers?

6 hours ago

Did you notice the emoji explosion on social media this week?

Composer Sawan Dutta had scored the music for two Bollywood movies. After meetings with movie executives, long nights in the studio, these two projects would be her most high-profile work yet. And then, disaster. One film lost distribution. The other lost its mega-star talent.

The scores? Left unheard, abandoned on a hard drive.

But Dutta turned her frustration into The Metronome Song Vlog, India’s longest-running song videoblog, or vlog. Now she’s a viral internet sensation.

It's built for oversize cargo, but it also sports a smile: The Airbus BelugaXL took off on its maiden flight on Thursday, creating a unique sight as the jet with the bulbous upper half rolled down the runway.

The BelugaXL's paint job "features beluga whale-inspired eyes and an enthusiastic grin," the aircraft company says. That whale flew over southern France, soaring over the coast and mountainside.

Mission Health, the largest hospital system in western North Carolina, provided $100 million in free charity care last year. This year, it has partnered with 17 civic organizations to deliver care for substance abuse by people who are low-income.

Based in bucolic Asheville, the six-hospital system also screens residents for food insecurity; provides free dental care to children in rural areas via the "ToothBus" mobile clinic; helps the homeless find permanent housing and encourages its 12,000 employees to volunteer at schools, churches and nonprofit groups.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk apologized this week not only to the cave diver involved in the recent rescue in Thailand, who Musk insulted, but also to the people who work for Musk. After months of erratic behavior swinging Tesla’s stock price, investors are worried about the visionary founder’s temperament.

(U.S. Edition) The Senate is voting today on Trump's pick to head the IRS (Charles Rettig), which comes during a week when the agency is getting blowback for a new policy. We'll discuss the rule, which says that certain types of nonprofits will no longer have to disclose their big donors. Afterwards, we'll look at how Tesla investors are getting worried about CEO Elon Musk's temperament, and then we'll talk to MIT economics professor David Autor about current trade tensions.

How the American brand is faring on the global stage

8 hours ago

The U.S. has a certain brand image globally. That brand will be different to each person, but the way that brand appears is important for businesses abroad. 

The world's most controversial energy project

8 hours ago

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Brussels is warning European businesses to do more to prepare for a "no deal" Brexit. With 253 days left until the U.K. leaves the European Union and no end in sight to British infighting, should businesses keep calm and carry on? Afterwards, we'll discuss how Cuba is preparing to change its constitution in a shake-up that will include recognition of private land ownership for the first time in more than 40 years. Then, it’s been branded the world's most controversial energy project.

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Giant Jeff Goldblum Spotted In London

8 hours ago

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A picture of Jeff Goldblum from the first "Jurassic Park" movie has become a viral sensation. David, maybe you remember this scene. Goldblum's character...


Oh, yeah.