NPR News & Stories Via WUNC

Venezuela's deeply unpopular government is holding more than 100 political prisoners — and some legal experts are including an American among them. Utah native Joshua Holt traveled to Venezuela last year to marry his Venezuelan fiancée. But in a bizarre twist, he's ended up behind bars on weapons charges.

A former Eagle Scout and a Mormon missionary, Holt, 24, met Thamara Candelo through a religious website. After a whirlwind online romance, Holt and Candelo, a Venezuelan Mormon, agreed to get married in her home country.

The Justice Department is following through on an executive order to withhold as much as $4.1 billion in federal grants from so-called "sanctuary cities," generally defined as places where local law enforcement limit their cooperation with federal authorities on immigration enforcement.

Every Sunday The New York Times wedding section describes happy couples’ march to matrimony. The announcements are a popular weekend read, but they also draw criticism and satire because so many of the couples appear to be so perfect.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Steve Bell, senior staff editor at The New York Times, about the section people love to hate.

Drought doesn't cause famine. People do.

1 hour ago
w
Siegfried Modola / Reuters

The United Nations announced this month that more than 20 million people in four countries are teetering on the edge of famine, calling the situation “the worst humanitarian crisis” since the end of World War II.

The key for avoiding the worst outcomes? Political will, experts say.

P
Jessica Pepper Peterson

When you’re poor, you have to make tough choices.

“I couldn’t afford to pay my heat bill. My gas got turned off,” says Bob Cook, who lost his $30,000-a-year job a few years back while working in the computer industry.

“I had to stay warm by using a small electric heater and have a blanket around myself to stay warm in the winter,” says Cook. “This happens to families.”

President Trump is doing his best to put a good face on defeat in his party's attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

His strategy is simple: declare that the law is failing. And he is selling that message in his own distinctly Trumpian way: concocting it out of simple, bold words and then hammering that message home, over and over: Obamacare, in his words, will "explode."

The head of the House Intelligence Committee secretly went to the White House grounds to meet with a source, before he surprised his colleagues by briefing the president — and the press — on information they hadn't seen.

The revelation, first reported by CNN and later confirmed by a spokesman for the chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, is the latest twist in the strange saga of Nunes' unorthodox actions last week.

For-profit colleges have faced federal and state investigations in recent years for their aggressive recruiting tactics — accusations that come as no surprise to author Tressie McMillan Cottom.

One of Germany's largest banks mistakenly sent more than $5 billion to other banks, according to German media. It's not the first stumble for state-owned development bank KfW, which famously sent hundreds of millions of dollars to Lehman Brothers on the same day the U.S. bank filed for bankruptcy.

The Marine Corps photo scandal has disappointed some veterans who helped break down barriers for women in the military, but they say it shouldn't overshadow the progress of female service members.

R
Bria Webb/Reuters

Updated 2:45 p.m. ET

President Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner is going to talk to the Senate Intelligence Committee about his meetings with Russian officials, Senate sources tell NPR.

The committee is looking into Russia's attempt to meddle in last year's presidential election, as well as possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Airlines have surprisingly strict dress codes for people traveling on "buddy passes," and astonishingly tone-deaf explanations.

Those are two takeaways from a story on Sunday that prompted shock and outrage on social media.

President Trump continues to own hundreds of businesses around the world, and he has staffed his administration with wealthy people who have ties to a complex web of companies. Those financial entanglements have prompted government ethics experts to raise concerns about conflicts of interest.

A new report shows that the refugee crisis hasn't slowed down — and people don't always end up where you think.

The flow of refugees is steadily increasing, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR). As of mid-2016, there were 16.5 million refugees globally, 5 million more than in mid-2013. More than 30 percent of all refugees as of mid-2016 came from Syria, the largest source of global refugees.

An avalanche struck a Japanese ski resort midmorning on Monday, overwhelming a student mountaineering exercise and leaving at least eight people with no vital signs, according to local authorities. Some 40 other students and teachers were injured in the avalanche, which hit the area in Tochigi Prefecture, nearly 100 miles north of Tokyo.

As the BBC notes, Japanese rescue officials typically will not pronounce victims dead until they receive confirmation from doctors at a hospital.

Before plate tectonics, the Earth may have been covered by one giant shell

7 hours ago
f
USGS

The Earth’s outer layer is split into slabs, called tectonic plates. As the plates slide across the Earth’s surface, their constant, often violent interactions with one another create volcanoes, earthquakes, rifts and mountain ranges. But the Earth may not always have been shaped this way.

In the spring of my senior year of high school, I took daily trips to the mailbox. It might have been the only time in my life when I knew for a fact that any day, letters with my name on them would appear in the mailbox from colleges that had read through my hopeful applications.

Why markets worldwide are down following Congress's failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. Then, a new survey reveals that credit card holders are generally successful when they ask to negotiate rates and waive fees. And Sabri Ben-Achour interviews journalist Jason Koebler about why farmers are fighting John Deere policies by hacking their

Overcoats' music has been undeniable for me from the first time I saw the duo perform. The deep friendship between Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell comes across in their vibrant harmonies and the bountiful dance parties that pop up as they go.

U
REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Over President Donald Trump's first 100 days, we're asking him questions that our audience wants answers to. Join the project by tweeting this question to @realDonaldTrump with the hashtag #100Days100Qs.

#64. @realDonaldTrump President Trump, what are your plans for the Office of Global Women's Issues? #100Days100Qs

Leaders of the large and unprecedented pro-democracy protests that roiled parts of Hong Kong in 2014 have been told to report to police on charges of causing a public nuisance, in an apparent crackdown that comes one day after Hong Kong selected a new chief executive.

President Trump was downright low energy.

The look on his face, as he meandered through unscripted remarks Friday after the defeat of the Republican health care plan he supported, told the story. The unusually subdued Trump called the loss a "learning experience." Then he seemed to shrug it all off and said he was moving on.

GettyImages-474897535.jpg
Sabri Ben-Achour

In some rural parts of the U.S., there is a bitter divide emerging between farmers and a tractor company over software. Tractors these days are not your grandpa's tractors — they come with sophisticated software. Farmers say this technology locks them out of their equipment so they can't fix it themselves, which is why they’re jailbreaking their tractors using bootleg software.

NYC’s 'Fearless Girl' will keep standing on Wall Street

10 hours ago
GettyImages-649740298.jpg
Jana Kasperkevic

The faceoff between the Wall Street bull and the “Fearless Girl” will continue.

The 4-foot-tall, pony-tailed statue of a girl with arms akimbo was supposed to be removed on April 2, but New York city officials announced on Sunday that it was extending its stay through February of next year.

Pages