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The Navy Gets Its First Female SEAL Candidate

57 minutes ago

The Navy says it has its first female candidates for two elite special operations jobs previously closed to women – including a prospective SEAL.

One woman is in the pipeline to be a SEAL officer, and another is on the path to becoming a special warfare combatant crewman. The news was first reported by Military.com, an independent website. The Navy declined to identify the candidates, citing security considerations.

On a party-line vote, the United States Senate voted Thursday to confirm President Trump's most controversial judicial nominee to date. He is John Bush, a Kentucky lawyer and political blogger, whose posts disparaged gay rights and compared the Supreme Court's abortion decision in Roe v. Wade to its 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson upholding segregation.

Governments have struggled to come up with effective ways to stop people from cutting down trees.

That's because unchecked deforestation can cause soil to erode, worsen flooding and destroy natural habitats for wildlife. It's become a serious problem throughout the globe. Deforestation accounts for roughly 10 percent of worldwide emissions from burning, and loss of trees reduces the amount of carbon being reabsorbed into the ground.

Linkin Park Singer Chester Bennington Dead At 41

1 hour ago

Chester Bennington, one of the lead singers for the band Linkin Park and a former singer for Stone Temple Pilots, has died. His death was confirmed to NPR Thursday afternoon by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office, which said that his body was discovered at a house in the 2800 block of Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles and that investigators are currently on the scene. The death is "being looked at as a possible suicide at this time," according to Brian Elias of the coroner's office. Bennington was 41 years old.

Groups that represent industries from farming to fracking are supporting a legislative push to rewrite how government handles science when drawing up regulations.

And the whole effort has scientists worried.

Consider, for example, the Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act, or HONEST Act, which passed the House in the spring and now is with the Senate. Just how "honest" it is depends on whom you ask.

Jim Schott had one goal when he abandoned academic life to start the company called Haystack Mountain: He wanted to make some of the finest goat cheese in the country. With cheese in hand, he visited supermarkets, trying to persuade them to sell his product. Some didn't take him seriously. But Whole Foods did.

"From the very beginning, they wanted to taste it," Schott recalls. "And they wanted to know the story. They wanted to know where the cheese came from; who was making it; where it was made."

O.J. Simpson Granted Parole

2 hours ago

A Nevada parole board has granted O.J. Simpson parole from prison after he served nearly nine years following a conviction on armed robbery and other charges.

On Thursday, the four-person panel unanimously voted to grant parole. The parole board said that Oct. 1 is the earliest the former NFL star is eligible for release.

NPR's Ina Jaffe walked us through the incident that led to his conviction:

The Republican scramble to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has yielded yet another version of a health care overhaul bill, along with yet another score from the Congressional Budget Office — the second analysis from the nonpartisan agency in two days.

Empty streets, makeshift barricades, burning tires, signs scrawled with "No to dictatorship": Protests continue on the streets of Venezuela as a 24-hour general strike takes hold, the latest development in an ongoing political and economic crisis.

Some citizens are trying to go to work despite the shutdown of public transportation; others are taking to blockaded streets in protest. There is widespread fear of more bloodshed after months of conflict and dozens of deaths.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

The Justice Department announced Thursday that together with the FBI and international law enforcement agencies, officials had shut down "the largest darknet marketplace in history." AlphaBay, a Web bazaar where users' identities were cloaked and illicit goods and drugs were sold, has officially been seized and shut down.

A plan to build an ultrafast Hyperloop One tube train has been given "verbal [government] approval" to connect large cities on the East Coast, tech entrepreneur Elon Musk says. He adds that the system would whisk passengers from New York to Washington, D.C., in 29 minutes.

Washington, D.C., police say six teenagers from Burundi who competed in an international robotics competition were reported missing on Wednesday.

Two of the teens — 16-year-old Don Ingabire and 17-year-old Audrey Mwamikazi — were last seen leaving the U.S. and heading into Canada, the Metropolitan Police Department tells The Two-Way blog, adding that there is "no indication of foul play."

Doctors use words like "aggressive" and "highly malignant" to describe the type of brain cancer discovered in Arizona Sen. John McCain.

The cancer is a glioblastoma, the Mayo Clinic said in a statement Wednesday. It was diagnosed after doctors surgically removed a blood clot from above McCain's left eye.

Doctors who were not involved in his care say the procedure likely removed much of the tumor as well.

India announced the election of its new president Thursday — but before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP party nominated him last month to be head of state, few saw Ram Nath Kovind coming.

Kovind secured 65 percent of the votes from an electoral college drawn from more than 4,000 members of 31 legislative assemblies across the country and 776 members of Parliament. He will take office as India's14th president next week.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

A small, humble-looking bag received its moment in the spotlight today. It traveled to the moon and back, then sat forgotten in a museum basement. It was seized by officials who didn't know its value, sold unceremoniously to a keen-eyed space enthusiast, then battled over in court.

Then the lunar collection bag from the Apollo 11 mission — and the tiny bits of moon dust embedded within it — hit the Sotheby's auction block.

U.S. Ends Laptop Ban On Flights From Middle East

6 hours ago

Updated 12:15 p.m. ET

The United States has ended the ban on large electronics in the cabins of airlines that it announced in March.

It has been just a month since the death of Otto Warmbier — an American tourist jailed by North Korean authorities, sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for pulling down a propaganda poster, and eventually released to the U.S. in a coma under mysterious circumstances.

A 50-cent meningitis vaccine. Kid-friendly malaria drugs. A vaccine to prevent a deadly diarrheal disease.

These U.S.-funded global health innovations have saved millions of lives around the world. But they also come with an added bonus for Americans.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will stay at his post for "as long as that is appropriate." That follows comments by President Trump, who said he wouldn't have appointed Sessions had he known Sessions would recuse himself from the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Updated at 12:24 p.m. ET

Beltway denizens heading to work on Thursday were forced to contemplate something inevitable but which no one expected anytime soon: the possibility of a Washington without Sen. John McCain.

McCain, the irascible old living legend. McCain, the Vietnam War hero. McCain, the globe-trotting State Department of one. McCain, the outspoken hawk who championed American troops — and Pentagon spending — and also pilloried the defense contractors he felt let them all down.

A Baltimore man was held in jail for months after police found a stash of drugs — but the officer who found the drugs also seems to be the one who hid them in that spot, according to footage from his body camera. The public defender's office says the man is now free and it is questioning the officer's involvement in 53 active cases.

The officer has been suspended and two of his colleagues are on administrative duty, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said, as the agency's internal affairs unit looks at the case.

In a fitness-crazed land of spin classes and CrossFit gyms, Octavia Zahrt found it can be tough to feel as though you're doing enough. "When I was in school in London, I felt really good about my activity. Then I moved to Stanford, and everyone around me seems to be so active and going to the gym every day," she says. "In the San Francisco Bay Area, it's like 75 percent of people walk around here wearing exercise clothes all day, every day, all the time, and just looking really fit."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2017 MPR News. To see more, visit MPR News.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

At a lunch on Wednesday, President Trump tried to persuade some reluctant senators to endorse repealing the Affordable Care Act.

When Bao Phi's family fled Vietnam in 1975 and settled in Minneapolis with other refugees, he was just a few months old. He was too young to understand the scene at the airport that day: Communist soldiers were firing rockets at planes filled with people trying to escape, incinerating them in the sky. Phi's parent's told him about their family history bit by bit, and he began to form a stronger sense of his own identity.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos spoke to the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, on Thursday in Denver, but protests from left-wing activists and teacher groups started Wednesday.

Hundreds marched from the state Capitol in Denver to the Hyatt Regency, the site of the speech, with signs reading: "Dump Betsy DeVos," "Take Devouchers Elsewhere" and "Stop School Privatization!"

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