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The nation's opioid epidemic has been attributed to many factors, including the over-prescription of painkillers and the availability of cheap synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

In Congress, lawmakers are trying to make it harder to buy fentanyl, in part by forcing the U.S. Postal Service to make it more difficult to send narcotics through the mail. But the measure has been languishing.

Updated at 4:09 p.m. ET

The White House acknowledged that Chief of Staff John Kelly and a top lawyer for President Trump in the Russia matter had been present for two secret briefings about the investigation on Thursday but hadn't stayed for the substance.

Kelly and newcomer attorney Emmet Flood went to the Justice Department for a meeting with two important House Republican chairmen and then went to the Capitol for the meeting with the leaders of the House, the Senate and the chambers' two intelligence committees.

An appeals court has let stand a lower court ruling overturning a California law that allows physicians to prescribe life-ending drugs to the terminally ill.

California's Fourth District Court of Appeals on Wednesday refused to stay last week's decision by the Riverside County Superior Court, which ruled that state lawmakers should not have passed the law during a special session on health care funding. However, the constitutionality of the law itself — passed nearly three years ago — was not challenged.

One out of five Americans say they personally know someone who has been addicted to opioids or prescription painkillers, according to a new report about the economic well-being of U.S. households.

The Federal Reserve report, based on a national survey, also found that exposure to opioid addiction was twice as likely among whites, regardless of education level, as among African-Americans.

A House subcommittee heard testimony today from executives of a number of U.S. sport governing bodies that are embroiled in sexual abuse scandals, including gymnastics, swimming, taekwondo and volleyball.

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Most States Don't Require Guns To Be Locked Up

22 hours ago

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In the wake of the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has convened a series of roundtable discussions about how to prevent and respond to school shootings. NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Allen Banks, the police chief in Round Rock, Texas, about the discussion he participated in.

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A federal judge in Virginia has ruled that a high school discriminates against a trans student named Gavin Grimm by denying him access to the restroom that corresponds to his gender identity. Grimm says the ruling was "really fantastic," not just for him, but for trans youth in general.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

Emory Rounds III, President Trump's nominee to lead the Office of Government Ethics, got a warm if brief welcome Wednesday from a Senate committee.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., summed up senators' concerns about OGE, which has gone toe-to-toe with the Trump White House several times. Carper asked Rounds, "Are you confident you can maintain independence from this White House, and when necessary hold it accountable?"

Rounds replied, "I certainly intend to do so, yes sir."

Teachers in Kentucky flexed their newfound political clout in primary elections Tuesday after a series of massive protests at the state Capitol earlier this year.

High school math teacher Travis Brenda ousted one of the Kentucky legislature's top Republican leaders in a primary election. Brenda ran a campaign attacking state Rep. Jonathan Shell for his role in writing bills that weakened retirement benefits for state workers and overhauled Kentucky's tax code.

A newly unveiled Trump administration proposal would not just block groups like Planned Parenthood from receiving Title X funds. It also could pave the way for a host of previously ineligible organizations — some of which oppose contraception — to receive funds through the federal government's family planning program.

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The first time Gavin Grimm was on this program, he was a high school junior. He's transgender. And he sued the school board after they prohibited him from using the boy's restroom at his public school in Gloucester, Va.

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Last September, military officials in Myanmar told international journalists that they had found a mass grave of Hindus in Rakhine state, a month after the country began a bloody crackdown on the minority Rohingya Muslim population.

There, in the center of a region already submerged in widespread violence, troops gathered local Hindus in a field to identify dozens of bodies, many of whom were the residents' friends and family.

Sometimes 11-year-old B. comes home from school in tears. Maybe she was taunted about her weight that day, called "ugly." Or her so-called friends blocked her on their phones. Some nights she is too anxious to sleep alone and climbs into her mother's bed. It's just the two of them at home, ever since her father was deported back to West Africa when she was a toddler.

Update: On May 23, 2018, the NFL unveiled a new policy stating that all of its athletes and staff "shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem" if they're on the field. The following essay was published in August 2016, shortly after quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel in protest during the national anthem.

A judge in the U.K. on Wednesday sentenced a woman to life in prison, requiring her to serve at least 12 years before she is eligible for parole, after she was convicted of hurling sulfuric acid into the face of a man who had been her romantic partner.

Last week, a jury found Berlinah Wallace guilty of throwing the corrosive substance at Mark van Dongen, 28, with the intent to do grievous harm, as he slept in her Bristol apartment.

He survived the 2015 attack but suffered excruciating injuries.

Las Vegas hotel and casino workers have voted to authorize a strike as early as next month. Contracts for about 50,000 culinary and bartender union workers expire at the end of May.

Workers are demanding a bigger share of the casino profits, but also protections against the use of robots and artificial intelligence to automate service jobs.

Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with the Culinary Union’s Bethany Khan (@BethanyKhan) about those demands.

President Trump said on Twitter on Wednesday that he’s going to sign into law “big changes” to the Dodd-Frank banking regulations put in place after the financial crisis.

The bill passed the House late Tuesday, with supporters saying it would make it easier for midsize and regional banks to lend. It already passed the Senate in March.

With Ray Suarez

An 1899 expedition to Alaska found wild beauty and coming environmental calamity. What about now? Best-selling author Mark Adams retraced the trek to find out.

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