NPR News

The nation's colleges and universities have been on pins and needles waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether race can be a factor in their admissions policies.

And so today's 4-3 ruling upholding the affirmative-action program at the University of Texas at Austin brought a sigh of relief to much of the higher education world.

A powerful tornado, hailstorms and heavy rain hit eastern China's Jiangsu province Thursday, killing at least 78 people, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The news service adds that "nearly 500 people were injured, 200 critically."

In the United States, if a hospital didn't have running water even for one day, it'd be a crisis.

But in some parts of the world, that's business as usual.

A California jury has ruled that the members of Led Zeppelin did not plagiarize the opening bars of their hit "Stairway to Heaven," a seminal song in rock history.

The estate of Randy Wolfe, the deceased guitarist of the band Spirit, had filed the federal copyright infringement lawsuit in 2014. It argued that guitar intro was stolen from the opening notes of Spirit's song "Taurus," – which came out before Stairway. At the time, Wolfe was performing under the pseudonym Randy California.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Mike Marsella was a really competitive guy, a champion cross-country runner in high school. He got a running scholarship to college. Then a car hit him while he was riding a moped. He was left in a coma, with brain damage. And when his mind changed, his running changed, too.

Would he ever be Mike Marsella again? And would he ever run a four-minute mile?

During his daily bus commute in the bustling Indian city of Hyderabad, there was something that really bothered Narayana Peesapaty.

"Everybody was eating something on their way to work," says Peesapaty, who was working as a sustainable farming researcher for a nonprofit organization at the time. But it wasn't his fellow bus riders' snacking habits that troubled him. It was their plastic cutlery.

Fed up with a collapsing economy, Venezuelans have been turning out in huge numbers this week to support a referendum that could potentially end the rule of President Nicolas Maduro and his Socialist Party.

The opposition has to collect hundreds of thousands of signatures as the first step in a complicated process leading to a recall vote on ousting Maduro. The electoral authority gave the opposition five days to verify the signatures. The deadline is Friday, and it's a race against time for both the opposition and the president.

Navigating airport security lines is a hassle, for most. Among the exceptions: passengers with TSA PreCheck stamped on their boarding pass.

They don't take off their shoes, they don't take out their laptops and they often clear security in just a few minutes. And now, there are a lot more of them.

In the past three months the number of applications for TSA PreCheck has more than doubled. Almost 16,000 people a day are now applying for PreCheck. That's a huge increase from less than 7,000 a day in March.

The mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando has led to a revival of the debate over assault weapons, but journalist Evan Osnos says the real growth in gun ownership is from small, concealed handguns.

"Something really profound has changed in the way that we use guns," Osnos tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "Concealed carry, as it's known, is now legal in all 50 states."

The photograph has been ingrained in American culture since almost the moment it was taken — a steadfast presence in high school textbooks and an enduring symbol of U.S. perseverance. But it appears we've been wrong about Joe Rosenthal's Pulitzer Prize-winning image of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima, Japan, at least in one very important respect.

One of those six men has been misidentified for decades.

Researchers have identified a substance in muscles that helps explain the connection between a fit body and a sharp mind.

When muscles work, they release a protein that appears to generate new cells and connections in a part of the brain that is critical to memory, a team reports Thursday in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Bad News For Kids Who Don't Like Flu Shots

Jun 23, 2016

It's time to brace the kids who don't like getting their flu shots for some disappointing news.

A panel of vaccination experts advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made the surprising recommendation late Wednesday that FluMist Quadrivalent, the nasal spray vaccine that protects against influenza, should no longer be used.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Reacting to a deadlocked Supreme Court, President Obama said the ball is now in the court of the American voters when it comes to immigration.

The Supreme Court deadlocked when it considered whether President Obama had the authority to shield millions of immigrants from deportation.

The 4-4 tie — announced in a single sentence by the court — deals a major blow to the president and leaves in place a lower court ruling that put his plan on hold.

Pages