NPR News

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

A tablespoon of soil contains billions of microscopic organisms. Life on Earth, especially the growing of food, depends on these microbes, but scientists don't even have names for most of them, much less a description.

That's changing, slowly, thanks to researchers like Noah Fierer, at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Fierer think microbes have lived in obscurity for too long. "They do a lot of important things for us, directly or indirectly, and I hope they get the respect they deserve," he says.

On Thursday, USA Gymnastics announced they will stop using the Karolyi Ranch — the site of many of the atrocities committed against Olympians by Larry Nassar, the team's former doctor. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks to New York Times reporter, Juliet Macur about what happens next as Nassar faces sentencing hearings this week.

Editor's note: This report includes disturbing descriptions of child abuse.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

Attention Drivers: Many of those those freeways you're using may not be free for long. Several states are opening new toll roads this year and rates on many existing turnpikes and tollways are going up.

And the number of toll roads is likely to increase, as the Trump administration's infrastructure plan may force many more states to use them to fund long-standing transportation needs

There was a time when saying you lived in Portland, Ore., would get a response like, "That's above California, right?" Now, people not only know where the city is but also inevitably ask, "Is it just like the show?"

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Over the last month, in a series of volatile swings, the price of the cryptocurrency bitcoin rose to a record high — then plunged to less than half that value.

The abrupt changes have inspired comparisons to the dot-com bubble, and underscored the extremely speculative nature of investing in cryptocurrency.

The NFL playoffs are down to the final four teams, and the matchup for Super Bowl LII will be set after Sunday’s conference title games.

You may have seen an illustration on Martin Luther King Jr. Day showing the civil rights leader with a hand over President Trump’s mouth, trying to get the president to stop tweeting. The artist is Watson Mere, he was born in the U.S., but his parents are Haitian.

Mere (@ArtOfMere_) speaks with Here & Now’s Robin Young about his image, and the president’s recent alleged comments asking, “Why do we want people from Haiti here?”

Clock Is Ticking Toward Government Shutdown

14 hours ago

The federal government will partially shutdown Friday night unless Congress approves a spending plan. Democrats also want to get a resolution to the DACA program that covers people brought illegally to the U.S. as children.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young get the latest on the negotiations with NPR’s Jessica Taylor (@JessicaTaylor).

Congress Scrambles To Avoid Shutdown

16 hours ago

With guest host John Harwood.

The shutdown showdown — as a DACA deal fades, Republicans are scrambling for a strategy to keep the government open even if it’s for only one month.

This show airs Thursday at 10 a.m. EST.

Guests:

Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Washington correspondent for the New York Times. (@SherylNYT)

Christian Picciolini was 14 years old when he attended the first gathering of what would become the Hammerskin Nation, a violent, white-power skinhead group. Looking back, he describes his introduction to the group as receiving a "lifeline of acceptance."

"I felt a sort of energy flow through me that I had never felt before — as if I was a part of something greater than myself," he says.

We live in an age of heightened awareness about concussions. From battlefields around the world to football fields in the U.S., we've heard about the dangers caused when the brain rattles around inside the skull and the possible link between concussions and the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Abdullah Shrim's phone almost never stops ringing. Most of the calls and messages are from other Yazidis asking for help to find their relatives. Others are from people threatening to kill him.

Shrim, a gregarious man with a ready smile, so far has rescued 338 members of the Yazidi religious group held captive by ISIS — almost all of them from Syria. It's a long way from his background as a beekeeper and businessman.

Updated at 3:56 p.m. ET

The House Intelligence Committee decided on Thursday to release the transcript of its meeting with the man who commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Lawmakers used a closed meeting to vote about whether to unveil the text of hours' worth of testimony by Glenn Simpson, founder of the private intelligence firm Fusion GPS.

The committee posted it later in the day and it is available online here.

China is reporting its fastest economic growth in seven years, saying its gross domestic product grew by 6.9 percent in 2017. It's the first time since 2010 that the speed of China's economic growth went up rather than edging down.

In releasing the number Thursday, the National Bureau of Statistics of China said, "The economy has achieved stable and healthy development."

As President Trump approaches his first anniversary of taking office, he and others are taking stock.

"2017 was a year of tremendous achievement, monumental achievement, actually," Trump told members of his Cabinet last week. "I don't think any administration has ever done what we've done and what we've accomplished in its first year."

The president has delivered on some of his major campaign promises. Other pledges are still works in progress, while some commitments have been quietly discarded.

Hugh Wilson — the creator of the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati, who was also a director and an Emmy Award-winning writerhas died at 74.

Wilson died Jan. 14 at his home in Charlottesville, Va. His wife, Charters Smith Wilson, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he had been battling lung cancer and emphysema.

Wilson began in television by writing scripts for The Bob Newhart Show and The Tony Randall Show.

Copyright 2018 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Radio.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Apple Plans To Create 20,000 Jobs And Build New Campus

23 hours ago

Apple announced in a statement on Wednesday that it plans to accelerate U.S. investment and create thousands of new jobs.

For years Apple Inc. has been criticized for outsourcing manufacturing to China.

Apple says it plans to bring back billions of dollars it has kept in tax havens overseas, and that it will pay a one-time tax of $38 billion on its overseas cash holdings.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

More than 30 Russian athletes participating in Siberian Indoor Championships last weekend abruptly withdrew from competition when drug testers arrived at the event.

According to the Russian sports website Championat, as many as 36 athletes cited various illnesses for withdrawing from the competition at the city of Irkutsk.

Pages