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Tiny Desk Premiere: Bob James

The jazz pianist performs a decades-spanning set, including a new, improvised version of "Nautilus" with DJ Jazzy Jeff and Talib Kweli.

The retro-pop artist Cindy Lee doesn't sit for interviews, use social media and rejects the streaming era's demands on independent artists. Photo by Meaghan Garvey/Illustration by Jackie Lay/NPR hide caption

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Photo by Meaghan Garvey/Illustration by Jackie Lay/NPR

How Cindy Lee became the music world's underground success story of 2024

One of the best albums of 2024, Diamond Jubilee, isn't on streaming services. The artist who released it, Cindy Lee, has rejected the streaming era's demands to create something entirely their own.

A Miami police officer talks with a homeless person, prior to a cleaning of the street in 2021. Starting October 1st, a new law will ban Florida's homeless from sleeping in public spaces. Lynne Sladky/AP hide caption

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Lynne Sladky/AP

Amid record homelessness, a Texas think tank tries to upend how states tackle it

The conservative Cicero Institute is working with states to ban street camps, and shift money away from housing to addiction treatment. Homelessness advocates says such moves are counterproductive.

Amid record homelessness, a Texas think tank tries to upend how states tackle it

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wildestanimal/Getty Images

Sperm whale families talk a lot. Researchers are trying to decode what they're saying

Scientists are testing the limits of artificial intelligence when it comes to language learning. One recent challenge? Learning whale! Researchers are using machine learning to analyze and decode whale sounds — and it's just as complicated as it seems.

Sperm whale families talk a lot. Researchers are trying to decode what they're saying

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Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker speaks to the media during NFL football Super Bowl 58 opening night on Feb. 5, 2024, in Las Vegas. Butker railed against Pride month along with President Biden's leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and his stance on abortion during a commencement address at Benedictine College last weekend. Charlie Riedel/AP hide caption

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Charlie Riedel/AP

Benedictine College nuns denounce Harrison Butker's speech at their school

"Instead of promoting unity in our church, our nation, and the world, his comments seem to have fostered division," the sisters wrote of the NFL kicker's controversial commencement address.

Michael McDonald, 72, describes his voice as a "malleable" instrument: "Especially with age, it's like you're constantly renegotiating with it." Timothy White/Sacks & Co. hide caption

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Timothy White/Sacks & Co.

With age and sobriety, Michael McDonald is ready to get personal

Fresh Air

McDonald says that earlier in his career, he tended to avoid writing about himself directly in songs. He opens up about his life and career in the memoir, What a Fool Believes.

With age and sobriety, Michael McDonald is ready to get personal

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A sea otter in Monterey Bay with a rock anvil on its belly and a scallop in its forepaws. Jessica Fujii hide caption

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Jessica Fujii

When sea otters lose their favorite foods, they can use tools to go after new ones

Some otters rely on tools to bust open hard-shelled prey items like snails, and a new study suggests this tool use is helping them to survive as their favorite, easier-to-eat foods disappear.

When sea otters lose their favorite foods, they can use tools to go after new ones

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The tiny Devils Hole pupfish has managed to adapt to very extreme conditions, and the critically endangered species is rebounding. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/O. Feuebacher hide caption

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/O. Feuebacher

Animals

A nearly extinct fish that lives in a deep hole in Death Valley is making a comeback

LAist 89.3

The fish's entire habitat consists of a pool in Death Valley National Park with a surface area of about 10 feet by 60 feet, little oxygen and very warm water. Officials recently announced a count of 191 of the fish, up from 35 in 2013.

Children in Nasarawa, Nigeria, hold samples of their urine specimens. Blood in the urine is a sign of Schistosomiasis, a microscopic worm that, left untreated, can damage organs as well as cause learning delays. A new pill has been developed to treat preschoolers. Wes Pope/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images hide caption

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Wes Pope/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A new pill cures preschoolers of a parasitic worm. Delivering it could be a challenge

The pills for adults and school-aged kids aren't the right dose for preschoolers. Plus they taste bad. Now there's a new pill for little ones — but it seems like an uphill battle to get it to them.

A large new study shows people who bike have less knee pain and arthritis than those who do not. PamelaJoeMcFarlane/Getty Images hide caption

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PamelaJoeMcFarlane/Getty Images

Like to bike? Your knees will thank you and you may live longer, too

New research shows lifelong bikers have healthier knees, less pain and a longer lifespan, compared to people who've never biked. This adds to the evidence that cycling promotes healthy aging.

Like to bike? Your knees will thank you and you may live longer, too

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In this handout image supplied by the Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is pictured at the Qiz Qalasi Dam, constructed on the Aras River on the joint borders between Iran and Azerbaijan. Raisi was seen as a potential successor to Iran's supreme leader. Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran via Getty Images hide caption

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Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran via Getty Images

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, a hard-liner who crushed dissent, dies at 63

Iran's ultraconservative president, killed in a helicopter crash, oversaw a crackdown on women's protests and was linked to extrajudicial killings in the 1980s.

Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, fly a banner featuring an image of Assange, as they protest in support of him, outside The Royal Courts of Justice, Britain's High Court, in central London on Monday. Benjamin Cremel/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Benjamin Cremel/AFP/Getty Images

Julian Assange can appeal his extradition to the U.S., a British court has ruled

The U.S. is hoping to extradite the Wikileaks founder and try him for espionage. A court in London says Assange is free to appeal the extradition, the latest twist in years-long legal drama.

Karen McDonough sits inside her home in Quincy, Massachusetts. Vanessa Leroy for NPR hide caption

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Vanessa Leroy for NPR

Zombie 2nd mortgages are coming to life, threatening thousands of Americans' homes

Thousands of homeowners face foreclosure over old mortgages that date back to the days of the housing bubble, as investors buy up their long-dead loans.

Zombie 2nd mortgages are coming to life, threatening thousands of Americans' homes

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Ed Dwight poses for a portrait to promote the National Geographic documentary film "The Space Race" during the Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour, Thursday, in February. Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP hide caption

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Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

At age 90, America's first Black astronaut candidate has finally made it to space

Ed Dwight, a former Air Force test pilot who was passed over to become an astronaut in the 1960s, described his flight aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard as "life changing."

A new album by pianist Inna Faliks features world premiere recordings of works by five composers. Rosalind Wong/Inna Faliks hide caption

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Rosalind Wong/Inna Faliks

Pianist Inna Faliks traces her musical odyssey from Soviet Ukraine via a Faustian fantasy

Faliks draws from her Ukrainian-Jewish heritage and Mikhail Bulgakov's anti-censorship novel The Master and Margarita for a new album.

Pianist Inna Faliks traces musical odyssey from Soviet Ukraine via Faustian fantasy

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Sean "Diddy" Combs is pictured at the CBS Radford Studio Center in 2018 in Los Angeles. On Sunday, Combs apologized for his actions in a video that appears to show him beating his former singing protege and girlfriend Cassie Ventura in a Los Angeles hotel in 2016. Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP hide caption

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Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

Sean Combs apologizes for 'my actions in that video' that appeared to show an assault

Without addressing his then-girlfriend Cassie Ventura, who is seen in the video being kicked and dragged in 2016, the hip-hop mogul says, "I was disgusted then when I did it. I'm disgusted now."

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