National News

Alan Cheuse, Novelist And Longtime NPR Contributor, Dies At 75

Alan Cheuse, the novelist, teacher and longtime literary commentator for NPR, has died at the age of 75. His daughter, Sonya, confirmed that he died Friday of injuries sustained in a car accident in California two weeks ago.

"On behalf of the family, we are in deep grief at the loss of our beloved father, husband and grandfather," Sonya Cheuse told NPR. "He was the brightest light in our family. He will always remain in our hearts. We thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support."

In a health care statement released Friday, a New York doctor wrote that Hillary Clinton "is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as President of the United States."

Hillary Clinton's Doctor Says She's Healthy Enough To Be President

The State Department's latest dump of Hillary Clinton's emails may dominate the news cycle in the coming days, but her campaign also released another crucial document on Friday — a clean bill of health for the Democratic front-runner.

The confirmation comes from Lisa Bardack, a New York-based doctor who has been Clinton's physician since 2001. In a letter, she declares Clinton "a healthy-appearing female," saying that Clinton exercises regularly, eats plenty of vegetables and fruits, doesn't smoke, and "drinks alcohol only occasionally."

The U.S. military's need for longer-lasting rations led to the invention of many modern processed foods.

Cheetos, Canned Foods, Deli Meat: How The U.S. Army Shapes Our Diet

Many of the foods that we chow down on every day were invented not for us, but for soldiers.

Energy bars, canned goods, deli meats — all have military origins. Same goes for ready-to-eat guacamole and goldfish crackers.

Federal Court Places A Stay On Order Compelling NCAA To Pay Athletes

One day before a district court ruling was to go into effect that would force the NCAA to allow colleges to pay student-athletes $5,000 per year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has placed a stay on that order.

Dylann Roof, 21, charged with murdering nine worshippers at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., in June, listens during court proceedings earlier this month.

Dylann Roof Pleads Not Guilty To Federal Hate Crime Charges

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

A judge entered pleas of not guilty to 33 federal hate crime counts against Dylann Roof, the white suspect accused of gunning down nine parishioners at a black church in Charleston, S.C., last month.

A piece by conceptual artist Lenka Clayton called "63 Objects Taken from My Son's Mouth."

#NPRReads: Considering The Language Of Wine And What's In A Toddler's Mouth

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom share pieces that have kept them reading. They share tidbits using the #NPRreads hashtag — and on Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you four items.

From NPR producer Sarah Handel:

A Marine Corps F-35B Joint Strike Fighter does a short takeoff (STOVL) from Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., in 2011. Eighteen years after development began, a version of the plane designed for the Marine Corps is expected to be deemed "combat ready."

Marine Version Of F-35 Deemed 'Combat Ready'

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

Eighteen years and nearly $400 billion since engineers begin outlining the initial concept, a small squadron of F-35B Lightning IIs has finally been declared ready to fight.

Using a digital device that displays Braille characters, Haben Girma talks to President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

She Owes Her Activism To A Brave Mom, The ADA And Chocolate Cake

To Haben Girma's grandmother, back in East Africa, it "seemed like magic." Her granddaughter, born deaf and blind, is a graduate of Harvard Law School and works as a civil rights attorney.

Toxic Lead Contaminates Some Traditional Ayurvedic Medicines

Nisha Saini has been practicing an Indian traditional health form called Ayurveda for over 16 years. She runs a small alternative health center in Manhattan called New York Ayurveda where customers can get massages and dietary advice. Over the counter, Saini sells an extensive array of traditional remedies concocted from herbs and spices. But there's one kind of Ayurvedic medicine she doesn't sell.

Expectations for movement on justice reform had been high, but sources tell NPR that concrete language on sentencing and criminal justice overhauls is still being hotly debated behind closed doors.

Despite High Expectations, Sentencing Reform Proposals Still On Ice

Advocates and inmates working to overhaul the criminal justice system will have to wait at least a little longer for congressional action.

The Republican leader of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Charles Grassley, said he won't hold a public event on sentencing reform proposals until after the August recess, as language is still being drafted by a bipartisan working group. And in the U.S. House, lawmakers and their aides will spend at least the next five weeks making adjustments to a sweeping bill sponsored by 40 Democrats and Republicans, sources told NPR Friday.

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