National News

Mai Dang, who owns Fashion Nails in Berkeley, Calif., does a client's nails. The ventilator hose poised over her shoulder helps keeps noxious fumes at bay.

California Nail Salons Start To Invest In Worker Safety

What stands out upon entering Mai Dang's nail salon, located on a busy street in Berkeley, Calif., is what's missing — the stinging smell of polish, remover and other nail products. That wasn't always the case. For a decade, Dang suffered from the effects of the chemicals she used at work every day.

"When you do nails, workers get itchy skin and watery eyes," says Dang, 40. She also used to have frequent headaches, and one of her workers developed asthma. So when she heard about an opportunity to improve the safety at her salon, she signed up.

We Asked People What They Know About Obamacare. See If You Know The Answers

In fact, the Affordable Care Act brought the rate of uninsured Americans to a record low 9 percent in 2015. It's the major achievement of the controversial health care law and one the Obama administration likes to tout whenever it can.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell did just that in an interview with NPR on Tuesday.

Secretary of Transportation-designate Elaine Chao testifies at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Listening are her father, James Chao, left, and husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Chao Coasting To Confirmation As Trump's Transportation Secretary

The incoming Trump administration will look to tap private investment funds to help rebuild and expand the nation's highways, railways, seaports and airports.

That's what Elaine Chao, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to be transportation secretary, told a panel of senators in a rather friendly confirmation hearing Wednesday.

The recently opened Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington is one of many properties that would lose the Trump name if the president-elect followed the advice of the Office of Government Ethics and divested his business holdings.

U.S. Ethics Official: Trump's Divestiture Is Hard, Pricy And Essential

President-elect Donald Trump and his lawyer at a Wednesday press conference described the steps the real estate mogul would take separate from his business empire while in office. According to Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Schaub, it wasn't nearly enough.

Sen. Cory Booker (left) reads a statement speaking out against Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday. Sitting with Booker is Rep. John Lewis.

In Day 2, Jeff Sessions' Attorney General Hearings Turn To Civil Rights

Where the first day of Jeff Sessions' attorney general confirmation hearing focused on what the Alabama senator's relationship would be with the president if confirmed, the second day focused on his own past.

Sessions, a former Alabama attorney general, has a reputation for being tough on crime, but civil rights advocates testified that his reputation was made on the backs of vulnerable groups. Lawmakers who have worked with him, on the other hand, said they knew a just and fair man.

"We must bend" the arc of the moral universe

Adult Female Hoolock Tianxing.

New 'Skywalker' Ape Species Will Need Jedi Powers To Survive

There's a new jungle Jedi out there.

Scientists who discovered a new primate, which lives in eastern Myanmar and southwestern China, are such big Star Wars fans, they named the ape after Luke Skywalker.

They also chose the name, skywalker hoolock gibbon, because the Chinese characters mean "Heaven's movement," according to the BBC. The new species is also known as the Gaoligong hoolock gibbon, named for Mt. Gaoligong on the border between China and Myanmar.

Organic produce for sale at a supermarket in Quincy, Mass.

Why Going Organic Just Got Easier For Farmers

Let's say you're a farmer in the Midwest, growing conventional corn and soybeans. Times are tough right now. Prices are in the toilet.

If only you were selling organic soybeans and corn. They're worth almost twice as much, per bushel, as your conventional crops.

The U.S. has designated the rusty patched bumblebee an endangered species.

U.S. Puts Bumblebee On The Endangered Species List For 1st Time

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated the rusty patched bumblebee an endangered species — the first such designation for a bumblebee and for a bee species in the continental U.S.

The protected status, which goes into effect on Feb. 10, includes requirements for federal protections and the development of a recovery plan. It also means that states with habitats for this species are eligible for federal funds.

An undated photo shows Tywanza Sanders, who was among the nine people killed by Dylann Roof.

'What Happened To You, Dylann?' Victim's Friend Asks Roof At Sentencing

A federal judge in South Carolina formally sentenced Dylann Roof to death on Wednesday, one day after a jury recommended that he be executed for murdering nine people in a Charleston church.

Under federal sentencing laws, the death penalty can be imposed only if all 12 jurors agree on it, and the judge cannot overrule the jury's decision.

A case before the Supreme Court questions what public schools' responsibilities are to students with disabilities.

Supreme Court Considers How Schools Support Students With Disabilities

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday in a dispute that advocates describe as the most important case involving public school special education in three decades.

At issue is whether federal law requires public schools to provide more than the bare minimum in special services for children with disabilities. With millions of children qualifying for these services, the court's ruling could have a profound effect.