National News

Passersby watch a TV news program Wednesday in Tokyo reporting on a video posted on YouTube by extremists that purports to show Japanese hostage Kenji Goto.

Jordan Says It's Willing To Swap Prisoner For Hostage Held By ISIS

Jordan says it is prepared to meet the demands of Islamic State militants in order to save the life of a Jordanian hostage.

On Tuesday, the Sunni extremists released a video in which they demanded that Jordan release a woman who was sentenced to death over an attack in Amman that killed 60 people. If the release didn't happen in 24 hours, the militants said, they would kill a Jordanian pilot and a Japanese journalist.

The AP reports:

Students play football at the Quad, on the campus of Harvard University on Tuesday in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

As Nor'Easter Lifts, Life Slowly Gets Back To Normal In Hard-Hit Areas

A day after a monstrous winter storm spun its way across the Northeast, life is slowly getting back to normal.

Some residents of Massachusetts are digging out of almost 3 feet of snow. The AP reports that a travel ban has been lifted and Boston's highways are filling up with traffic.

Still, the AP adds:

The logo of mobile app Waze is displayed on a table. Waze is a community-based traffic and navigation app.

Officers Ask Map App To Remove Police Tracking

Waze, the popular navigation app boasting more than 50 million users worldwide, has a new critic: police officers. Over the past few weeks, law enforcement officials have been urging the app and its owner, Google, to disable a feature that allows users to report when they've spotted a police officer, in real time, for all other Waze users to see.

Sergio Kopelev, a reserve sheriff in Orange County, Calif., is one of the law enforcement officials behind the push to remove Waze's police tracker. He says he first discovered the feature through his family.

A hospital bed is draped with a flag after a veteran died in the hospice ward at St. Albans VA in Queens, N.Y.

VA Steps Up Programs As More Veterans Enter Hospice Care

Ask Americans if someone in their family served in the military, and the answer is probably no. After all, fewer than 1 percent of Americans serve these days.

But ask if one of their grandfathers served, and you'll likely get a different answer. Between World War II and the wars in Korea and Vietnam, millions of men were drafted into service — and both men and women volunteered.

Adam Namm, U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador and musician member of Samay Blues Band.

Singing The Blues, A U.S. Envoy Hopes To Boost Ties With Ecuador

Shortly before taking the stage at a bar in Quito, Ecuador's capital, the local band Samay Blues plugs in for a sound check.

Among the audience are a number of Americans. That's because the word is out: U.S. Ambassador Adam Namm will be sitting in on keyboards.

"I'm glad to get out of the office once in a while," Namm tells a patron. "Thanks for coming."

In a region where many left-wing leaders are hostile to the United States, Namm has found a novel way to reach out to his host country.

Tony Simmons listens to Baltimore City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke speak to a Johns Hopkins University class after a council meeting at City Hall. Simmons is assisting in teaching the class, called "Health, Homelessness, and the Housing Question," which focuses on understanding issues faced by the homeless population.

Homeless Man Encourages Others On The Streets To 'Get Up'

This story begins an occasional series about individuals who don't have much money or power but do have a big impact on their communities.

Sometimes, the people you'd least expect are those who do the most. People like Tony Simmons, a homeless man in Baltimore who helps others get off the street. Simmons says he does it as much for himself as for anyone else.

Coleen Schaefer (left) and Doni Sprague display a tiger pelt that was confiscated and is being stored at the National Eagle and Wildlife repository on the outskirts of Denver. Some 1.5 million items are being held at the facility. The Asia-Pacific Trade Pact, which is still under negotiation, would punish wildlife trafficking.

Tiger Skins And Rhino Horns: Can A Trade Deal Halt The Trafficking?

If you want a sobering look at the scale of wildlife trafficking, just visit the National Eagle and Wildlife Repository on the outskirts of Denver. In the middle of a national reserve is a cavernous warehouse stuffed with the remains of 1.5 million animals, whole and in parts.

They range from taxidermied polar bears to tiny sea horses turned into key chains. An area devoted to elephants is framed by a pair of enormous tusks.

Christian Tengblad (right) and his fellow fare dodger are part of the group Planka.nu.

Group Urges Swedes To Evade Subway Fares, And Even Insures Against Fines

Every city that has public transportation struggles with fare jumpers — people who sneak onto the subway or the bus without buying a ticket. In Sweden, fare-dodging is a brazen movement in which the group's members don't try to hide what they're doing.

Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus late last year.

Apple Sold 30,000 iPhones An Hour Last Quarter, Scored Record Profits

Sales of Apple's larger iPhone 6 and 6 Plus hit one out of the ballpark last quarter, reports NPR's Laura Sydell.

"Apple sold over 74 million iPhones in three months and it made $18 million in profits — that's a record for the company. Apple CEO Tim Cook said that they sold 30,000 iPhones every hour."

"The sales may reflect pent up consumer demand — many people were waiting for Apple to release a phone with a bigger screen, which its main competitor, Samsung, already had."

Francisco Fernandez de Alba skis along a recently plowed road during a snowstorm in Providence, R.I., Tuesday. Parts of the state were buried under nearly two feet of snow by early Tuesday afternoon, and more was on the way.

Winter Storm Winds Down, But Blizzard Conditions Persist

Coastal flooding and dangerous conditions were still affecting New England Tuesday evening, with blizzard warnings declared from Rhode Island to parts of New Hampshire and Maine. Since Sunday, parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts and other states have had more than two feet of snow.

Strong winds were a main concern along the coast, as they drove flood waters inland and caused other problems. The National Weather Service says winds gusted at over 70 mph in Nantucket and Chatham, Mass.

Pages