National News

#NPRreads: China's One-Child Policy, And Pat Sajak's Politics

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

This week, we bring you three items.

From Sarah McCammon, a reporter on NPR's Washington Desk:

Marco Rubio, R-Fla. speaks at a town hall meeting Thursday in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Is Marco Rubio The Generational Change The Grand Old Party Needs?

Since 1960, the Democrats were the party that nominated new generation candidates. Three of them — Kennedy, Clinton and Obama — won the White House. Republicans nominated old guys, whether they lost — think Dole, McCain and Romney — or won, like Ronald Reagan. But this year, the geezers are on the Democratic side. Hillary Clinton is 67, Bernie Sanders is 74 and, if he gets in, Joe Biden is 72. On the Republican side, for a change, it's a completely different story.

Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders could face renewed scrutiny over his positions on gun control after yet another mass shooting.

The Last Thing Bernie Sanders Needs Right Now Is A Conversation About Guns

President Obama passionately pleaded for stricter gun laws in the aftermath of yet another mass shooting Thursday. Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and others renewed their calls for stricter gun control measures.

New York City's health department launched the "Maybe the IUD" campaign<strong> </strong>this week, aimed at increasing awareness about the IUD as a highly effective and low-maintenance option for birth control.

Ladies, New York City Wants You To Consider An IUD

The New York City Health Department is at it again, this time with ads in the subway and on bus shelters chatting up the glories of IUDs.

"You spent the night in Brooklyn," one brightly colored poster reads. "But you left your birth control in Staten Island. Maybe the IUD is right for you."

The cheeky ad campaign isn't a huge surprise, seeing as these are the same folks who brought New York an app that helps you locate a free condom on your next big night out. And the program allowing New York City teens to get mental health help via text.

When Baby Sleeps Near Mom, Guess Who Doesn't Sleep Well?

Mothers have been warned for years that sleeping with their newborn infant is a bad idea because it increases the risk the baby might die unexpectedly during the night. But now Israeli researchers are reporting that even sleeping in the same room can have negative consequences: not for the child, but for the mother.

Using an instrument they've named the HOLODEC, for Holographic Detector for Clouds, scientists can now see in fine detail the way air and water-droplets mix at a cloud's wispiest edge.

What's At The Edge Of A Cloud?

Scientists have just made a breakthrough in understanding how clouds interact with the surrounding air by studying some of the most boring clouds you can imagine in unprecedented detail.

"If you ask a child to draw a cloud they would draw a white puffy cloud floating in the air all by itself — and that's the kind of cloud we were looking at," says Raymond Shaw, an atmospheric scientist at Michigan Technological University.

Coast Guard Searches For Ship, Crew Of 33 Caught In Hurricane Joaquin

The Coast Guard was searching for a 735-foot cargo ship with 33 crew aboard after an emergency satellite message was received from the vessel saying it was caught in the path of Hurricane Joaquin.

An image of Chris Mintz recovering in the hospital was posted online by his cousin. Mintz is being called a hero for trying to block a gunman from reaching his classmates at Umpqua Community College.

Army Veteran Praised As A Hero In Oregon College Shooting

Chris Mintz was shot multiple times by a gunman at an Oregon community college Thursday, and now he's being called a hero, after it emerged that Mintz ran at the attacker and tried to block the door to a classroom and protect his classmates. Mintz is now recovering from surgery.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a letter to his staff that he will step down to spend more time with his family, who live in Chicago.

Arne Duncan Stepping Down As Education Secretary

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET.

Arne Duncan will step down as President Obama's education secretary in December, a White House official confirms to NPR.

Obama has selected Deputy Education Secretary John B. King Jr. to replace Duncan. King is a former New York State education commissioner. (President Obama is making a personnel announcement at 3:30 p.m. ET.)

The sky is overcast on south Eleuthera island, Bahamas, early Friday, as Hurricane Joaquin dumps torrential rain across the eastern and central Bahamas as a Category 4 storm.

Joaquin Brings Rain, But East Coast Likely To Dodge Direct Hit

Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET

A powerful Hurricane Joaquin was pummeling the Bahamas as it stayed put over the islands with sustained winds of 130 mph.

The storm is expected to begin a gradual march north, but most forecast models now place it firmly on a trajectory that stays well offshore from the U.S. East Coast, alleviating some concern over its potential impact.