National News

Flotsam In Area Where Cargo Ship Went Missing, Coast Guard Says

Updated at 12:55 p.m. ET

The Coast Guard says it has located several objects floating in the water near the spot in the Bahamas where a 790-foot cargo ship and its crew of 33 went missing last week after issuing a distress satellite notification amid hurricane-force winds and waves.

U.S. Coast Guard pilots searching for a third day for the El Faro — a roll-on, roll-off container ship — found life jackets, containers and an oil slick on the water.

A worker collects dried coffee beans at a plantation in Pueblo Bello. The remote town, tucked in Colombia's Sierra Nevada, could be one of many where local elections determine the outcome of a possible peace.

In Remote Colombia, Prospects For Peace Are Clouded By Corruption

Saul Mindiola is running for mayor of Pueblo Bello — a farm town of 16,000 residents tucked in Colombia's snow-capped Sierra Nevada. The view makes it clear how the place got its its name, which means "beautiful village" in Spanish.

Residents walk through floodwaters in the historic district of Charleston, S.C., as Hurricane Joaquin brings heavy rain, flooding and strong winds as it passes offshore Saturday. Flood warnings and watches were posted in several eastern states where more heavy rainfall was forecast.

South Carolina Gov.: Flooding At 1,000-Year Level

Update at 4 p.m. ET

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says her state is experiencing a 1,000-year flood as torrential rains triggered in part by Hurricane Joaquin have inundated the state and much of the Mid-Atlantic.

Despite staying well offshore, Joaquin has wreaked havoc on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. President Obama on Saturday declared a state of emergency in worst-hit South Carolina.

<strong>Wing Gourds:</strong> Phil Rupp of Rupp Seeds says that, many years ago, an Amish woman from Pennsylvania sent Phil's father, Roger Rupp, photos of an interesting gourd she'd developed. Roger hadn't seen anything like it, so he agreed to market the variety. The woman sent in some seeds, and from there, Rupp's popular line of wing gourds was born.

Good Gourd! What's With All The Weird-Looking Squash?

When Virginia farmer Charles Martin first got into the pumpkin game a decade ago, he started small, with a half-acre plot of traditional round, orange jack-o-lanterns. Today he grows 55 varieties of gourds, squash and pumpkins, and he's always looking for something new.

Revisiting The Political Challenge Of Gun Control

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Oregon Community Grapples With Aftermath Of College Shooting

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Employers are gathering detailed health and wellness information about their workers. Are confidentiality safeguards up to the task?

7 Questions To Ask Your Boss About Wellness Privacy

If your company hasn't launched a wellness program, this might be the year.

As benefits enrollment for 2016 approaches, more employers than ever are expected to nudge workers toward plans that screen them for risks, monitor their activity and encourage them to take the right pills, food and exercise.

Arriving at a hospital seven hours' drive from his remote village in the mountains, former gold miner He Quangui is finally put in a ward. The doctors proceed to puncture his lungs with a needle to remove syringe after syringe of air. In pain, He Quangui tries to clasp the drip pulley hanging from the ceiling; his brother-in-law Mi Shiliang is at a loss for how to comfort him.

What It's Like To Take Photos Of A Dying Man

For more than 10 years, disease had slowly eaten away at He Quangui's lungs, leaving him, for the most part, bedridden.

But Quangui was no smoker — he was a Chinese gold miner. Quangui was stricken with silicosis, a respiratory illness caused by inhaling silica dust. An estimated 6 million Chinese miners suffer from the debilitating disease pneumoconiosis — of which silicosis is one form.

"A speaker is the speaker of the House ... he cannot give his gavel to a small percentage of his party," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. told NPR.

Nancy Pelosi On The 'Awesome Power' Of The House Speakership

The news of John Boehner's resignation as Speaker of the House has many wondering what comes next in such a deeply divided Congress.

NPR's Rachel Martin spoke with House Democratic Leader and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi about the role of the speaker and her take on the current climate of the House. She said it has a full agenda and that it can "be one that is a successful path to the future or it can be a calendar of chaos, and that really is up to the Republicans."

Interview Highlights

On current climate of the House

"My brain used to be my best friend," says Greg O'Brien, a journalist with early onset Alzheimer's. But he can't trust it anymore, he says. Alzheimer's is, in some ways, changing who he is.

Finding A New Self When Your Brain Betrays You

In this installment of NPR's series Inside Alzheimer's, we're sharing a recent video of Greg O'Brien at home on Cape Cod, Mass. A longtime journalist, O'Brien was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease in 2009.

The first time I interviewed Greg O'Brien, back in January, I asked him what he was most afraid of.