National News

This image made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows part of a group of five galaxies known as Stephan's Quintet.

'Are We Alone?' Churchill Concludes It's Likely Life Circles Other Suns

We keep on learning from great lives.

On Oct. 16, 1939, just weeks after Germany invaded Poland and Britain was at war, Winston Churchill, who had warned of Germany's wicked and avaricious ambitions, was called out of political isolation to become First Lord of the Admiralty and drafted an essay in which he asked, perhaps himself as much as anyone who would read it, "Are We Alone in the Universe?"

In New Zealand, sheep outnumber people 6 to 1.

NPR News Nuggets: Sheep Shearing, Snuggies & Fried Chicken

Here's a quick roundup of some of the mini-moments you may have missed on this week's Morning Edition.

Bah, Bah, Bye.

Protesters gather outside Jefferson Middle School in Washington, where Education Secretary Betsy DeVos paid her first visit as education secretary.

Trump On Autism, DeVos Protests And More Education Stories Of The Week

With Secretary Betsy DeVos rolling up her sleeves at the Education Department and, at one point this week, joining Donald Trump at the White House to talk with educators and parents, Washington, D.C., is making a lot of education news these days.

For those of you struggling to keep up, the NPR Ed Team is trying something new: a weekly recap of the latest national education news.

DeVos Protests; Cartoon Sparks Outrage

Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Strovink, of Massachusetts Attorney General Healey's Civil Rights Division, answers calls coming into the state's hate hotline.

Massachusetts Hotline Tracks Post-Election Hate

Editor's note: This story contains language that may be offensive to some readers.

Harassment, threats and intimidation of minorities and immigrants spiked nationwide after President Trump's election in November. Comprehensive statistics are hard to come by, but officials and watch groups say hate-motivated incidents remain higher than usual more than three months after Election Day.

Massachusetts is among the many states that have seen such a spike.

Craig Britton once paid $18,000 a year in premiums for health insurance he bought through Minnesota's "high risk pool." He calls the argument that these pools can bring down the cost of monthly premiums "a lot of baloney."

GOP Leaders Urge Return To 'High-Risk Insurance Pools' That Critics Call Costly

Some Republicans looking to scrap the Affordable Care Act say monthly health insurance premiums need to be lower for the individuals who have to buy insurance on their own. One way to do that, GOP leaders say, would be to return to the use of what are called high-risk insurance pools.

President Trump hosts Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Feb. 10. North Korea tested a missile during Abe's visit last weekend, one of several provocative actions by U.S. rivals during the first month of Trump's presidency.

U.S. Rivals Test Trump, And So Far The Response Is Restrained

Iran tested a ballistic missile barely a week into Donald Trump's presidency. North Korea then shot off a missile of its own. A Russian warship has been hanging out about 30 miles off the U.S. East Coast, and Moscow's fighter jets recently buzzed a U.S. warship in the Black Sea.

Patchwork clothing on display in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Seminole Patchwork: Admiration And Appropriation

Beginning Friday, the New York branch of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian will host the exhibit Native Fashion Now, a traveling show from the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, Mass. It highlights a dazzling array of contemporary fashion made by dozens of Native American designers.

In a speech in Munich Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. "strongly supports" NATO.

Pence Seeks To Reassure Nervous European Allies, Vows U.S. Commitment To NATO

Vice President Mike Pence told European allies Saturday that the U.S. remains committed to NATO, despite President Trump's praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin and stated interest in pursuing better relations with Russia.

In a speech during his first overseas trip since taking office, Pence told leaders at the Munich Security Conference in Germany that the U.S. "strongly supports" NATO and that "the United States is now and will always be your greatest ally."

Phlegm can give clues to what's going on inside. But as with so many things phlegmy, mysteries remain.

Why Oh Why Is There Phlegm?

Struggling through a nasty round of bronchitis with little better to do than binge watch Netflix and feel epically sorry for myself, I pondered the ageless cold-and-flu-season question: Phlegm. Why?

It begs an answer. The human body is capable of such constant wonder, so much to awe and inspire. And then, phlegm. And not just a little phlegm. Gobs. It's the only word that really describes the whole phlegm experience.

So I started asking around, and in so doing have learned that there's a lot more to phlegm than meets the Kleenex.

President Trump frequently refers to mainstream media outlets as "fake news."

With 'Fake News,' Trump Moves From Alternative Facts To Alternative Language

Friday night, President Trump took to Twitter to deliver one of his favorite insults to journalists: "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is...

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