National News

Hurricane Arthur, the first hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic season, as it nears landfall in the Carolinas.

Cool Atlantic, Warm Pacific Could Mean Few Hurricanes

Seven named storms, three hurricanes — one of them major.

That's the early prediction for the 2015 Atlantic basin hurricane season by Colorado State University's Department of Atmospheric Sciences. If the forecast pans out, it would be one of the quietest seasons in decades.

Koreans — many of them elderly — line up to receive 500 won, or about 50 cents, from Nam Seoul Church in southern Seoul. Each week, organizers say, 300 to 500 seniors show up at each church that offers the service, and the line starts hours in advance.

A Forgotten Generation: Half Of South Korea's Elderly Live In Poverty

South Korea may be known for its high-tech advances, luxury skin care products and rapid economic rise. But these days, the generation largely responsible for all that growth isn't faring so well. South Korea has the worst senior poverty rate among developed nations, and the options for seniors are slim.

President Barack Obama walks past an honor guard after arriving in Panama City Thursday. Obama is attending the Summit of the Americas, where he's expected to meet Cuba's President Raul Castro.

President Obama Spoke To Raul Castro By Phone; Leaders May Meet Today

On Wednesday, President Obama spoke to Cuban President Raul Castro by phone, the White House has confirmed. There's no word on how long the conversation between Castro and Obama lasted — but it represents only the second time in the past 50 years that the heads of the U.S. and Cuba are known to have spoken to each other.

As relations between the two countries begin to thaw, many expect Obama and Castro to meet in person today in Panama, where Obama is visiting for the Summit of the Americas.

This April 8 photo shows His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Westarctica, aka Travis McHenry, posing in his uniform in West Hollywood, Calif.

Tiny Territories Mingle At MicroCon; Passports Optional

Freedonia won't be sending a representative, but delegates from Molossia, Slabovia and Broslavia will all attend the MicroCon 2015 summit in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday.

Cooking With Emoji: We're Taking Eggplant Back From The Bros

Last week, Amanda Hess at Slate laid out the evolution of a situation truly distressing to our food-loving hearts: Over the past couple of years, it seems, the purple, elongated eggplant found on the emoji keyboard on smartphones "has risen to become America's dominant phallic fruit."

During the first year of life, a baby's gut will become home to about 1,000 species of bacteria.

Bundle Of Joyful Microbes: Mom's DNA Alters Baby's Gut Bacteria

Right after birth, trillions of microbes rush into a baby's gut and start to grow. Most of these critters come from the mom's skin, birth canal and gut.

But exactly which types of bacteria take up residence in an infant's gut can depend on the mother's DNA, scientists reported Thursday.

The study, published in the journal Microbiome, focuses on a microbe called Bifidobacterium that potentially benefits babies.

Don't expect a big rally with thousands of cheering supporters to launch Hillary Clinton's campaign. For her second run at the presidency, she's out to prove she's taking nothing for granted.

Hillary Clinton Expected To Go Small With Big Announcement

The long will-she-or-won't-she charade is nearly over. A source with knowledge of Hillary Clinton's campaign plans tells NPR's Mara Liasson she will announce on Sunday that she's running for president.

But don't expect a big rally with thousands of cheering supporters. For her second run at the presidency, the former secretary of state and first lady is going small. Think Starbucks doing small batch coffee roasts.

One of the biggest names in American politics is out to prove she's taking nothing for granted.

A nurse prepares children for a polio vaccine shot as part of a city-wide testing of the vaccine on elementary school students in Pittsburgh, 1954.

Defeating The Disease That Paralyzed America

Tens of thousands of Americans — in the first half of the 20th century — were stricken by poliomyelitis. Polio, as it's known, is a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

The hallmarks of the Polio Era were children on crutches and in iron lungs, shuttered swimming pools, theaters warning moviegoers to not sit too close to one another.

Dog Didn't Bite Man, Blind Pot Customer Tells French Court

A blind man who was sold actual grass instead of the grass he was looking for has told a French court that it was he, and not his guide dog, who bit a deceitful dealer who had tried to make hay off a marijuana deal.

The two ended up in a brawl, leaving the blind man in need of stitches on his ear and the accused drug dealer with a bite wound.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to announce her bid for the White House on Sunday.

Hillary Clinton To Announce Presidential Bid On Sunday

Updated at 11 a.m. ET

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will officially announce her intention to seek the 2016 Democratic nomination for president on Sunday afternoon, ending years of speculation over her plans to pursue the Oval Office, NPR has learned.