National News

Singer-Songwriter Jesse Winchester Dies

Jesse Winchester, whose "blend of folk, blues and country ... embodies the spirit of American music," has died.

His manager, Keith Case, tells NPR's Jacob Ganz that Winchester died Friday morning in Charlottesville, Va., where he lived. He was 69 and had been battling cancer.

Hostages being held at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in November 1979.  Iran's choice for U.N. ambassador, Hamid Aboutalebi, has acknowledged that he was an interpreter for the student group that seized the compound.

U.S. Denies Visa To Iran's Controversial U.N. Envoy

The United States has told Iran that it won't issue a visa to Hamid Aboutalebi, Tehran's controversial choice for the United Nations.

Aboutalebi acknowledges that he served as an interpreter for a group of radical students who seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979, taking 52 American diplomats hostage and holding them for 444 days.

The rare move to deny him a visa to take up a diplomatic post comes from the White House after Congress approved legislation authorizing the government to do so.

Here's our earlier post:

4 Strange Sports In America's Past

In recent pursuits, we have come upon accounts of once-practiced — and somewhat, shall we say, curious — sports that have long since faded into obscurity.

Vice President Biden (from left), Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell at the White House Friday. Sebelius is stepping down. Burwell is being nominated to replace her.

'I Knew It Wouldn't Be Easy,' Outgoing Health Secretary Sebelius Says

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who has borne the brunt of criticism for the troubled rollout of the HealthCare.gov website, said Friday that as she prepares to leave that agency she is thankful to have had the chance to work on "the cause of my life."

Her agency, Sebelius said, has been "in the front lines of a long overdue national change — fixing a broken health system."

"The egg is a lens through which to view the entire craft of cooking," says food writer Michael Ruhlman.

Think You Know How To Cook Eggs? Chances Are You're Doing It Wrong

Just in time for Easter, food writer Michael Ruhlman has a new cookbook that will likely change the way you think about the egg. At the very least, you may learn how to spruce up your scrambled egg technique.

Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World's Most Versatile Ingredient is a guide to perfecting the most familiar of egg dishes — from poached to hard boiled — but also mastering béarnaise sauce and meringues.

You've been there, and you know it doesn't feel good. But an app based on the science of circadian rhythms could help reduce the suffering of jet lag.

This Jet Lag App Does The Math So You'll Feel Better Faster

Jet lag is nobody's idea of fun. A bunch of mathematicians say they can make the adjustment less painful with a smartphone app that calculates the swiftest way to adjust.

Users plug in the time zone they're traveling to, and the app will do the calculations before spitting out a schedule specifying when the user should stay in bright light, low light or be in the dark, says Olivia Walch, a graduate student at the University of Michigan who designed the app.

Pope Francis on Wednesday in St. Peter's Square, Vatican City.

Pope Francis Asks Abuse Victims' Forgiveness

Pope Francis asked Friday for forgiveness from the victims of pedophile priests in some of his strongest words to date about the Catholic Church's sex abuse crisis.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports from Rome that:

"The pope has come under fire from advocacy groups for a perceived lack of attention to the issue.

Sgt. Trent Wyatt looks out an observation window on Friday from aboard a Royal New Zealand air force P-3 Orion maritime search aircraft as it flies over the southern Indian Ocean. So far there's been no sign of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. But officials are hoping that sounds detected below the surface are coming from one or both of the plane's black boxes.

Optimism, But No Breakthrough In Search For Malaysian Jet

Hopes were both raised and lowered Friday by officials involved in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The jet and the 239 people on board have now been missing for five weeks.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ducks after a woman threw a shoe at her while she was delivering remarks at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries conference on Thursday in Las Vegas.

VIDEO: Woman Throws Shoe At Hillary Clinton, No Harm Done

Hillary Clinton was not struck Thursday when a woman threw a shoe at the former secretary of state while she was on stage in Las Vegas giving the keynote speech at conference hosted by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.

"What was that, a bat? Was that a bat?" Clinton said moments after the footwear flew by.

Pro-Russian protesters surround a barricade made by used tires and barbed wire Friday in Donetsk, Ukraine. Pro-Russian protesters took control of the government building and have held it since Sunday.

Molotov Cocktails And Razor Wire: Inside An Occupied Building In Ukraine

In Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk, activists who want to align the country more with Russia seized a regional administration building in the center of town last weekend. NPR correspondent Ari Shapiro went inside the building Friday and reports on what it was like:

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