National News

Karl R. Thompson Tapped To Lead Key Justice Department Unit

Karl R. Thompson has been named to lead the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, an under-the-radar but critically important unit that approves executive branch legal arguments on armed drones, surveillance and other national security issues.

Afghan Special Forces converge on an Independent Election Commission office after the Taliban launched an assault on the compound Tuesday in Kabul. Two suicide bombers detonated their vests outside the offices while gunmen stormed the building.

Afghanistan's Election Heats Up — And So Do The Attacks

Afghanistan's election for a new president is less than two weeks away. That means the candidates are busy campaigning — and the Taliban are busy attacking.

The latest attack came Tuesday morning in Kabul when two suicide bombers detonated themselves outside one of the offices of the Independent Election Commission. Moments later, several gunmen ran inside and waged a three-hour gunbattle with dozens of Afghan police.

A Life Story In 6 Songs — Part 2

Sifting through the hundreds and hundreds of replies to NPR's request – Tell Us The 6 Songs Of Your Life – we rediscover just how meaningful music can be in our lives. And the supermagical powers that some songs possess.

I Want To Hold Your Hand, for example...

A 2004 file photo of the USS Mahan, a guided-missile destroyer, as it moves up the Hudson River in New York.

Sailor Fatally Shot Aboard U.S. Navy Destroyer At Va. Base

A sailor was fatally shot aboard a U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer docked in the nation's largest naval base late Monday. Naval security forces then killed the civilian suspect.

A statement issued by the U.S. Naval Station Norfolk said the incident occurred about 11:20 p.m. aboard the USS Mahan (DDG 72).

"Naval Station Norfolk was briefly put on lockdown as a precautionary measure. The lockdown lasted approximately 45 minutes," the statement said. "No other injuries have been reported."

An activist carries a Russian flag during a rally on Sunday in eastern Ukraine.

How Crimea's Annexation Plays To Russians' Soviet Nostalgia

According to political scientist Kimberly Marten, Russia's decision to annex Crimea from Ukraine may have changed its relationship with the outside world for many years to come.

They're probably not thinking about breast cancer risk right now.

Can Fear Of Cancer Keep College Kids From Binge Drinking?

Many college students associate a good time with good friends, good music and good booze. But with half of all college drinkers engaging in binge drinking, the habit remains one of the biggest health risks among young adults.

Campaigns that tackle this problem often focus on familiar risks like drunk driving, unsafe sex and even death, but researchers say that warning students about the lesser-known link between alcohol and cancer may also be a new approach for deterring binge drinking.

Last Chance To Ask About Health Law Before Sign-Up Deadline

This is it. The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act this year is March 31. With time running out, the questions about how the health law and the exchanges work keep pouring in. Here are a few more to check out while the clock ticks down.

My son will be 19 in May. I claim him as a dependent on my taxes. If I don't provide for his medical coverage and he is unemployed and makes no income, how is he supposed to pay his penalty? Or are they going to take his penalty out of my tax return because he is a dependent on my return?

The massive mudslide that killed more than a dozen people is shown in this aerial photo taken Monday near Arlington, Wash.

National Guard To Join Search In Washington State Mudslide

The National Guard was expected to join the search for possible survivors from a massive mudslide over the weekend in rural Washington state that has killed at least 14 people and left scores missing.

President Obama, accompanied by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, speaks during their joint news conference at the conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, Netherlands, on Tuesday.

Obama: Russia Making 'Series Of Calculations' After Crimea

(This post was updated at 11:30 a.m. ET.)

President Obama on Tuesday said that he believed that Russia was "still making a series of calculations" regarding any further moves after its annexation of Crimea, but that there was no expectation of dislodging it by force from the Black Sea peninsula.

"What we can bring to bear are the legal arguments, the diplomatic arguments," he said at a joint news conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte following a nuclear security summit in The Hague.

My attempt at opening a wine bottle with a tennis shoe.

Can You Open A Bottle Of Wine With A Shoe? Yes, But It Ain't Pretty

There's a rumor swirling around on the Internet: If you have a bottle of wine, but no corkscrew with which to open it, then a shoe will do the trick nicely.


Well, this French guy from Mirabeau Wine sure makes it look easy. Just nine swift strikes against the stone wall with a man's dress shoe, and voila! The cork slips right out.

But does this parlor trick work with just any shoe — say, even 3-inch heels? And if so, what's the physics behind the cork-popping action?