National News

Dr. Kamal Kalsi had to apply for special permission from the Department of Defense in order to keep his beard and turban while serving in the military.

Uniform Rule May Keep Religious Americans From Military Service

Monday, 105 lawmakers from both parties sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, urging him to change a relatively obscure uniform requirement for the U.S. armed forces that some argue infringes on religious beliefs.

People who observe religions that require specific hair or dress traditions have to seek an accommodation from a superior to break the Defense Department's uniform requirements.

Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps is reportedly in hospice care in Topeka, Kansas. Members of the church protest outside the gates at Fort Campbell, Ky., in this 2006 photo.

Westboro Baptist Founder Is 'On The Edge Of Death,' Son Says

Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., founder of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., that became famous for its controversial protests at funerals, is ill and in hospice care, family members and church officials confirmed today.

Phelps' estranged son, Nathan, first announced his father's condition Saturday night.

How easy is it to spot a fake ID?

Photo Identification: The 'Best And Worst Way' To ID People

As an international armada of planes, ships and helicopters continues to comb the Indian Ocean for any sign of Malaysian Airlines flight 370, now missing for more than a week, Interpol confirms that two passengers aboard that flight were traveling on stolen passports.

Aviation experts say the incident highlights a major security gap at many airports: It is simply too easy to board a flight using someone else's photo ID.

Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick says it's not his job to discourage legislators from proposing bills. But if it were, he says, some of the recent legislation might not have come to the floor.

Kansas Legislature Scolds Itself Over Slew Of Contentious Bills

Some Kansas lawmakers have been getting a lot of attention during this legislative session for controversial bills they've introduced. Some lawmakers argue that the initiatives are distracting from core issues, like the economy, and are casting a negative light on the state.

With tablet technology still relatively new, pediatricians are trying to understand how interactive media affects children.

Parenting In The Age Of Apps: Is That iPad Help Or Harm?

When it comes to media, parents all want to know: How much is too much for my child?

Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a pediatrician, professor and father of two, has spent a lot of time thinking about the effects of media on young children. Christakis tells NPR's Arun Rath that not all TV is bad.

Some children's programs are educational and engaging, he says. But if a TV show is overstimulating, it can lead to developmental problems.

John Paul Chou (right), a physics professor at Rutgers University, uses a whiteboard and answers questions during a forum at Fermilab.

Physicists, Generals And CEOs Agree: Ditch The PowerPoint

About six months ago, a group of physicists in the U.S. working on the Large Hadron Collider addressed a problem they've been having for a while: Whenever they had meetings, everyone stuck to the prepared slides, and couldn't really answer questions that weren't immediately relevant to what was on the screen.

The point of the forum is to start discussions, so the physicists banned PowerPoint — from then on, they could only use a board and a marker.

Wife And Mother: 'You'd Never Suspect My Junkie Past'

It has been seven years and two months since I woke from my coma. My eyelids were taped shut and my arms were cuffed to some unknown object. The first sense that came back was sound. I could hear the voices of doctors and nurses chatting about the weather.

I distinctly remember a doctor poking my bare feet with a scalpel. "Vegetable," I heard him say. Everything was blackness. God, help me, what have I done, I thought. I'm in hell, and I put myself here.

A woman walks past the Ukrainian National Federal Credit Union in the Ukrainian neighborhood in Manhattan's East Village. New York is home to tens of thousands of Ukrainian and Russian immigrants.

New York Ukrainians Worry About 'Evil' Happenings at Home

Yonkers, N.Y., is home to many Ukrainian immigrants and home to the Ukrainian Youth Center, which, despite its name, also has a full bar. It's where Rostyslaw Slabicky is glued to the news.

"The mood right now is extremely apprehensive," Slabicky says. "There's part that's fait accomplis, that Putin is basically doing what he wants and the entire world is basically standing by, not doing anything."

People line up to buy goods at a store in Caracas, Venezuela.

Venezuela In Turmoil For Lack Of Flour, Milk And Diapers

Alvaro Villarueda starts his morning the same way every day — putting in a call to his friend who has a friend who works at a Caracas, Venezuela, supermarket.

Today, he's looking for sugar, and he's asking his friend if he knows if any shipments have arrived. As he talks on the phone, his wife Lisbeth Nello, is in the kitchen.

There are 10 mouths to feed every day in this family — five of them children. The two youngest are still in diapers.

A screenshot of the Crimean referendum's website shows a report on a denial-of-service attack that made the site unavailable for several hours last night.

Attacks Over Crimea Play Out In Virtual Arena; Websites Hit

Tensions have risen in Ukraine this month, as its military has confronted heavily armed, pro-Russian forces that took control of Crimea. But as of now, some of most serious attacks to be alleged are ones hitting websites on both sides of the disagreement.

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