National News

A view from the top of the Verrückt water slide's launch point, in a video that showed a recent test of the slide.

Will You Ride The World's Tallest Water Slide?

It's like sliding off the top of a 15-story building on nothing more than an air mattress. That's the experience promised by the Verrückt, the attraction called the world's tallest water slide by the Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City.

The giant water slide stands at 168 feet tall, resembling a NASA launchpad as it towers over its surroundings. Instead of a rocket, the slide launches people on a large raft that organizers say will reach speeds topping 60 mph before it comes to rest after completing an initial large drop that's followed by a second rise and fall.

Dozens Of Women Reportedly Escape Nigeria's Boko Haram

More than 60 women and girls who had been abducted by Nigerian extremist group Boko Haram have reportedly escaped to freedom, after their captors left for a raid. More than 200 schoolgirls abducted in April remain missing.

Nigerian officials say 68 women were abducted two weeks ago in the country's northeast. The Associated Press, citing a vigilante leader in the town of Maiduguri, reports that 63 of them made it to safety over the weekend.

From Dakar, NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports for our Newscast unit:

While their friends line up for ice cream, some students are stuck in summer school.

What We Don't Know About Summer School

It's a warning echoed in countless teen movies — "If you don't pass this class, you'll go to summer school!" Kids for generations have been threatened with the elusive summer school: fail this test, miss this day and kiss your vacation goodbye.

This summer is no exception, with districts around the country pulling students in for all sorts of programs. But surprisingly, it's really hard to get a head count — either nationally or at the district level — of how many kids are going to summer school.

In Paris, soldiers patrol at Charles de Gaulle airport last week. French airports have reportedly agreed to a new TSA policy requiring electronic devices to be powered up before they're allowed on U.S.-bound flights.

TSA Tightens Rules For Devices At Overseas Airports

People flying to the U.S. on international flights might want to keep their cellphones charged: Under a new policy, these and other devices might not be allowed on the plane if they can't power up.

The Transportation Security Administration says its new guideline is aimed at certain airports that have direct flights to the U.S. Officials at those overseas facilities should require passengers to turn on electronic devices before they're allowed to board, the TSA says.

Palestinians inspect a damaged building after an Israeli air strike in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday.

Hamas Vows Revenge For Fighters Killed In Air Attack

The Islamic militant group Hamas says it will avenge the deaths of seven militants who reportedly were killed as a result of Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip. Israel says the strikes were retaliation for a burst of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel.

From Jerusalem, Daniel Estrin reports:

Stressed Out: Americans Tell Us About Stress In Their Lives

Everyone seems to talk about feeling stressed out. But what's the reality of stress in America these days?

NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a nationwide poll in March and early April to find out.

Our questions zeroed in on the effect of stress in Americans' lives. We asked about people's personal experiences with stress in the preceding month and year. We also asked about how they perceived the effects of stress, how they cope with stress and their attitudes about it.

Then-Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze flashes a "V" sign in France in 1989, after attending the International Conference on Chemical Weapons. Shevardnadze died Monday at age 86.

Eduard Shevardnadze, Former Georgian President, Dies At 86

Former Soviet minister and Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, who is credited with helping end the Cold War, died Monday after a long illness, his spokeswoman tells the media.

To remind you of the former leader's career, NPR's Corey Flintoff has this report for our Newscast unit:

"White-haired and dapper, Eduard Shevardnadze was the face of Soviet foreign policy during the era when President Mikhail Gorbachev was attempting to liberalize the Communist bloc.

This undated file photo released by Obama for America shows Barack Obama teaching at the University of Chicago Law School in Chicago, where he was a faculty member for more than a decade. The university is contending for his presidential library.

A Presidential Contest ... For Obama's Library

There are 13 presidential Libraries in the United States run by the National Archives and when President Obama leaves office, the construction of the 14th library won't be far behind.

A nonprofit foundation created to fund and build the Obama presidential library is already beginning to mull proposals from contenders who'd like to be home to the facility.

For Many Americans, Stress Takes A Toll On Health And Family

Stress is part of the human condition, unavoidable and even necessary to a degree. But too much stress can be toxic — even disabling.

And there's a lot of toxic stress out there.

A national poll done by NPR with our partners at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health finds that more than 1 in every 4 Americans say they had a great deal of stress in the previous month.

Charlotte Smith, of Champoeg Creamery in St. Paul, Ore., says raw milk may offer health benefits. But she also acknowledges its very real dangers.

Raw Milk Producers Aim To Regulate Themselves

A growing number of Americans are buying raw milk. That's milk that has not been pasteurized to kill bacteria.

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