National News

Emily Harris is NPR's international correspondent based in Jerusalem.

Ask Me Anything: Correspondent Emily Harris Discusses Gaza

For the past month, NPR's Emily Harris has covered the intense Israeli-Palestinian fighting from the Gaza Strip.

Visitors look at a memorial at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport on Monday.

Dutch Call Off Search For Additional Remains In Ukraine

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has called off the search for additional remains at the site of the downed airliner in Ukraine.

At a news conference in The Hague on Wednesday, Rutte said the search has become too dangerous.

As we reported yesterday, Russia has stationed more than 30,000 troops near its border with Ukraine for military exercises.

Following Western Sanctions, Russia Orders Ban On Some Imports

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a ban on some food and agricultural imports from countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia.

In a statement, the Kremlin said the measures were intended to "protect Russia's security."

What is not clear is which food and agricultural imports will be banned. Instead, Putin asked his government to come up with a list of "products, raw materials and food" to include on the list in a way that prevents "the rapid growth of prices."

A woman using a cell phone walks past T-Mobile and Sprint stores in New York.

Sprint Names New CEO, As T-Mobile Bid Is Said To Crumble

Just as reports surfaced that Sprint, and its corporate parent SoftBank, were ending their bid to merge with T-Mobile, the company announced it was appointing a new CEO.

Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son said Marcelo Claure, who runs Brightstar, a wireless company and subsidiary of SoftBank, would replace Dan Hesse, who has been Sprint's president and CEO since 2007.

In the announcement, Son made a passing reference to Sprint's decision to forgo the T-Mobile merger.

Vonte Skinner had his attempted murder case considered by New Jersey's Supreme Court, which ruled that lyrics he wrote years before the crime he was charged with were not admissible in the trial.

A State Court Says Rap Lyrics Can't Be Used As Evidence In A Criminal Trial

Just a few days ago, Code Switch wrote about the use violent hip-hop lyrics as evidence in criminal cases, a practice that some critics say violates defendants' First Amendment rights and plays up jurors' misunderstandings of the use of hyperbole in hip-hop.

From a "Think Again Turn Away" <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter post</a>.

Hearts, Minds, Tweets: Battling Terrorism Online

Can the U.S. government use social media to combat anti-social behavior? Can America win the online battle for the hearts and minds of potential terrorists?

Medicare gives drugs for HIV/AIDS special status, which may make it easier to game the system.

Suspicious Use Of AIDS Drugs Costs Medicare $30 Million

Medicare spent more than $30 million in 2012 on questionable HIV medication costs, the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in an investigation published Wednesday.

The possible fraud schemes were all paid for by Medicare's prescription drug program known as Part D. Among the most egregious:

Hurricanes Iselle and Julio approach Hawaii on Wednesday.

Hawaii, Which Almost Never Has Hurricanes, Is Getting Ready For 2

Hawaii is preparing for two major storms this week, beginning with Hurricane Iselle, which is expected to weaken to a tropical storm by the time it arrives on Thursday. Hurricane Julio is expected to hit Saturday, again after weakening into a tropical storm.

Hawaii Public Radio's Bill Dorman tells our Newscast unit that residents and tourists are getting ready for the heavy rains, rough seas and 60 mph winds expected from the storms:

A Palestinian child goes through toys Wednesday at a vendor's stall in a market in Gaza City.

Gaza Conflict: Cease-Fire Holds As Kerry Calls For Fresh Peace Talks

After nearly a month of brutal war, Gaza was calm for a second day on Wednesday.

And as that negotiated, three-day peace took hold, diplomacy stepped front and center.

In an interview with the BBC, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said both sides should take advantage of this moment to forge a longer-lasting peace.

Kerry said the U.S. supports Palestinians' desire to rebuild and open up borders, but that will happen only under a "bigger, broader approach to the underlying solution of two states."

An Afghan laborer walks past a gate of Camp Qargha as Afghanistan National Army soldiers stand guard, west of Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday.

Afghan Policeman Turns Gun On Colleagues, Killing 7

A day after a man dressed in an Afghan military uniform opened fire at service members from the NATO-led coalition, another insider attack is making news.

The Associated Press reports:

"An Afghan policeman turned his gun on his colleagues at a police checkpoint in the country's south, killing seven policemen, a provincial official said Wednesday.