National News

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross addresses media at a press conference in January.

Police Say Rambling Note Found On Body Of Philadelphia Shooting Suspect

Philadelphia police have found a rambling, threatening note on the body of a deceased man suspected of carrying out a shooting rampage on Friday night.

The suspect first opened fire at a police officer in a vehicle before shooting into a bar and then at a civilian car, as Police Commissioner Richard Ross told reporters Saturday afternoon. Then police exchanged fire with the suspect in a nearby alley, ultimately killing him. One female civilian was killed, and two officers and three civilians were injured during the shooting spree.

Investigative journalist Hossam Baghat (center), who founded the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, leaves a courtroom at the Cairo Criminal Court in March.

Egypt Freezes Assets Of 5 Prominent Human Rights Defenders

A Cairo criminal court has ruled today to freeze the assets of five prominent human rights defenders — another step in the ongoing crackdown against the government's critics.

President Barack Obama bends over so the son of a White House staff member can pat his head during a visit to the Oval Office on May 8, 2009.

America's First Black President Nears The End Of A History-Making Run

Jordan Weaver was just a kid when Barack Obama was elected eight years ago. But she'll never forget that November night.

"My biggest memory is us in my living room," said Weaver, who grew up in Harrisburg, Penn. "My mom was crying. She was so happy that a president could be African-American and people accepted him. You could just see that everyone was so excited."

Eight years later, Weaver joined thousands of people who turned out to see Obama speak in Philadelphia earlier this week.

Jeffrey Wood has been studying at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies. He is now preparing for a career as a diplomat.

For U.S. Minority Students In China, The Welcome Comes With Scrutiny

The relationship between the U.S. and China these days is fraught with political tensions. But both countries are committed to sending more of their young people to study language and culture in each other's countries — and a component of that is sending more U.S. minority students to China.

That's both to provide more students of color with the opportunity to study overseas, and to create a student body abroad that is more representative of U.S. diversity.

According to China's education ministry, 21,975 American students studied in China in 2015.

Canadian author W.P. Kinsella standing on the baseball field before game five of the 1992 World Series between Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves in Toronto, Ontario.

'Shoeless Joe' Author William Patrick Kinsella Dies At 81

William Patrick Kinsella, the Canadian author whose award-winning book Shoeless Joe was adapted into the beloved film Field of Dreams, had died at the age of 81.

His literary agent Carolyn Swayze issued a statement Friday confirming his death, calling him "a unique, creative and outrageously opinionated man."

And as NPR's Rose Friedman tells our Newscast unit, the most famous line he ever wrote was whispered – "If you build it, he will come," in 1982's Shoeless Joe.

Mohamad Shatara registers a Muslim man to vote.

One Trump Side-Effect: Democrats Are Reaching Out To Muslim Voters

Muslims are a tiny fraction of the U.S. population, making up somewhere around one percent, according to the Pew Research Center.

But a lot of Muslims live in key battleground states like Florida, Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, which makes them a small but important group.

That's why Hillary Clinton's campaign is trying to make sure they show up in large numbers on Election Day.

Medalists Tamiru Demisse of Ethiopia (silver), Abdellatif Baka of Algeria (gold) and Henry Kirwa of Kenya (bronze) celebrate after the men's 1500m race in Rio. Their times were all faster than the gold medalist in the same event in the Olympics.

#NPRreads: Defy The Odds This Weekend With These 3 Stories

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.

Harry Burkhart leaves a downtown Los Angeles courtroom after being found guilty on 47 counts of arson on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016.

Mistrial Declared After Deadlock Over Whether Notorious Convicted Arsonist Is Sane

Nearly 50 arson fires blazed in Los Angeles during a four-day span over the holidays five years ago.

Earlier this month, a jury convicted a 29-year-old German named Harry Burkhart of setting those fires in carports, garages and driveways. But as reporter Danielle Karson tells our Newscast unit, a judge declared a mistrial after that same panel deadlocked over whether Burkhart is insane.

A central Illinois corn farmer refills his sprayer with the weedkiller glyphosate on a farm near Auburn, Ill. The pesticide has been the subject of intense international scrutiny.

EPA Weighs In On Glyphosate, Says It Doesn't Cause Cancer

No chemical used by farmers, it seems, gets more attention than glyphosate, also known by its trade name, Roundup. That's mainly because it is a cornerstone of the shift to genetically modified crops, many of which have been modified to tolerate glyphosate. This, in turn, persuaded farmers to rely on this chemical for easy control of their weeds. (Easy, at least, until weeds evolved to become immune to glyphosate, but that's a different story.)

Tom Charles and Sue Jennings are two of the lead volunteers helping Osama, Ghada and their family settle into their new home.

The Hopes (Security) And Fears (Bears) Of Syrian Refugees In New Jersey

On a bright spring afternoon this May, Tom Charles drove to Newark International Airport to pick up a family of Syrian refugees. Charles is an attorney and a bank consultant, devoted to data and details, but he had scant information on the family that would become part of his life for the next year.

He was also sure the Syrian family knew nothing about his team from Nassau Presbyterian Church, who would drive them from the airport to a donated house in Princeton, N.J.