National News

When schools close for bad weather, some kids miss out on much-needed nutritious meals. "It's hard to be a hungry person, and it gets harder when the weather is like this," Nancy Roman, president of the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C., says of severe cold and snow.

For Lower-Income Students, Snow Days Can Be Hungry Days

For many Americans it's been a harsh, disruptive winter, from the country's northern edges to the Deep South.

When cold snaps and blizzards shutter schools, kids miss more than their daily lessons. Some miss out on the day's nutritious meal as well.

This recently became apparent to school administrators in rural Iowa, where extreme cold delayed openings two days in a row at Laurens-Marathon Community School, where 59 percent of students who eat school lunch qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin enters court for his corruption trial in New Orleans last month. He was charged with accepting bribes, free trips and other gratuities from contractors in exchange for helping them secure millions of dollars in city work.

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Found Guilty Of Corruption

A federal jury has found Ray Nagin guilty of bribery and fraud. The former New Orleans mayor, 57, was accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks, in an indictment that included 21 counts. He was found guilty on 20 of those counts.

Barbara Mancini with her father, Joseph Yourshaw.

Judge Dismisses Assisted Suicide Case Against Pennsylvania Nurse

A Pennsylvania county judge has thrown out an assisted suicide case against a 58-year-old nurse named Barbara Mancini, who was accused of homicide last year for allegedly handing her 93-year-old father a bottle of morphine.

The National Ignition Facility's 192 laser beams focus onto a tiny target.

Scientists Say Their Giant Laser Has Produced Nuclear Fusion

Researchers at a laboratory in California say they've had a breakthrough in producing fusion power with a giant laser. The success comes after years of struggling to get the laser to work and is another step in the decades-long quest for fusion energy.

Omar Hurricane, a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, says that for the first time, they've produced significant amounts of fusion by zapping a target with their laser. "We've gotten more energy out of the fusion fuel than we put into the fusion fuel," he says.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Justice Thomas: Americans More Race Conscious Now Than In '60s

This Yahoo News report is causing some conversation today:

"Americans today are too sensitive about race, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas told a gathering of college students in Florida on Tuesday."

Yahoo's Chris Moody reports that at Palm Beach Atlantic University, a nondenominational Christian school in West Palm Beach, Fla., Thomas said:

A visitor to a military  exhibition in New Delhi, India, on Feb. 6. Global military spending is expected to increase this year for the first time in five years. The biggest increases are expected in China and Russia.

Global Military Spending Set To Rise In 2014

After years of decreases, military spending is expected to rise globally in 2014 for the first time in five years.

And the rising defense budgets of China and Russia are a key reason why.

You saw Nothing.

Weekly Un-Innovation: There's Nothing To See Here

In our Weekly Innovation series, we pick an interesting idea, design or product that you may not know about yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use our form.

Normally we cover high-tech innovations in the form of gadgets that are supposed to make your life easier. But today, we're writing about ... Nothing.

Last week in Indianapolis, the Kehoe children — from left, Maria, Anthony and Veronica — played with shaving cream as their mother Joanne tried to keep them occupied when the weather outside was awful.

Let's Weather The Storm: Share '3 Things To Do When Stuck Inside'

As folks in the Deep South, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast deal with yet another severe storm that's bringing rain, ice, sleet, snow or some combination of all those, let's see if we can help each other out.

So, please share in the comments thread or on NPR's Facebook page your "3 Things To Do When Stuck Inside."

Small but costly: Dozens of mosquito species carry West Nile virus in the U.S.

The High Cost Of Treating People Hospitalized With West Nile Virus

Fifteen years ago an unwelcome viral visitor entered the U.S., and we've been paying for it ever since.

The U.S recorded its first case of West Nile virus back in 1999. Since then, the disease has spread across the lower 48 states and cost the country around $800 million, scientists reported this week in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Protesters in Belgium march against a proposed euthanasia law in Brussels on Feb 2. In Belgium, euthanasia is legal for adults and the proposed law would allow terminally ills kids to choose euthanasia as well. Parliament is expected to approve the measure this week.

Belgian Proposal: Terminally Ill Kids Could Choose Euthanasia

This week Belgium is expected to become the first country in the world to allow a terminally ill child to choose euthanasia.

Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002 for those 18 and over and the number of adults choosing a doctor-assisted death has been rising annually, reaching 1,432 in 2012.

But a bill before parliament would lift age restrictions and allow terminally-ill children to ask to be euthanized if they are in unbearable pain and treatment options are exhausted. In addition, their parents and medical team would have to agree.

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