National News

Esta Pratt-Kielley/Maine Public

Some Ukrainian refugees find new homes in Maine with help from a fellow expat

AUBURN, Maine — On a warm spring afternoon, Halyna and Petro Terzi stepped into their new apartment in Auburn, Maine, for the first time. A small group of fellow Ukrainians was there to greet them.

Carrying blue and yellow balloons and a bouquet of flowers wrapped in plastic, the couple walked into their sunny bedroom overlooking the back yard. They'll be sharing this apartment with another Ukrainian family who arrived several weeks ago.

Eze Amos for NPR

Demand at food banks is way up again. But inflation makes it harder to meet the need

NORFOLK, Virginia — On a sultry evening at a neighborhood food pantry in this waterfront city, some in the line outside have come from work. Justine Lee, a teller at a credit union, had never gone to a food bank until prices went crazy this year. Now, she says with a laugh, inflation means "a lot of fussing between mothers and daughters."


Volodymyr vs. Vladimir: How rival statues explain the Russia-Ukraine conflict

One of Ukraine's most legendary figures is Volodymyr the Great. He ruled Kyiv from the year 980 to 1015, launching major building projects, pulling together divided tribes and introducing Christianity. Today, he's honored with a soaring statue in Kyiv overlooking the Dnipro River that bisects the city.

Yet Russia also claims him as central to its political and religious history. They know him by the Russian version of his name — Vladimir the Great. Six years ago, Russia built an even larger statue just outside the Kremlin walls.

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Michigan prisons ban Spanish and Swahili dictionaries to prevent inmate disruptions

Officials in prison systems across the United States have banned certain books as a way to prevent the flow of material that they say might incite violence.

In Michigan, the ban has extended to several non-English language dictionaries.

Over the last year, the Michigan Department of Corrections has banned dictionaries in Spanish and Swahili under claims that books' contents are a threat to the state's penitentiaries.

Krishnia Parker/California State Assembly Democratic Caucus

California lawmakers ramp up efforts to become a sanctuary state for abortion rights

While 26 states in the U.S. are likely to ban or restrict abortion care if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, California is positioning itself to be a sanctuary for abortion access, preparing to welcome and support people from around the country who are seeking that care.


Abortion rights might soon be gone. Activists worry same-sex marriage is next

On June 26th, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage. It was a historic ruling that signified a turning point for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States.

Fast-forward seven years, and a lot has changed. The Supreme Court is vastly different, and another landmark decision is pending, this time pertaining to the federal right to an abortion.

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If Roe v. Wade is overturned, what happens next? Your questions answered

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, laws further restricting abortion care and services will go into effect in many states. Following the leak of the draft Supreme Court opinion in which the justices appear ready to overturn Roe, we asked you what questions you had for our experts about abortion care and access in the U.S.

AFP via Getty Images

As senators seek common ground on guns, 'red flag' laws become a focus

In what might be characterized as an exercise in the art of the possible, a bipartisan group of senators led by John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., have spent the past few days focused on a limited set of new policies targeting gun violence.

They're still in the earliest phases of brainstorming, but three broad areas are showing promise: incentivizing states to pass red flag laws, updates to school safety protocols, and possibly some narrow changes to background checks.

Nora Lorek for NPR

Former Estonian president speaks about the war in Ukraine and the way forward

VILJANDIMAA, Estonia — Just a couple hours' drive from the border with Russia, the former president of Estonia lives on the farm his family built in the 1700s — a farm whose occupants were forced to flee in times of conflict, and which now serves as a refuge for victims of another war.

Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who served as Estonia's president from 2006 to 2016, has long acted as a prominent voice warning about the dangers of Russian aggression.


U.S. will forgive $5.8 billion of loans to Corinthian Colleges students

The U.S. Department of Education will forgive $5.8 billion of student loans for those who attended Corinthian colleges, a chain of for-profit schools that deceived students about their job placement rates and students' ability to transfer credits.

It is the agency's largest individual sum of student loan discharges.

The move, which was made Wednesday, will impact 560,000 borrowers, the Education Department said.