National News


Your local park has a hidden talent: helping fight climate change

Consider the unremarkable city park. A postage stamp of green amid the concrete. Trees, swings, grass, a basketball hoop.

Maybe your park has a public pool. Maybe it has a walking path or a barbecue grill or a leafy spot that's good for watching birds. Yosemite it is not. Your park is not a vacation destination. Instead, it's something much more valuable: a little piece of nature, right where you live.

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A sudden homecoming for one of the people sent back to prison with no warning

Big changes have arrived for the family of Eric Alvarez.

Hours after a story aired on NPR's Morning Edition last week, a federal judge found "extraordinary circumstances" that called for the release of Alvarez's fiancée from a prison in Danbury, Conn.

"In other words, Petitioner's family is currently experiencing a dire, urgent situation," ruled U.S. District Judge Sarala Nagala.

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America's kids are going back to school. Not all of their teachers will join them

It's a new school year and Jake Miller is not setting up his classroom in central Pennsylvania. He's not getting to know a new group of eighth-graders in his social studies class. After 15 years of teaching, he quit.

"I was accused of teaching critical race theory when I taught about how the Civil War was fought over racism and slavery," he said.

A couple of parents complained but weren't satisfied with the school board's answer.

"So they took it to a state representative who has used this as a dog whistle," he said.

Toya Sarno Jordan for NPR

This Mexican clinic is offering discreet abortions to Americans just over the border

TIJUANA, Mexico — In the months since Roe v. Wade was overturned, Luisa García has noticed a sharp and striking trend: More Americans are seeking her clinic's services in Tijuana, Mexico.

García is the director of Profem Tijuana, where people can get abortions just a few steps across the San Ysidro border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana.

In May, Americans made up 25% of patients receiving abortions there. By July, it was 50%.

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NBA star John Wall says emotional and physical hardships led him to consider suicide

John Wall, a guard for the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, shared that he contemplated suicide in recent years after facing a series of emotional and physical struggles.

In early 2019, Wall underwent surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon. Additionally, his mother and grandmother died a year apart from each other, all amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's the darkest place I've ever been in," he said in an interview clip posted to Twitter on Monday. "At one point in time, I thought about committing suicide."

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Life expectancy in the U.S. continues to drop, driven by COVID-19

Life expectancy in the U.S. fell in 2021, for the second year in a row.

In 2019, someone born in the U.S. had a life expectancy of nearly 80 years. In 202o, because of the pandemic, that dropped to 77 years. In 2021 life-span dropped again — to 76.1 years. And for some Americans, life expectancy is even lower, according to a provisional analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Trump team may have hidden or moved classified material, DoJ says

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department said Tuesday that classified documents were "likely concealed and removed" from former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate as part of an effort to obstruct the federal investigation into the discovery of the government records.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

A shipment of baby wipes turns out to be $11.8 million worth of cocaine

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered more than 1,500 pounds of cocaine hidden in a place where you would least expect it: a shipment of baby wipes.

The narcotics seizure occurred last Friday at the Laredo-Colombia Solidarity International Bridge, according to the agency in a news release. The bridge, located on the U.S.-Mexico border, connects Laredo, Texas over the Rio Grande with the Mexican state of Nuevo León.

Thomas Bwire

Whatever happened to the Kenyan farmer who turned a dump into a garden of giveaways?

In July 2020 NPR highlighted the work of Victor Edalia of Kenya, who turned a trash dump into an urban farm in Kibera, one of the world's largest slums, on the outskirts of Nairobi. When the 32-year-old part-time driver signed a deal with a local chief for a quarter acre of land to farm, he had planned to sell vegetables to hotels. But during the pandemic, he began supplying free produce to struggling families.


Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has died at 91

Updated August 30, 2022 at 6:27 PM ET

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who played a central role in ending the Cold War, died Tuesday at the age of 91.

Russian media reported his death, citing the hospital that was treating him as saying he died of a "serious and protracted disease," without providing more information.