National News

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Federal Shutdown Has Meant Steep Health Bills For Some Families

Joseph Daskalakis' son Oliver was born on New Year's Eve, a little over a week into the current government shutdown, and about 10 weeks before he was expected.

The prematurely born baby ended up in a specialized neonatal intensive care unit, the only one near the family's home in Lakeville, Minn., that could care for him.


With Higher Stakes In The Abortion Debate, Activists March On Washington

Updated at 11:00 a.m. ET

On Friday, as they have for decades, anti-abortion rights activists are marching through Washington, D.C., to the U.S. Supreme Court – a location that symbolizes the long-held goal of reversing the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the procedure nationwide in 1973.

Vice President Mike Pence phoned into the rally Friday morning, thanking attendees for "standing for life" and calling on them to "be prepared to defend life."


Police Seek Volunteers To Drink To Excess

Get drunk on the local police department's dime?

Sound unbelievable? One Pennsylvania police department is giving three lucky volunteers the chance to help train officers in field sobriety tests, by drinking a lot.

Don't bother applying, though. The Kutztown Borough Police Department posted the Facebook request on Wednesday and was flooded with eager volunteers. On Thursday, the department made it clear that this was a limited-time offer.

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Microsoft Pledges $500 Million Investment To Tackle Affordable Housing Crisis

Microsoft is investing $500 million to help develop affordable housing and address homelessness in the Seattle area as the growth of tech companies in the region continues to flood the real estate market with high-salaried workers, leaving many other people behind.


Politics Stay Off The Soccer Field As Qatar Plays Saudi Arabia

Qatar beat Saudi Arabia on the field Thursday, in a resounding victory overshadowed by the significance of the meeting itself.

Surging off momentum built in the early rounds of the AFC Asian Cup, Qatar defeated the Saudis 2-0 . Almoez Ali, a 22-year-old forward, scored both goals for Qatar, holding his spot as top scorer in the tournament after a four-goal run against North Korea last weekend.

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Trump Administration Appeals Ruling Blocking Citizenship Question On 2020 Census

The Trump administration is appealing a federal judge's ruling that blocks plans to add a controversial citizenship question to the 2020 census.


State Department Brings Employees Back To Work Despite Shutdown

The State Department on Thursday ordered employees to return to work next week, despite the partial government shutdown, saying it would figure out how to cover the next paycheck.

In a note posted on its website and emailed to staff, the department said it "is taking steps to make additional funds available to pay employee salaries."

If the shutdown continues beyond the next pay period, State Department officials say they will have to work with Congress to reprogram funds in order to cover salaries.

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Heads-Up For Sunday, A Super 'Blood Moon' Is On The Way

Updated at 9:50 p.m. ET

A special celestial event is on the calendar for this Sunday night and experts are already raving:

"A full 62 luxurious minutes of totality," says Sky and Telescope Magazine.

"The Only Total Lunar Eclipse of 2019," promises NASA.


Deadly Explosion At Bogotá Police Academy Stokes Fears Of Return To Dark Past

At least nine people were killed and dozens injured in a car bomb blast at a police academy in Colombia's capital, Bogotá, on Thursday morning, according to officials.

They called it a terrorist act. No group immediately claimed responsibility, but the attack stoked anxiety about a return to the decades when innocent Colombians got caught up in conflicts with rebel groups and drug cartels.

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Palestinian School And Sewage Projects Unfinished As U.S. Cuts Final Bit Of Aid

The White House has blocked an emergency effort to finish major U.S.-funded school, water and sewage projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to documents reviewed by NPR.

It is the latest of a series of moves by the Trump administration to shut down U.S. aid to Palestinians, which is scheduled to end Feb 1.