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Afghan officials say 16 members of the Afghan National Security Forces died in a U.S. airstrike Friday, during operations against Taliban fighters in southern Helmand province. The U.S. says it is investigating the circumstances that led to the mistake.

Afghan media report that 16 members of the security force died, citing local government officials. Although a U.S. statement acknowledging the strike did not specify the number of casualties, a Pentagon spokesman later put the figure at from 12-15 deaths.

Members of the oldest civil rights organization in the U.S., the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, are heading into their annual meeting with no national leader and no speaker from the White House. The meeting starts Saturday in Baltimore.

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Aaron Albaugh peers out from under the brim of his cowboy hat, surveying the acres of hay fields in front of him. The fourth-generation rancher is raising about 450 cattle this year, in this remote corner of Lassen County, California.

His closest neighbor lives a half mile away. "And that's my brother," Albaugh says.

"If I want to go see a movie, it's 70 miles, round-trip," he adds. "If I want to go bowling, that's 100 miles, round-trip."

This week a highly-anticipated robotics competition for 15- to 18-year-olds from 157 countries ended the way it began — with controversy.

On Wednesday, the team from the violence-torn east African country of Burundi went missing. Well before the competition even began, the teams from Gambia and Afghanistan made headlines after the U.S. State Department denied them visas. Eventually, they were allowed to compete.

The drama marred an otherwise upbeat event focused on kids and robots.

At 14, Jenipher Sanni married a man who already had a wife and kids. He yelled at her a lot. She dropped out of school.

Now 20, she's left her husband and is a newly minted high school graduate. And she's helping girls in her community stay in school.

Walk up the white steps of the front porch where Mary Jo and Mike Picklo live, and you'll see three rocking chairs and a pair of binoculars.

The couple bought their home on five acres in 2003 and planned to spend their golden years overlooking a vista of green farmland and thick trees in western Pennsylvania.

In this week's edition of our education news roundup, we take you from school vouchers to AP exams to community college.

Betsy DeVos speaks to American Legislative Exchange Council

Protests greeted the education secretary in Denver this week at her speech to the American Legislative Exchange Council. Her family has close ties to the organization, which brings together state legislators, free-market conservatives and corporate sponsors to write model bills that get adopted all over the country.

NPR reporters are returning to their hometowns this summer to find out how they've changed – from job prospects to schools and how people see their community and the country.

Once home to thriving timber and fishing industries, Gold Beach, Oregon now subsists on tourists and retirees looking for a quiet beach, a nice river trip and, in a few cases, marijuana.

I left Gold Beach after graduating from high school in 1985. Back then, it was a blue-collar town dominated by the timber industry.

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As general sessions judge for White County, Tenn., Sam Benningfield says the vast majority of cases he hears are drug-related offenses. The opioid epidemic has hit the state especially hard — resulting in more than 1,400 drug overdose deaths there in 2015 alone, according to the CDC — and he felt that an unusual solution would be necessary to drive home the dangers of illegal drugs for would-be parents.

An al-Qaida-linked suspect who prosecutors say conspired to murder a Swedish cartoonist has been charged in federal court in Philadelphia, despite the Trump administration's vow that alleged terrorists would be tried in military courts.

Prosecutors say Ali Charaf Damache, 52, an Algerian-born Irish citizen also known as "Black Flag," was allegedly part of an Ireland-based cell that included Colleen R. LaRose, a Pennsylvania woman known as "Jihad Jane." LaRose pled guilty in a U.S. court in 2011 to conspiracy and terrorism-related crimes. She is serving a 10-year sentence.

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On this program in 2014, Moziah Bridges told us about his dream.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

MOZIAH BRIDGES: I want to bring the bow tie back, and I want to make it look better than what it used to be.

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When Donald Trump Jr. agreed to meet Natalia Veselnitskaya last summer, she was introduced to him as a "Russian government attorney" with dirt on Hillary Clinton. After it turned out that Veselnitskaya couldn't deliver the goods, the meeting ended quickly.

Citing concern for the nearly 800,000 young immigrants who've been granted protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, California's Attorney General Xavier Becerra and 19 of his colleagues are asking President Trump to keep the program running.

More than half of female homicide victims were killed in connection to intimate partner violence — and in 10 percent of those cases, violence shortly before the killing might have provided an opportunity for intervention.

That is according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published Thursday, that takes a close look at the homicides of women.

Xanda, Son Of Cecil The Lion, Also Killed

20 hours ago

It appears that the 6-year-old son of Cecil the lion has met with the same fate as his father, two years after the famed lion's killing at the hands of a trophy hunter sparked a global outcry.

Xanda was killed near Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park on July 7, according to the Oxford scientists who were tracking him with a GPS collar like the one they used to track his father.

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The remains of Salvador Dalí were exhumed Thursday night, pulled from their resting place by Spanish officials hoping to confirm whether the surrealist painter fathered a child in an affair. The closed procedure extracted some hair samples, nails, teeth and two long bones from the artist's embalmed body, the DNA of which might offer the conclusive answer to a high-profile paternity lawsuit long underway.

Updated at 8:13 p.m. ET

The White House communications operation underwent a dramatic shake-up Friday. Sean Spicer resigned as press secretary after President Trump appointed Anthony Scaramucci, a wealthy New York financier, as his communications director. Appearing on camera before the White House press corps at a televised press briefing, Scaramucci then announced Sarah Sanders, Spicer's deputy, as the new press secretary.

In statements Friday night, Trump praised Scaramucci and Sanders.

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