NPR News

Updated 11:57 p.m. ET

Plans to add questions about sexual orientation and gender identity to the largest survey in the U.S. — the Census Bureau's American Community Survey — stalled after President Trump entered the White House last year.

The psychoactive drug known as ecstasy can make people feel extra loving toward others, and a study published Thursday suggests it has the same effect on octopuses.

A center run by the nonprofit Spanish Commission for Refugees in Málaga has been busy all summer. It's a colorful, two-story building with an outdoor courtyard, and people constantly come and go, speaking an array of languages and blasting music from their phones.

"Look, they're coming in now," says Francisco Cansino, the center's director. "They've just arrived."

Malaysian police have arrested the country's ex-prime minister, Najib Razak, who is now facing at least 21 charges related to more than $620 million in state money that wound up in his personal bank accounts.

Najib, 65, faces a variety of money-laundering charges, in addition to several charges of bribery and criminal breach of trust that were filed in July. He has pleaded not guilty in the case.

A former classmate of Christine Blasey Ford tells NPR that she does not know if an alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh took place as she first suggested on social media.

"That it happened or not, I have no idea," Cristina King Miranda told NPR's Nina Totenberg. "I can't say that it did or didn't."

That's different from what Miranda wrote Wednesday in a now-deleted Facebook post that stated definitively, "The incident DID happen, many of us heard about it in school."

Coverage of the fires raging through California this summer is hard for anyone to watch, but it's especially difficult for the Cates family.

"My wife can't even watch the news — it singes us to the core," says Chris Cates, a retired cardiologist whose family-owned Segassia Vineyard in Napa Valley, Calif., known for its rich cabernet, was ravaged by fires about this time last year.

Updated 11:35 a.m. Sep. 20 with portions of a statement from Ticketmaster in response to the CBC and Toronto Star's reporting.

Henri Langlois never made a single film — but he's considered one of the most important figures in the history of filmmaking. Possessed by what French philosopher Jacques Derrida called "archive fever," Langlois began obsessively collecting films in the 1930s — and by the outset of World War II, he had one of the largest film collections in the world. The archive's impact on the history of French cinema is legendary — as is the legacy of its controversial keeper.

Women represent 20 percent of Congress members right now, and Republicans and Democrats differ sharply on why that's the case, not to mention how big of a problem that is.

That in and of itself is perhaps unsurprising, especially at a time when the parties are heavily divided on a wide variety of topics. But a new poll shows that men and women within each party — and especially among Republicans — differ heavily on several of these questions.

Brett Kavanaugh is not the first presidential nominee to have his run to the Supreme Court frozen at the finish line by a woman's accusations.

Throughout this week of turmoil in Washington, the historical backstory has been the 1991 confrontation between Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas and a former colleague named Anita Hill.

Though useful, the blog-era identifier "RIYL" can feel reductive: Consider the case of Restorations. Over the course of its catalog, it's become evident that Restorations' output is more than the sum its parts, with cathartic choruses, gratuitous guitars and honest admissions of anxiety declared at decibels that reach the rafters.

Since the release of 2011's Ravedeath, 1972, a Canadian named Tim Hecker has unofficially held court as ambient music's willowy pope.

Over the years, Loretta Lynn has made such pithy use of her autobiography — a tale of rural resourcefulness, young motherhood and professional audacity — in songs, memoirs, press interviews and fan interactions that there's a tendency to fixate on the straightforwardness of her expression and interpret her musical output as literal translation of the facts of her life.

Sen. Claire McCaskill says she will vote against Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, but the Missouri Democrat, who is facing re-election in November, says it is not because of allegations of sexual misconduct swirling around the nominee.

In a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday, McCaskill says the allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford — the professor who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when the two were teenagers — are "troubling" and need to be examined.

Kavanaugh says the allegation is false.

Architect Robert Venturi Dies At 93

Sep 19, 2018

Robert Venturi, a giant of postmodern architecture, died on Tuesday. Venturi's family released a statement Wednesday to The Architect's Newspaper:

"Last night, Robert Venturi passed away peacefully at home after a brief illness.  He's been surrounded by his wife and partner, Denise Scott Brown and his son, Jim Venturi.  He was 93.

The family is planning to have a memorial service to celebrate Venturi's life and this will be announced in the coming weeks."

Nearly a third of households in the United States have struggled to pay their energy bills, the Energy Information Administration said in a report released Wednesday. The differences were minor in terms of geography, but Hispanics and racial minorities were hit hardest.

If you look at the sugar content of some yogurts in the supermarket, you might mistakenly think you're in the dessert aisle. Yogurt is marketed as a healthy food, but a study published this week in the British Medical Journal is the latest reminder that not all yogurt is created equal.

As floodwaters from former-Hurricane Florence's massive rains continue to flow through the Carolinas, the end of the storm's damage is nowhere in sight.

The founder of the 3D gun printing company embroiled in a legal battle with the U.S. government over making the DIY instructions publicly accessible online has been accused of sexually assaulting a minor in Texas.

Cody Wilson was charged with the second-degree felony on Wednesday, according to the Austin Police Department.

On Tuesday evening, the Music Modernization Act (renamed the Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act at the 23rd hour — in honor of the retiring Utah politician who also happens himself to own a platinum record), was passed unanimously in the Senate, as it was earlier this year by the House. In an age where political and artistic consensus is increasingly found only in cultural warrens populated by the like-minded, the bipartisan support of the bill is perhaps a small beacon of unity. (But still.)

Kathy Mattea has been successfully making music for a long time. Her first gold album came out in 1987. She won her first Grammy in 1990. For a while, she was putting out albums every year or two. But Mattea's latest LP, Pretty Bird, out now, is the country artist's first release in six years — and it almost didn't come out at all.

The uproar over clergy sex abuse in the Catholic church is no longer just about sex abuse. It now touches on Catholic teaching about sexuality in general and even on Pope Francis himself, his agenda, and the future of his papacy.

When a Pennsylvania grand jury last month reported that more than 300 priests had molested more than a thousand children across six dioceses under investigation, it became clear that the cases were not isolated incidents. The problem of abusive priests and the bishops who cover up for them is systemic across the whole church.

Retirement for Guadalupe Padilla Mendoza meant pursuing her passion: rescuing dogs. The former public servant had begun taking street dogs into her home in Mexico City, squeezing as many as she could into a humble apartment.

But a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that ripped through her city and killed hundreds on Sept. 19, 2017, changed her plans.

An indicted New York congressman who had announced he was withdrawing from his race has reversed course and now says he will continue to campaign for re-election and plans to serve again if he wins this November.

In a campaign statement announcing the decision Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y. said, "The stakes are too high to allow the radical left to take control of this seat in Congress."

Update at 6:05 p.m. ET Thursday:

Sports bookmaker FanDuel has changed course and decided to pay out massive sums for several bets made on an erroneous line in a football game last weekend. The company originally said they would only pay out customers on what was supposed to be the correct betting line.

In a statement sent to NPR on Thursday, the company said:

Conservationists have developed a new high-tech strategy to trace the cartels that smuggle much of the illegal ivory around the world — by using DNA to track ivory back to specific ports.

Biologist Samuel Wasser from the University of Washington is behind the effort. He notes that while poaching in Africa has dipped recently, too many elephants are still dying.

"Right now we're estimating that there are about 40,000 elephants being killed every year," he says, "and there are only 400,000 left in Africa. So that's a tenth of the population a year."

Updated September 19, 6:02 p.m.

The results of a seven-month-long investigation into sexual harassment and workplace misconduct within the Dallas Mavericks organization over a period spanning more than 20 years were released Wednesday.

Investigators gathered information from 215 interviews with current and former employees who worked for the team during the past two decades and evaluated more than 1.6 million documents for the more than 40-page report.

India's government decreed punishments of arrest and jail time on Wednesday for Muslim men who terminate their marriages by simply uttering three words.

The practice of instant divorce, called "triple talaq," happens in person, over the phone, by text and in email. Men can end their marriages by repeating the word "talaq," Arabic for "divorce," three times – and his wife has no say in the matter.

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