Nation/World

It's as if brothers Brian and Michael D'Addario fell from the sky, victims of a transporter beam gone awry in 1971, and landed here at my desk with guitars in hand, right next to a perfectly tuned Yamaha upright piano.

Accidental deaths in the United States rose significantly in 2016, becoming the third-leading cause of fatalities for the first time in more than a century – a trend fueled by the steep rise in opioid overdoses, the National Safety Council reports.

Accidents — defined by the council as unintentional, preventable injuries — claimed a record 161,374 lives in 2016, a 10 percent increase over 2015. They include motor vehicle crashes, falls, drowning, chocking and poisoning, a category that encompasses accidental overdoses.

President Trump and congressional Democrats appear no closer to a deal on protecting "Dreamers" from deportation, but GOP lawmakers are working on a Plan B that would — if approved — prevent an election-year shutdown of the government, extending funding at least another month.

A continuing resolution is due to expire this Friday, but Republicans have proposed kicking the can down the road once more with an extension on stop-gap funding through Feb. 16.

A former Central Intelligence Agency officer is under arrest on charges of illegally retaining highly classified information relating to the U.S. spy network in China – including notebooks containing lists of informants and details of their operations, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, a naturalized U.S. citizen who now lives in Hong Kong, was taken into custody Monday night at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport.

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Code Switch is planning a full year of stories about the complex ways that race, identity and culture play out in peoples' lives, across the country and around the globe. And to make sure our coverage is the best it can be, we want some feedback from you.

So tell us what you loved and hated in our past year of coverage. Tell us which stories left you satisfied, and which left you wanting more. And tell us what you're dying to hear about in 2018.

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The U.S. Navy announced Tuesday that the commanding officers of two vessels involved in separate collisions in the Pacific Ocean last year will face court-martial proceedings and possible criminal charges including negligent homicide.

The statement by Navy spokesman Capt. Greg Hicks says the decision to prosecute the commanders, and several lower-ranking officers as well, was made by Adm. Frank Caldwell.

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson has served with Navy bomb disposal units and instructed underwater salvage teams.

His latest assignment: defusing doubts about the health and mental fitness of the nation's 71-year-old president.

When you're facing a major life change, it helps to talk to someone who has already been through it. All Things Considered is connecting people on either side of a shared experience, and they're letting us eavesdrop on their conversations in our series Been There.

Now, there is ample reason for you to cover your nose when you sneeze. It's flu season, after all, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made it quite clear it doesn't want you spreading your germs with reckless abandon.

But let's not go overboard here, people.

Glenford Turner had surgery in 2013 at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Connecticut. Four years later, according to a new lawsuit, doctors discovered that a sharp metal surgical instrument had been accidentally left inside the Army veteran's body.

"It's perplexing to me how they could be so incompetent that a scalpel that really should only be on the exterior of your body not only goes into the body but then is sewn into the body," Turner's lawyer, Joel Faxon, tells NPR. "It's a level of incompetence that's almost incomprehensible."

Edwin Hawkins' "Oh Happy Day" was an accidental hit. The song, a gospel-style rework of an 18th century hymn, starts with a jazzy drum beat and a kind of blues pop piano groove. Dorothy Morrison, who sings lead on the recording, remembers at first, the pop feel got a lukewarm reception from the church.

"At first the reaction was, 'Well, we're not sure,' " Morrison says.

This year, trucks and other heavy-duty motors in America will burn some 3 billion gallons of diesel fuel that was made from soybean oil. They're doing it, though, not because it's cheaper or better, but because they're required to, by law.

The law is the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS. For some, especially Midwestern farmers, it's the key to creating clean energy from American soil and sun. For others — like many economists — it's a wasteful misuse of resources.

GE reckons with a large debt from an old business

15 hours ago

General Electric CEO John Flannery said in an earnings call today that he was “deeply disappointed” in big liabilities found over on the company’s insurance side. GE actually sold off this business – insurance for long-term care – years ago. But turns out it’s still liable for billions of dollars’ worth of policies.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

The Secretary of Homeland Security testified Tuesday that she did not hear President Trump use a vulgarity in a meeting with lawmakers about immigration last week.

The president was widely reported to have used a disparaging word to describe African nations and wondered aloud why people from countries like Haiti were allowed to come to the United States.

As the prospect of a long-term immigration deal for young people who were brought to the country illegally as children dwindles, the Justice Department is appealing a court ruling that blocked the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The department says it will take "the rare step" later this week of filing a petition asking the Supreme Court to intervene.

President Trump is in excellent health with "no indication" of "any cognitive issues" — but he could afford to lose a few pounds and start exercising over the coming year, according to the president's physician.

On Friday, we posed this question to our audience: What do you think of the way poor countries are portrayed by aid groups and the media?

The question came in light of President Donald Trump's reported description of El Salvador, Haiti and nations in Africa as "shithole countries" last week.

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About six years ago, Johnathon Shillings was in jail waiting for trial. He was looking at up to 30 years of prison time if he got convicted. And he called home.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

About six years ago, Johnathon Shillings was in jail waiting for trial. He was looking at up to 30 years of prison time if he got convicted. And he called home.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

About six years ago, Johnathon Shillings was in jail waiting for trial. He was looking at up to 30 years of prison time if he got convicted. And he called home.

Radio Artist, Writer Joe Frank Dies At 79

16 hours ago

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

About six years ago, Johnathon Shillings was in jail waiting for trial. He was looking at up to 30 years of prison time if he got convicted. And he called home.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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By 1938, clarinetist Benny Goodman was already known as "The King of Swing" — the leader of the most popular dance band in America at a time when swing jazz was America's most popular music. But nobody knew how it would be received in Carnegie Hall, America's temple to classical music.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

About six years ago, Johnathon Shillings was in jail waiting for trial. He was looking at up to 30 years of prison time if he got convicted. And he called home.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

About six years ago, Johnathon Shillings was in jail waiting for trial. He was looking at up to 30 years of prison time if he got convicted. And he called home.

Denver wants to help the middle class move on up

17 hours ago

Supply and demand have come to bear on the housing market, and it's putting some cities out of reach for much of the middle class. The city of Denver has a plan to deal with the problem: housings subsidies. The subsidies aim to help middle-class professionals, like nurses and teachers, afford higher end apartments in areas with skyrocketing rents. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Laura Kusisto of the Wall Street Journal about her article on the subsidy plan. 

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