Matthew S. Schwartz

Matthew S. Schwartz is a reporter with NPR's news desk. Before coming to NPR, Matt worked as a reporter for Washington, D.C., member station WAMU, where he won the national Edward R. Murrow award for feature reporting in large market radio. Previously, Matt worked as a technology reporter covering the intricacies of Internet regulation. In a past life, Matt was a Washington telecom lawyer. He got his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. from the University of Michigan ("Go Blue!").

Ninety-six days, 12 hours, 45 minutes. That was the record for an able-bodied person to do an unsupported row solo across the Atlantic Ocean from east to west.

Former Royal Marine Lee Spencer did it in 60 days. And Spencer, an amputee, did it with one leg — becoming the first disabled person to row unsupported from mainland Europe to South America, according to the BBC.

Amid continuing unrest in Venezuela, the United States plans to remove all diplomatic personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Twitter late Monday.

"The U.S. will withdraw all remaining personnel from [the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela] this week," Pompeo tweeted. "This decision reflects the deteriorating situation in #Venezuela as well as the conclusion that the presence of U.S. diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on U.S. policy."

Witnesses looked on in horror as two paragliders collided in midair and fell about 75 feet to their death over the weekend.

The men have been identified as 61-year-old Raul Gonzalez Valerio of Laguna Hills, Calif., and 43-year-old Glenn Johnny Peter Bengtsson of Carlsbad, Calif. They were paragliding off Torrey Pines, a popular cliff-side launching spot near the northern coast of San Diego, when the accident happened on Saturday afternoon.

An Indonesian woman accused of killing the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is free after Malaysian prosecutors dropped charges against her Monday.

Two women appeared to spread poison on Kim Jong Nam's face while he was walking through the Kuala Lumpur airport in early 2017. The women had been placed in custody after a judge in Malaysia said there is enough evidence of a "well-planned conspiracy" to move the case forward.

Nobody reads the fine print. But maybe they should.

Georgia high school teacher Donelan Andrews won a $10,000 reward after she closely read the terms and conditions that came with a travel insurance policy she purchased for a trip to England. Squaremouth, a Florida insurance company, had inserted language promising a reward to the first person who emailed the company.

A federal court made it harder Thursday for the U.S. government to quickly deport asylum-seekers if they fail an initial screening at the border.

A law passed by Congress in 1996 sharply limited the ability of asylum-seekers to access U.S. courts if they want to challenge decisions of an asylum officer and immigration judge. Those limitations are unconstitutional, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said.

Chinese telecom manufacturer Huawei is suing the U.S. government, arguing that Congress violated the Constitution when it banned government agencies from purchasing Huawei equipment.

At first, you might not realize the flyer was put there by a white supremacy group.

The poster, in shades of black, white and teal, features Andrew Jackson on horseback. The accompanying text reads: "European roots, American greatness."

When Google conducted its annual pay equity analysis for 2018, the tech company found something nobody expected: It was underpaying men for doing similar work as women.

Exactly one year after a former Russian double agent and his daughter were found poisoned in the British city of Salisbury, the Russian government is accusing U.K. authorities of violating an international treaty by not granting them access to the two.

Canada violated the constitutional rights of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou when border officials detained and interrogated her for hours, lawyers for Meng are alleging in a lawsuit against the Canadian government.

Meng, the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecom firm Huawei, was arrested by Canadian officials in December at the request of the United States. The U.S. had sought Meng's arrest on charges of fraud, arguing Huawei had violated U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

After more than a week abroad trying to build support for his claim to the presidency, Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaidó re-entered the country via a flight from Panama City on Monday.

He was met at the airport outside Caracas by opposition supporters, members of the opposition-controlled National Assembly and a number of foreign diplomats, including the U.S. chargé d'affaires, Jimmy Story.

Updated at 11:55 a.m. ET

The U.S. State Department is offering a reward of $1 million for information leading to the location of Hamza bin Laden, the son of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.

For 11-year-old Olivia Mongelli, the bad news came during rehearsal.

"Everyone onstage was just in shock," the Ohio girl, cast as Scout in the dramatic production of the classic Harper Lee novel, told The New York Times. "I just sat there for a second and said, 'Is this a joke?' "

The Supreme Court on Wednesday clarified the circumstances in which someone with a mental disability may be put to death.

The government can execute a prisoner even if he doesn't remember committing his crime, the court said. But it can't execute the prisoner if he doesn't understand why he has been "singled out" to die, the high court said in its 5-3 decision. If someone with dementia can't understand the reason for his execution, the court held, killing the prisoner is unconstitutional.

Updated at 2:52 p.m. ET

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un left their summit meeting on Thursday in Hanoi, Vietnam, without agreeing on a denuclearization deal. A planned signing ceremony was canceled.

The biggest sticking point was sanctions against North Korea, Trump said at a news conference Thursday afternoon local time. Kim is "totally" willing to dismantle nuclear weapons in key areas, such as the Yongbyon nuclear facility, but the North Korean leader wants all sanctions removed first, Trump said. "We couldn't do that."

Updated at 11:21 p.m. ET

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at their summit meeting on Thursday in Hanoi, Vietnam, expressed optimism about reaching a deal over nuclear arms.

Asked by a reporter if he is willing to "denuclearize," Kim said, "If I'm not willing to do that, I wouldn't be here right now."

Earlier, Trump had said he's in "no rush," adding "We just want to do the right deal."

Kim, speaking through an interpreter, said, "From what I feel right now, I do have a feeling that good results will come out."

The next Chicago mayor will either be a self-described political outsider who has never run for office or a longtime city alderman and chair of the county's Democratic Party. Either way, for the first time, the city's top political official will be an African-American woman.

San Francisco officials plan to expunge more than 9,000 marijuana convictions dating back to 1975, the city's highest law enforcement official said Monday.

Updated at 9:30 a.m. ET

Paul Manafort's attorneys argued to a federal court on Monday that their client is not a hardened criminal and shouldn't be sentenced too harshly.

Requiring only men to register for the draft is unconstitutional, a federal judge has ruled.

The Military Selective Service Act states that men in the U.S. ages 18 through 25 must register in case the country needs a military draft. Women face no such requirement. On Friday, a federal judge in Texas ruled that a males-only draft violates the equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

Military commandos killed a man who attempted to hijack a plane in Bangladesh on Sunday.

The flight on state-run Biman Bangladesh Airlines left Dhaka in the afternoon. Shortly thereafter, the man, in his mid-20s, stood up and tried to enter the cockpit, aviation officials said, according to Reuters. When a member of the crew tried to stop him, he brandished a pistol and threatened to blow up the plane.

Editor's note: This story contains content that may be upsetting to some readers.

Big brands are pulling their ads off YouTube over concerns that potential sexual predators are gathering in the comment sections of videos featuring children. In response, YouTube has deleted more than 400 channels and suspended comments on tens of millions of videos as it tries to purge the system of pedophiles.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, who is facing international pressure to step down after elections widely seen as rigged, ordered the country's vast border with Brazil to be closed. The move will make it harder for aid groups to get emergency food and medicine into the country.

The U.S. and some other countries have recognized Juan Guaidó, the parliamentary opposition leader, as the legitimate president of Venezuela. Guaidó is embracing the support and has promised to bring in emergency aid to help the poor country.

Updated at 4:34 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is changing the number of American troops that will remain in Syria.

Approximately 400 troops will stay there, a senior administration official has told NPR. That's double the number announced Thursday night by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

Updated Friday at 6:52 p.m. ET

The father of an Alabama woman who traveled to Syria and became the bride of an Islamic State fighter is suing the Trump administration to allow her return, after the president said she would be barred from entering the United States.

A fire raced through the capital of Bangladesh on Wednesday night, killing at least 70 people and injuring dozens.

Fire officials say the blaze began in a partly residential four-story building in Dhaka as most people were sleeping.

In the days after Superstorm Sandy soaked the East Coast, New York City Department of Transportation workers cataloged the damage to the agency's fleet of vehicles. That information was handed over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which would give the city enough money to replace the damaged vehicles with new ones.

Only one problem: Many of those vehicles were damaged before Sandy hit. Some hadn't been operational in years and had been marked for salvage long before the storm.

Finding that a Texas court hadn't followed its instructions, the U.S. Supreme Court has declared that a Texas man who killed a store clerk during a botched robbery attempt "is a person with intellectual disability" and therefore cannot be put to death.

Russia's foreign intelligence service has asked a court to continue holding former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who has been detained since December on suspicion of spying.

A court in Moscow had wanted to hold Whelan until Feb. 28, but Russia's Foreign Security Service, or FSB, wants Whelan detained through May 28, the Interfax news agency said, according to Reuters.

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