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Why the Trump administration delayed nearly $400 millions of dollars in security aid to Ukraine is the question at the heart of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Democrats say the president tried to coerce an ally to help him take down a political opponent. Republicans argue it's a routine use of presidential power.

Interviews with officials and former officials show how the Trump administration's hold-up of aid to Ukraine was irregular and likely violated U.S. law, but has far-reaching consequences at home and overseas.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who pleaded guilty this week to misusing campaign donations, announced Friday that he will resign his congressional seat.

"Shortly after the Holidays I will resign from Congress," he said in a statement. "It has been an honor to serve the people of California's 50th District, and I greatly appreciate the trust they have put in me over these last 11 years."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

President Trump has decided to stay out of the impeachment inquiry being conducted by the House of Representatives.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone rejected an offer from House Democrats that would have allowed the president to send counsel to represent him at future impeachment hearings.

In a short two-paragraph letter to Democrats, Cipollone said the impeachment inquiry is "completely baseless and has violated basic principles of due process and fundamental fairness."

Bogdan Bartnikowski recalls occasionally asking older inmates, out of innocence or desperation, when he would be released from Auschwitz. He recalls, too, the answer that inevitably came back.

"You want to be free?" they would tell Bartnikowski, who was 12 at the time. After a mirthless laugh, they would point to the chimneys. "This is how you get out. There is no other way out."

Copyright 2019 New England Public Radio. To see more, visit New England Public Radio.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

When the Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, sailor Lauren Bruner was the second-to-last person to get off the USS Arizona alive.

Bruner and five others were stranded on the doomed ship when a sailor on a repair ship spotted them and threw them a line. Even though Bruner was badly burned and had been shot twice, the 21-year-old managed to climb to safety.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Friday that he is suspending a policy that permitted correctional staff to perform a strip search on an 8-year-old girl last month as she was trying to visit her father.

The incident took place days before the Thanksgiving holiday at Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn, about a 75-minute drive west of Richmond.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy made his latest address to the nation this week in the gym, then posted it on Facebook.

Abby McEnany, a fixture of the Chicago improv scene, has a new TV comedy that she wrote and stars in.

“Work in Progress” premieres on Showtime this Sunday. It’s about a fictionalized version of McEnany as she wrestles with mental illness and strikes up a relationship with a transgender man.

With just under a week to the U.K. elections, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party falls short in the polls behind Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives. Corbyn is the most unpopular opposition leader since the 1970s.

How did he get that way despite the relative popularity of his ideas?

Host Jeremy Hobson speaks with Steven Fielding (@PolProfSteve), professor of British politics at the University of Nottingham.

A pair of armed robbers and two others, including the driver of a hijacked UPS truck, were killed in an exchange of gunfire with South Florida police officers after the suspects on Thursday led authorities on a high-speed chase.

The robbers held up a jewelry store before commandeering the UPS truck and holding its driver hostage, according to Coral Gables Police. After fleeing the scene and evading police for dozens of miles, the truck stopped in the middle of rush hour traffic as dozens of armed officers surrounded it.

The unemployment rate fell to 3.5% in November, making it a historic low. But that figure does not capture the number of Americans who have given up on finding work.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 15% of men in their prime years aren’t working. That’s up threefold from 5% in 1968.

Host Peter O’Dowd talks to Mike Regan (@Reganonymous), senior editor at Bloomberg News, about why.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Child advocate Mary Previte spent three decades devoted to the compassionate care of the troubled young people in her charge at the Camden County Youth Center in New Jersey. Previte died last month at age 87.

A Year Of Growing Hemp

6 hours ago

It’s been nearly one year since President Trump signed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, making it legal to grow industrial hemp in the U.S. for the first time in more than 50 years. There’s been a steep learning curve for some farmers as they figure out how to grow and process the low-THC version of the cannabis plant.

Midsize cities in the western U.S. are facing a housing crunch. 

Video obtained by ProPublica reveals how the body of a 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant was discovered in his holding cell, contradicting reports from Border Patrol.

Also, TikTok admits to suppressing content from users who are disabled, fat and from the LGBTQ community.

Gentrification has touched cities across the United States, from New York and the Bay Area, to Pittsburgh and Albuquerque.

The rapid transformation of some urban neighborhoods has become an incendiary cultural topic, attracting fierce opposition from anti-gentrification activists.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Farewell To NPR's Lynn Neary

8 hours ago

Chief Arts Editor Ellen Silva announced the retirement of long-time NPR correspondent and host Lynn Neary. Read the full note below.

It's my sad duty to announce that an NPR legend will retire later this month.

As a Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and boundary-pushing feminist trailblazer, Paula Cole has long incorporated powerful social statements into her emotional hit songs. Cole's latest album, 2019's Revolution, is no exception. Described as a social protest album, Revolution's songs tackle subjects like climate change and politics, which Cole hopes will inspire thought and conversation from listeners.

Respect Spell Check

8 hours ago

Inspired by the queen of R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Aretha Franklin, every answer starts with "R," is seven letters long, and must be spelled correctly.

Heard on Paula Cole: Where Have All The Puzzles Gone?

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Fun Old Birds With Paula Cole

8 hours ago

Did you know "wink-a-puss" is an old name for an owl? Singer-songwriter Paula Cole and Jonathan Coulton team-up to guess what birds were formerly known by much more ridiculous names.

Heard on Paula Cole: Where Have All The Puzzles Gone?

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