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Staff Sgt. Ronald Shurer, a medic in the Green Berets, was part of a small unit sent by helicopter on a risky mission to track down an enemy fighter in a remote mountain village in northeastern Afghanistan in 2008.

After the Americans landed and began climbing the mountain to approach the village, they came under withering fire from an unexpectedly large force of some 200 fighters armed with automatic rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, according to the military.

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Updated at 9:09 a.m. ET Tuesday

When Dennis Dickey lined up his rifle, he was ready for a surprise. That is the point of a gender-reveal party, after all, and Dickey's inanimate target was ready to yield its unpredictable answer just as soon as he fired. But it wasn't his child's gender that was to offer the biggest bombshell of his family bash last year.

This week, first lady Melania Trump is embarking on a trip to Africa, with stops in Ghana, Kenya, Egypt and Malawi. Details of her itinerary were not initially available, so we turned to two of our contributors, a public health worker who is originally from Ghana and a scientist from Kenya, for their suggestions in the form of a letter to the first lady.

Make Time For Rural Life

Welcome, to beautiful Kenya — the country I call home. Welcome to Africa, my mother continent.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


The top U.N. court has dashed hopes for Bolivians longing for something they haven't had for more than a century: Access to the Pacific Ocean.

In a judgment on Monday, the International Court of Justice stated that it did not find that Bolivia's neighbor Chile has a legal obligation to enter into negotiations with Bolivia about access to the ocean. The vote on the decision was 12-3.

D.C.'s Billion-Dollar Lawsuit

Oct 1, 2018

Back in the 1970s, black residents made up more than 70% of Washington, D.C.'s population. Since then, that share has fallen to less than half. There are many reasons for this demographic shift, but Ari Theresa, an attorney, says one big one is the city's implementation of an unofficial policy aimed at attracting workers in tech, science education, the arts, media and design — the so-called creative class.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Israeli authorities are defending a recent series of interrogations of left-wing activists at Israel's airport and borders, saying the practice is necessary to prevent violence and terrorism.

But a prominent civil rights advocate in the country called the government's justification "shameful and dangerous."

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


These are highly charged times for politics reporters. Just ask Greg Miller, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist who has broken a number of stories related to the Trump administration's ties to Russia.

Miller says that he's been "trolled a lot" because of his work. But after revealing that then-national security adviser Michael Flynn had discussed U.S. sanctions with Russian officials prior to Trump's inauguration, Miller experienced something new: notes from grateful readers.

Even though the economy is booming, the number of homeless students in Washington state is on the rise.

The Supreme Court has refused to take up a billionaire's appeal of a lower court ruling that forced him to maintain public access to surfers and others who visit Martins Beach, a scenic spot near Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco.

The case had been shaping up to be a showdown over California's Coastal Act, with possible ramifications for other states with laws to preserve public access to beaches. Advocates for public access are hailing the court's decision to decline the case as a victory. The Supreme Court declined the case on Monday, the first day of its new session.

Pungsan dogs are a breed known for their loyalty and ferocity — hunting game that has been reported to include wolves, wild boar and big cats. They are also affectionate, social and, in some instances, diplomatic.

The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, presented two Pungsan pups to South Korean President Moon Jae-in — perhaps the latest symbol of an improving relationship between the two countries — Moon's office announced Sunday.

The endangered North Atlantic right whale is close to extinction. And while much attention has been paid to dying adult whales, biologists say the real problem is low birth rates.

Reporter Miriam Wasser (@MiriamWasser) has the story.

Precisely one year since Catalan separatists took to the polls to declare independence from Spain, they again fanned out across the region — this time not to cast votes but to block streets and pack city plazas.

"The First of October is and will always be the day the Catalan people demonstrated their immense commitment to democracy and freedom," Catalonia's president, Quim Torra, tweeted Monday upon his visit to the small town of Sant Julià de Ramis.

Fried chicken is one of those foods people love to eat but don’t always love to make. Resident chef Kathy Gunst brings Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson her takes on two fried — and one traditionally deep-fried — chicken dishes.

Questions Remain About NAFTA Replacement

Oct 1, 2018

Canada has signed onto a trade deal to succeed NAFTA, but questions about the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement remain.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Derek Thompson (@DKThomp), senior editor at The Atlantic and host of the podcast “Crazy/Genius.”

The weeklong investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is expected to be completed this week.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd discusses who the FBI is interviewing with Fox News senior Capitol Hill producer Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram).

In June, we put a spotlight on the number of mistakes we make and set a goal to cut them in half by October.

We haven't gotten worse.

But the pace – 100 or so corrections per month – hasn't slowed. The types of mistakes we most often make haven't changed. They include:

  • Misspelled names.
  • Mistaken locations.
  • Messed up titles.
  • Miscalculated numbers.
  • Mangled histories.

Last month British authorities said they’d identified the two men behind the poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Scotland Yard turned to a group of detectives known as “super recognizers” — people with an uncanny ability to remember a face.

There’s a shortage of qualified teachers all over the U.S. But in Oakland, one favorite high school teacher has been teaching for decades — and has no plans to retire.

KQED’s Vanessa Rancano (@vanessarancano) has this profile.

Imagine a city without traffic jams, honking horns and overflowing parking.

As impossible as that might sound, the Spanish city of Pontevedra has enacted a number of policies and practices that have produced streets where people come first.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson learns more from freelance journalist Stephen Burgen (@stephenburgen).

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded Monday to Jim Allison, chair of immunology and executive director of the immunotherapy platform at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He shares the prize with Japanese immunologist Tasuku Honjo.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is among those seen as key swing votes on whether Brett Kavanaugh will be the next justice on the Supreme Court. Many of her constituents have been staging protests in her home state with the hope that they’ll sway her against Kavanaugh.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd speaks with Liz Ruskin (@lruskin), Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media.