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It takes a few seconds: Palestinians place electronic ID cards on a sensor, stare at the aperture of a small black camera, then walk past panels fanning open to let them through.

Israel is upgrading its West Bank checkpoints with facial recognition technology to verify Palestinians' identities as they cross into Israel. The new system, which began rolling out late last year, eases their passage with shorter wait times — but is drawing criticism about the role the controversial technology plays in Israel's military control over Palestinians.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

South Korea plans to terminate a military intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan, prompting concerns about security cooperation between Seoul, Tokyo and Washington as North Korea's nuclear and missile threats loom over the Korean Peninsula.

It's the latest breakdown between Seoul and Tokyo: Earlier this month, Japan removed South Korea from its "whitelist" of favored trade partners, prompting a retaliation in kind.

President Trump defended the idea of buying Greenlandderided by critics within the United States and rejected by Denmark, which controls it — in part by saying the idea first came from President Harry Truman.

Australia has agreed to join a U.S.-led naval contingent protecting commercial shipping in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman amid alleged attacks by Iran against vessels operating in the strategic waterways.

Australia will join Britain and Bahrain as part of a maritime security mission to escort commercial shipping in the region, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Wednesday. He said his government would lend a frigate, patrol plane and specialist defense force personnel.

Canberra's contribution was meant to be "modest, meaningful and time limited," Morrison said.

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On a summer afternoon, Ciara Whelan, a teacher at a New York City elementary school, knocks on the apartment door of one of her students in the Bronx.

Melissa, the student's mother, welcomes her guest with a huge platter of snacks — shrimp rolls and dill dip. Melissa explains that this past school year — third grade — her daughter, Sapphira, fell behind in her reading because she got a phone and spent too much time messaging her friends on apps like TikTok. (We're not using their last names to protect the student's privacy.)

An audit of the federal system that fines mining companies for unsafe conditions found no evidence that more than $1 billion in mine safety penalties over 18 years deterred unsafe mining practices.

The four-year long audit from the Office of Inspector General of the Labor Department says its analysis of Mine Safety and Health Administration accident and violations data "showed no correlation between penalties paid and the safety of mine operations."

First it was human embryos. Now scientists are trying to develop another way to modify human DNA that can be passed on to future generations, NPR has learned.

Reproductive biologists at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City are attempting to use the powerful gene-editing technique called CRISPR to alter genes in human sperm. NPR got exclusive access to watch the controversial experiments underway.

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President Trump said he wants to buy Greenland. The Danish prime minister said, quote, "Greenland is not for sale," and she called the idea absurd. Then President Trump said this.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Jason was hallucinating. He was withdrawing from drugs at an addiction treatment center near Indianapolis, and he had hardly slept for several days.

"He was reaching for things, and he was talking to Bill Gates and he was talking to somebody else I'm just certain he hasn't met," his mother, Cheryl, says. She remembers finding Jason lying on the floor of the treatment center in late 2016. "I would just bring him blankets because they didn't have beds or anything."

Updated at 2:42 p.m. ET

Democratic National Committee officials rejected a proposal Thursday to hold a presidential primary debate focused only on climate change.

After the party's resolutions committee voted down the proposal, members of the activist group Sunrise Movement interrupted the meeting by standing on their chairs and singing a version of the song "Which Side Are You On?" They then walked out.

The U.S. women's soccer team is still savoring its victory after capturing the World Cup championship this summer. But off the field, the players continue to battle a gender discrimination case against their employer, the U.S. Soccer Federation.

The women are demanding pay equal to that of their counterparts on the men's national soccer team. U.S. Soccer says it pays women more than men in salaries and game bonuses.

On a muggy morning in Rio Piedras, a San Juan suburb, about three dozen volunteers dressed in parrot green polo shirts are gathered in a brightly lit conference room of El Retiro, a retirement community. The group is mostly women between 60 and 80 years old.

"What is resiliency?" asks Miguel Marrero. He's a psychologist and mental health program manager for Americares, a relief and development organization. He leads the discussion in his native Spanish. "We've been hearing this word over and over since Maria."

This summer's mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, accelerated calls for more red flag or extreme-risk laws in those states, as well as helped jump-start bills in Congress. The laws allow courts to order the seizure of firearms from those believed to pose an imminent danger to themselves or others. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have passed such laws.

But, while the political focus may be on mass shootings, states are using the laws far more often to prevent cases of individual gun violence, including suicide.

President Trump doubled down Wednesday on his remarks that American Jews who vote for Democrats are disloyal to Israel.

"In my opinion, you vote for a Democrat, you're being very disloyal to Jewish people, and you're being very disloyal to Israel," Trump told reporters outside the White House on Wednesday, "and only weak people would say anything other than that."

The World Health Organization says there's not enough evidence to conclude that microplastics — which exist nearly everywhere in the environment and show up in drinking water — pose any risk to human health, but it cautions that more research is needed to draw firm conclusions.

The captain of a controversial ship that saved migrants in the Mediterranean Sea has refused to accept a medal for her work.

Pia Klemp, who is German, gained attention for rescuing thousands of stranded migrants with her crew as part of the nongovernmental organization Sea Watch International. For her efforts, she reportedly faces up to 20 years in prison in Italy, where the hard-line anti-immigrant government accused her of assisting illegal immigration.

Today on Colorado Edition: a new poll looks at how Americans feel about red flag legislation. We'll look at the numbers and what they mean for Colorado. Plus, we dive into the state's standardized test score data and meet a sculptor in Loveland hoping to break the bronze ceiling with a work dedicated to the suffragette movement. Finally, we'll celebrate National Radio Day. 

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Some welcome news today for disabled veterans with student loan debt - President Trump announced an executive order forgiving all federal student loan debt for vets who are permanently and totally disabled.

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Writer Alexandra Fuller says there is a black sheep in every proper family. And when it came to her very proper family in England, there was never any doubt that black sheep was her father, Tim Fuller. He was bored by England, choosing instead to pursue a large, loose, scrappy life moving around Africa before settling down as a banana farmer in Zambia. He was curious, meandering, famous for drinking to excess and stubbornly stoic when life threw its worst at him.

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Writer Alexandra Fuller says there is a black sheep in every proper family. And when it came to her very proper family in England, there was never any doubt that black sheep was her father, Tim Fuller. He was bored by England, choosing instead to pursue a large, loose, scrappy life moving around Africa before settling down as a banana farmer in Zambia. He was curious, meandering, famous for drinking to excess and stubbornly stoic when life threw its worst at him.

In a major ruling with implications for employers of undocumented immigrants, a federal judge in Kansas said a law making it a crime to "encourage" or "induce" such immigrants to live in the United States is unconstitutional.

From Texas Standard:

Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Department of Public Safety – the agency that issues driver's licenses and patrols state highways – will start battling white supremacy as part of its duties. This comes after the mass shooting in El Paso on Aug. 3 when 22 people died. But how equipped are state police agencies to deal with so-called domestic terrorism?

Jeff Gruenewald is an associate professor at the University of Arkansas' Sociology and Criminology Department, and director of the Terrorism Research Center there. He says calling shooters like the one in El Paso “domestic terrorists” is a newer phenomenon in law enforcement, but terrorism researchers like himself have been using that phrase for longer.

A man in Miami seemed to be trying to clear his name this week when he presented himself to police as someone who had his gun stolen recently, but the event took a surprising turn when police realized he was the man they suspected in a high-profile shooting over the summer.

Miami-Dade police Det. Lee Cowart told NPR that when Carlints St. Louis walked into a Florida police station saying his gun had gone missing it was "the icing on the cake" after authorities had been homing in on him in recent weeks.

Fires in Brazil's Amazon rainforest are proliferating at an alarming rate.

That's the gist of an announcement this week by the country's National Institute for Space Research, or INPE. According to the agency, there have been 74,155 fires in Brazil so far this year — most of which erupted in the Amazon. That represents an astonishing leap of more than 80% over last year and by far the most that the agency has recorded since it began compiling this data in 2013.

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