NPR News

Without congressional intervention, about 16,000 retired miners in seven states will lose their health care coverage by the end of the year. A proposal to temporarily extend the benefits is working its way through Congress. But two Senate Democrats, who are advocates for a more comprehensive plan, say the temporary provision isn't enough. They are threatening to hold up a spending bill that needs to pass by Friday night to keep the government running. Coal mining is dangerous work. For many...

China's top court has handed basketball legend Michael Jordan a victory in a long-running trademark dispute over the use of his name by a Chinese company. "Nothing is more important than protecting your own name, and today's decision shows the importance of that principle," Jordan said in a statement after the ruling. Here's more from Jordan: "Over the past three decades, I have built my reputation and name into a globally recognized brand. From my earliest playing days in the NBA, through my...

The U.S. surgeon general said Thursday that e-cigarette use poses a significant and avoidable health risk to young people. "We already know that e-cigarettes have the potential to cause lasting harm to the health of young users," said Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. "Most contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug that can damage normal development of the brain – a process that continues until about age 25." Murthy's comments were part of a report released Thursday on rising e-cigarette use by...

Updated 5 p.m. ET The first American to orbit the Earth has died. John Glenn was the last surviving member of the original Mercury astronauts. He would later have a long political career as a U.S. senator, but that didn't stop his pioneering ways. Glenn made history a second time in 1998, when he flew aboard the shuttle Discovery to become the oldest person to fly in space. Glenn was 95 when he died; he had been hospitalized in an Ohio State University medical center in Columbus since last...

South Korea's national legislature is preparing to vote on the possible impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, who has been engulfed in a massive scandal involving allegations of corruption, influence-peddling and ties to a cult. The measure is coming up for a vote on Friday, a week and a half after Park said she would be willing to step down — but declined to resign . The complex scandal has destroyed Park's public support; her approval rating has fallen to 4 percent, according to a recent...

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen fast-food restaurant CEO Andrew Puzder as his secretary of labor, his transition team announced Thursday. Puzder is the CEO of CKE Holdings, the parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, and in a statement Trump praised him as someone who "has created and boosted the careers of thousands of Americans." "Andy will fight to make American workers safer and more prosperous by enforcing fair occupational safety standards and ensuring workers receive the...

The first of a series of meetings is scheduled Thursday for the public to share their input with a state-hired private consultant that is developing a management plan for the Buffalo River watershed. Earlier this year Gov. Asa Hutchinson created the “Beautiful Buffalo River Watershed Action Committee” to address environmental and conservation concerns in the 878,000 acre area of north Arkansas. The committee hired FTN Associates to draw up a management plan. Thursday morning in the town of...

Hear the radio version of this story. Officials in Gatlinburg have been begging visitors to return. Now they'll see if that happens. The city's downtown reopens Friday, 10 days after the wildfire that stunned the region. The fire destroyed 1,800 structures and killed 14 people. Many worry it will hinder the biggest economic driver in the area: tourism.

I hesitate to say it, but the one word that characterizes my best books of 2016 list is "serious." These books aren't grim and they're certainly not dull, but collectively they're serious about tackling big, sometimes difficult subjects — and they're also distinguished by seriously good writing. Here are 10 that you shouldn't miss. Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVE DAVIES, BYLINE: This is FRESH AIR. Our book critic Maureen Corrigan has her list of the 10-best books...

The BOTS Act of 2016 is now on its way to President Obama's desk, after both houses of Congress approved the legislation that seeks to widen access to online ticket sales and foil scalpers who try to corner the market. The ban applies to ticket sales for any public event that can be attended by 200 or more people; it targets software that routinely defeats attempts by venues to try to limit the number of tickets one buyer can purchase. The full name of the legislation is the Better Online...

Pages