Bobby Allyn

Bobby Allyn is a general assignment reporter for NPR.

He came to Washington from Philadelphia, where he covered criminal justice and breaking news for more than four years at member station WHYY. In that role, he focused on major corruption trials, law enforcement, and local criminal justice policy. He helped lead NPR's reporting of Bill Cosby's two criminal trials. He was a guest on Fresh Air after breaking a major story about the nation's first supervised injection site plan in Philadelphia. In between daily stories, he has worked on several investigative projects, including a story that exposed how the federal government was quietly hiring debt collection law firms to target the homes of student borrowers who had defaulted on their loans. Allyn also strayed from his beat to cover Philly parking disputes that divided in the city, the last meal at one of the city's last all-night diners, and a remembrance of the man who wrote the Mister Softee jingle on a xylophone in the basement of his Northeast Philly home.

At other points in life, Allyn has been a staff reporter at Nashville Public Radio and daily newspapers including The Oregonian in Portland and The Tennessean in Nashville. His work has also appeared in BuzzFeed News, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

A native of Wilkes-Barre, a former mining town in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Allyn is the son of a machinist and a church organist. He's a dedicated bike commuter and long-distance runner. He is a graduate of American University in Washington.

Updated at 3:32 p.m. ET

New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neill announced Monday that the police department is terminating the officer involved in the fatal 2014 altercation with Eric Garner, ending a five-year battle over the officer's status.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo used a chokehold on Garner, which is banned by the city's police department, O'Neill said.

Britain would face gridlock at ports; shortages of medicine, fuel and food; and a hard border with Ireland if it left the European Union with no deal, according to a leaked government document.

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

Updated at 2:05 a.m. ET

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced his resignation amid a scandal over sexist, homophobic and otherwise offensive text messages he and his inner circle exchanged. The leaked texts set off mass demonstrations and widespread calls for his departure.

"I was willing to face any challenge, fully understanding that I would prevail against any accusation or process," Rosselló, a Democrat who was elected in 2016, said late Wednesday.

A public school district in Pennsylvania that faced a national outcry after threatening to place children in foster care over unpaid cafeteria debt has received several offers to pay off the entire tab, but school officials do not seem interested.

Dozens of families in Pennsylvania received an alarming letter from their public school district this month informing parents that if their kid's lunch debt was not settled, their child could be removed from their home and placed in foster care.

Wyoming Valley West School District, one of the poorest districts in the state as measured by per-pupil spending, is located in a former coal mining community in Northeastern Pennsylvania, known affectionately by locals as "The Valley."

New York landlords are attacking rent regulations in a new federal lawsuit, claiming that capping what they can charge tenants in rent is equivalent to an illegal taking of property.

Imagine throngs of people who have never met each other assembling in mid-September before dawn in a Nevada desert town to rush the entrance of Area 51 in search of aliens.

It is a fantastical idea conceived of as a joke on social media, but its popularity has spread fast. On Monday, the number of people who signed up for the tongue-in-cheek Facebook call to "Storm Area 51" exceeded 1 million.

And now, U.S. military officials say they are monitoring the situation.

Updated at 8:26 p.m. ET

Though life-threatening flooding still poses a threat to Louisiana, weakening winds on Sunday marked Barry's downgrade from a tropical storm to a tropical depression.

The National Weather Service forecasts that the center of the storm will continue to move through northwest Louisiana toward Arkansas through Monday.

Updated July 15 at 8:55 a.m. ET

A group of four minority Democratic congresswomen targeted by President Trump in a series of Sunday morning tweets denounced his racist remarks and accused him of "stoking white nationalism."

President Trump's threatened roundup of undocumented immigrant families this weekend that set migrants in many communities on edge showed few signs of materializing on Sunday, the second time rumors of a large-scale immigration enforcement operation failed to come to fruition.

Instead, in the cities where rumors of mass raids swirled, many immigrants stayed inside their homes, as jitters turned typically vibrant migrant markets and commercial corridors eerily quiet.

Updated at 7:35 a.m. ET Friday

Thousands of people who were evacuated from parts of central Maui on Thursday after a large fire broke out over parched land are returning to their homes following the blaze, which scorched 10,000 acres. The fire fed on large swaths of fallow, former sugar cane fields and dry brush, Hawaii officials told NPR.

Yet the fire is still burning on the island, according to Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino.

Updated at 1:44 p.m. ET Saturday

Federal prosecutors in New York and Chicago unsealed sweeping charges against R&B singer R. Kelly on Friday, accusing him of abusing women and girls for nearly two decades, including kidnapping, forced labor and sending child pornography across state lines.

The bombshell indictments, the first federal criminal charges against Kelly, come a day after he was arrested while walking his dog outside his home in Chicago's Trump Tower. He faces a total of 18 federal counts.

Top officials from 13 states are joining Philadelphia in urging a federal court to allow a site to open where people can inject illegal opioids under medical supervision, the latest escalation in a legal battle with the Justice Department that may determine whether such facilities, known as supervised injection sites, can start to operate in America.

U.S. authorities have unsealed a corruption indictment against two former top officials in Puerto Rico for directing some $15.5 million in contracts to favored businesses, allegedly edging out other firms for the lucrative government work despite allegations of being unqualified.

The two former Puerto Rico leaders — Julia Keleher, who was the secretary of the island's department of education before stepping down in April, and Ángela Ávila-Marrero, who led Puerto Rico's Health Insurance Administration until last month — were arrested by FBI agents on Wednesday.

Rip Torn, the eccentric and temperamental Texan actor who won an Emmy Award for his influential role in the 1990s sitcom The Larry Sanders Show, died Tuesday at the age of 88.

In a statement to NPR, Torn's publicist did not release a cause of death, but said he was at his home surrounded by family in Lakeville, Conn.

California has become the first state in the country to offer government-subsidized health benefits to young adults living in the U.S. illegally.

The measure signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday extends coverage to low-income, undocumented adults ages 25 and younger for the state's Medicaid program.

A federal judge on Monday stopped a Trump administration initiative that would have required drugmakers to reveal the sticker price of their drugs in television ads.

Under the rule, if a medicine's list price was more than $35 a month, it would have to be stated during the commercial. The challenge, opponents say, is that a drug's list price and estimates of what people can expect to pay vary widely depending on coverage.

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

Greeks elected a conservative party led by the scion of a powerful political dynasty in national elections on Sunday, a rejection of the country's left-wing government seen as being too slow in improving the economy after a long financial crisis.

President Trump hailed America's military and declared that "our nation is stronger today than it ever was before" in a Fourth of July speech with patriotic themes underscored by flyovers from fighter jets and displays of tanks near the stage at the Lincoln Memorial.

Washington observers were watching to see whether Trump would take the highly publicized speech into politics, but instead, the president highlighted heroic military tales and implored Americans to "stay true to our cause."

Updated at 4:16 p.m. ET

It is too soon to tell whether the much-hyped meeting between President Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un on Sunday will be remembered as a televised spectacle or the start of a breakthrough in talks with the nuclear-armed country.

But Trump did become the first sitting American president to venture into North Korea.

"I was proud to step over the line," Trump told Kim about crossing the demarcation line at the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas. "It is a great day for the world."

Signs are pointing to a coming U.S. recession, according to an economic indicator that has preceded every recession over the past five decades.

It is known among economists and Wall Street traders as a "yield curve inversion," and it refers to when long-term interest rates are paying out less than short-term rates.

President Trump is ordering the Pentagon to rewrite a rule allowing athletes to delay mandatory active service in order to play professional sports directly upon graduation.

"These student-athletes should be able to defer their military service obligations until they have completed their professional sports careers," Trump wrote in a presidential memorandum issued on Wednesday.

Iran's ambassador to the United Nations is defending shooting down a U.S. surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz and says Tehran will not be forced back into negotiations with the White House.

"You cannot negotiate with somebody who has a knife in his hand putting the knife under your throat," Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, said in an exclusive interview with NPR. "That cannot be acceptable by anybody. Any reasonable person cannot accept to have negotiations with somebody who is threatening you."

The Philadelphia Police Department has pulled 72 officers off their regular duties as authorities investigate inflammatory social media posts revealed in a database that found thousands of offensive postings by current and former officers, the city's police commissioner said Wednesday.

Police officials in Philadelphia are describing the action as the largest removal of officers from the street in recent memory.

"We are equally as disgusted by many of the posts that you saw and in many cases, the rest of the nation saw," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross.

Just about 50 years after New York police clashed with gay-rights activists at the Stonewall Inn, the city's police commissioner, James O'Neill, has apologized for the department's raid on that tumultuous night in 1969.

Department officials had expressed regret about the aggressive crackdown in the past, but they had never gone so far as to apologize for the raid, until now.

What's tall, spotted and on the pill? April the giraffe.

An official from Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, N.Y., has announced that April the giraffe, who achieved Internet stardom, will start contraceptives on Friday and no longer be part of the park's breeding program. The 17-year-old mother of five will now enter senior care.

The number of new measles cases in the United States so far this year has hit 971, exceeding a record established 25 years ago that covered a whole year of new measles cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday.

Her first life accomplishment was setting a world record.

A girl believed to be the smallest-ever surviving baby — weighing just over half a pound, or 8.6 ounces, at birth — has been released from a California hospital, officials revealed on Wednesday.

After almost five months in a neonatal intensive care unit, the baby girl, who was nicknamed Saybie by the staff, left the San Diego hospital earlier this month and instantly earned a place in the history books.

Her parents decided not to allow her real name to be released.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

The Trump administration will provide $16 billion in aid to help keep farmers afloat as they reel from the yearlong trade war between the U.S. and China, the latest sign that the world's two largest economies are still far from striking a long-term trade agreement.

The bulk of the support, or about $14.5 billion, is direct aid to farmers, which producers will start to see some time this summer, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters in a briefing on Thursday.

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