Bobby Allyn

Bobby Allyn is a business reporter at NPR based in San Francisco. He covers technology and how Silicon Valley's largest companies are transforming how we live and reshaping society.

He came to San Francisco from Washington, where he focused on national breaking news and politics. Before that, he covered criminal justice 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.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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A group of civil rights and consumer groups is urging federal and state regulators to examine a number of mobile apps, including popular dating apps Grindr, Tinder and OKCupid for allegedly sharing personal information with advertising companies.

Updated at 11:50 p.m. ET Sunday

As thousands of mourners flooded the streets of Iran on Sunday to mourn the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a series of dizzying developments convulsed the Middle East, generating new uncertainty around everything from the future of U.S. forces in Iraq to the battle against ISIS and the effort to quell Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Amid the fallout of the U.S. drone strike on Friday that killed Soleimani, Sunday saw the following whiplash-inducing developments unfold almost simultaneously:

Updated at 4:27 a.m. ET Friday

U.S. forces assassinated Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike early Friday near the Baghdad International Airport, an escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran that is prompting concerns of further violence in the region.

Updated 4:35 a.m. ET Monday

A man accused of stabbing and wounding five people at a rabbi's home in an Orthodox Jewish community in Rockland County, New York, just as they were lighting candles for Hanukkah, pleaded not guilty on Sunday to five counts of attempted murder.

Police have identified the alleged attacker as Grafton E. Thomas, 37, of Greenwood Lake, N.Y. He is currently in custody on attempted murder charges and one count of burglary.

President Trump has been criticized after retweeting a post to his 68 million followers on Twitter that included a name linked to the alleged whistleblower whose complaint about the president's dealings with Ukraine prompted the impeachment inquiry.

At the time of the complaint, the individual was an intelligence community official who sounded the alarm about Trump's pressure campaign with Ukraine that House Democrats cited in impeaching the president for alleged abuse of power.

A Roman Catholic church in rural Louisiana hoping to maximize its blessings has come up with a way to do it: filling up a crop-duster plane with holy water and letting the sanctified liquid mist an entire community.

"We can bless more area in a shorter amount of time," Rev. Matthew Barzare of St. Anne Church in Cow Island, La., told NPR.

Following this past Saturday's mass, parishioners from the church in southwestern Louisiana headed to an airstrip about five minutes away from the church.

Boeing's Starliner spacecraft returned to Earth on Sunday, landing safely in the New Mexico desert.

The journey is being hailed as a major achievement despite failing to complete a core objective: docking at the international space station.

Engineers and scientists are now analyzing data from the trip ahead of a plan to send U.S. astronauts to space in 2020. It would mark the first American-launched space travel since NASA retired its space shuttle fleet in 2011.

More than 50 people were hospitalized after 69 cars were involved in a chain-reaction crash on a Virginia interstate on Sunday morning, state authorities say.

Images from Interstate 64 in York County near Williamsburg showed cars and trucks in a tangled heap following the pileup.

Virginia State Police said the crashes began on an icy and fog-shrouded overpass bridge around 7:51 a.m.

"Fog and ice were causative factors, but the cause of the actual accident, we do not know at this time," said Virginia State Police spokeswoman Sgt. Michelle Anaya.

Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., is among the 19 federal officials in American history who have been impeached by the House of Representatives.

Now, he wants to cast a vote to impeach No. 20: President Trump.

Updated at 8:01 p.m. ET

As the House impeachment inquiry moves this week from the fact-gathering stage in the Intelligence Committee to considerations of law in the Judiciary Committee, the White House says President Trump does not intend to participate in a Wednesday hearing.

Updated at 9:33 a.m. ET Tuesday

A federal judge in Washington has ruled that former White House counsel Don McGahn must testify to House impeachment investigators, despite orders from the Trump administration that he not cooperate with Congress.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson clears the way for McGahn's testimony, sought by House Democrats in exploring Trump's possible obstruction of justice related to the Russia probe.

After two weeks of public hearings, the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump is approaching its next stage: lawmakers are now writing a report that could lead to articles of impeachment.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., made the rounds on Sunday television programs outlining the case for impeachment without outright saying whether Trump will be the third president in United States history to be impeached.

Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh pleaded guilty to corruption charges on Thursday, a day after federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment accusing her of using a fraudulent children's book business to enrich herself and fuel her political career.

Pugh, 69, a Democrat who took office in 2016, acknowledged her guilt to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to defraud the government and two counts of tax evasion.

Updated Monday at 9:35 a.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a stern warning for President Trump on Sunday: Do not try to retaliate against the intelligence community official whose anonymous complaint helped spur the impeachment inquiry.

President Trump often says members of the "deep state" are bent on sabotaging his agenda.

And some of the career civil servants the president is referring to have said they have been retaliated against following reports in conservative media questioning their loyalty to Trump.

Iraqi security forces launched an aggressive crackdown on anti-government demonstrators on Saturday, killing at least six people and injuring more than 100 others in central Baghdad.

Government authorities used live ammunition, tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters and to retake three bridges that cross the Tigris River to the heavily fortified Green Zone, where the Iraqi parliament is headquartered. The bridges were being occupied by the demonstrators demanding sweeping political reforms and an end of corruption.

City officials in Las Vegas have passed a controversial law making it illegal to sleep or camp in downtown and residential public areas as long as there are open beds available at city homeless shelters.

Before the vote, protesters swarmed the Las Vegas City Council chambers with signs that read, "Poverty is not a crime," and chanting, "Housing, not handcuffs!"

In recent days, President Trump and his allies have amplified their calls for the whistleblower who sparked the impeachment inquiry to be identified, presenting the question of whether it would be a crime for the president to unmask the anonymous whistleblower.

According to four former top federal government officials who worked in intelligence and national security, the answer is no.

The anonymous whistleblower whose complaint prompted the impeachment inquiry into President Trump has agreed to answer written questions under oath from House Republicans. The offer came as President Trump called on Sunday for news organizations to identify the name of the whistleblower.

An armed shoplifting suspect in Colorado barricaded himself in a stranger's suburban Denver home in June 2015. In an attempt to force the suspect out, law enforcement blew up walls with explosives, fired tear gas and drove a military-style armored vehicle through the property's doors.

After an hours-long siege, the home was left with shredded walls and blown-out windows. In some parts of the interior, the wood framing was exposed amid a mountain of debris.

Updated 8:12 a.m. ET

Christopher Anderson, a career foreign service officer in the State Department, will tell House impeachment investigators on Wednesday that President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani stood in the way of the White House strengthening ties with Ukraine, according to a copy of Anderson's opening statement obtained by NPR.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

President Trump says that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the founder and leader of the Islamic State, has been killed after a U.S. special operations mission targeted him in northwest Syria. Trump declared that U.S. forces have brought "the world's No. 1 terrorist leader to justice."

Describing a dangerous and daring nighttime raid, the president said after eight helicopters flew across Russian airspace, U.S forces located their target and blew a hole in a wall of Baghdadi's compound, fearing the main entrance was booby-trapped.

The World Series will begin Tuesday night, as the Houston Astros host the Washington Nationals. The first pitch will be thrown at 8:08 p.m. ET, in a series between clubs that can each boast of having three aces.

The Astros clinched the American League championship by beating the New York Yankees on Saturday to win their second pennant in the past three years. Now they're hoping to win their second World Series and cement themselves as one of the best teams of the decade.

Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET Tuesday

The Justice Department is proposing to begin collecting DNA samples from hundreds of thousands of immigrants crossing the border, creating an enormous database of asylum-seekers and other migrants that federal officials say will be used to help authorities fight crime.

President Trump's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, on Sunday again tried to control the damage from his earlier acknowledgment that the White House used nearly $400 million in aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate the 2016 presidential election.

Since Mulvaney made the stunning admission on Thursday, he has been walking the remarks back and assigning responsibility to the media, insisting that his words have been misconstrued.

The legal team representing the whistleblower whose complaint sparked an impeachment inquiry against President Trump now says it is representing a second whistleblower described as an intelligence official with firsthand knowledge of the allegations against the president.

Iraqi authorities say at least seven more people were killed in clashes between protesters and police in eastern Baghdad on Sunday, bringing the death toll from nearly a week of anti-government rallies throughout Iraq to more than 100 with thousands of others injured.

Protesters, who took to the streets on Tuesday frustrated over joblessness and corruption, have been met with live ammunition from security forces attempting to break up the mass demonstrations that have convulsed Baghdad and parts of southern Iraq for days.

Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

A judge has ruled that a Philadelphia nonprofit group's plan to open the first site in the U.S. where people can use illegal opioids under medical supervision does not violate federal drug laws, delivering a major setback to Justice Department lawyers who launched a legal challenge to block the facility.

Updated at 9:26 p.m. ET

Amber Guyger, a former Dallas police officer who killed her unarmed black neighbor after stepping into his apartment and mistaking it for her own, has been sentenced to 10 years in state prison by the same jury that convicted her of murder.

"Your sentence will begin today," Judge Tammy Kemp told Guyger.

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