Matthew S. Schwartz

Matthew S. Schwartz is a reporter with NPR's news desk. Before coming to NPR, Matt worked as a reporter for Washington, D.C., member station WAMU, where he won the national Edward R. Murrow award for feature reporting in large market radio. Previously, Matt worked as a technology reporter covering the intricacies of Internet regulation. In a past life, Matt was a Washington telecom lawyer. He got his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. from the University of Michigan ("Go Blue!").

The "bomb cyclone" that swept through the Midwest this week has caused more than $1 billion of flood damage in Nebraska, the state's governor said Wednesday. At least three people have been killed in Nebraska and Iowa.

The enslaved man's name was Renty. His image adorns the cover of a Harvard publication that the university sells for $40.

Tamara Lanier says "Papa Renty" is the patriarch of her family. And in a lawsuit filed Wednesday, she says Harvard is using those photos without permission — and in so doing, profiting from photos taken by a racist professor determined to prove the inferiority of black people.

If you've ever been tempted to make a rude gesture at a police officer, you can rest assured that the Constitution protects your right to do so, a federal appeals court says.

49 Dead In 'Terrorist Attack' At 2 Mosques In Christchurch, New Zealand

Mar 15, 2019

Updated at 4:37 a.m. ET

Forty-nine people are dead and at least 20 are seriously injured in what New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says "can now only be described as a terrorist attack."

A woman in California who says Johnson & Johnson baby powder caused her to develop mesothelioma was awarded $29 million by a jury Wednesday. J&J says it will appeal the judgment.

Amid continuing unrest in Venezuela, the United States plans to remove all diplomatic personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Twitter late Monday.

"The U.S. will withdraw all remaining personnel from [the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela] this week," Pompeo tweeted. "This decision reflects the deteriorating situation in #Venezuela as well as the conclusion that the presence of U.S. diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on U.S. policy."

An Indonesian woman accused of killing the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is free after Malaysian prosecutors dropped charges against her Monday.

Two women appeared to spread poison on Kim Jong Nam's face while he was walking through the Kuala Lumpur airport in early 2017. The women had been placed in custody after a judge in Malaysia said there is enough evidence of a "well-planned conspiracy" to move the case forward.

A federal court made it harder Thursday for the U.S. government to quickly deport asylum-seekers if they fail an initial screening at the border.

A law passed by Congress in 1996 sharply limited the ability of asylum-seekers to access U.S. courts if they want to challenge decisions of an asylum officer and immigration judge. Those limitations are unconstitutional, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said.

At first, you might not realize the flyer was put there by a white supremacy group.

The poster, in shades of black, white and teal, features Andrew Jackson on horseback. The accompanying text reads: "European roots, American greatness."

Canada violated the constitutional rights of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou when border officials detained and interrogated her for hours, lawyers for Meng are alleging in a lawsuit against the Canadian government.

Meng, the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecom firm Huawei, was arrested by Canadian officials in December at the request of the United States. The U.S. had sought Meng's arrest on charges of fraud, arguing Huawei had violated U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Updated at 11:55 a.m. ET

The U.S. State Department is offering a reward of $1 million for information leading to the location of Hamza bin Laden, the son of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday clarified the circumstances in which someone with a mental disability may be put to death.

The government can execute a prisoner even if he doesn't remember committing his crime, the court said. But it can't execute the prisoner if he doesn't understand why he has been "singled out" to die, the high court said in its 5-3 decision. If someone with dementia can't understand the reason for his execution, the court held, killing the prisoner is unconstitutional.

Updated at 2:52 p.m. ET

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un left their summit meeting on Thursday in Hanoi, Vietnam, without agreeing on a denuclearization deal. A planned signing ceremony was canceled.

The biggest sticking point was sanctions against North Korea, Trump said at a news conference Thursday afternoon local time. Kim is "totally" willing to dismantle nuclear weapons in key areas, such as the Yongbyon nuclear facility, but the North Korean leader wants all sanctions removed first, Trump said. "We couldn't do that."

The next Chicago mayor will either be a self-described political outsider who has never run for office or a longtime city alderman and chair of the county's Democratic Party. Either way, for the first time, the city's top political official will be an African-American woman.

Requiring only men to register for the draft is unconstitutional, a federal judge has ruled.

The Military Selective Service Act states that men in the U.S. ages 18 through 25 must register in case the country needs a military draft. Women face no such requirement. On Friday, a federal judge in Texas ruled that a males-only draft violates the equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

Editor's note: This story contains content that may be upsetting to some readers.

Big brands are pulling their ads off YouTube over concerns that potential sexual predators are gathering in the comment sections of videos featuring children. In response, YouTube has deleted more than 400 channels and suspended comments on tens of millions of videos as it tries to purge the system of pedophiles.

Updated at 4:34 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is changing the number of American troops that will remain in Syria.

Approximately 400 troops will stay there, a senior administration official has told NPR. That's double the number announced Thursday night by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

In the days after Superstorm Sandy soaked the East Coast, New York City Department of Transportation workers cataloged the damage to the agency's fleet of vehicles. That information was handed over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which would give the city enough money to replace the damaged vehicles with new ones.

Only one problem: Many of those vehicles were damaged before Sandy hit. Some hadn't been operational in years and had been marked for salvage long before the storm.

A fire raced through the capital of Bangladesh on Wednesday night, killing at least 70 people and injuring dozens.

Fire officials say the blaze began in a partly residential four-story building in Dhaka as most people were sleeping.

George Mendonsa, the Navy sailor whose passionate kiss in Times Square symbolized a nation's exuberance over the end of World War II, has died. He was 95.

The photographer never got the name of the sailor, but Mendonsa claimed it was him, and many experts who analyzed his facial structure came to the same conclusion.

Death Row inmate Domineque Ray hoped that when he took his final breath, he could find comfort in the presence of his Muslim spiritual adviser. But the Alabama prison where Ray was awaiting execution wouldn't allow it. Prison officials would only allow their own Christian chaplain to offer the prisoner solace from inside the execution chamber. They said it would be a security risk to let someone into the room who wasn't an employee of the state's corrections department.

Updated at 10:40 p.m. ET on Friday

The long-term care facility in Arizona where an incapacitated woman was raped and later gave birth will not close, despite a decision by Hacienda HealthCare's board of directors, which was announced Thursday.

Instead, the board agreed late Friday to accept voluntary regulation by the Arizona Department of Health Services, according to a spokesman for Gov. Doug Ducey.

Pacific Gas & Electric could shut off power to more than 5 million customers when extreme weather conditions are ripe for wildfires to break out, the company said Wednesday. It's an expansion of the company's previous power shutoff program, which only let the company turn off power to about half a million customers.

President Trump's inaugural committee has received a subpoena from Justice Department investigators. The subpoena reportedly orders the committee to hand over a wide-ranging collection of documents related to how it was funded and by whom.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

An additional 3,750 troops will be sent to the Southern border to help install wire barriers and monitor crossings, officials said. The new deployment will bring the number of active-duty troops there to around 6,000.

In a tweet on Sunday, President Trump said that "STRONG Border Security" is necessary in the face of "Caravans marching through Mexico and toward our Country."

The Chicago Police Department is about to undergo extensive changes to its practices and policies, after a federal judge approved a plan Thursday that attempts to reform the way the police department interacts with the public.

The Internet once again finds itself in court today, as the Federal Communications Commission defends its decision to repeal net neutrality rules put in place by the Obama administration.

Two-time Grammy winner James Ingram, whose signature timbre instantly evokes the classic R&B sound of the 1980s, has died. He was 66.

Ingram's passing was announced on Twitter by actress Debbie Allen. "I have lost my dearest friend and creative partner James Ingram to the Celestial Choir," she wrote. "He will always be cherished, loved and remembered for his genius, his love of family and his humanity. I am blessed to have been so close."

Oil prices are up more than 2 percent after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela's state-run oil company known as PDVSA.

As government safety workers get back to work after the partial government shutdown that lasted more than a month, the National Transportation Safety Board is developing plans to work through the backlog — and realizing that some evidence might no longer exist.

Most investigations were put on hold when workers were dismissed. But 22 investigations never even began. That includes 15 aviation accidents resulting in 21 fatalities; three marine accidents; two railroad accidents causing two fatalities; and two highway accidents, which killed seven people.

Pages