National/International

With near universal literacy and long life expectancy, the small Indian state of Kerala is a model for the rest of India.

In recent weeks, however, the small state tucked at the bottom of the country has been in the spotlight for what its glowing human development indicators do not reveal.

It sometimes takes an awful event to uncover maladies beneath the surface, and here, it was the savage murder of an underprivileged law student.

After the massacre at Orlando's Pulse nightclub, Ismael Medina and his wife Leticia Padro spent all of Sunday calling their nephew's cell phone. But 28-year-old Angel Candelario Padro didn't answer.

They eventually got a call from a friend of their nephew's in Orlando. Candelario had been at Pulse and been shot, she told them, though his whereabouts or condition were still unknown.

Medina, his wife, and their two sons packed their bags and took the next flight to Orlando.

Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy ended a nearly 15-hour filibuster early this morning, saying Republican leaders had promised him they will hold votes on amendments to expand gun sale background checks and ban gun sales to people placed on security watch lists.

But NPR’s Sue Davis tells Here & Now‘s Robin Young that Republicans are expected to have enough votes to defeat the measures, even though polling this week shows support is growing for gun control.

Guest

The deadly attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida continued to resonate around the world with a series of vigils and official signs of support this week. One came from the United Nations Security Council, which issued a statement condemning the attack for “targeting persons as a result of their sexual orientation.”

The comments are the council’s first on issues of gay rights. Even more surprising was the inclusion of Egypt and Russia, known for being unfriendly to the gay community.

The American Red Cross spent a quarter of the money people donated after the 2010 Haiti earthquake — or almost $125 million — on its own internal expenses, far more than the charity previously had disclosed, according to a report released Thursday by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley.

The report also says the charity's top officials stonewalled congressional investigators and released incomplete information about its Haiti program to the public. It concludes "there are substantial and fundamental concerns about [the Red Cross] as an organization."

How Orlando Is Being Covered By The Media

Jun 16, 2016

Here & Now‘s Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson talk with David Folkenflik, NPR media correspondent, about media coverage of the Orlando shootings this past week.

Hear more of our Orlando shooting coverage

Videos From The Segment

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A few years ago, a man came to pastor Wes Helm at Springcreek Church in Garland, Texas, and opened up about his financial troubles. Helm looked through the man's budget and noticed one major monthly expense: a payday loan fee three times more than the amount of the loan itself.

Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland finally got a hearing in Washington on Wednesday. Not from the U.S. Senate, but from the fifth grade graduating class at J.O. Wilson Elementary School, where Garland has tutored students for 18 years.

His testimony, as it were, was in the form of a commencement address, and he was almost as emotional as he was at the White House when he was nominated for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

"You know, I like my job, but my favorite days are when I come to J.O. Wilson, and get high-fives walking down the hall," he began.

To Ellen Stofan, the chief scientist of NASA, all of the space agency’s various research initiatives – from roving the craters of Mars to photographing the icy surface of Enceladus – are in pursuit of one basic question: Are we alone?

Short of finding life on other planets, however, NASA scientists are advancing the fields of astrophysics, astronomy and planetary science every day. Stofan joins Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson for a look at scientific research at NASA.

Scientists announced Wednesday that they have once again detected ripples in space and time from two black holes colliding far away in the universe.

The discovery comes just months after the first-ever detection of such "gravitational waves," and it suggests that smaller-sized black holes might be more numerous than many had thought.

The streets around the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., are slowly coming back to life — slowly.

Police removed one of the roadblocks a few blocks away from the gay nightclub Wednesday, allowing local traffic to drive past a makeshift memorial of flowers, balloons, candles and crosses for the 49 victims, to within view of the club.

Alex Brehm was standing by the door of a still-shuttered 7-Eleven, watching scores of federal and local law enforcement officials work the scene, thinking about what's next for his home and the city of Orlando.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

No other major party presidential candidate has ever made it through primary season financing a campaign the way Bernie Sanders has. The Vermont senator and self-described Democratic socialist did not throw swanky receptions to court donors who could write $2,700 checks, the limit allowed by law. Nor did Sanders encourage wealthy friends to launch a superPAC funded with unlimited contributions.

Instead, he relied on donors who gave small amounts online, over and over.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

In 2012, Tig Notaro walked onto the stage at LA's Largo Theater and said this: "Good evening hello, I have cancer, how are you? Hi, how are you? Is everybody having a good time? I have cancer. How are you?"

Notaro was in the middle of one of the worst years of her life, dealing with serious illness, a breakup and the death of her mother.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

In the socially conservative country of Chile, the threat of violence against LGBT people is ever-present. In March of 2012, Daniel Zamudio was beaten, mutilated and left for dead by a homophobic gang in Santiago.

In the wake of Zamudio's death, many queer Chilean youth found solace in one song, "Cómo Puedes Vivir Contigo Mismo?" (How can you live with yourself?) by Chilean pop star Álex Anwandter.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

If you think your job is painful, try spending a workday with Justin Schmidt.

Schmidt is an entomologist who focuses on a group of insects called Hymenoptera — we know them as stinging ants, wasps and bees.

Schmidt has traveled all over the world looking for bugs ... and getting stung by them. The result of his work is an alarmingly comprehensive pain index, ranking 83 insect stings on a spectrum of 1 to 4.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

In more and more countries, investors are paying the government for the privilege of owning its bonds. It's usually the other way around.

The yield on Germany's 10-year government bond fell into negative territory for the first time ever on Tuesday, as worries build that the United Kingdom could decide to leave the European Union next week.

The lawyer representing Uber drivers in the historic settlement — which could total as much as $100 million — is under attack. Critics and even the judge in the case say attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan may not be fighting hard enough, and that she may be accepting too little for the drivers. Liss-Riordan disagrees, and to prove her pure intentions, she is reducing her fees.

A Weak Settlement?

The last couple of weeks have not been pretty.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

His name is Eddie Meltzer and he's 34 years old, though according to NPR's Ari Shapiro, he looks about 10 years younger. But it's his humanitarian act to assist many families of the victims of the Orlando shooting massacre that brought him to Shapiro's attention.

Russian Soccer Team Faces Punishment Over Fan Violence

Jun 14, 2016

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Net Neutrality Rules

Jun 14, 2016

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

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