NPR News

With David Wright

Writer Michael Pollan turns his attention to psychedelic mushrooms and the new science of psychedelics. He joins us.

Federal food benefit programs are vital for low-income immigrant families. But if a parent is unauthorized to live in the U.S., they may decide not to enroll their children who are citizens in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP to get money for groceries.

Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons (@JamalSimmons) and Republican strategist Paris Dennard (@PARISDENNARD) join Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson and Peter O’Dowd to discuss results of primaries in four states Tuesday, and other news from Washington.

Updated at 5:40 p.m. ET

In his annual disclosure of personal finances, President Trump acknowledged that he paid lawyer Michael Cohen between $100,000 and $250,000 last year.

Both Cohen and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani have said some of that money was to reimburse Cohen for a $130,000 hush money settlement with adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who says she had an affair with Trump.

Kermit the Frog used to sing that it wasn't easy being green, but that isn't the case for some real-life lizards. They apparently find being green so easy that even their blood is green.

A study published Tuesday suggests seems that this lime-green blood has evolved independently several times in lizards.

Scientists are now trying to understand how these lizards might benefit from blood that's green. The answer could provide new insights into human illnesses like jaundice and malaria.

If Scott Pruitt arrived on Capitol Hill expecting to be grilled Wednesday, he did not have to wait long to see that expectation fulfilled.

Michigan State University has agreed in principle to pay $500 million to settle claims by hundreds of women and girls who say disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar abused them.

Under the terms of the agreement, the school will pay $425 million to those 332 current claimants, with $75 million set aside in a trust fund for any future claimants who allege sexual abuse by Nassar.

Several people died as powerful spring thunderstorms raked a broad swath of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard on Tuesday, shutting roadways and train lines from southern New England through the Mid-Atlantic.

National Weather Service meteorologist Steven Weiss tells NPR the long squall line was primarily a wind event, with "lots of trees [and] power lines down," he says. "Common gusts of 40 to 50 mph, and some gusts were stronger than that."

Updated at 2:58 p.m. ET

The parent company of Fox News has paid approximately $10 million in settlements with 18 former employees, according to two sources with knowledge of the deal. The cases arose from intense scrutiny of Fox's workplace culture after it was convulsed by a sexual harassment scandal.

Updated at 4:22 p.m. ET

The Senate approved a resolution Wednesday to nullify the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rollback, dealing a symbolic blow to the FCC's new rule that remains on track to take effect next month.

The final vote was 52-47. As expected, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, joined Democrats in voting to overturn the FCC's controversial decision. But two other Republicans — Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — also voted in favor of the resolution of disapproval.

In last week's primaries, Republican internal divisions were highlighted. But Tuesday night, it was the Democrats' turn — and in some of the very places the party needs to win to take back the House.

Updated at 12:52 p.m. ET

Cambridge Analytica used Facebook to find and target Americans to trigger paranoia and racial biases, a former employee of the data analytics company told lawmakers on Wednesday.

Jean H. Lee, the former Pyongyang bureau chief for The Associated Press, is the director of the Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy at the Wilson Center.

Fleeing war in North Korea in 1951, my aunt and her siblings scrambled aboard an American cargo ship pulling away from port, her parents and grandmother shouting their names to keep track of them in the chaos of the evacuation. They made it. But their grandfather stayed behind in Wonsan to protect the family property.

The Senate intelligence committee voted 10-5 Wednesday to recommend Gina Haspel as CIA director despite the controversy surrounding her role in the agency's waterboarding program.

The full Senate now appears all but certain to confirm Haspel within the next week or so, which would make her the first woman to lead the CIA.

Her confirmation also would complete President Trump's recent shakeup of his national security and foreign policy teams.

The tall, gangly man twists a cone of paper in his hands as stories from nearly 30 years of addiction pour out: the robbery that landed him in prison at 17; never getting his GED; going through the horrors of detox, maybe 40 times, including this latest, which he finished two weeks ago. He's now in a residential unit for at least 30 days.

Housing experts say goals to build more moderate-cost housing to St. Louis County could founder without incentives. Developers are less likely to build properties for low-income renters without them because the cost of development could outweigh profits.

The 2018 For the Sake of All report, “Segregation in St. Louis: Dismantling the Divide,” shows how neighborhoods a few miles apart vary in unemployment, poverty, income and life expectancy rates. It identifies how a few changes in housing policies in the region could give low-income households greater access to areas with more opportunities, such as employment. Several organizations, including ArchCity Defenders, Empower Missouri and Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council, helped produce the report. 

When North Korea released three U.S. prisoners last Wednesday amid increased engagement with Washington, the families of U.S. citizens detained in Iran couldn't help but wonder about prospects for their own loved ones. Just a day earlier, the U.S. withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed economic sanctions on Iran. For the detainees' relatives, it has been a painful and uncertain time.

Updated at 11:59 a.m.

The Senate Judiciary Committee released more than 2,500 pages of documents on Wednesday related to its investigation about a meeting in 2016 between top Trump aides and a delegation of Russians who promised to help the campaign.

The material, which includes interview transcripts and other "exhibits," is available here.

Two cylinders that were dropped on the rebel-held Syrian city of Saraqeb in February — sending nearly a dozen people to seek medical help for nausea and other symptoms — had contained chlorine, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

After a visit to the site, the OPCW says, its fact-finding mission has confirmed "that chlorine was likely used as a chemical weapon" on Feb. 4 in Saraqeb, a small city that's about 12 miles southeast of Idlib. It also used evidence that was gathered by several nongovernmental organizations.

Malaysian leader Anwar Ibrahim — jailed for years following a conviction on sodomy charges widely viewed as politically motivated — walked free on Wednesday following a royal pardon.

The pardon, granted by Malaysia's King Muhammad V, was announced last week, a day after Mahathir Mohamad, the 92-year-old political stalwart who was prime minister for more than 20 years until he resigned in 2003, returned to power after a 15-year hiatus.

On a big-sky plateau on the eastern slope of the Cascades, a 10-acre parcel of land has been trashed by illicit pot farmers. Abandoned equipment rusts and jugs of chemicals molder.

Marijuana legalization wasn't supposed to look like this.

Five years into its experiment with legal, regulated cannabis, Washington state is finding that pot still attracts criminals.

Michael and Danielle Abril are active members of the Meacham Park Neighborhood Association. They show up at meetings. They volunteer. They help inform others in the community.

“Meacham Park is a blessing to us because it allowed us to be relatively close to my work and in a great place, a great community,” Michael Abril said.

The neighborhood is a mostly black area of Kirkwood that had been segregated from the rest of the city for years. But that’s changing.

School officials have issued warnings to parents ahead of the second season of the Netflix drama "13 Reasons Why," which premieres this week.

A California law permitting physicians to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients has been overturned by a judge who says it was passed unconstitutionally.

Judge Daniel Ottolia of the Riverside County Superior Court did not challenge the legality of the nearly 3-year-old law but said California lawmakers should not have passed it during a special session on health care funding.

Updated at 6:43 p.m. ET.

San Francisco could become the first city in the nation to ban flavored tobacco products from all store shelves. The ban includes everything from candy-flavored e-cigarettes to conventional menthol smokes.

Updated at 3:20 a.m. ET Wednesday

A massive ash plume rising from a fissure on Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has caused authorities to issue a red alert for airplanes in the region for the first time since the mountain suddenly ramped up its activity nearly two weeks ago.

What scientists refer to as "vog" — a combination of volcanic gas and ash — reached 12,000 feet into the sky above Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes.

An explosion at a medical office building early Tuesday afternoon in Southern California killed at least one person and seriously wounded three othersm, and reportedly is being investigated as possibly intentional.

The Los Angeles Times quotes authorities as saying the explosion in the city of Aliso Viejo is suspicious and The Associated Press says authorities believe it may have been caused by a package bomb.

The number of kids who struggle with thoughts of suicide or who attempt to kill themselves is rising. New research, published Wednesday in Pediatrics, finds children ages 5 to 17 visited children's hospitals for suicidal thoughts or attempts about twice as often in 2015 as in 2008.

The study found kids of all ages are affected though increases were greatest for older adolescents.

The Missouri House has overwhelmingly approved a wide-ranging criminal justice bill that would revamp the state’s system.

Among other things, the measure ends the statute of limitations for prosecuting sex crimes when the victim is under the age of 19.

The House also has passed a different bill, which includes a provision that would allow the lieutenant governor to step in and appoint members of boards and commissions if the governor fails to make those appointments within six months after the posts become vacant.

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