NPR News | Blue Ridge Public Radio

President Trump's legal team made its opening arguments in a rare Saturday session. His lawyers argue he's done nothing wrong and that he acted within his powers last year in the Ukraine affair.

Iraqi security forces launched a major crackdown on anti-government protesters on Saturday from Baghdad to cities across the south after an influential Shiite cleric instrumental in the demonstrations withdrew his support.

Saturday's Lunar New Year celebrations were dampened in China by fears over the coronavirus outbreak, and travel restrictions affecting 46 million people.

On the first day of the Lunar New Year, China's President Xi Jinping stressed the urgency of controlling the outbreak — which includes hundreds more confirmed cases since Friday — and urged state authorities to prioritize containment efforts.

Lawyers representing President Trump got their first shot Saturday to poke holes in the impeachment case made this week by Democrats.

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

Two astronauts aboard the International Space Station began their fourth and final space walk early Saturday to finish a series of repairs aimed at extending the functioning of a cosmic ray detector attached to the spacecraft.

The planned six-and-a-half-hour foray outside the space capsule began shortly after 7:00 a.m. ET and was being shown in a live video feed from NASA.

Rita Woods' debut Remembrance is a complex story of loss and survival told across 200 years by four women, united by the color of their skin and the supernatural powers they command. It's an ambitious, absorbing novel that's occasionally let down by lengthy exposition and frequent jumps between points of view.

When Aysha Renna decided last month to demonstrate against India's new citizenship law on her college campus in New Delhi, it never occurred to her that doing so might be dangerous.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

We recorded the show in Des Moines, Iowa, this week and so we invited New York Magazine Washington correspondent Olivia Nuzzi to play a game called "Olivia Nuzz...ealand." Three questions about New Zealand — which is very far away from Iowa.

Click the audio link above to find out how she does.

When I met Tom Railsback a few years ago, he told me he'd worried about going to a Chamber of Commerce meeting in Peoria in the fall of 1974.

Tom Railsback of Illinois was a middle-aged Republican congressman from the middle of a state in the middle of America when he was on the House Judiciary Committee in 1974 that heard the case for impeachment against President Richard Nixon.

Mr. Railsback greatly admired President Nixon. "His opening of the door to China," he told me, "had to be the most brilliant foreign policy move ever."

Willis Wu is often seen as a generic Asian Man in a restaurant or the background of a crime scene on a television drama called Black and White. You kind of know the show: She's an accomplished young detective, he's a third-generation cop, together they are Black and White, and they solve impossible cases.

Willis hopes one day to be a Kung Fu Guy on movie screens around the world. But for now, he's the star of Interior Chinatown, the new novel from Charles Yu, an award-winning writer for Westworld and other shows.

The Haden sisters — Petra, Rachel and Tanya — have a long history in American music.

First lines. I love them. Some people collect coins or stamps, I collect first lines. Night Theater has an excellent first line: "The day the dead visited the surgeon, the air in his clinic was laced with formaldehyde."

European Union officials will be closely monitoring results of local elections in Italy Sunday that are seen as a bellwether for the fate of the national government.

Polls suggest that the far-right populist League Party could win control of a region that has been a leftist bastion for 75 years.

The discovery of the new coronavirus has transformed cities in China and neighboring countries.

The impact is strongest in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the virus — a city of 11 million that is now under lockdown.

Other Asian cities, from Manila to Seoul, are also feeling the effect. Photographers are documenting the way life has changed since the discovery of 2019-nCoV.

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

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

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

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

Copyright 2020 WUWM 89.7 FM - Milwaukee's NPR. To see more, visit WUWM 89.7 FM - Milwaukee's NPR.

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

Updated at 1:32 p.m. ET

President Trump "did absolutely nothing wrong," White House counsel Pat Cipollone said Saturday, as lawyers representing the president got their first shot to poke holes in the impeachment case made this week by Democrats.

Saturday's proceedings, which lasted a little more than two hours, set up the White House arguments in the impeachment trial. The proceedings resume Monday at 1 p.m.

The president's team told senators that the House managers selectively withheld evidence in their arguments against the president.

Many reports refer to the newly identified coronavirus in Wuhan, China, as a "mystery" virus. Is it really a mystery? Do masks help keep you from getting infected? If an animal carries the virus, will cooking it make it safe to consume?

These are some of the questions circulating about the virus called 2019-nCoV. Here are some answers.

Hank Bolden is an 83-year-old undergraduate at the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut. He is also an atomic vet — one of thousands of soldiers exposed to secret nuclear weapons tests during the Cold War.

Bolden is one of only a few African-Americans still here to tell the story.

In 1955, Bolden was in his late teens and stationed in California. One day he was told he'd been chosen to participate in a special military exercise. "I had no idea what I was selected for," he said.

As the owner of a yellow lab named Gus, author Maria Goodavage has had many occasions to bathe her pooch when he rolls around in smelly muck at the park.

Nevertheless, her appreciation for his keen sense of smell has inspired her write best-selling books about dogs with special assignments in the military and the U.S. Secret Service.

President Trump will go on abusing his office and imperiling elections unless the Senate removes him, House Democrats argued on Friday as they wrapped their opening presentation in Trump's impeachment trial.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., warned in some of his strongest language yet that what he called Trump's venality and moral bankruptcy would only grow worse if Congress allows him to remain president after what Democrats say he's committed.

In the voyage to the final frontier there is a wave of ridicule being directed toward President Trump who unveiled the U.S. Space Force logo on Friday afternoon.

"After consultation with our Great Military Leaders, designers and others, I am pleased to present the new logo for the United States Space Force, the Sixth Branch of our Magnificent Military!" Trump tweeted.

The public's view of President Trump's impeachment trial is limited. In an era of ubiquitous cameras, no photographs are allowed in the Senate chamber. The only video comes from a set of cameras operated by government employees that's used by the television networks. There aren't many camera angles.

To give the public a closer view, news outlets are employing a low-tech solution.

Updated on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 11:48 a.m.

With the State Department facing continued questions over the treatment of Marie Yovanovitch before she was recalled as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would not say on Friday whether he owed the career diplomat an apology.

In an interview on Friday with All Things Considered co-host Mary Louise Kelly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took questions about U.S. policy in Iran and about the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.

Mary Louise Kelly: Secretary of State, good to see you.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: Good to be with you. Thanks for having me on the show.

Let's start with Iran. What is the plan? And on diplomacy, specifically, is there any serious initiative to reopen diplomacy with Iran?

Pages