National & World News from NPR

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who gained an instant national profile when she toppled a top Democratic leader in 2018, has launched her own political action committee to boost challengers in 2020 congressional races.

The move shows the 30-year-old New York freshman's intentions to continue battling with her party's establishment.

Thailand's top court has dissolved a nascent political party that has rankled the country's military establishment.

The court said the party's leader, 41-year-old Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, violated election law because he gave the new party about $6 million – far more than Thai law allows for political donations. Thanathorn insists the money was a loan.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that the barricades that have blocked railways in the country for two weeks must come down, calling the situation "unacceptable and untenable."

Where there was a white ice cap, there are now brown blotches of land; melted snow and ice have created ponds of water. Those are the effects of the recent record high temperatures in Antarctica, according to NASA, which on Friday released stunning before-and-after satellite images of the northern Antarctic Peninsula.

Updated at 6:38 p.m. ET

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday that he will permit his company to release three women from nondisclosure agreements with his company, a reversal after resisting to do so under pressure from his rivals at a Democratic presidential debate earlier this week.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, Bloomberg said that Bloomberg LP had identified three nondisclosure agreements made with women "to address complaints about comments they said I had made."

Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $3 billion to settle charges that the bank engaged in fraudulent sales practices for more than a decade.

The company acknowledged collecting millions of dollars in fees for bank accounts, debit cards and other products that customers neither asked for nor needed. The illegal practices were carried out by thousands of Wells Fargo employees in order to meet unrealistic sales targets.

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Can you make a habit of killing really evil people — say, unrepentant Nazis hiding in America — and still hold onto your soul?

That's one of the biggest questions at the heart of Amazon Prime Video's electric new series Hunters. It's a splashy story about a scrappy band of investigators tracking down a secret cabal of Nazis in the 1970s that occasionally is a lot more fun than it should be, given the subject at hand.

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What is Russia doing to interfere in the 2020 election? Well, that question came up in a briefing the intelligence community's election security czar gave House members last week. And multiple reports say that the meeting focused on Russia's supposed preference for President Trump as a candidate, a suggestion that so angered the president that he replaced his director of national intelligence.

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What is Russia doing to interfere in the 2020 election? Well, that question came up in a briefing the intelligence community's election security czar gave House members last week. And multiple reports say that the meeting focused on Russia's supposed preference for President Trump as a candidate, a suggestion that so angered the president that he replaced his director of national intelligence.

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The Horn of Africa, one of the world's most impoverished regions, is being ransacked by billions of tiny invaders.

Farmers look on in horror as desert locusts moving in vast cloud-like swarms darken the sky. The insects blast through fields of crops at an astonishing pace, decimating livelihoods in the process.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has now spent some $452 million on advertising since entering the Democratic presidential race in late November, according to the ad-tracking firm Advertising Analytics.

The multibillionaire, who is self-funding his campaign, has already spent more than $401 million on television and radio ads alone. That surpasses the $338.3 million that President Barack Obama's campaign spent on those ads during his entire 2012 campaign, according to Advertising Analytics.

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A homicide that shocked Lesotho has become more shocking still: Police say Prime Minister Thomas Thabane will be charged in the killing of his estranged wife.

But rather than appear in court as he was supposed to Friday, the 80-year-old leader has gone to South Africa to seek medical treatment. "He's not fled the country," Thabane's son Potlako told Reuters. The prime minister's office says he will go to court when he returns.

Inside Sajaegi, K-Pop's Open Secret

14 hours ago

Last fall, Malvo, an indie K-pop artist, was walking to the parking lot after a long day. He had just finished a show at a university festival near Seoul, South Korea. In the lot, a middle-aged man approached the musician, saying he had a "marketing opportunity" for Malvo and his songs. He didn't give his phone number, or his name.

On the ground floor of the concrete high-rise that became the headquarters of the protest movement in Baghdad's Tahrir Square, slogans scrawled in black and a mural of a fish dressed in a suit disappear under coats of white paint.

The young Iraqis erasing the murals are followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, an influential Shiite Muslim cleric whose support fueled the largely secular protests against government corruption that broke out last October.

The coronavirus outbreak has sparked what the World Health Organization is calling an "infodemic" — an overwhelming amount of information on social media and websites. Some of it's accurate. And some is downright untrue.

Iran is holding national elections Friday, as voters choose members of parliament from a list of candidates winnowed down to feature hardliners and conservatives. Midterm elections are also being held for the Assembly of Experts, the clerics who have the power to select the country's supreme leader.

China has put more than half a billion people under partial or total lockdown in what it is calling an all-out "people's war" against the spread of the new coronavirus. It's equivalent to restricting the movement of the entire population of North America.

Superhuman Resources

16 hours ago

It's the first match-up in The Battle of the Podcast Stars. Contestants Jo Firestone and Manolo Moreno play listener-submitted games on their podcast, Dr. Gameshow. In this game, Firestone and Moreno identify fictional characters based on HR complaints.

Heard on Ben Sinclair: High Maintenance And The Battle Of The Podcast Stars.

Back In The ASMR

16 hours ago

Dr. Gameshow podcast hosts Jo Firestone and Manolo Moreno play a game that describes bodily responses in the whispery, soothing style of ASMR.

Heard on Ben Sinclair: High Maintenance And The Battle Of The Podcast Stars.

Before playing a weed delivery man in the HBO comedy series High Maintenance, actor and writer Ben Sinclair worked as an actual delivery man. Sinclair worked at a Brooklyn floral shop for three summers, where he delivered flowers directly to the shop's clients. This experience directly influenced High Maintenance, which Sinclair co-created with his then-wife, Katja Blichfeld. The series follows an enigmatic weed delivery man known as "The Guy" as he meets new clients and explores the intricacies of life in New York City.

This That Or The Other: Bond Girl Edition

16 hours ago

The Battle of the Podcast Stars continues. Contestants Marie Faustin and Sydnee Washington speak with comedians about their areas of expertise on their podcast Unofficial Expert. In this game, Faustin and Washington decide whether a name belongs to a James Bond character, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or a political candidate.

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