NPR

The confirmation of a Supreme Court justice is often a major event that ripples through American law for decades. But Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, which opens Tuesday, is especially historic because, if confirmed, Kavanaugh is expected to solidify a hard-right majority on the nation's highest court, a majority the likes of which has not been seen since the early 1930s, and which is likely to dominate for a generation or more.

Updated at 5:22 p.m ET

Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh opened on a contentious note Tuesday, with Senate Democrats raising noisy objections that much of Kavanaugh's lengthy paper trail is still off limits.

The hearing proceeded despite Democrats' call for delay. Republicans, who control the Senate, hope to confirm Kavanaugh in time to join the high court when its fall term begins next month, cementing a 5-4 conservative majority.

The only high school in my hometown — Campbell, Ohio — was built on a hilltop just east of Youngstown.

Behind our football field, the earth sloped away, down to the Mahoning River valley where the Youngstown Sheet & Tube steel mills stretched out for miles.

Our school, our small town, the gritty air we breathed — they were inseparable from those blast furnaces.

For three generations of Campbell guys, seeking work at the mill was almost automatic. And smart: You were guaranteed great pay and union benefits.

Aretha Franklin Funeral

Aug 31, 2018
Mark Reinstein Corbis via Getty Images

Detroit will celebrate the life of Aretha Franklin on Friday, August 31st at 10 a.m. EST. Over two dozen people -- including heads of state, a record mogul, and music legends of nearly every description -- will take the stage of the Greater Grace Temple to speak, sing and pray in honor of the gift that Franklin so readily shared with the world.

John McCain Arizona Memorial Service

Aug 30, 2018
Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

A memorial service for the late Sen. John McCain is being held at the North Phoenix Baptist Church in Phoenix, Ariz. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald are among those set to deliver remarks.

The Department of Agriculture will pay $4.7 billion to farmers growing soybeans, cotton and other products hit by tariffs in the Trump administration's hard-line trade war with China, announcing the first batch of payments from a $12 billion government aid package.

Starting next Tuesday, the agency will take applications from farmers who produce corn, cotton, dairy, hogs, sorghum, soybeans and wheat — products that were targeted in China's retaliatory tariffs, after the U.S. imposed a 25 percent levy on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Arizona senator and former Republican presidential nominee John McCain died Saturday at the age of 81.

McCain leaves behind his wife of more than three decades, Cindy; seven children, including three from his first marriage, to Carol Shepp; and his 106-year-old mother, Roberta McCain.

Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will no longer receive medical treatment, his family announced Friday. The 81-year-old senator has been battling brain cancer for more than a year, since announcing last July that he had been diagnosed with an aggressive tumor called a glioblastoma.

Health officials have determined that a type of bacteria found in food left at unsafe temperatures is the cause of an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness that struck 647 people who ate last month at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant in Ohio.

Between July 26 and July 30, customers of a Chipotle restaurant in Powell, Ohio, just north of Columbus, complained of food poisoning and diarrhea after eating tacos and burrito bowls there.

Winter in Wisconsin is tough.

So tough, in fact, that living creatures might go searching for shelter in unlikely places.

House Speaker Paul Ryan explained Thursday that a family of woodchucks moved into his Chevy Suburban recently, eating the wiring and rendering the car useless.

"My car was eaten by animals," Ryan said, to laughs from an audience at an event hosted by The Economic Club of Washington D.C. "It's just dead."

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The president is revealing his choice to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Watch the announcement LIVE at 9:00 PM Eastern Time.

Coffee is far from a vice.

There's now lots of evidence pointing to its health benefits, including a possible longevity boost for those of us with a daily coffee habit.

A 21-year-old Ohio man accused of killing a woman last summer by deliberately ramming his car into people protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., now faces federal hate crime charges.

The Justice Department announced Wednesday that a federal grand jury in Charlottesville charged James Alex Fields Jr. with one count of a hate crime act resulting in the death of Heather Heyer.

California legalized marijuana in 2016, and on Jan. 1, 2018, eager customers lined up in the darkness outside medical marijuana dispensaries across the state, ready to start shopping at the stroke of midnight.

The effect has gone beyond the cannabis cash register. Everyone has seen the ads or heard the chatter — and that includes minors, though marijuana remains illegal for those under 21.

Updated at 6:31 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told NPR in an interview that he continues to support the Mueller Russia investigation — and that nothing in Thursday's hotly anticipated secret briefing on the Russia probe to congressional leaders changed his mind.

Teachers in Kentucky flexed their newfound political clout in primary elections Tuesday after a series of massive protests at the state Capitol earlier this year.

High school math teacher Travis Brenda ousted one of the Kentucky legislature's top Republican leaders in a primary election. Brenda ran a campaign attacking state Rep. Jonathan Shell for his role in writing bills that weakened retirement benefits for state workers and overhauled Kentucky's tax code.

A Chinese archaeologist who identified a long-lost clay army consisting of 8,000 soldiers died Wednesday, according to China's state media.

Zhao Kangmin first laid eyes on fragments of terra cotta warriors in 1974. Farmers some 20 miles from China's central city of Xi'an were digging a well and struck into the pieces.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

If you are reading this, you are likely one of the more than 14 million people who vehemently believe that this audio clip is saying either the word "yanny" or the word "laurel."

If you haven't heard it yet, take a listen:

BAISHAMPAYAN GHOSE / CREATIVE COMMONS

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a federal law that could allow states to legalize sports betting, potentially paving the way for Kentucky to rake in millions on sports bets.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We all know springtime is a traditional wedding season. But when it comes to the dresses worn by today's blushing brides, we're seeing a much less traditional trend. In fact, other people may be blushing.

When it comes to the bridal bustline, the question these days is ... how low can you go?

"How can I say this kind of politely?" Monte Durham teases. "We have dresses cut to your navel."

Needle exchanges provide people with drug addictions a place to turn in used needles and get new ones while working to prevent outbreaks of hepatitis and HIV. In 2017, Las Vegas installed three vending machines to dispense free, unused needles.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young learns more from Chelsi Cheatom, program manager for Trac-B Exchange, a medical clinic in Clark County, Nevada.

Updated 3:09 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Florida has decided that the National Rifle Association cannot use pseudonyms for teenagers who want to buy guns as part of a legal challenge against new gun laws in Florida.

The judge expressed sympathy for the teenagers, acknowledging that they probably would suffer extreme harassment if their names were public. But, he wrote with evident reluctance, the law was clear that pseudonyms were not allowed.

Not so very long ago, everyone agreed when Summer Movie Season kicked off. There was no subjectivity involved. It was dictated by the calendar: Memorial Day weekend meant the arrival of the big tentpole movies that would proceed to bust blocks over the course of the sultry summer months. Simple.

Stephen Hawking's ashes will be interred at Westminster Abbey this June. He'll take his place among giants — between Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. Applications to attend a Service of Thanksgiving are open to the public, and anyone — including people born in 2038, can apply. A thousand spaces are available.

It's the thick of primary season, and the looming question that hangs over the 2018 midterms is — will Democrats take control of Congress?

Many consider the running back Jim Brown the greatest American football player ever. But he's known as much more than an athlete — he's an activist, an actor, a thinker and a man with an alleged history of violence against women.

Here's how he's described in the opening paragraph of Dave Zirin's new biography, Jim Brown: Last Man Standing.

The Federal Election Commission has ruled that federal candidates can use campaign funds to pay for child care costs that result from time spent running for office.

On Thursday, the FEC ruled unanimously, 4-0, in favor of New York Democratic House candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley.

Public radio podcast lovers, clear your schedules: Spotify users now have the NPR podcast catalogue at their fingertips.

This story is part of a series on coal country by NPR's Embedded podcast. Episode audio is below.

On May 5, 2016, Donald Trump led a campaign rally in Charleston, W.Va.

He put on a hard hat and pretended he was shoveling coal. The crowd loved it.

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