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Joel McCord and Rachel Baye, WYPR's state government reporter, talk about Maryland Democrats' efforts to capitalize on public sentiment for redistricting reform. And about how it's going nowhere.

Rachel Baye

Democrats in the General Assembly and environmental activists called Thursday for Gov. Larry Hogan to challenge President Donald Trump’s proposed $73 million cut eliminating the Chesapeake Bay Program. During Thursday's floor session, the legislators introduced a resolution criticizing the cuts and directing Hogan to act.

Rachel Baye

Seventeen-year-old Julia Francis was playing pinball with her older brother A.J. Francis at Crabtowne USA in Glen Burnie.

“I’m just trying to prove myself better than this guy,” said Julia, a junior at nearby Old Mill High School.

“Never happens,” her brother, a defensive lineman for the Washington Redskins, said from one pinball machine over. “I’m always the one that comes out on top, even when it comes to pinball. Mainly because I’ve been playing for a decade longer.”

The siblings were surprised to learn about a Maryland law that prohibits minors from playing pinball in public places in certain parts of the state.

Flickr: Maryland GovPics

Democrats in the state Senate are offering a plan that would create an independent commission to redraw Maryland’s congressional districts if five other states in the region agree to do the same. The bill was voted out of committee just as Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposed redistricting reform bill died.

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Out of the Blocks

all images by Wendel Patrick

2100 Edmondson

The corner diner, Soul Source, is the hub of the 2100 block of Edmondson Avenue. The manager, Joyce, has been serving breakfast to the locals for 30 years. Her restaurant looks out onto a West Baltimore block scarred by gunshots and stabbings. But the block is more than its scars. It’s a block where a Pentecostal pastor keeps her faith in the face of suffering, where a reformed drug dealer works as a kitchen appliance repairman, and where a political reporter from Kashmir has found sanctuary working behind the counter at a sandwich shop. It’s a block where a former Nigerian soccer star operates an auto repair shop. In his car lot, he lets a homeless man sleep in a van. Next door is an army veteran who issued air-strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan. And across the street is a tire repairman who’s trying to beat a 30-year heroin addiction. Crystal, who works in the kitchen at Soul Source, sums it up like this: It’s not always peaches and cream, but this is a place that you know is always going to be real .

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Throughout the campaign, President Trump billed himself as a master negotiator who would make the "best deals" for the American people.

That reputation and the reach of the president's bully pulpit face a tough test Friday after he gave House Republicans an ultimatum to vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — or leave Obamacare in place.

The death toll in Wednesday's terrorist attack near the U.K. Parliament has risen, after a 75-year-old man died of his injuries. Police say Leslie Rhodes of south London is the fourth person killed by British-born Khalid Masood, who was killed in the attack.

Other victims include Kurt Cochran of Utah, 54, whose wife was also seriously injured; Police Constable Keith Palmer, 48; and Aysha Frade, 43, who was reportedly on her way to pick her children up from school.

John Scalzi's novel The Collapsing Empire kicks off a new series set in — you guessed it — an interstellar empire teetering on the brink of collapse. The Interdependency sprawls across light-years of space, held together by a strange dimension called the Flow, which enables humans to span the immense distances between planets. But the Flow is failing, changing, fluctuating — cutting off some planets forever (including Earth). And in the Interdependency, no planet can survive without supplies from the others. So what's an emperox to do?

Jenni Konner and Lena Dunham are creative partners and best friends. From their cozy office in Los Angeles, they oversee their hit show Girls, work on their online feminist newsletter Lenny Letter and develop other film and TV projects. (Currently in the works: an HBO animated series about Planned Parenthood.) Their office is adorned with photos of the BFF posing together for magazine covers, and provocative artworks.

"This one is about perky boobies," Konner says, pointing to a framed needlepoint sampler.

Joel McCord and Rachel Baye, WYPR's state government reporter, talk about Maryland Democrats' efforts to capitalize on public sentiment for redistricting reform. And about how it's going nowhere.

When the Food and Drug Administration created controls in January on how farmers can give antibiotics to livestock, scientists concerned about antibiotic resistance and advocates for animal welfare called it a historic shift in how meat animals are raised.

But a new federal report, released last week, says the long-awaited FDA initiative — first attempted back in 1977 — falls short in so many areas that it may not create the change that backers hoped for.

Uber is in crisis. This week the president resigned, after just six months on the job. Morale has been shaken following a damning account of sexual harassment. The board of directors is so concerned about the CEO's ability to lead, they're looking for a No. 2 to help steer the company.

And now — in a curious plot twist — media mogul Arianna Huffington is emerging as chief of Uber's campaign for culture change.

The company decided to hold a conference call on Tuesday with reporters.

In a bid to improve the health insurance purchasing clout of small businesses, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives dusted off a piece of controversial legislation more than a decade old and passed it this week as part of their effort to remake the market after they throw out the Affordable Care Act.

The bill, the Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2017, had the support of 232 Republicans and 4 Democrats. It now heads to the Senate, where its fate is uncertain, experts say.

President Trump got good news on Thursday from the federal agency that oversees the three-year-old lease on his five-star hotel in Washington, D.C.

The General Services Administration said in a letter that the Trump Organization is in "full compliance" with the lease on the luxury hotel that's located just blocks from the White House.

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