National & World News

Coverage of national and world news from New England Public Radio, NPR, and other NPR stations.

Updated at 9:42 a.m. ET on Friday

Federal authorities have opened an investigation into a series of explosions that set off fires in several small towns in Massachusetts on Thursday night, killing one person and injuring several others.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Friday that it is sending a team to investigate "what certainly appears to be multiple explosions involving a natural gas pipeline."

The vampire facial was only supposed to sound scary. Sure, it involves extracting the patient's own blood, isolating the platelet-rich plasma by spinning it in a centrifuge and then re-injecting it into the face. But the results are touted to be rejuvenated, smooth and supple skin, not an HIV or hepatitis scare, as clients of the VIP Spa in Albuquerque, N.M., are now facing.

A federal judge denied bail on Wednesday to all five members of an extended family accused of operating a training camp for a violent attack on public institutions out of their isolated New Mexico compound.

During the arraignment hearing, Magistrate Judge Kirtan Khalsa told the defendants there was "clear and convincing evidence that you are a danger to the community," The Associated Press reported.

Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET

The White House is accusing Senate Democrats of an unfounded "11th hour attempt to delay" a vote on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, released a statement Thursday afternoon disclosing that she had referred "a matter" involving Kavanaugh to "federal investigative authorities."

House and Senate negotiators have agreed to a plan to avoid a shutdown fight weeks before the midterm elections in November.

Government scientists have presented new evidence that the plastic additive BPA isn't a health threat.

Low doses of the chemical given to hundreds of rats, "did not elicit clear, biologically plausible adverse effects," said K. Barry Delclos, a research pharmacologist at the Food and Drug Administration's National Center for Toxicological Research.

Starting next year, Medicare Advantage plans will be able to add restrictions on expensive, injectable drugs administered by doctors to treat cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, macular degeneration and other serious diseases.

Updated at 10:35 p.m. ET

Storm surges of 9 to 13 feet and rainfall up to 40 inches: Those are two of the most dire warnings about Hurricane Florence's effect on parts of North and South Carolina. Thousands have heeded evacuation orders; others are hoping to cope with the storm in their homes or at local shelters.

17 Apps To Help You Get Through The Hurricane

Sep 13, 2018

In addition to getting flashlights, bottled water and food, hurricane preparation these days includes stockpiling apps on your phone. For those in the path of Hurricane Florence in North and South Carolina, having the right apps can be lifeline during and after the storm. Here are some apps — mostly free — that are useful to download if you're in a hurricane zone:

For immediate assistance:

As Pope Francis sat down at the Vatican Thursday with a delegation of U.S. bishops and cardinals to discuss how to gain ground in the sexual abuse crisis engulfing the Catholic Church, fresh scandals emerged on both sides of the Atlantic.

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