National & World News

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

The government's partial shutdown has turned Washington's National Mall into a bleak place. Trash cans are overflowing, museums and historic sites are shuttered. Park Service rangers and Smithsonian employees are furloughed as the shutdown drags on.

The last stretch before the start of the 2020 census is upon us.

The once-a-decade, national head count is scheduled to kick off next January. Census workers start in the village of Toksook Bay and other parts of rural Alaska when the ground there is frozen enough for door-to-door visits. Then, beginning in March 2020, the U.S. government's most expansive peacetime operation rolls out to households in the rest of the country.

Jazmine Barnes, a seven-year-old black girl, was buried this week in Harris County, Texas. She was shot and killed while sitting in the car with her mother and siblings on the morning of December 30.

Initial reports stated that the shooter was a white man. Those reports led to a national outcry that this was a racially-motivated attack. Activists and politicians demanded that the shooting be investigated as a hate crime. But in the days since the shooting, deputies in Harris County have charged two black men in relation to the shooting.

The Congolese capital of Kinshasa is reported relatively quiet early Thursday morning as the nation's electoral commission waited until the wee hours to declare opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi the provisional winner of last month's long-delayed presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But runner-up Martin Fayulu is disputing the results, condemning the election results as "rigged, fabricated and invented," according to the Associated Press.

Underpaid au pairs who have worked in homes across America, taking care of children, often cooking, cleaning, playing chauffeur and providing a range of other duties, will finally receive back pay they say they are owed.

On Wednesday, 15 of the companies authorized by the State Department to recruit young foreigners to provide low-cost child care in U.S. households reached a $65.5 million settlement in a class-action law suit filed by nearly a dozen au pairs in a Denver federal court.

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