NPR News Newsletter: Rep. Omar Gets Big Welcome Home; Iran, U.S. Disagree Over Drone; Parakeet Love

Published by NPR News on July 19th, 2019 12:21pm. 9 views.

Plus, what happens when science seeks utopia.
by Korva Coleman and Suzette Lohmeyer
First Up
Rep. Ilhan Omar, shown here at the Capitol on Thursday, has been a target of racist rhetoric from President Trump .
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Here’s what we’re following today.

President Trump attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar with new insults on Twitter today. The Democratic congresswoman received cheers when she returned to her home district in Minnesota, with well-wishers chanting “welcome home.”

A senior Trump administration official says the U.S. has evidence that a U.S. naval warship destroyed an Iranian drone yesterday; Iran says this never happened.

The White House has quietly prepared a new immigration bill, and lined up Republican senators to co-sponsor it. The proposal includes a federal employment verification program that would check whether new employees are legally allowed to work. 

Customs and Border Protection denied that an agent asked an ill toddler to choose which of her parents would be sent back to Mexico. In a statement, a CBP spokesman said the family was only temporarily separated during processing.

Newly unsealed documents describe Donald Trump’s involvement in negotiations with an adult film star to buy her silence about their alleged sexual encounter. Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, said he made the payments at the direction of Trump

Chemical experts say recent refinery explosions could have been far more devastating if deadly hydrogen fluoride was released. Some are calling for a ban on the chemical.

Nearly five years ago, Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke shot 16 rounds into teenager Laquan McDonald. Last night, a city panel voted to fire a sergeant and three other veteran officers, accusing them of betraying their duty by "outright lying or shading the truth."

The Daily Good
‘Epic’ parakeet lovemaking boosts population of one of the rarest birds.
The small bird was believed to have gone extinct but after a bumper crop of beech seeds this year, conservationists estimate the orange-fronted parakeet population has likely doubled.
Department of Conservation
One of the rarest birds in New Zealand is having its best breeding season in decades, potentially doubling the population. The Department of Conservation explained that the parakeets’ "epic" lovemaking has been spurred by the biggest beech mast in more than 40 years. The native birds subsist on plants and insects, and during a mast year, seeds dominate their diet.

Today's Listen
A vicious cycle for those with college loans without a degree. 
Some of the people struggling the most to pay back their debt are the millions of students who took out student loans but never finished a degree.
LA Johnson/NPR
Back in high school, Chavonne recalls, her teachers and friends pushed her to go to college. And so, without too much thought, Chavonne enrolled at the University of Mississippi and borrowed about $20,000 to pay for it. But after three semesters of struggling, she had enough. Her college days are five years behind her, but the debt she took on is not — a vicious cycle of debt for those with loans who did not graduate.

Today's Podcast
What happens when science seeks utopia.
Hidden Brain examines how some American scientists used the bodies of people deemed less than fully human to create a perfect society. The U.S. Supreme Court enabled scientists to forcibly sterilize more than 60,000 people in the 20th century. Doctors conducted gynecological research on the bodies of enslaved women in the 1840s, claiming that black women did not feel pain.

Before You Go
A woman cools off in the fountain at Washington Square Park in New York. Temperatures at or close to 100 degrees are expected in the city this weekend.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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