NPR News

Among the nine victims of Wednesday's shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. was its pastor, Clementa Pinckney, who was also a was also a Democratic state senator. He was 41.

According to the church's website, Pinckney "answered the call to preach at the age of 13 and received his first appointment to pastor at the age of 18."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



In the Holy City, it's called "Mother Emanuel." Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church has a long history in which its existence was threatened — or even banned outright. Every time, the church that was the scene of Wednesday's mass shooting has survived and rebuilt.

Marlene Allen thought she had decent medical coverage after she fell in December and broke her wrist. She had come in from walking the dogs. It was wet. The fracture needed surgery and screws and a plate.

Weeks later, she learned her job-based health plan would cover nothing. Not the initial doctor visit, not the outpatient surgery, not the anesthesiology. She had $19,000 in bills.

"Make sure you find out what kind of plan it is" when employers offer coverage, advises Allen, who lives in northern Minnesota. "I thought health insurance was health insurance."

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the state of Texas was legally justified in refusing to issue a proposed specialty license plate for members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Pope Francis today issued a sweeping 184-page papal letter, writing that climate change is a global problem with far reaching environmental and social consequences — especially for the poor. He blamed apathy and greed and called on developing countries to limit the use of nonrenewable energy and to assist poorer nations.

On the bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon Bonaparte's most celebrated statement about food and warfare — "An army marches on its stomach" — is worth recalling.

Except there is no record of him saying it. Just as there is no record of Marie Antoinette saying, "Let them eat cake."

If he did say it, the words would have been as hollow as the stomachs of his soldiers. Though one of the greatest military generals of all time, Napoleon was surprisingly negligent about feeding his army.

Copyright 2015 Georgia Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit

In Afghanistan's rough and ragged reconstruction, one of the most frequently cited bright spots has been the surge in Afghan kids going to school.

When the Taliban were ousted in 2001, fewer than 1 million Afghans were in the classroom, and a minuscule number were girls. In recent years, the figure topped 8 million, with both sexes well represented, according to the Afghan government.

Now the extent of that success story is being thrown into doubt.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



When Should Surgeons Stop Operating?

11 hours ago

Increased fatigue, forgetfulness, and reduced eyesight — these are some of the declines that can come with aging.

Certain professions keep a close watch for these sorts of changes, in hopes of protecting the public. And some jobs even have a firm age cutoff: Airline pilots are required to retire at 65, for example, and some firefighters must step down by 57. But there are no nationwide age-related cutoffs, required assessments or guidelines to make sure doctors can do their jobs safely.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Police in Charleston, S.C., say a man they suspect opened fire and killed nine people during a Wednesday prayer meeting at one of the city's oldest historically black churches has been captured.

Copyright 2015 North Country Public Radio. To see more, visit