The nation's first "soda tax" on sugar-sweetened beverages, which went into effect in Berkeley, Calif., last year, appears to be working.

According to a new study, consumption of sugary drinks — at least in some neighborhoods — is down by a whopping 20 percent.

Author Lawrence Wright was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, which meant he was required to do two years of what was called "alternative service." He ended up in Egypt, teaching at the American University in Cairo. And it was there that the man from Texas started his obsession with the Middle East.

Since then, Wright has written a lot about the region and about terrorism as a staff writer for The New Yorker. Now, he has compiled his many New Yorker essays into a new book called The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the Islamic State.

Mike Pence sat down in Henry Jones' barbershop in Norristown, Pa., Tuesday, during a campaign swing — and the media came along for the ride.

CNN streamed 20 minutes of silence and small talk on Facebook Live, as Pence got a trim. Watch it here:

Among the moments captured on camera:

Pence: You've been at this location since '92?

Jones: Yes

Pence: It's a good location

After looking in a mirror and proclaiming it a "great haircut — perfect," Pence applauded, then walked behind the chair to shake Jones' hand.

A series of medical images published Tuesday offer the most complete picture, so far, of how the Zika virus can damage the brain of a fetus.

"The images show the worst brain infections that doctors will ever see," says Dr. Deborah Levine, at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who contributed to the study. "Zika is such a severe infection [in fetuses]. Most doctors will have never seen brains like this before."

It's been a rough summer for supporters of Donald Trump.

A convention that aimed for harmony had some disharmony. The candidate picked arguments with a Gold Star family and with Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Polls have shown Trump falling behind.

At a recent rally in Altoona, Pa., Trump told the crowd that the only way he could lose Pennsylvania — a state where he is polling well behind Democratic rival Hillary Clinton — would be in the event of a fix.

Firefighters have reached full containment of a blaze east of Los Angeles that forced tens of thousands to evacuate their homes. At the same time, multiple wildfires continued to challenge crews throughout the state.

California's Department of Forestry and Fire Information declared the Blue Cut Fire 100 percent contained Tuesday — but not before the 36,000-acre fire destroyed nearly 100 homes and forced the evacuation of 80,000 people in San Bernardino County.


4 hours ago

The Toronto improvisational band BADBADNOTGOOD recently released its fourth album, IV. The instrumental group includes Matthew Tavares on keys, Chester Hansen on bass, Leland Whitty on saxophone and Alexander Sowinski on drums. The four, most of whom met at Humber College, have become known for their jazz-inflected covers of hip-hop songs and, notably, for their collaborations with Tyler, the Creator.

It started with a report and erupted into a controversy involving a mufti, a Russian Orthodox priest and a rabbi.

The subject: female genital mutilation.

The Clinton Foundation is working now to "spin off" or "find partners" for many of its programs, including all international activities and programs funded by foreign and corporate donors, the head of the Clinton Foundation told NPR's Peter Overby. The "unraveling," which would be an attempt to prevent conflicts, would go into effect if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

It was a tragic turning point.

On July 11, South Sudanese soldiers invaded a hotel in the capital city of Juba and gang-raped foreign aid workers.

"The soldiers just came to the bathroom where all the girls were hiding and they just picked us out of the bathroom one by one," says one of the women who was in the hotel. She asked that her name not be used.

Despite calls for help to the U.N. compound a mile down the road, no one came.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, is known for his outspoken personality and oversize public image, which he believes help build his brand name.

"Whether it's good press or bad press, it's getting your name out there," Washington Post investigative reporter Michael Kranish tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "Getting your name on the gossip pages and the front pages and even the sports pages, [is] all in the effort of building the name."

Hey Hugh.

It's us, the sideburns you wore while you played the character Wolverine. All the times you played Wolverine. To refresh your memory: When Wolverine 3 comes out next year, we'll have been together, the three of us, for nine movies over the course of 17 years.

Seventeen years, Hugh. Do you know what anniversary that is? It's the furniture anniversary. We were gonna make you a footstool!

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported over the weekend that pills seized from Prince’s home in Minnesota were marked as ordinary prescription painkillers but they actually contained fentanyl, the highly addictive synthetic drug that killed the pop star.

Last month, the Drug Enforcement Agency issued a report that said hundreds of thousands of counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl have made their way onto the market.

Paleontologists at the University of New South Wales in Australia say they have identified a tiny new species of marsupial lion that lived around 18 million years ago.

The extinct, squirrel-size animal weighed about 1.3 pounds, very likely lived in trees and had teeth that suggest it was capable of ripping apart other small creatures with its molars.

The researchers named it Microleo attenboroughi in honor of Sir David Attenborough, the famed British naturalist who has hosted numerous documentaries on wildlife.

Robbie Fulks On Mountain Stage

7 hours ago

Robbie Fulks returns to Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of the University of Kentucky in Lexington. One of the architects of alt-country, Fulks has a gift for a wide variety of roots-music sounds, which he employs with a showman's wink and a healthy disrespect for the music industry.

Early mornings are routine for 69-year-old Hiroyuko Yamamoto. He's typically at a busy intersection in the city of Matsudo, near Tokyo, where he volunteers as a school crossing guard. But one rainy morning a little over a year ago, an old woman caught his attention.

She was pushing a bicycle. She was kind of disheveled. Despite the rain, she didn't have an umbrella. When Yamamoto spoke to the woman, she said she was trying to get to the city of Kamisuwa. That's about four hours away by train.

Public-radio music curators know that a great remedy for the late-summer blues is fall's deluge of new releases. In this month's mix, hear new songs by L.A. art-rock favorite Warpaint, soulful newcomer Ethan Burns, Chicago rapper Noname and more, including a premiere from North Dakota folksinger Tom Brosseau.

Each year, thousands of deer are killed on roads and highways in New England. Those collisions can lead to costly insurance claims, injuries and death.

Now, a study is exploring what would happen to deer — and to humans — if an elusive carnivore came back to the northeast: the mountain lion, also known as the cougar.

Patrick Skahill from Here & Now contributor WNPR in Hartford reports.

Read more on this story via WNPR.

Yellowstone National Park is home to more geysers than any place on Earth, and researchers are still learning about how they work.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson takes a tour of Yellowstone’s geyser basin with a park ranger and a scientist who’s been studying the geology of the park for nearly 60 years.

Hear more from Here & Now‘s national parks tour.

A U.S. service member was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan's restive Helmand province Tuesday — the second U.S. combat death in Afghanistan since January.

The service member was conducting "train, advise, assist activities" with Afghan forces when the explosive device went off, according to the U.S. Defense Department. Another American service member and six Afghan soldiers were wounded in the attack near the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah.

Montana doesn’t usually get a lot of attention from the candidates running for president. It’s a red state, but it does shows some signs of turning blue.

President Obama nearly won Montana in 2008, and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson could steal away a significant amount of votes from Donald Trump in 2016, helping Hillary Clinton.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson talks about the state’s role in this year’s election with political scientist David Parker.

The National Parks Service has been making an effort to get more people, especially young people and minorities, to visit and to care about America’s parks.

Here & Now host Jeremy Hobson talks with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, who oversees the National Park Service, about those efforts, as well as the challenges of climate change, funding, congestion and whether the Obama Administration will protect more public land before he leaves office.

The price tag for a college education has skyrocketed in recent years. And having to pay hefty prices for textbooks certainly isn’t helping.

Some community colleges are trying to lighten the load by offering “zero textbook” courses.

Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti finds out about the approach from Linda Williams, who teaches a zero-textbook business administration course at Tidewater Community College in Virginia.

Throughout this election season, Here & Now is tracking key U.S. Senate races.

This week, Alaska, where incumbent Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski has two challengers: Democrat Ray Metcalfe and independent Margaret Stock.

Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti hears the latest about the race from Liz Ruskin, Washington correspondent for Alaska Public Radio.

Hear more from Here & Now‘s Senate tracker series.

Well, the secret's out on the Austin band whose members composed the epic score for the Netflix original series Stranger Things — but producing horror-score-influenced compositions is nothing new for S U R V I V E. For almost a decade, the band has explored these sounds with drum machines and analog synths. Now, it's preparing to release its second full-length record, RR7349, this September.

More than 4 million people visited Yellowstone National Park last year to see the park’s geysers and abundant wildlife. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson spoke with a few tourists as they waited for Old Faithful to erupt.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Here & Now continues its exploration of Yellowstone National Park’s rich soundscape. Hear what active wildfire sounds like up close, the yips of wild coyotes and a rarely heard sound of a cougar.

Hear more from Here & Now‘s national parks tour.

Note: This sound was recorded in association with The Acoustic Atlas, which tweets @acousticatlas.