As New Year's celebrations in China grow increasingly commercialized, many city dwellers are seeking a return to tradition. Some head to an ancient town outside Beijing where poor but ingenious blacksmiths created their own fireworks. But even centuries-old customs aren't immune to change.
Because of an influx of trains hauling crude oil and other freight across the Northern Plains, Amtrak is facing problems with unreliability, long delays, lost revenue and stranded passengers. An advocacy group wants the government to intervene.
The man says he was one of 17 kidnapped by a cartel and forced to build drug-smuggling tunnels. Now he might be in prison for the rest of his life.
During a classified briefing, the lawmakers were told most of the information taken by Edward Snowden had nothing to do with U.S. surveillance programs. Instead, his leaks "specifically [work] to compromise the military capability and defense of the country."
Authorities are still discussing an incident that took place Tuesday night on California's I-805, where a firefighter was arrested by a police officer at the scene of an accident. The reason? They disagreed over where the fire truck should be.
A leading investor thinks bitcoin is going to change the world. A prominent writer disagrees. They make a bet about what we'll be using for money in 2019.
President Obama nominated Florida Judge Darrin Gayles to serve on the U.S. District Court bench. GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who blocked the president's last nominee for the position, says he doesn't plan to object.
Officials said they issued the warning for Russian-bound planes out of an abundance of caution. A Homeland Security official said the warning was borne out of new intelligence.
In a warming world, extreme droughts are predicted to become more common. Amid the historic drought gripping California and much of the West Coast, scientists are studying how states can manage with a lot less water in the future.
Thousands of people have walked out to the caves in recent weeks to inspect beautiful ice formations. It's the first time Lake Superior's ice has been thick enough to walk on in the area since 2009.
Clay Aiken is the latest in a long line of actors, singers, reality TV stars and athletes to seek second careers in politics. But fame is no guarantee of success at the ballot box.
A broken stormwater pipe in North Carolina has sent the waste into the Dan River, which flows through Virginia and out into the Atlantic. Officials say the drinking water is safe, but environmental questions linger.
In Europe, Google will now show results from its competitors. The agreement allows the search giant to dodge billions in fines.
Internal disagreements among Israelis and Palestinians can be just as sharp as disputes between the two sides. NPR's Emily Harris heard these conflicting views as she traveled through the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank.
Hackers who broke into Target's computer network and stole customers' financial and personal data used credentials that were stolen from a heating and air conditioning subcontractor in Pennsylvania, according to digital security journalist Brian Krebs.
In recent years, the Microsoft co-founder has pulled back from his work at the company to focus on his foundation — improving global health and reducing poverty. But his hands-on days at Microsoft are not over. Gates is stepping down as chairman but moving into a part-time role as technology adviser.
Across the state, towns and cities now see waste in the the full water glasses left on diners' tables. Santa Cruz is one of the first California towns to bar restaurants from serving drinking water unless diners request it.
For the last two weeks, the barrel bombing of the rebel-held area of Aleppo in Syria has intensified. Warplanes drop leaflets on neighborhoods warning civilians to flee — and it seems they're listening. Residents of Aleppo districts held by the regime say they are seeing an influx of families, while aid agencies working in Turkey say hundreds of thousands of the displaced are trying to get in.
The United Nations watchdog for children's rights has accused the Vatican of caring more about its own reputation and members of the clergy than the victims of sexual abuse. The group is calling for the Vatican to immediately remove any priests suspected of sexually abusing children.
The pharmacy giant CVS plans to eliminate cigarettes and other tobacco products from its stores by October. The company says it made the decision because the drug store business is changing and that selling cigarettes is no longer consistent with its mission. Medical experts and the White House hailed the move. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.