NPR News

Forget all your preconceptions about how the world has changed over the past several decades. Here's all the data you need in a shiny new tool that tracks the planet's progress toward becoming a better place for everyone.

Paul R. Pillar served in the CIA for 28 years. He is a nonresident senior fellow at the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University.

Les Payne, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who spent his career at Newsday expanding coverage beyond local issues to include international stories first as a reporter, then as a columnist and editor — all while vehemently crusading for racial equality — has died at his home in Harlem, N.Y. He was 76.

Payne's son Jamal told Newsday that the retired journalist was working on a book about Malcom X when he had a heart attack in his home office Monday evening.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


The kidnapping of 110 school girls from a Nigerian school in the northeast town of Dapchi on Feb. 19 came to an abrupt and joyful end for most of the families 30 days later. Early Wednesday, militants from Boko Haram, the same group that snatched the girls, brought back 104 of them, handing them over to federal officials, according to the Nigerian government.

Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has been arrested over a host of corruption allegations, ranging from bribery to embezzlement and tax evasion. Live footage on local media showed Lee submitting to his arrest warrant at home late at night, getting into a black sedan flanked by two law enforcement officers.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

John Dowd, the veteran attorney leading President Trump's outside legal team, has tendered his resignation, marking a shakeup just as Trump had turned his Twitter ire on special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation.

Dowd declined to explain why he was leaving the team that is helping the president deal with the Russia investigation. But a source familiar with Dowd's thinking says he was tired and frustrated, in a draining job with not enough resources and with a client who was not taking his advice.

"Trade wars are good, and easy to win," President Trump tweeted earlier this month after announcing heavy tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The president's claim will soon be tested after he unleashes a raft of tariffs on about $50 billion worth of Chinese exports to the United States in retaliation for China's theft of U.S. technology and trade secrets.

Updated at 1:45 a.m. ET on Friday

In a major escalation of the president's "America First" trade policy, the Trump administration is preparing to impose stiff tariffs on Chinese imports. The goal is to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China by $50 billion. President Trump is also calling for new limits on Chinese investment in U.S. technology, in an effort to protect what the administration calls America's "economic seed corn."