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Along with garbage piling up at National Parks and federal workers furloughed, the government shutdown is also slowing down businesses that rely on federal workers during the day, like the restaurants and cafes where they eat lunch.

The Denver Federal Center in the suburb of Lakewood, Colo., houses 28 government agencies in 44 buildings. Many federal employees working there are not on the job because of the shutdown.

Two weeks into the government shutdown, National Parks are starting to close. The public has been getting free access, since there are no employees to collect entrance fees of up to $35 per car. But neither are employees there to collect trash and clean bathrooms. So, with overflowing trash cans and toilets posing a threat to human health and safety, parks are shutting down.

A controversial, government-contracted shelter for migrant children in the West Texas desert will shut down later this month, a result of sweeping changes to the rules that govern the custody of youngsters. Nationwide, the number of children in the government's care has stopped growing and begun to fall.

Black directors had a "banner year" in 2018, according to the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. The organization, which tracks diversity in Hollywood, says there were 16 black directors with films among last year's 100 top-grossing scripted movies — a big leap from 2017, when there were only six.

The tally in 2018 is by far the most the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative has recorded in a single year, and it doubles the number found in 2007, the group's first year of data.

How To Dial 911 From Space

Jan 4, 2019

Used to dialing 9 to call out when you're at work? So are astronauts.

But that pesky, extra digit tripped up Dutch astronaut André Kuipers, when he accidentally called 911 from the International Space Station.

The astronaut was trying to dial an international number, he told Dutch public broadcaster Nederlandse Omroep Stichting, when he erred. Floating inside the space station, he made a mistake many people make in regular gravity — he missed a number.

Updated at 6:29 p.m. ET

Facing staggering liability costs for its potential culpability in a series of deadly wildfires, the parent company of California's largest utility is exploring whether to sell off a major part of the company, NPR has learned.

Updated at 4:13 p.m. ET

Embassies of several countries are trying to assist ex-U.S. Marine Paul Whelan as he remains in a Moscow prison over allegations of espionage. Whelan was born in Canada and has since gained citizenship in the U.S., Britain and Ireland.

If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison. At least three countries have confirmed that they have requested consular access to Whelan: The U.S., Britain and Ireland say they're working to support him in detention and ensure his rights are respected.

At the beginning of 2018, we made predictions about what the year in global health and development might look like in the countries we cover.

The pundits we interviewed forecast that 2018 would bring a decline in the number of health workers around the world, inspire more humanitarians to share their #MeToo stories and see more conflict that would drive the world's humanitarian crises.

Some members of the Republican National Committee and grassroots Republicans are backing an effort to block potential primary challengers to President Trump, even though party insiders are insisting it is too late to change the rules for the 2020 campaign.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET

Longtime Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts announced Friday he won't run for re-election in 2020, opening up a potentially competitive seat in a state where Democrats recently had several unlikely electoral successes.

It was 3 p.m. on New Year's Day when Rakhee Madhavan, a 39-year-old teacher living in Kochi in the southern Indian state of Kerala, decided that she wanted to begin 2019 by doing something meaningful.

So Madhavan, who was visiting her hometown of Mullukkara 60 miles away for the holidays, boarded a bus there that was brimming with women. One hour later, she was part of what is reportedly the largest public gathering of women for the cause of gender equality in India.

They called it the "women's wall" — vanitha mathil in the local language of Malayalam.

Updated at 3:27 p.m. ET

Just hours after Democrats took control of the House of Representatives and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., cautioned against moving toward impeaching President Trump, a freshman Democrat profanely vowed to remove the president.

Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of the two women who made history for being sworn in as the first Muslim women in Congress, told supporters Thursday night:

Doctors told Steve Dillman the throat cancer he was diagnosed with in 2008 came from smoking. He knew it didn't.

"I thought it had to be job-related because I've never smoked a day in my life. I don't chew. I don't drink excessively ... and that's the three main criterias," he says.

But Dillman did spend 38 years as an Indianapolis firefighter — and that included running into burning buildings.

Three American women of Taiwanese descent are cooking up the dishes of their youth: dumplings, roasted pork belly, sticky rice buns, shaved ice.

Except they're not using food. They're using materials like plaster, paint and porcelain.

Remarkably, the artists don't know each other in real life, only through Instagram. But they share a common goal: to re-create the foods of their culture in sculpture to pay homage to their heritage.

Updated Saturday at 2:50 p.m. ET

Seven people — including five children from Louisiana who were headed to Disney World — were killed in a crash involving two semitrucks and a number of passenger vehicles in Northern Florida on Thursday.

Hackers have published cellphone numbers, credit card data and private communications belonging to members of nearly every German political party, in a sweeping breach last month that reportedly also affected German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) is the only main party whose members were spared from the attack, according to RBB Inforadio, a Berlin-based public broadcaster that broke the story.

On a day meant to celebrate Myanmar's independence from Britain 71 years ago, Buddhist insurgents launched attacks on four police posts that killed seven soldiers in the country's restive Rakhine state.

Updated at 10:13 a.m. ET

The scandal started with surveillance and tuna fishing, and ended with the cratering of Mozambique's credit rating. On Thursday, three ex-Credit Suisse Group AG bankers were arrested in London and face possible extradition to the U.S. on charges related to bribery of officials in Mozambique, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

New York City is testing a new model of workforce training for the future.

In October, the city partnered with the Freelancers Union to open the Freelancers Hub in Brooklyn. It's a kind of communal co-working space that offers classes, tax and legal advice — all at no cost — to the city's growing population of freelance workers.

Its goal: To equip this population with the skills they need, something many experts argue traditional education isn't doing.

A third woman has crossed the threshold into the sacred Hindu Sabarimala temple in southern India, defying a centuries-old ban on women of menstruating age — between the ages of 10 and 50 — from entering the shrine, according to Reuters.

Updated at 4:07 p.m. ET

The markets have been a mess, but companies are still hiring — a lot.

The economy ended the year by adding a much-stronger-than-expected 312,000 jobs in December — the biggest gain in 10 months, the Labor Department said Friday.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate jumped to 3.9 percent — the highest rate since August — as more people felt confident enough to quit their jobs and look for new ones.

Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET

Edward Gallagher was a decorated 19-year Navy veteran on his eighth tour of duty. And military prosecutors say that while serving in Mosul, Iraq, in 2017, he snapped.

Gallagher plans to plead not guilty to multiple charges of war crimes at his arraignment hearing Friday at Naval Base San Diego, attorney Phillip Stackhouse told NPR.

Happy New Year, it's already 2020. Or might as well be.

This is how elections work in this country — the presidential campaign cycle begins the year before the presidential election, and when it's a potentially large field, it pushes further and further back.

And that is what's happening. Elizabeth Warren, the progressive senator from Massachusetts, got a lot of attention for her New Year's Eve video announcement that she had launched an exploratory bid for president.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

President Trump and congressional leaders met at the White House on Friday in what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called a "lengthy and sometimes contentious" session and in which the president threatened to keep the government shut down for months or years.

And at the end, the two sides seemed no closer to resolving their standoff over funding a border wall that has forced a partial government shutdown now hitting the two-week mark, with the possibility of lasting much longer.

On Thursday, Democrat Rashida Tlaib became the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in Congress. She wore an intricately embroidered red and black robe to her swearing-in ceremony and laid her left hand upon a Quran as she took her oath of office, inspiring legions of Palestinian-Americans who saw themselves in the attorney from Michigan.

A for-profit higher education company will no longer collect nearly a half-billion dollars in student debt, now that the firm has reached settlements with 48 states and the District of Columbia.

Two South Carolina sheriff's deputies will be charged in connection with the deaths of two women who drowned in a locked and overturned van while they were being transported during Hurricane Florence on Sept. 18.

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