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Bobby Allyn

Bobby Allyn is a general assignment reporter for NPR.

He came to Washington from Philadelphia, where he covered criminal justice and breaking news for more than four years at member station WHYY. In that role, he focused on major corruption trials, law enforcement, and local criminal justice policy. He helped lead NPR's reporting of Bill Cosby's two criminal trials. He was a guest on Fresh Air after breaking a major story about the nation's first supervised injection site plan in Philadelphia. In between daily stories, he has worked on several investigative projects, including a story that exposed how the federal government was quietly hiring debt collection law firms to target the homes of student borrowers who had defaulted on their loans. Allyn also strayed from his beat to cover Philly parking disputes that divided in the city, the last meal at one of the city's last all-night diners, and a remembrance of the man who wrote the Mister Softee jingle on a xylophone in the basement of his Northeast Philly home.

At other points in life, Allyn has been a staff reporter at Nashville Public Radio and daily newspapers including The Oregonian in Portland and The Tennessean in Nashville. His work has also appeared in BuzzFeed News, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

A native of Wilkes-Barre, a former mining town in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Allyn is the son of a machinist and a church organist. He's a dedicated bike commuter and long-distance runner. He is a graduate of American University in Washington.

Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

A judge has ruled that a Philadelphia nonprofit group's plan to open the first site in the U.S. where people can use illegal opioids under medical supervision does not violate federal drug laws, delivering a major setback to Justice Department lawyers who launched a legal challenge to block the facility.

Updated at 6:22 p.m. ET

A Dallas jury has found former police Officer Amber Guyger guilty of murder for fatally shooting a neighbor who lived in the apartment directly above hers last year. She had testified that she entered Botham Jean's unit after a long day at work, thinking it was her own home and that he was an intruder.

Updated at 11:10 p.m. ET

Chaotic scenes overtook the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday, as protesters and police engaged in running street battles in a march billed as a rally against global totalitarianism. It also launched the 17th week of pro-democracy demonstrations aimed at China's tightening grip on the territory.

Updated 8:38 p.m. ET

President Trump has ordered that the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the U.S. in the coming year be cut nearly in half to 18,000, down from the administration's previous refugee ceiling of 30,000.

The limit represents the lowest number of refugees seeking protection from violence or political persecution allowed into the country since the modern refugee program was established in 1980.

The "OK" hand gesture, commonly seen as a way of indicating that all is well, has now been classified as something else: a symbol of hate.

On Thursday, the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights organization, added 36 symbols to its "Hate on Display" database including the index finger-to-thumb sign that in some corners of the Internet has become associated with white supremacy and the far right.

Federal transportation investigators say Boeing should reevaluate the way it prepares pilots to respond to emergencies and faulted the aircraft maker for making assumptions about the design of cockpit systems in the first safety analysis released since two crashes of 737 Max planes killed 346 people.

Israel's president on Wednesday tapped Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to attempt to form a new government. The move could give Netanyahu up to six weeks to haggle for political allies.

Updated at 1:01 p.m. ET

Juul Labs has agreed to stop advertising its popular e-cigarettes in the United States and announced that its chief executive officer is stepping down as state and federal regulators examine hundreds of cases of people who are sick from what appears to be a vaping-related lung disease.

New Mexico has announced a plan to make public college and university free for all residents in the state, a proposal considered one of the most ambitious attempts to make higher education more accessible.

Updated 1:35 p.m. ET

A Pennsylvania state senator has stepped down following his arrest on charges of possession of child pornography.

Sen. Mike Folmer submitted his letter of resignation on Wednesday to Republican colleagues in Harrisburg, according to leadership in the state chamber.

Updated at 7:17 p.m. ET

The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Edward Snowden alleging that his newly released memoir, Permanent Record, violates nondisclosure agreements he signed with the federal government. Justice Department lawyers say the U.S. is entitled to all of Snowden's book profits.

The civil lawsuit filed Tuesday in Virginia names the former National Security Agency contractor and his New York-based publisher, Macmillan.

Veteran journalist Cokie Roberts, who joined an upstart NPR in 1978 and left an indelible imprint on the growing network with her coverage of Washington politics before later going to ABC News, has died. She was 75.

Roberts died Tuesday because of complications from breast cancer, according to a family statement.

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sunday night, just days after striking a settlement with more than 2,000 local governments over its alleged role in creating and sustaining the deadly opioid crisis.

Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET Monday

Talks between General Motors and union officials representing tens of thousands of striking autoworkers restarted Monday in hopes of driving both sides to an agreement on issues including workers' wages, health care and profit-sharing.

After several hours, union officials representing nearly 50,000 workers acknowledge negotiations remain in neutral.

Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid drug OxyContin, has reached a tentative deal worth billions of dollars that would resolve thousands of lawsuits brought by municipal and state governments who sued the company for allegedly helping to fuel the opioid crisis.

The pending settlement likely means Purdue will avoid going to trial in the sprawling and complicated case involving some 2,300 local governments across 23 states.

Embattled Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown is expected to practice with the team on Wednesday, a day after Brown's former trainer accused him of rape in a federal lawsuit.

In a combative press conference, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said the accusations "are what they are" and that "I won't be entering into a discussion about that right now," adding that the team is taking the latest controversy involving Brown "one day at a time."

This summer, a young girl from Arkansas wrote a Northeastern Pennsylvania toy company out of frustration.

"My name is Vivian. I am six years old. Why do you not make girl army men?" wrote Vivian Lord to BMC Toys.

To Jeff Imel, the president of BMC Toys, which makes the iconic Green Army Men figurines, it was a worthy question and one he had mulled over for years.

"It was a heartfelt letter," Imel told NPR. "And it reminded me of being a kid and always wanting that toy that you couldn't get in the gumball machine," he said. "So I really looked into it."

In the Bahamas, the damage Hurricane Dorian wreaked on roads, airports, communication grids and other infrastructure is presenting a logistical nightmare for emergency responders and aid workers trying to get basic supplies to the neediest storm victims.

Theresa Ray lives in a small house on 4-foot stilts in the low-lying marshlands of Ocracoke Island, what many consider the gem of North Carolina's Outer Banks.

On Friday, as she was making ramen noodles in her kitchen, Ray heard what sounded like a fleet of trucks barreling straight toward her.

Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander lifted both his arms aloft then bent to his knees with the clenched fists of a victorious warrior before his teammates thronged him from all sides.

Verlander was not just not marking any old win. The right-hander tossed a no-hitter Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Updated at 3:22 p.m. ET

The death toll from a mass shooting carried out by a gunman in the West Texas cities of Midland and Odessa has risen from five to seven, and 22 others remain injured, officials said on Sunday.

Authorities said a man armed with an "AR-type weapon" was killed by police just moments before heading toward a crowded movie theater, preventing what investigators said could have been an even deadlier rampage.

The pope was running late.

For seven excruciating minutes, thousands of gatherers on Sunday in St Peter's Square in Vatican City were anxiously waiting for Pope Francis to show up for his weekly address, which usually starts, like clockwork, exactly at noon. Questions and worries that something may be seriously amiss made many onlookers fret.

But finally, the window of the Apostolic Palace swung open and a smiling 82-year-old pontiff sent relief across the crowd.

Deaths caused by motorists running red lights have risen to a 10-year high, a newly released study finds.

At least two people are killed this way every day in the U.S., according to the study of government data by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The study looked at fatalities from 2008 to 2017, the most recent year data are available. Drivers blowing through red lights killed 939 people in 2017. That's an increase of 31% from a low in 2009, when 715 people were killed.

A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld Cook County, Ill., gun laws, including a ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, affirming a lower court decision that found the regulations to be constitutional.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday ET

The College Board is dropping its plan to give SAT-takers a single score that captures a student's economic hardship. The change comes after blowback from university officials and parents of those taking the college admissions exam.

Twelve years after Meek Mill was arrested as a 19-year-old in North Philadelphia on gun and drug charges, his criminal case has officially ended. On Tuesday, Meek pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor firearm charge in Philadelphia. Prosecutors then dismissed all remaining counts against him and the judge imposed no further penalty.

Updated at 4:46 p.m. ET

Portions of a Missouri law banning abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy were blocked by a federal judge just a day before the legislation was to go into effect.

U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs issued the order halting the law, whose provisions also call for physicians who perform an abortion after eight weeks to face possible prison time and have their license suspended or revoked.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

Joe Walsh, a conservative talk-radio host and former Tea Party congressman, is launching a long-shot primary challenge to President Trump. He's the second Republican to officially announce a run against Trump, who has a strong approval rating among his party's base.

Walsh, 57, supported Trump during his 2016 campaign but in recent months has been offering a bitter critique of the president, calling Trump a liar and bully who is unfit for office. Walsh has also attacked Trump from the right.

A disgruntled cook who threatened to carry out a mass shooting and had assembled an extensive stockpile of high-powered firearms, ammunition and tactical gear has been arrested, authorities in Long Beach, Calif., said.

Police arrested Rodolfo Montoya, 37, at his Huntington Beach residence Tuesday after he told a co-worker at the Long Beach Marriott that he was planning to "shoot up fellow employees and people coming into the hotel," said Police Chief Robert Luna during a news conference.

The Trump administration's proposal to push millions of people out of the federal food stamp program would punish some of the country's neediest, including children, seniors and people with disabilities, according to mayors of 70 American cities who have sent a letter to an administrator for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

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