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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 1:44 p.m. ET Saturday

Federal prosecutors in New York and Chicago unsealed sweeping charges against R&B singer R. Kelly on Friday, accusing him of abusing women and girls for nearly two decades, including kidnapping, forced labor and sending child pornography across state lines.

The bombshell indictments, the first federal criminal charges against Kelly, come a day after he was arrested while walking his dog outside his home in Chicago's Trump Tower. He faces a total of 18 federal counts.

Top officials from 13 states are joining Philadelphia in urging a federal court to allow a site to open where people can inject illegal opioids under medical supervision, the latest escalation in a legal battle with the Justice Department that may determine whether such facilities, known as supervised injection sites, can start to operate in America.

U.S. authorities have unsealed a corruption indictment against two former top officials in Puerto Rico for directing some $15.5 million in contracts to favored businesses, allegedly edging out other firms for the lucrative government work despite allegations of being unqualified.

The two former Puerto Rico leaders — Julia Keleher, who was the secretary of the island's department of education before stepping down in April, and Ángela Ávila-Marrero, who led Puerto Rico's Health Insurance Administration until last month — were arrested by FBI agents on Wednesday.

Rip Torn, the eccentric and temperamental Texan actor who won an Emmy Award for his influential role in the 1990s sitcom The Larry Sanders Show, died Tuesday at the age of 88.

In a statement to NPR, Torn's publicist did not release a cause of death, but said he was at his home surrounded by family in Lakeville, Conn.

California has become the first state in the country to offer government-subsidized health benefits to young adults living in the U.S. illegally.

The measure signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday extends coverage to low-income, undocumented adults ages 25 and younger for the state's Medicaid program.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that the extradition bill that prompted weeks of street demonstrations is "dead," admitting that the government's handling of it was a "total failure."

The measure would have allowed people in Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China to face trials in courts controlled by the Communist Party, sparking fears of politically motivated prosecutions targeting outspoken critics of China.

A federal judge on Monday stopped a Trump administration initiative that would have required drugmakers to reveal the sticker price of their drugs in television ads.

Under the rule, if a medicine's list price was more than $35 a month, it would have to be stated during the commercial. The challenge, opponents say, is that a drug's list price and estimates of what people can expect to pay vary widely depending on coverage.

Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia have seized a large container ship from a global shipping company weeks after authorities raided its cargo and found more than 35,000 pounds of cocaine, or about $1 billion worth of the drugs.

Officials described the June bust at the Port of Philadelphia as the largest cocaine haul in American history.

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

Greeks elected a conservative party led by the scion of a powerful political dynasty in national elections on Sunday, a rejection of the country's left-wing government seen as being too slow in improving the economy after a long financial crisis.

The northern Spanish city of Pamplona this weekend opened its famous running of the bulls festival, a nine-day traditional event that draws thousands of spectators who come to watch people dodge bulls bolting down tight streets.

The festival makes Pamplona's population of nearly 200,000 residents jump to about a million visitors, and is considered one of Spain's biggest tourist attractions.

A federal judge in Maryland is moving forward with a case that claims the Trump administration intended to discriminate against immigrant communities of color by adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Iraq's ancient heritage has earned a recognition that archaeologists and Middle East experts have long sought: Babylon has been added to the United Nations' list of World Heritage sites.

UNESCO said its World Heritage Committee voted Friday to add Babylon, located south of Baghdad, to its list of about 1,000 World Heritage sites worldwide. The more than 4,000-year-old site was once the capital of the Babylonian Empire.

Updated at 5:02 p.m. ET

Prosecutors dismissed a manslaughter charge against an Alabama woman who was indicted for "intentionally" causing the death of her fetus after someone else shot her in the abdomen.

Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynneice Washington made the announcement in the unusual case that drew headlines and criticism around the globe.

"This is truly a disturbing and heartbreaking case. An unborn child was tragically lost," Washington told reporters. "There are no winners, only losers, in this sad ordeal."

Signs are pointing to a coming U.S. recession, according to an economic indicator that has preceded every recession over the past five decades.

It is known among economists and Wall Street traders as a "yield curve inversion," and it refers to when long-term interest rates are paying out less than short-term rates.

Updated at 4:16 p.m. ET

It is too soon to tell whether the much-hyped meeting between President Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un on Sunday will be remembered as a televised spectacle or the start of a breakthrough in talks with the nuclear-armed country.

But Trump did become the first sitting American president to venture into North Korea.

"I was proud to step over the line," Trump told Kim about crossing the demarcation line at the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas. "It is a great day for the world."

Luis Alvarez, a former New York City police detective who became a leading champion for extending health benefits to Sept. 11 first responders, died on Saturday after a battle with cancer he traced to the months he spent helping clean up the World Trade Center site. He was 53.

In announcing his death, the family of Alvarez celebrated him as a "warrior," noting the "many lives he had touched."

Updated at 6:32 p.m. ET

The man who drove his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Va., killing one person and injuring 35 has been sentenced to spending the rest of his life in prison.

A federal judge issued the sentence of life without the possibility of parole on Friday for self-proclaimed neo-Nazi James Fields Jr., 22, of the Toledo, Ohio, area.

After being cancelled by Netflix earlier this year, the sitcom One Day at a Time has been saved.

Pop TV, a cable channel owned by the CBS Corp., which also brought the Canadian show Schitt's Creek to U.S. viewers, announced Thursday that it is picking up One Day at a Time for its fourth season, with 13 episodes planned for 2020.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET Friday

Bleak scenes of tearful, malnourished children reeking of filth and jammed into frigid, overcrowded quarters have emerged in new accounts from immigrant rights lawyers, who conducted dozens of interviews with children inside Border Patrol stations across Texas.

The descriptions contained in sworn declarations as part of a legal case stand in stark contrast to what was seen when federal officials opened the doors of a Border Patrol facility outside El Paso on Wednesday.

The labor union for federal asylum officers is condemning President Trump's policy of sending migrants to Mexico as they wait for their assigned court dates in the U.S., calling the Trump administration's program "fundamentally contrary to the moral fabric of our Nation."

The asylum officers, who are tasked with carrying out a policy widely known as "Remain in Mexico," said they have a duty "to protect vulnerable asylum seekers from persecution," claiming that Trump's policy creates a conflict between their professional responsibility and the president's directives.

Reddit, the self-proclaimed "front page of the Internet," is restricting a forum that is wildly popular among some of President Trump's core fans.

Officials with Reddit said Wednesday that a community on the message board called The Donald, which has around 750,000 followers and is known for its provocative content, is being "quarantined" over violations of its content policies.

Updated at 7:25 p.m. ET

President Trump is delaying immigration raids that were set to begin this weekend, saying he will give Congress two weeks to make changes to asylum law before dispatching Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents around the country to deport undocumented immigrants.

Immigration rights advocates had been preparing for the planned sweep of recently arrived migrants, which, according to sources familiar with the planned raids, were set to begin as soon as Sunday in 10 cities around the country.

Going on vacation and want some extra security around your home? Someday you may be able to call Amazon's drones.

The Seattle tech giant is moving closer to making that scenario a real possibility after winning approval from federal officials this month for a patent for "home surveillance" drones.

Updated at 7:28 p.m. ET

A pickup truck in rural New Hampshire struck and killed seven people and injured three on motorcycles Friday night. The crash ignited a small fire in a nearby wooded area and left a wreckage of damaged vehicles and the bodies of victims strewn across the highway.

State police said a Dodge pickup truck with an attached flatbed trailer large enough to haul a car was traveling westbound when it plowed into the motorcycles, which were moving eastbound, around 6:30 p.m. Friday, along U.S. 2 in Randolph.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET Saturday

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is expected to begin arresting and deporting thousands of migrant families in 10 cities across the country, according to sources familiar with the planned raids.

The roundups are targeted at recently arrived migrant families whose cases were fast-tracked by the Justice Department after being sent final deportation orders from a judge and failing to show up for court.

The Philadelphia Police Department has pulled 72 officers off their regular duties as authorities investigate inflammatory social media posts revealed in a database that found thousands of offensive postings by current and former officers, the city's police commissioner said Wednesday.

Police officials in Philadelphia are describing the action as the largest removal of officers from the street in recent memory.

"We are equally as disgusted by many of the posts that you saw and in many cases, the rest of the nation saw," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross.

For the second time in recent years, auto workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., have narrowly voted against forming a union.

It was the difference of 57 votes.

Preliminary results show that over three days of voting, 776 workers backed the union, but 833 voted it down.

The outcome is seen as the latest blow against organized labor in the South, where union advocates have tried for years to strengthen representation in auto facilities amid a shrinking union membership base and fierce opposition from many top lawmakers in the region.

Police officials in Kenya say the al-Shabab extremist group is responsible for a deadly explosion Saturday morning that reportedly killed 10 police officers near the country's border with Somalia.

Around 10:50 a.m. local time, a police vehicle carrying 11 officers on patrol hit an improvised explosive device, killing several of the officers, Kenya police spokesman Charles Owino told NPR.

The 10 deaths were reported by The Associated Press but Kenyan officials say they're still trying to confirm the number of police officer casualties, Owino said.

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