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.

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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.

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.

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."

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

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Workers at a petrochemical plant in western Pennsylvania were given a choice ahead of President Trump's visit to the site on Tuesday: attend the president's speech, stay home without pay or use up part of their paid time off.

Many of the construction workers did not find it a difficult choice. Seeing Trump's event at the ethane cracker plant operated by Royal Dutch Shell in Beaver County, Pa., was a welcome sight, Ken Broadbent, business manager for Steamfitters Local 449, told NPR.

The headquarters of USA Today in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., was evacuated on Wednesday after authorities received an unconfirmed report of a gunman in the building. Police did not find an armed person and no shots were fired.

Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler told reporters that his department received a 911 call shortly before noon from someone claiming to be inside the news organization's McLean, Va., location, and saying an armed "former employee" was in the building.

Updated July 15 at 8:55 a.m. ET

A group of four minority Democratic congresswomen targeted by President Trump in a series of Sunday morning tweets denounced his racist remarks and accused him of "stoking white nationalism."

President Trump's threatened roundup of undocumented immigrant families this weekend that set migrants in many communities on edge showed few signs of materializing on Sunday, the second time rumors of a large-scale immigration enforcement operation failed to come to fruition.

Instead, in the cities where rumors of mass raids swirled, many immigrants stayed inside their homes, as jitters turned typically vibrant migrant markets and commercial corridors eerily quiet.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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 4:22 p.m. ET

Missouri health officials on Friday refused to renew the license of the state's last remaining clinic that provides abortions, but the St. Louis facility will continue to provide abortions for now because a judge's order remains in place.

In a letter to the clinic, state health official William Koebel wrote that the decision to not renew the license was "based on the serious, extensive unresolved deficiencies."

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