Matthew S. Schwartz

Matthew S. Schwartz is a reporter with NPR's news desk. Before coming to NPR, Schwartz worked as a reporter for Washington, DC, member station WAMU, where he won the national Edward R. Murrow award for feature reporting in large market radio. Previously, Schwartz worked as a technology reporter covering the intricacies of Internet regulation. In a past life, Schwartz was a Washington telecom lawyer. He got his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. from the University of Michigan ("Go Blue!").

More than 100 Gold Star families are suing several major defense contractors, alleging they made illegal "protection payments" to the Taliban — thereby funding the Taliban's insurgency efforts that killed or wounded thousands of Americans in Afghanistan.

It's illegal under the federal Anti-Terrorism Act to provide material support to the Taliban. The U.S. has warned defense contractors that protection payments are against the law, but according to the lawsuit, the practice has proliferated because defense contractors feel it's a cost of doing business.

Facing a rash of anti-Semitic attacks, the New York City Police Department will increase its presence in Brooklyn neighborhoods that have large Jewish communities, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday.

At least six incidents of hate-fueled attacks have been reported over the past week. The violence is taking place against the backdrop of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, which began Sunday evening.

Being remembered for a mistake is hard. Being the living symbol of 86 years of futility is just about impossible.

But that's exactly what Bill Buckner was to Boston Red Sox fans for nearly 20 years.

Buckner, an All-Star baseball player who played in the major leagues for 22 years, died Monday. He was 69.

Updated 7:30 a.m. ET

A devastating series of storms late Wednesday spawned multiple tornadoes that caused extensive damage to several buildings and led to three deaths in Missouri.

"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Gov. Mike Parson told reporters at a morning press briefing. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state."

He added: "But three is too many."

President Hillary Clinton?

That might have been the result of the 2016 presidential election — if the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact were in effect.

With a state Senate vote Tuesday, Nevada is close to becoming the latest state to drop the traditional practice of awarding all its electors to the presidential candidate who won the state. Instead, Nevada would award its six electors to whomever receives the most votes across the entire country.

While states like Alabama, Missouri and Georgia are grabbing the spotlight for their new laws restricting access to abortion, Nevada is moving in the opposite direction. The state Assembly on Tuesday passed a law removing some requirements that had been in place for decades.

Formula One world champion Niki Lauda of Austria, who survived a fiery crash in 1976 and went on to win the championship twice more, has died. He was 70.

Born Andreas Nikolaus "Niki" Lauda, he was a prominent race car driver in the 1970s and 1980s, who first won the F1 championship driving for Ferrari in 1975. He's known by many for the serious crash he suffered the next year, in the 1976 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring race track, where he suffered third-degree burns to his head and face. At the hospital, Lauda fell into a coma, and also received last rites.

From student loan debt to unaffordable housing to the opioid crisis, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has developed a reputation for having a policy plan for everything.

Updated Tuesday at 3 a.m. ET

Days after blacklisting Chinese technology company Huawei from buying American-made products, the Trump administration is now easing up.

Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan are running out of places to espouse their views online.

Facebook banned these high-profile personalities and several others from its social media platforms Thursday, becoming the latest tech company to officially declare them persona non grata. Many of them have already been banned from Twitter, YouTube and Apple's Podcasts app.

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