National News from NPR

On this week's episode of the Code Switch podcast, Karen Grigsby Bates sat down with some folks to talk about the upcoming film The Birth of a Nation, and a recently resurfaced, 17-year-old sexual assault case against Nate Parker, the movie's highly lauded newcomer director.

After four years of siege and bombardment, the evacuation is underway of civilians and rebels from embattled Daraya, southwest of Syria's capital Damascus.

The Food and Drug Administration is recommending that blood banks screen all blood donations in the U.S. for the Zika virus.

It's a major expansion from a Feb. 16 advisory that limited such screening to areas with active Zika virus transmission.

In a statement released Friday, the FDA says all those areas are currently in compliance with blood screening, but that expanded testing is now needed.

Reports out Thursday night reveal yet another principal of the Trump campaign in trouble.

Newly appointed CEO Stephen K. Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, was charged in 1996 with domestic violence against his second wife, several news outlets reported. The charges were eventually dropped, and Bannon pleaded "not guilty."

The New York Times noted that, according to the police report of the incident, there were "allegations that he threatened his then wife, the accuser, with retribution if she testified in the criminal case. ... "

The saga of the swimmer and the robbery-that-wasn't continues: Ryan Lochte has been charged with filing a false police report.

Brazilian police say Lochte and the International Olympics Committee's ethics commission will both be informed of the charges, NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro reports.

The charge carries a penalty of up to 18 months in prison and Lochte could be tried in absentia, Lulu says. She notes that the U.S. has an extradition treaty with Brazil but that it's unlikely Lochte would be sent there if convicted.

A high-level government minister in Bolivia has been kidnapped by striking miners and beaten to death, Bolivian officials said.

Rodolfo Illanes, Bolivia's deputy interior minister, was traveling to talk with the miners when he was seized Thursday, according to multiple media accounts.

Hillary Clinton has not held a single press conference since the start of 2016, triggering charges that she's trying to duck questions from reporters on the campaign trail.

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At a recent campaign stop in Philadelphia, Senate Democratic candidate Katie McGinty faced a tough crowd: 4-year olds.

"Hi! How's everybody doin'?" McGinty said, as she entered the Western Learning Center, an early childhood program for local families.

McGinty stopped here Tuesday to tout her economic agenda with a small group of local parents, but first, it was story time.

The presidential candidates this week accused one another of racism and bigotry, with Hillary Clinton arguing that Donald Trump's rhetoric and policies are an invitation to the "alt-right" movement.

One of China's most valuable tech startups, Xiaomi, is trying to innovate itself out of a bind. With its core smartphone business struggling, the company is turning to networked appliances — sometimes referred to as the Internet of things — to revive its fortunes.

When 2 feet of rain fell, and the Vermillion River swelled its banks earlier this month, the mayor of Maurice, La., Wayne Theriot, got hit with a double whammy: He lost his home and his office. The two are just a couple hundred yards apart in this small town of about 1,000 people that straddles Vermillion and Lafayette parishes in a largely rural corner of the state.

"You're in City Hall — what's left of it," he says, pointing to the ruined furniture and computers in the tiny three-room building.

Second grader Caedmon Craig is attempting to write in cursive and he's being helped by his mom. But a lot of erasing is happening at this kitchen table in Prattville, Ala. This school year Caedmon will be writing in cursive for the first time. For now he's only required to write his cursive letters separately, but he's ready for more.

"I think joining them is easier than separate," he says. "Because you don't have to do that much."

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