Then-National Security Adviser Called Rudy Giuliani 'A Hand Grenade' On Ukraine

Then-national security adviser John Bolton was distressed about Rudy Giuliani. Trump's personal lawyer had bypassed established procedure for representing the White House with a foreign leader and had launched a secret back channel of communication with Ukraine. The shadowy moves were so potentially combustible that Bolton in private meetings earlier this year called Giuliani "a hand grenade who is going to blow everybody up." That's according to people familiar with the closed-door testimony...

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Open Primaries

In about a dozen U.S. states, the only people who can vote in primary elections are those who are registered with a party. Republicans vote in the Republican primary and Democrats vote in the Democratic primary. This leaves out independents, who make up a growing share of the electorate. This week's guest argues that's problem for democracy.

Andrew Sullivan
Royce Carlton

This is by far one of the most pessimistic episodes we've done, but it's worth hearing. Andrew Sullivan, New York magazine contributor and former editor of The New Republic, is a longtime observer of American politics who does not shy away from controversial opinions. In this episode, we discuss the tension between liberalism and democracy, and how that tension manifests itself around the world.

Suboxone is one of the medicines used as part of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. Researchers say evidence-based treatments are still underutilized in the nation.
AP photo

A continuum of care is a network of resources to help people enter and stay in treatment. Learn more about how Pennsylvania is managing this process—known as a warm handoff—for treating people with opioid use disorder.


Min Xian - When someone has a heart attack, they get rushed to the emergency room. When they stabilize, they meet with a cardiologist, who can help come up with a treatment plan.

They may be told to start on a medication, eat differently, or plan for a stay in the hospital. They set up an appointment to come back.

Members of the Pride Alliance at Penn State held a display that says "PRIDE" during the Pride parade in Altoona. The group planned the event, a first in Blair County.
Min Xian / WPSU

Altoona saw its first Pride parade Friday, coinciding with National Coming Out Day.


Forty-four organizations, including Penn State Altoona student groups and sports teams, local businesses and support groups from across Central Pennsylvania, marched for a quarter mile in downtown Altoona. Some groups fashioned vehicles into floats while others walked and danced, holding signs of rainbows and supportive messages. Hundreds of spectators cheered along the parade. 

Creative Commons

An archive recording of the WPSU Blues show as aired on October 12 , 2019 and hosted by Max Spiegel. 

In the first hour, hear tracks from The Blind Boys of Alabama, Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, Mel Torme, Dorothy Love Coates, Frank Zappa, John Lee Hooker, Otis Spann, B.B. King, The Band, and more.

In the second hour, hear Freddie King, Canned Heat, Rev. Alex Bradford, Vic Chesnutt, Keb' Mo’, Rev. Gary Davis, J.J. Cale, Jimmy Rogers, Guy Davis, and more. 

This I Believe: I Believe In Mental Health Awareness

Oct 10, 2019
Essayist Caroline Knightly

I believe in mental health awareness.

I believe that one cannot be physically healthy without being mentally healthy. Mental health has always been something I take very seriously. One’s emotions and mental stability can change their whole life, for better or for worse. And in doing that, it can change the lives of individuals around them.

State High School Resource Officer John Aston has confiscated a variety of vapes from students.
Brittany Krugel / WPSU


State College Area High School is considering installing vape detectors in bathrooms to stop students from vaping during school hours. 

John Aston, State High’s school resource officer, worries that students are ignoring the side effects of vaping.

“All the reports out there with the safety issues, all of the heavy metals and the chemicals that are in the vapes, kids aren’t hearing it. They’re not paying attention to it. They’re not believing it,” Aston said.

New Mosque Opening In State College On Saturday

Oct 10, 2019
Rami Alhellu, president of the ISCP, stands in front of the new mosque.
Brittany Krugel / WPSU

Last June, the board of the Islamic Society of Central Pennsylvania purchased a building in State College four times the size of their old mosque on Ridge Avenue. 

ISCP president Rami Alhellu says the additional space will allow them to welcome more worshipers into their facility. 

But beyond the physical size of the new building, Alhellu is excited for the new relationships that he hopes the mosque will bring. 

John Quinn, 67, attended St. Francis Vocational School for a couple of months in the 1960s, along with other Catholic orphanages. Quinn says it was during that time that he was molested by priests and counselors.
Natalie Piserchio for WHYY

Last year’s grand jury report detailing sexual assault allegations against 301 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania raised the question: how would the church respond?

In the months that followed, seven of the eight dioceses in Pennsylvania launched compensation funds, following the model set by dioceses in New York.

These programs, which started winding down at the end of September, offer a lump sum to victims in return for signing away the right to sue the church over their allegations. 

Grain farmer Jesse Poliskiewicz breaks open a pod of soybeans while on his farm Sept. 20, 2019, in Upper Mount Bethel Township, Pennsylvania.
Matt Smith / Keystone Crossroads

Don Cairns is driving through rural Chester County between one of his many plots of farmland. He grows corn, wheat, and soybeans on about 1,700 acres. It’s a hot, dry day — perfect for harvesting. He’s busy shuttling fresh-cut corn from the field back to his silos for storage.

In a sun-faded camouflage cap, a dusty brown t-shirt and blue jeans, Cairns lugs a large semi-truck hauling a grain trailer onto the cornfield. There, a combine outfitted with the latest technology analyzes the yields as it ploughs the field and shells the kernels from the cobs.


NPR Stories

Democrats onstage during their party's presidential debate were quick to condemn President Trump's abrupt and unilateral decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria. But their responses as to what role the U.S. should play in the region were generally cloudier.

Trump's decision last week appeared to set in motion a Turkish incursion into northern Syria and the advancement of Turkish-backed militias against Kurdish forces that had helped the United States battle ISIS.

Three major U.S. drug distributing companies are negotiating a multibillion-dollar settlement to end numerous lawsuits filed by state and local governments seeking compensation for costs associated with the opioid crisis.

The drug distributors — Amerisource Bergen, McKesson and Cardinal Health — could pay as much as $18 billion over 18 years, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the discussions.

The White House removed the core of its Ukraine policy team in the spring and replaced it with "three amigos" considered more reliable for the plan to pressure Kyiv, a senior U.S. diplomat was described as telling House investigators on Tuesday.

That's according to the account Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., gave to reporters about the closed-door deposition by George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary in the State Department's European and Eurasian Bureau.

Ukraine was bound to come up during Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate at some point, but when it did, it quickly became clear that neither former Vice President Joe Biden nor his primary opponents wanted to focus on it.

With the debate's second question, Biden was given a chance to address the unfounded allegations lobbed by President Trump: that Biden used his federal power to corruptly favor a Ukrainian gas company that was paying his son, Hunter.

Gail Collins has had an adventurous career as a writer.

She’s been writing her column in The New York Times since 1995, and she was the first woman to serve as the paper’s editorial page editor. Plus, she’s penned seven books, most recently “No Stopping Us Now: The Adventures of Older Women in American History” — which traces the history of women aging in America.

Get More NPR News

Former Fort Worth Officer Charged With Murder In Fatal Shooting Of Woman In Her Home

Like a lot of young women her age, 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson had a date Friday night — but unlike many of her peers, Jefferson's date was with her 8-year-old nephew. They were enjoying a heated video game that went into the early hours of Saturday when police arrived at the house Jefferson shared with her mother. Officers were responding to a nonemergency call from James Smith, a neighbor who knew Jefferson's mother was not well. (Jefferson, a pre-med graduate of Xavier University, had...

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U.S. 'Show Of Force' After Turkish-Backed Fighters Get Too Close To Base In Syria

Updated at 4 p.m. ET Turkish-backed militias carrying out attacks in northern Syria came very close to American forces on the ground on Tuesday, putting them and their base "directly at risk," a U.S. official in Syria tells NPR. "The Turkish forces violated a standing agreement with the U.S. to not get close enough to threaten U.S. troops on the ground," the official says. "U.S. forces responded with a show of force using aircraft to demonstrate the forces were prepared to defend themselves,...

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Trump's Former Russia Adviser Testifies As Part Of Impeachment Inquiry

Updated at 10:02 a.m. ET House investigators are hearing testimony Monday from Fiona Hill, the former White House adviser on Russia, who is appearing in private and faces questions as part of Democrats' impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Hill, 53, a British-born American foreign affairs expert, resigned as Trump's top Russia analyst just days before the president's controversial July 25 call with Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the president of Ukraine, an exchange that sparked the...

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Fort Worth Interim Police Chief 'Deeply Sorry' For Fatal Shooting

Updated at 8:11 p.m. ET The interim chief of the Fort Worth Police Department apologized on Tuesday to the family of Atatiana Jefferson in the aftermath of her fatal shooting by a police officer while she was in her home. "This incident has eroded the trust that we have built with our community and we must now work even harder to ensure that trust is restored," said Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus. Aaron Dean, the officer who shot Jefferson, resigned from the department and has been charged...

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How Non-Profit Hospitals Are Driving Up The Cost Of Health Care

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money' s newsletter. You can sign up here . Last year, when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was battling to win the Democratic primary, his campaign solicited a donation from the Greater New York Hospital Association, according to a recent report from The New York Times . The hospital lobbying group gave over $1 million to the New York State Democratic Party. And not long after, according to the Times, "the state quietly authorized an across-the...

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Hunter Biden Says Ukrainian Gas Company Involvement Was 'Poor Judgment'

In an interview with ABC News that aired Tuesday morning, Hunter Biden said his involvement in the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma was, in retrospect, "poor judgment on my part," although he said he did "nothing wrong at all." Biden asked, "was it poor judgment to be in the middle of something that is ... a swamp in many ways? Yeah." Biden also reiterated that he will not work for any foreign companies should his father become president. Biden added that while he doesn't regret being...

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British Family Detained By ICE After Unlawfully Entering U.S. From Canada

A British couple and their 3-month-old son are being detained in a federal immigration facility in Pennsylvania after they say they accidentally strayed across the U.S.-Canada border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents arrested the family for unlawfully entering the country while on vacation in British Columbia. The family said that while driving, they swerved down an unmarked road to avoid an animal. "This is how the scariest experience of our entire lives started," wrote Eileen...

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How The 3 Nobel Winners For Economics Upended The Fight Against Poverty

This year's Nobel Prize in economics was awarded to three scholars who revolutionized the effort to end global poverty: Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo of MIT and Michael Kremer of Harvard are essentially credited with applying the scientific method to an enterprise that, until recently, was largely based on gut instincts. But how does their approach work in practice? Why is it considered so ground-breaking? And how much has it actually changed life for the world's poorest? Here's an...

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Ronan Farrow: 'Catch And Kill' Tactics Protected Both Weinstein And Trump

Ronan Farrow's 2017 exposé of the sexual misconduct allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein in The New Yorker earned him a Pulitzer Prize and helped usher in the #MeToo movement. Now, in his new book, Catch and Kill, Farrow writes about the extreme tactics Weinstein allegedly used in an attempt to keep him from reporting the story. "Harvey Weinstein's attorneys ... signed a contract with this Israeli private intelligence firm Black Cube explicitly tasking secret agents with killing...

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'Queer Gym' Empowers LGBTQ+ Clients, Both Physically And Mentally

On a recent Sunday in a tiny gym just outside of Boston, physical trainer Justice Williams teaches Leo Morris a stretch called the Brettzel. "Yasss," Williams shouts. "There you go. Elbows down." "Jesus," Morris says, exhausted. "Yass," Williams shouts again. "And hold. Very nice." Morris, who is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, is among about 10 people working out who identify as gay, trans and/or queer. This is "Queer Gym." It's one of a few workout spaces explicitly for LGBTQ folks...

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New Technology Can Identify Bacteria's Genetic Make-Up, Fight Drug Resistance

About 2 million Americans get drug-resistant infections every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — and about 23,000 patients die . That resistance is wreaking havoc with patients suffering from urinary tract infections , leading to hospitalizations and even deaths, as well as lower respiratory tract infections, which doctors say patients are being routinely over-treated for before a correct diagnosis is made. A new diagnostic tool that identifies bacteria...

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After Dorian's Wrath: Little Miracles Amid A Painful Recovery

Just over a month after Hurricane Dorian slammed into the northern Bahamas, parts of the island nation are still in ruins, thousands of people remain displaced and rebuilding has only just begun. "We are moving as quickly as we can to get up and running," says Michael Jones. "But when that will be is anyone's guess." Jones is standing in front of the business he's run in Marsh Harbour for the last eight years. It's the largest town on Great Abaco Island and before the storm was the commercial...

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Salvador Dalí Etching Stolen From San Francisco Gallery In 'Snatch And Run'

A thief walked into a San Francisco gallery on Sunday afternoon, plucked a rare Salvador Dalí from an easel in the front window, and strode out the door. Rasjad Hopkins, associate director at Dennis Rae Fine Art Gallery, was working at the time. The door to the gallery was open, and Hopkins had his back turned. "Snatch and run," Hopkins tells NPR. It took just a few minutes to realize the etching was gone. For some reason, the work hadn't been locked with a tether as it normally was. Hopkins...

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WPSU Fall Fund Drive

WPSU-FM's fund drive must raise $145,000 to pay for public radio shows. As of Tuesday at 5:32pm: $62,506 to go.

Overcoming an Epidemic: Opioids in Pennsylvania

WPSU explores evidence-based solutions to the opioids epidemic through a podcast, videos and website.

On-Air Schedule

Listen to Morning Edition on-demand on all Alexa-enabled smart speakers. Say, "Alexa, play Morning Edition ," and you'll hear the last hour of that day's show from your favorite NPR station.

WPSU Digital Shorts

Check out WPSU's short digital stories highlighting the arts, culture, science and activities in central Pennsylvania and beyond.

NPR's 1A on WPSU

Weekdays at 1:00 p.m. Join host Joshua Johnson and guests for an insigtful dicussion of the latest news.

Listen to Morning Edition, weekdays from 5:00am to 9:00am & Weekend Edition, Saturday & Sunday from 8:00am to 10:00am on WPSU-FM.

Add your voice!

Write an essay for WPSU's This I Believe or BookMark. Click below for details.

NPR's "Planet Money/How I Built This"

Saturdays at 7:00am: “Planet Money” and “How I Built This” are two half-hour shows that together make a one-hour weekly program on business and entrepreneurship from NPR.

WPSU's Community Calendar

Find out what's happening in Central & Northern PA on WPSU's Community Calendar! Submit your group's event at least 2 weeks in advance, and you might hear it announced on WPSU-FM.

Get your NPR News Fix This Weekend!

Listen to the latest from NPR News this weekend on Weekend Edition, Saturday & Sunday mornings, 8:00-10:00am; and All Things Considered, Saturday & Sunday evenings, 5:00-6:00pm on WPSU-FM.

Get The Free WPSU App!

Take public media anywhere you go with the WPSU mobile app available for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android and Amazon devices.

The Folk Show on WPSU-FM

Listen for The Folk Show, Saturday afternoons from 1:00 p.m. to 5p.m. & Sunday nights from 10:00 p.m. to midnight on WPSU-FM.

Keystone Crossroads: Rust or Revival? explores the urgent challenges pressing upon Pennsylvania's cities. WPSU is a contributing station.