Amita Kelly

Updated 7:45 p.m. ET

With Virginia's top two politicians mired in their own controversies, the state's attorney general, Mark Herring, has revealed a racial incident in his own past. In a statement released Wednesday, he said he and friends attended a party in 1980 dressed as rappers they admired, including wearing wigs and "brown makeup."

The partial government shutdown is rippling beyond federal workers and contractors.

In Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian museums and National Zoo are closed. Other recreational sites around the country remain closed or lack adequate staff. Some assistance and loan programs that rely on federal funding also could face delays.

Updated 1:40 p.m. ET

Matthew Shepard, the young gay man brutally killed on a chilly night in Wyoming 20 years ago this month, was finally laid to rest at Washington National Cathedral on Friday. A reflective, music-filled service offered stark contrast to the anti-gay protests that marred his funeral two decades ago.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

More than 100 people were waiting to be rescued from homes and vehicles Friday morning in New Bern, N.C., after Hurricane Florence brought severe flooding to the area. Officials say more than 100 people have already been rescued in the area overnight.

Six swift water rescue teams have been working since Thursday afternoon to evacuate individuals and families, in some cases, from the roofs of their homes, the New Bern Public Information Officer Colleen Roberts said Friday afternoon.

Updated Sept. 18

Thanks to Tropical Storm Florence, Eastern coastal residents continue to experience widespread flooding, closed roads and large-scale displacement.

NPR and our member stations covering the storm want to hear how it is affecting you.

Fill out the form below or at this link and someone may follow up. Your response may be used on air or online.

(For the latest news on the storm, visit npr.org).

Pennsylvania Catholics are responding to last week's damning grand jury report on clergy sex abuse. Some priests addressed the report head on or read statements at Mass. Some parishioners who are standing by the priests maintain their faith in the Catholic Church. But many are grappling with what the abuse scandal means for their own faith and trust in the church.

Updated 3:30 p.m. ET

In opposition to the Trump administration's practice of separating immigrant families, at least five governors, including two Republicans, say they will not send their National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET

Stephon Clark, the 22-year-old black man shot and killed by Sacramento police earlier this month, was shot eight times, at least six in the back, an independent autopsy commissioned by Clark's family found.

Last week's shooting in Parkland, Fla., echoed in the state's Capitol on Wednesday, as student survivors lobbied their legislature to pass stricter gun laws. Gun policy had already become a central issue in Florida's current legislative session after the shooting. But the effects of the shooting are reaching beyond the state's borders into legislatures across the country.

L.L. Bean's outdoor gear — including its signature Bean Boots prized by campers and hipsters alike — is no longer guaranteed for life.

In a letter to customers Friday morning, the company said it has updated its return policy to give customers one year to return purchases, with a receipt. The previous lifetime guarantee, which enabled customers to return products years — or even decades — after purchase, has long been a selling point for the company.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange lost an attempt Tuesday to have his U.K. arrest warrant dropped. He could still be arrested for leaving Ecuador's embassy in London, where he has lived for years.

British Judge Emma Arbuthnot said she was "not persuaded" the warrant should be withdrawn, according to The Associated Press.

Leaders in Washington continue negotiations to end a partial government shutdown, and they're getting their own messages out about how we got here. As NPR's Ron Elving writes, each party is accusing the other of being out of touch with Americans — and they're both probably right.

So we asked you what you want them to know.

Joe Arpaio, the controversial former sheriff from Arizona, announced this week that he will run for the U.S. Senate to help advance President Trump's agenda.

But he is breaking from the president on the future of people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

"Deport them," Arpaio told NPR Morning Edition's Rachel Martin in an interview that aired Thursday morning.

Updated 7:45 a.m. ET Thursday

Baltimore's public schools closed Thursday after parents and educators there complained students were enduring frigid classrooms with plumbing issues — conditions the local teachers union called "inhumane." Four of Baltimore's public schools were closed Wednesday because of facilities problems but the rest had remained open through below freezing temperatures. Some schools hovered around 40 degrees inside.

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

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New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo stood this morning outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. In an underground passageway somewhere beneath Cuomo's feet, a man had set off a homemade suicide vest earlier in the morning.

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