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!").

Prosecutors dropped murder charges Monday against a woman who smeared the VX nerve agent on the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of causing bodily harm. Her lawyers say she could go free as early as next month.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the execution of a Buddhist inmate on death row because prison officials wouldn't let his spiritual adviser be present in the execution chamber, even though they provide chaplains for inmates of some other faiths.

A well-known journalist critical of the Philippines government, who was arrested in February for libel, was arrested again on Friday.

Maria Ressa has long been an outspoken critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, who has accused reporters of being "spies." Ressa says her arrest is reflective of a hostile atmosphere toward journalists in the Philippines, which has drawn condemnation from journalists around the world.

More than 100 migrants are in custody after they allegedly commandeered a Turkish cargo ship that rescued them off the coast of Libya.

The migrants' boat was sinking, officials say, when they were saved by a Turkish ship called the El Hiblu 1. But the rescue mission turned into a hijacking after the migrants realized they were being taken back to Libya.

In a move aimed at getting the public's attention, officials in New York's Rockland County have declared a state of emergency in response to an ongoing measles outbreak. Among the measures: a 30-day ban on any unvaccinated people under the age of 18 from being in public places.

A law making it harder for women in North Carolina to get an abortion after 20 weeks is unconstitutional, a federal judge has declared.

The law, which had been on the books since 1973, banned abortion after 20 weeks with only certain exceptions to protect the life of the mother. A 2015 amendment tightened those exceptions, criminalizing abortion unless the woman's life or a "major bodily function" were at immediate risk. Pro-abortion rights groups challenged the law, and on Monday U.S. District Judge William Osteen sided with them.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

That is not one small step for women.

History was supposed to be made Friday when, for the first time, two female astronauts were scheduled to do a spacewalk together outside the International Space Station. However, one of the astronauts was switched out this week because of a lack of "spacesuit availability."

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

Four of five inmates who broke out of a North Carolina jail have been captured by authorities, but one of them remained at large Tuesday morning.

In a move that appeared aimed at what some view as a growing trend of political correctness on college campuses, President Trump signed an executive order Thursday to bar federal research grants to institutions that don't "avoid creating environments that stifle competing perspectives."

In the corridors of the Europa building in Brussels, European Union officials gathered around a small table, determining the fate of the country that had voted to reject them.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May was relegated to another room while the rest deliberated: Would May get the months-long extension she had requested to give her time to negotiate a Brexit withdrawal arrangement with Parliament?

The "bomb cyclone" that swept through the Midwest this week has caused more than $1 billion of flood damage in Nebraska, the state's governor said Wednesday. At least three people have been killed in Nebraska and Iowa.

The enslaved man's name was Renty. His image adorns the cover of a Harvard publication that the university sells for $40.

Tamara Lanier says "Papa Renty" is the patriarch of her family. And in a lawsuit filed Wednesday, she says Harvard is using those photos without permission — and in so doing, profiting from photos taken by a racist professor determined to prove the inferiority of black people.

With just over a week to go until the deadline for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, the son of President Trump says that everything would be on track had British Prime Minister Theresa May taken his father's advice on Brexit.

Homer Simpson probably won't become the newest member of the Avengers, but anything's possible now that Disney owns 21st Century Fox.

One year after the Walt Disney Co. announced the $71.3 billion merger, it's official. The deal, which closed Wednesday at 12:02 a.m. Eastern time, reshapes the media landscape and makes Disney an even greater entertainment behemoth. In bolstering its trove of characters and stories, the acquisition also puts Disney in a stronger position to take on Netflix and other streaming companies when it launches its own service, Disney+, later this year.

As the barren California desert sprang to life, they descended. With their selfie sticks, their smartphones and their gee-whiz-look-at-all-the-flowers smiles, they seemed blissfully unconcerned that they were causing something close to a panic at the highest levels of local government.

Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET

A Facebook vice president said fewer than 200 people saw the Christchurch massacre while it was being streamed live on the site. But the video was viewed about 4,000 times before Facebook removed it, he added. Countless more views occurred in the hours afterward, as copies of the video proliferated more quickly than online platforms like Facebook could remove them.

New Zealand's cabinet has agreed "in principle" to tighten gun control laws, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday, promising the changes will make the country safer. "We've unified, there are simply details to work through," she said.

If you've ever been tempted to make a rude gesture at a police officer, you can rest assured that the Constitution protects your right to do so, a federal appeals court says.

The case against a Vietnamese woman accused of killing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's estranged half-brother will go forward, prosecutors in Malaysia said Thursday.

Two women were accused of smearing a toxic nerve agent on the face of Kim Jong Nam as he walked through a Kuala Lumpur airport terminal in 2017. The man was dead within 20 minutes, and the women — who said they thought they were taking part in a Japanese game show — were arrested and charged with murder.

A woman in California who says Johnson & Johnson baby powder caused her to develop mesothelioma was awarded $29 million by a jury Wednesday. J&J says it will appeal the judgment.

Ninety-six days, 12 hours, 45 minutes. That was the record for an able-bodied person to do an unsupported row solo across the Atlantic Ocean from east to west.

Former Royal Marine Lee Spencer did it in 60 days. And Spencer, an amputee, did it with one leg — becoming the first disabled person to row unsupported from mainland Europe to South America, according to the BBC.

Amid continuing unrest in Venezuela, the United States plans to remove all diplomatic personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Twitter late Monday.

"The U.S. will withdraw all remaining personnel from [the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela] this week," Pompeo tweeted. "This decision reflects the deteriorating situation in #Venezuela as well as the conclusion that the presence of U.S. diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on U.S. policy."

Witnesses looked on in horror as two paragliders collided in midair and fell about 75 feet to their death over the weekend.

The men have been identified as 61-year-old Raul Gonzalez Valerio of Laguna Hills, Calif., and 43-year-old Glenn Johnny Peter Bengtsson of Carlsbad, Calif. They were paragliding off Torrey Pines, a popular cliff-side launching spot near the northern coast of San Diego, when the accident happened on Saturday afternoon.

An Indonesian woman accused of killing the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is free after Malaysian prosecutors dropped charges against her Monday.

Two women appeared to spread poison on Kim Jong Nam's face while he was walking through the Kuala Lumpur airport in early 2017. The women had been placed in custody after a judge in Malaysia said there is enough evidence of a "well-planned conspiracy" to move the case forward.

A federal court made it harder Thursday for the U.S. government to quickly deport asylum-seekers if they fail an initial screening at the border.

A law passed by Congress in 1996 sharply limited the ability of asylum-seekers to access U.S. courts if they want to challenge decisions of an asylum officer and immigration judge. Those limitations are unconstitutional, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said.

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