Matthew S. Schwartz

Matthew S. Schwartz is a reporter with NPR's news desk. Before coming to NPR, Matt worked as a reporter for Washington, D.C., member station WAMU, where he won the national Edward R. Murrow award for feature reporting in large market radio. Previously, Matt worked as a technology reporter covering the intricacies of Internet regulation. In a past life, Matt 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!").

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.

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."

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.

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.

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