National & World News

Updated May 9, 2021 at 11:07 AM ET

A ransomware attack has shut down one of the largest refined products pipelines in the United States, and a security analyst said it shows that "core elements of our national infrastructure" remain vulnerable to cyberattack.

The cyber attack hit Colonial Pipeline, which carries gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from Texas to New York and moves about 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast.

This story is part of an NPR series, We Hold These Truths, on American democracy.

Last summer, DonnaLee Norrington had a dream about owning a home. Not the figurative kind, but a literal dream, as she slept in the rental studio apartment in South Los Angeles that she was sharing with a friend.

At around 2 a.m., Norrington remembers, "God said to me, 'Why don't you get a mortgage that doesn't move?' And in my head I knew that meant a fixed mortgage."

The European Union and Pfizer-BioNTech have signed a deal for up to 1.8 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The bloc's biggest contract to date would cover its entire population, marking a significant ramp up in its fight against the coronavirus.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the deal in a tweet, writing it is for a " for guaranteed 900 million doses (+900 million options)."

This spring Steve Stuttard reunited with an unusual friend: Mrs. Mallard, a duck that nested in the fuchsia planter on his ninth-story apartment balcony in Manchester, U.K., last year. Upon her return, she laid 11 eggs in a planter filled with grass.

"I know ducks have strange routines when it comes to nesting, and mallards, if they have a successful site, they will return to it," says Stuttard, a retired Royal Navy survival specialist and an avid bird lover since childhood.

I first heard of National Public Radio when it broadcast the Senate hearings into the Watergate scandal live, in the summer of 1973.

Pages