From NPR News

President Trump defended his high-profile campaign against NFL players who kneel during the national anthem, and insisted it hasn't distracted him from hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

"To me, the NFL situation is a very important situation," Trump said Tuesday at a news conference. "I have plenty of time on my hands. All I do is work."

Trump complained about protesting football players at a campaign rally in Alabama on Friday. Since then he's tweeted or re-tweeted on the subject more than 20 times.

Last month, Hurricane Harvey brought unprecedented flooding to the Houston area. More than two weeks ago, Hurricane Irma hit Florida as a remarkably massive and long-lasting storm.

Those storms have long since dissipated. Now much of the focus has shifted to Hurricane Maria, which remains an active storm — a storm that caused devastation in Puerto Rico, which is still reeling from the immediate impact.

Two days after the German parliamentary election, the country is still absorbing the results — especially the gains made by the Alternative for Germany (AfD), the first far-wing party to win seats in Parliament since the 1950s.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended his boss's criticisms of NFL players for kneeling in protest during the national anthem Tuesday, saying President Trump has "free speech rights too."

Sessions defended Trump's controversial remarks as he criticized college speech policies during an address at the Georgetown University Law Center, saying "freedom of thought and speech on the American campus are under attack."

"In this great land," Sessions also said, "the government does not get to tell you what to think or what to say."

How do you judge how good a school is? Test scores? Culture? Attendance?

In the new federal education law (the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA) states are asked to use five measures of student success. The first four are related to academics — like annual tests and graduation rates. The fourth measures proficiency of English language learners.

The fifth is the wild card — aimed at measuring "student success or school quality" — and the law leaves it to states to decide.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

So many great writers have given us so many great quotes in an attempt to capture New York, but I think my favorite is by the legendary New Yorker writer A.J. Liebling: "Before it was anything else," Liebling says, "New York was a seaport, and before anything else, it still is."

Jennifer Egan clearly shares Liebling's view in her latest novel, Manhattan Beach. Egan is known for the edgy tone of her work and for her fragmented storylines that require some self-assembly by readers.

Saudi Arabia has reversed its longstanding and widely criticized ban against women driving.

In a post on Twitter, the official account of the kingdom's Foreign Ministry wrote, "Saudi Arabia allows women to drive."

"Saudi Arabia's King Salman has issued a historic royal decree granting driving licenses for women in the kingdom," according to the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya news channel.

My wife was the love of my life. We were together for a dozen years. And then, in 2013, it was over. I was 32 and bipolar, and divorce felt like the end of the world. I was so depressed, I was hospitalized.

Friends told me I needed time away to begin to heal. They helped me move to Dubai, where I could be with family. But weeks passed and I hardly recovered. I was no longer suicidal, it's true. But I didn't really care if I was alive, either.

Hurricanes and floods don't just wash away crops and livestock and businesses. Marcia Bauer will tell you there's another loss that feels just as devastating, even if you can't see it with your eyes: the loss of your sense that you can plan for the future — that it's even worth trying.

It might surprise you that Australia doesn't already have a space agency.

The country has been involved in the space field for decades — in 1967, it was among the first countries to launch a satellite. Two years later, a NASA tracking station in Australia received and transmitted the first TV images of Neil Armstrong taking the first steps on the Moon.

Federal agents have arrested former NBA star Chuck Person and several other college basketball coaches, in a bribery and fraud case that also involves sports management agents and a top executive at Adidas. In all, 10 people were arrested.

Chicken nuggets. French fries. Pizza. Repeat.

This repertoire of kids menu items may seem familiar to many families, but one fast-casual chain aims to put a lot more options in front of its young customers.

Beginning this month, there's a kid-sized version of almost everything on Panera's regular menu. The portion shrinks, as does the price. "Kids now have the choice of 250 different combinations," Panera CEO Ron Shaich told NPR.

Which global problem keeps you up at night?

That's what we asked Amina J. Mohammed, the deputy secretary-general of the United Nations at the Global Goals Awards ceremony in New York City last week.

It"s not an easy question to answer in a world buffeted by disasters: hurricanes, earthquakes, famine and refugee crises.

But without skipping a beat, Mohammed, a Nigerian diplomat who is No. 2 in command at the U.N., said:

Much-needed supplies are either in Puerto Rico or on the way, officials say, but the island's governor acknowledges that they can't deliver fuel and other material quickly enough. Frustrated residents face long lines for fuel, as millions of people have gone nearly a week without power.

"We need resources and security. We need a quicker logistical deployment," Gov. Ricardo Rossello told NPR's Mary Louise Kelly on Tuesday. "You know, the gas and fuel issue is not a matter of how much do we have — it's a matter of how we can distribute it."

Pages