NPR Staff

After he won a National Book Award, and one of the MacArthur Foundation's so-called genius grants, no one anticipated Ta-Nehisi Coates' next move.

"What's the good of getting a MacArthur genius grant if you can't go and write a comic book for Marvel?" Coates tells NPR's Audie Cornish. "I don't know. There are things that people consider to be genius, and then there are things that deep in my heart I've always believed to be genius."

The city of Reggio Calabria in southern Italy is home of one of the most powerful criminal syndicates in the world.

'Ndrangheta, as it's known, is a brutal mob funded largely by drug trafficking and it's been tied to corrupt local officials. For the past four years, Judge Roberto Di Bella has taken a new approach to try to deplete the ranks of the group.

Judge Di Bella presides over juvenile court and he's is trying to prevent the children of 'Ngrangehta members from joining the family business.

In the ongoing investigation into the Brussels terrorist attacks, most of the attention is on one neighborhood called Molenbeek. Many of the terrorists responsible for both the attacks in Brussels, and in Paris last November, lived in Molenbeek.

If you've been following any of the big news stories on food fraud lately, you'll know that it's tough to know what exactly is in our food — and where it's been before it makes it onto our dinner plates.

Baseball's opening day is upon us. Sunday is the first official day of Major League Baseball's 2016 season. Starting things off will be two afternoon games as the Cardinals face the Pirates and the Blue Jays take on the Rays. The day will be capped off by a night match between the 2015 World Series contenders the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets.

When a man claiming to have on a suicide vest demanded to be flown to Cyprus this week, it wasn't terrorism as we know it. Instead, it was reminiscent of the skyjackings once commonplace in the U.S.

In his book The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking, Brendan Koerner writes that from 1961 to 1972, nearly 160 planes were hijacked in the U.S. Those early hijackings all had one thing in common: Cuba.

This story is part of NPR's podcast Embedded, which digs deep into the stories behind the news.

In the spring of 2015, something was unfolding in Austin, Ind.

The much-hyped consumer virtual reality headset, Oculus Rift, is finally hitting the market. The reviews have been mixed. As The Wall Street Journal put it, "the first totally immersive home virtual reality rig is a pricey, awkward, isolating—and occasionally brilliant—glimpse of the future of computing."

Opioids are becoming the latest serious addiction problem in this country. Among these drugs manufactured from opium, heroin is the most serious, dangerous, cheap and available everywhere.

In April's edition of Harper's Magazine, Dan Baum has examined a new response to this latest addiction problem: the legalization of drugs.

Over the past few years, pop songs have come to play so consistently in advertising that there are smartphone apps designed to listen and help you name that tune, and the word "sellout" has lost a lot of its bite.

As President Obama touched down in Cuba over the weekend, Cuban artists were making waves at the SXSW music festival in Austin.

There are 11.3 million people in the U.S. who have immigrated illegally. And as you have probably heard, the presidential candidates have different opinions about how to handle them. Most notably, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump wants to deport them.

Albert Woodfox has spent more time in solitary confinement than any man alive in the U.S. today — 43 years. He and Robert King are the surviving members of a group known as the "Angola Three."

Together with the late Herman Wallace, they spent more than 100 years in solitary confinement for the 1972 death of a prison guard, Brent Miller, at the maximum security Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola. No forensic evidence tied the Angola Three to Miller's killing, and they always maintained their innocence.