Bobby Allyn

Bobby Allyn is a general assignment reporter for NPR.

He came to Washington from Philadelphia, where he covered criminal justice and breaking news for more than four years at member station WHYY. In that role, he focused on major corruption trials, law enforcement, and local criminal justice policy. He helped lead NPR's reporting of Bill Cosby's two criminal trials. He was a guest on Fresh Air after breaking a major story about the nation's first supervised injection site plan in Philadelphia. In between daily stories, he has worked on several investigative projects, including a story that exposed how the federal government was quietly hiring debt collection law firms to target the homes of student borrowers who had defaulted on their loans. Allyn also strayed from his beat to cover Philly parking disputes that divided in the city, the last meal at one of the city's last all-night diners, and a remembrance of the man who wrote the Mister Softee jingle on a xylophone in the basement of his Northeast Philly home.

At other points in life, Allyn has been a staff reporter at Nashville Public Radio and daily newspapers including The Oregonian in Portland and The Tennessean in Nashville. His work has also appeared in BuzzFeed News, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

A native of Wilkes-Barre, a former mining town in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Allyn is the son of a machinist and a church organist. He's a dedicated bike commuter and long-distance runner. He is a graduate of American University in Washington.

The mayor of Phoenix is apologizing to the city following recently released video showing police officers pointing their guns and threatening to shoot a 22-year-old father who was with his pregnant fiancée and two young daughters.

For the second time in recent years, auto workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., have narrowly voted against forming a union.

It was the difference of 57 votes.

Preliminary results show that over three days of voting, 776 workers backed the union, but 833 voted it down.

The outcome is seen as the latest blow against organized labor in the South, where union advocates have tried for years to strengthen representation in auto facilities amid a shrinking union membership base and fierce opposition from many top lawmakers in the region.

Police officials in Kenya say the al-Shabab extremist group is responsible for a deadly explosion Saturday morning that reportedly killed 10 police officers near the country's border with Somalia.

Around 10:50 a.m. local time, a police vehicle carrying 11 officers on patrol hit an improvised explosive device, killing several of the officers, Kenya police spokesman Charles Owino told NPR.

The 10 deaths were reported by The Associated Press but Kenyan officials say they're still trying to confirm the number of police officer casualties, Owino said.

Julian Assange is set to appear before a British court early next year in a hearing on whether the WikiLeaks founder should be extradited to the U.S., a judge in London ruled on Friday.

The charges Assange faces include conspiring to hack government computer networks.

He will have the hearing in February, which could last for several days.

Updated at 4:33 p.m. ET Friday

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Thursday ending vaccination exemptions based on religious beliefs, the latest attempt to address the growing measles outbreak, the worst the U.S. has experienced in decades.

Updated at 10:10 p.m. ET

The FBI is now helping local authorities in the Dominican Republic examine the mysterious deaths of three Americans who were staying at resorts in the island country in recent weeks, an FBI official has confirmed to NPR.

Since news of the deaths has spread, relatives of four additional Americans who died there over the past year have raised concerns.

A civil disobedience campaign in Sudan has brought the country's capital to a standstill, closing down restaurants, banks and other businesses and turning streets desolate on Sunday, the latest escalation by protesters demanding an end to military rule.

Updated at 1:10 a.m. ET Monday

Hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday in a show of defiance against a government proposal that would allow people to be extradited to mainland China to face charges.

Organizers of the protest say more than 1 million turned out to the streets, or roughly one in seven Hong Kong residents, but police estimated the crowds were far smaller.

In the decades since two gunman attacked Columbine High School, ushering in a new era in which mass shootings have become commonplace in America, the building has turned into a tourism magnet for those curious about the school's dark history. And fears have persisted that the site has provided inspiration for copycat killings.

Over the past few months, visitors hoping to glimpse the school have been coming in droves, hitting record levels, perhaps fueled by the shooting's 20th anniversary.

Is it time to demolish the school?

Former Vice President Joseph Biden said in Atlanta on Thursday that he now opposes the Hyde Amendment, which bans most federal funding for abortions through programs like Medicaid.

He attributed his change in stance to Republican legislators' passing bills to limit access to abortions and efforts to topple the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the procedure.

Hours before he walked into his workplace and unleashed a barrage of gunfire that killed 12 people, the Virginia Beach gunman wrote his bosses a two-sentence email that said he was quitting for "personal reasons," according to a copy of the letter city officials released on Monday.

"I want to officially put in my (2) weeks' notice," DeWayne Craddock wrote. "It has been a pleasure to serve the city, but due to personal reasons, I must relieve my position."

Updated at 5:01 p.m. ET

The gunman who opened fire inside a Virginia Beach government building on Friday shot two supervisors, a high-ranking city government official has confirmed.

When she first heard a woman screaming "active shooter" while dashing down her office hallway, Christi Dewar's first thought was: It must be a drill.

Dewar, 60, of Chesapeake, Va., who has worked in the city of Virginia Beach's public utility department for nearly 13 years, had been there long enough to know that loud sounds were not necessarily cause for alarm.

On Friday afternoon, a workplace renovation was still underway, so when she heard the first blasting pop sounds, she didn't realize she was in the midst of one of America's deadliest workplace shootings.

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