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.

Updated at 5:51 p.m. ET

A federal appeals court has handed the Trump administration a victory by allowing the president to tap military construction funds to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

A divided 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the decision late Wednesday, reversing a lower court order that stopped Trump from using $3.6 billion in U.S Defense Department money to construct the long-promised border wall.

As the homelessness crisis in California grows more acute, Gov. Gavin Newsom is planning to ask lawmakers for $1.4 billion to pay monthly rents, build more shelters and provide treatment to those struggling with finding long-term housing, the governor's office announced on Wednesday.

A New Jersey police sergeant has been arrested and accused by federal authorities of stealing thousands of dollars in cash from suspects in drug cases and dividing up the money among officers he supervised.

The FBI arrested Paterson Police Sgt. Michael Cheff, 49, on federal civil rights violations and filing false records for routinely conducting illegal searches on people suspected of possessing large amounts of cash and drugs, according to charging documents filed on Tuesday.

A court in India has issued a death warrant for four men convicted in the fatal 2012 gang rape of a college student on a New Delhi bus, a crime that sparked huge demonstrations and a nationwide reckoning over sexual violence in India.

The men are scheduled to be executed by hanging at 7 a.m. on Jan. 22, the court in New Delhi announced Tuesday. India's president can still stay their execution, but he is not expected to intervene.

Updated at 11:50 p.m. ET Sunday

As thousands of mourners flooded the streets of Iran on Sunday to mourn the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a series of dizzying developments convulsed the Middle East, generating new uncertainty around everything from the future of U.S. forces in Iraq to the battle against ISIS and the effort to quell Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Amid the fallout of the U.S. drone strike on Friday that killed Soleimani, Sunday saw the following whiplash-inducing developments unfold almost simultaneously:

A top Trump administration official has been criticized for saying on Monday that the man charged with stabbing five people at a Hanukkah celebration in New York was the son of an "illegal alien" and came from a family that lacked "American values."

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, made the comments in a now-deleted tweet about suspect Grafton Thomas.

A top United Nations official is accusing U.S. authorities of imposing a penalty that amounts to torture against former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who is currently jailed in a federal facility after refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Earlier this year, a federal judge detained Manning and imposed on her daily fines after finding that she was in contempt of the court's order to testify.

Carlos Ghosn, the former chairman of Nissan who faced up to 15 years in prison on a set of charges over financial misconduct in Japan, has fled the country ahead of his trial — a move that stunned even his Japanese lawyer.

After Ghosn's arrest last year, authorities in Japan released him on two separate bails that totaled the equivalent of $14 million. He was forced to surrender his passports, and Japanese authorities were ordered to closely monitor the former automotive executive.

But he appears to have outfoxed them.

Updated at 3:16 p.m. ET

Federal prosecutors in New York have filed hate crime charges against the man accused of carrying out a stabbing rampage north of New York City over the weekend that wounded five people as they celebrated Hanukkah.

President Trump has been criticized after retweeting a post to his 68 million followers on Twitter that included a name linked to the alleged whistleblower whose complaint about the president's dealings with Ukraine prompted the impeachment inquiry.

At the time of the complaint, the individual was an intelligence community official who sounded the alarm about Trump's pressure campaign with Ukraine that House Democrats cited in impeaching the president for alleged abuse of power.

Officials in France are blocking the export of a remarkably rare medieval painting that was auctioned off after being discovered hanging in an elderly French woman's kitchen.

The Trump campaign on Christmas Eve launched a website full of talking points intended to help supporters of the president win arguments with "that liberal snowflake relative."

Featuring videos on topics from the economy to immigration and attacks on the media, snowflakevictory.com seeks to provide pro-Trump tidbits that can be brought to the holiday dinner table.

A Roman Catholic church in rural Louisiana hoping to maximize its blessings has come up with a way to do it: filling up a crop-duster plane with holy water and letting the sanctified liquid mist an entire community.

"We can bless more area in a shorter amount of time," Rev. Matthew Barzare of St. Anne Church in Cow Island, La., told NPR.

Following this past Saturday's mass, parishioners from the church in southwestern Louisiana headed to an airstrip about five minutes away from the church.

Michigan motorists were taken aback on Friday by an alarming image lurking just off the highway: a mysterious green liquid oozing from the walls of Interstate 696, spilling onto the road's shoulder.

"It certainly is an impressive sight," said Jill Greenberg, spokeswoman with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

Soon after, state and federal environmental officials descended on the interstate just north of Detroit, and it did not take long to trace the green liquid's source.

More than 50 people were hospitalized after 69 cars were involved in a chain-reaction crash on a Virginia interstate on Sunday morning, state authorities say.

Images from Interstate 64 in York County near Williamsburg showed cars and trucks in a tangled heap following the pileup.

Virginia State Police said the crashes began on an icy and fog-shrouded overpass bridge around 7:51 a.m.

"Fog and ice were causative factors, but the cause of the actual accident, we do not know at this time," said Virginia State Police spokeswoman Sgt. Michelle Anaya.

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