KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Matthew S. Schwartz

Matthew S. Schwartz is a reporter with NPR's news desk. Before coming to NPR, Matt worked as a reporter for Washington, D.C., member station WAMU, where he won the national Edward R. Murrow award for feature reporting in large market radio. Previously, Matt worked as a technology reporter covering the intricacies of Internet regulation. In a past life, Matt was a Washington telecom lawyer. He got his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. from the University of Michigan ("Go Blue!").

Zimbabwe has constricted Internet access amid a week of deadly protests following an increase in gasoline prices.

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the country's largest mobile phone operator, said early Friday that it had been directed by the government to shut down all Internet access for the second time in a week.

Hundreds of Honduran migrants have crossed the Guatemalan border as they travel in the direction of the United States.

The group that reached Guatemala on Tuesday is the first wave of a caravan that could consist of thousands. It's the first national border crossed by the migrants on their journey that started Monday night.

It's a scene often observed in the White House. Men in bow ties light golden candelabras while the president of the United States stands behind a table containing small mountains of food on silver trays.

So far, so good.

But look closely, and you'll see the labels on the packages: "Quarter Pounder." "Filet-O-Fish." Chicken nugget dipping sauces sit in serving bowls off to the side. Behind the current president, Abraham Lincoln looks down, his hand on his chin, surveying the scene.

If only paintings could offer witty commentary.

The 18-year-old Saudi woman who secured asylum in Canada hopes other women will be inspired to follow in her footsteps.

Updated at 12:35 p.m. ET

The mayor of the Polish city of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, has died a day after he was stabbed in the heart and abdomen at a charity event attended by thousands of people.

Adamowicz, 53, was onstage after speaking at Sunday's finale of the annual Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity event, which raises money for medical equipment to treat sick children. TV footage showed Adamowicz telling the audience it had been a "wonderful day" just before he was attacked, The Associated Press reports.

Updated at 5:58 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Pennsylvania has blocked the Trump administration from implementing a rule allowing employers to decline to offer contraceptive coverage on moral or religious grounds.

U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone in Philadelphia imposed a nationwide injunction Monday which has wider effect than a similar ruling issued Sunday by a federal judge in California.

Juan David Ortiz, a U.S. Border Patrol agent, pleaded not guilty Thursday to capital murder in the deaths of four women, The Associated Press reports. His "killing spree" might have continued, prosecutors say, had they not caught a "lucky break" when a fifth kidnapped woman escaped and contacted authorities.

A Nazi war criminal, living safely in the United States until his deportation to Germany last year, has died. He had been the last known World War II Nazi living in the U.S.

Australian police arrested a Shepparton man accused of mailing 38 packages containing a dangerous substance to diplomatic missions throughout southeast Australia.

Savas Avan was charged with sending dangerous articles through the postal service, Australian law enforcement officials said in a statement. The offense carries a maximum 10-year jail term.

A federal judge in Iowa says it's no longer a crime to go undercover at factory farms, slaughterhouses and any other ag-related operations. The 2012 law was a clear violation of the First Amendment, the judge said.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, one of the plaintiffs in the case, called the ruling "a win for free speech and animal protection."

Updated at 10 a.m. ET

The young Saudi woman who captivated the world with her harrowing tweets claiming abuse has been granted refugee status by the United Nations.

"The UNHCR has referred Ms Rahaf Mohammed Al-Qunun to Australia for consideration for refugee resettlement," the Australia Department of Home Affairs told NPR in a statement, referring to the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Australia will "consider this referral in the usual way, as it does with all UNHCR referrals."

After extending to an unexpected third day, trade talks between U.S. and Chinese officials have concluded, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry announced Wednesday morning. Delegates to the talks have not yet revealed what specifically was discussed, or if anything was agreed to. In a Tweet Tuesday morning, President Trump said the talks were "going very well!"

On Tuesday, the woman believed to be the oldest person in the U.S. passed away at her home in Cleveland Heights, the Associated Press reported. According to the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks and verifies the age of people aged 110 and older, Lessie Brown lived for 114 years and 108 days.

Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET

Florida's voting rolls are about to swell.

In November, Florida voters overwhelmingly voted to restore voting rights to most felons who have served their time. Today, as NPR Miami correspondent Greg Allen reports, the amendment to the state constitution goes into effect — and more than a million people will be able to register to vote.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has traveled to China at the request of Chinese President Xi Jinping, state media of both countries announced. It's Kim's fourth visit to China in a year.

The four-day visit could be a chance for the two leaders to coordinate ahead of a second summit between Kim and President Trump, NPR's international correspondent Anthony Kuhn reports.

U.S. and Chinese officials have begun talks aimed at ending the trade war that has imposed hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs over the past year. The U.S. is seeking concessions in Chinese business practices; in exchange it will eliminate tariffs recently imposed on Chinese goods.

Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, the 18-year-old Saudi woman who barricaded herself in a Bangkok hotel room as she posted pleas for asylum over the weekend, will be allowed to stay in Thailand for up to a week while U.N. refugee agency officials study her case, according to Thai authorities.

Alqunun says her family in Saudi Arabia has abused her and might kill her if she is deported back home.

A third woman has crossed the threshold into the sacred Hindu Sabarimala temple in southern India, defying a centuries-old ban on women of menstruating age — between the ages of 10 and 50 — from entering the shrine, according to Reuters.

Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET

Edward Gallagher was a decorated 19-year Navy veteran on his eighth tour of duty. And military prosecutors say that while serving in Mosul, Iraq, in 2017, he snapped.

Gallagher plans to plead not guilty to multiple charges of war crimes at his arraignment hearing Friday at Naval Base San Diego, attorney Phillip Stackhouse told NPR.

The Houston Sheriff's Office has released a composite sketch of the man wanted in the killing of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes.

In a press conference Thursday, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales said the suspect is described as a thin white man in his 30s or 40s, wearing a black hoodie, with pale skin and blue eyes. What police originally described as a beard "looks more like a 5-o'clock shadow," he said.

North Korea's acting ambassador to Italy has disappeared from the diplomatic compound in Rome, according to South Korea's spy agency. NPR's Seoul Correspondent Anthony Kuhn reports the South Korean National Intelligence Service briefed lawmakers in a closed-door hearing Thursday.

Ambassador Jo Song Gil and his wife disappeared from the diplomatic compound in Rome in November, before his term was set to end later that month, Kuhn reports.

They whirled and they twirled and they tangoed through the '70s as the hit musical duo Captain & Tennille. And when "Captain" Daryl Dragon died Wednesday night in Prescott, Ariz., his longtime musical partner was by his side.

That's one giant leap for China.

China state television announced Thursday that China's Chang'e 4 lunar explorer, which launched in early December, "became the first ever probe to soft-land on the far side of the moon." The probe touched down at 10:26 Beijing time, the China Global Television Network said.

For centuries, women of menstruating age have been banned from the Sabarimala temple in the southern Indian state of Kerala. The country's Supreme Court ordered the temple to lift the ban last year, but no woman below 50 had been able to get in, until today.

"The historic moment, caught on video, shows two women with their heads covered," reports NPR's Sushmita Pathak. "Holy chants blare on speakers as the women hurry into the Sabarimala temple."

For 25 years, schools, hospitals and places of worship have effectively been off-limits to federal immigration officers. Now, a group of dozens of former state and federal judges is asking U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to add courthouses to the list of "sensitive locations" where their officers generally do not go.

The video footage is surreal, a pair of gloved spacesuit hands wielding what looks like a silver dagger, poised to stab the outside of a Russian spacecraft.

"Honestly I can't look at that," cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev says, as voiced by a translator, while fellow cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko slices into the side of the Soyuz MS-09 capsule. "It's my vehicle, Oleg!"

It was all part of an attempt Tuesday to solve the mystery of the leaking International Space Station.