New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Weekly Innovation: Hey, You're Taking Too Long In The Shower

Aug 21, 2013
Originally published on August 22, 2013 8:16 am

This week's innovation pick is a shower head that reminds you you're taking too long. The Uji shower head gradually turns from green to red as users linger in the shower.

"It encourages [people] to take shorter and more energy efficient showers," said one of the co-inventors, Brett Andler. "By letting people become aware of how long they're in the shower, we've actually been able to cut shower time by 12 percent."

Priced at about $50, the Uji shower head will pay for itself in energy and water savings after only seven months of use, according to the developers. After this, they say, the shower head will save you about $85/year installed.

Andler says he and fellow Tufts University grads Sam Woolf and Tyler Wilson designed this light-up shower head as part of a mechanical engineering class in the spring.

"We were all interested in green technology and saving the environment," Andler said. "So we were looking at an untackled problem and realized, shower heads. We wanted a product that will pay for itself really quickly and look and feel just as good as a non-eco-friendly counterpart."

Andler submitted the Uji on our open form for Weekly Innovation ideas and it caught our eye. The idea also got the attention of the Department of Energy and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, whose grants helped pay for prototyping and testing the Uji shower. The former classmates are now seeking angel funding — and talking with big players in this space, like Symmons — as they move into production.

According to Andler, at least four universities have committed to piloting the shower heads in their dorms once the Uji is produced.

"It's a great use case to sell directly to universities and use that as a way to build up revenue and trust," Andler said. But if you want an Uji shower head for your home, the team is hoping to have them available for purchase by early 2014.

Update on August 22:

Readers have been curious how long you get to shower before the light turns red. Andler tells us the Uji currently turns red in about seven minutes so people get out of the shower by minute eight. But, he says, "We're still playing around with [this]. We may have models that let users set their own time, and we may modify the current 7 minutes. We're still looking to find the best balance between savings and comfort."

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit