Matthew S. Schwartz

Matthew S. Schwartz is a reporter with NPR's news desk. Before coming to NPR, Schwartz worked as a reporter for Washington, DC, member station WAMU, where he won the national Edward R. Murrow award for feature reporting in large market radio. Previously, Schwartz worked as a technology reporter covering the intricacies of Internet regulation. In a past life, Schwartz 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!").

Oil prices are up more than 2 percent after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela's state-run oil company known as PDVSA.

Two-time Grammy winner James Ingram, whose signature timbre instantly evokes the classic R&B sound of the 1980s, has died. He was 66.

Ingram's passing was announced on Twitter by actress Debbie Allen. "I have lost my dearest friend and creative partner James Ingram to the Celestial Choir," she wrote. "He will always be cherished, loved and remembered for his genius, his love of family and his humanity. I am blessed to have been so close."

Updated at 1:03 p.m. ET

Faced with billions of dollars in potential liabilities from two years of devastating Northern California wildfires as well as the specter of future catastrophic blazes, California's Pacific Gas and Electric, one of the nation's largest utilities, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday.

The state is investigating PG&E's culpability in November's Butte County fire that killed at least 86 people and incinerated some 14,000 homes and buildings in and around the town of Paradise, Calif.

A glitch in Apple's FaceTime app let users hear the other person — and in some cases, see video — even if the recipient never accepted the call. The bug was widely reported late Monday, and confirmed by several technology reporters. Until it can offer a permanent fix, Apple says it has simply disabled group FaceTime calls altogether.

As government safety workers get back to work after the partial government shutdown that lasted more than a month, the National Transportation Safety Board is developing plans to work through the backlog — and realizing that some evidence might no longer exist.

Most investigations were put on hold when workers were dismissed. But 22 investigations never even began. That includes 15 aviation accidents resulting in 21 fatalities; three marine accidents; two railroad accidents causing two fatalities; and two highway accidents, which killed seven people.

Forever Stamps have gotten a lot more expensive, relatively speaking.

The price of a first-class Forever Stamp went up by a nickel Sunday, from 50 cents to 55 cents. That 10 percent increase "is the biggest price increase by total cents in the history of the Postal Service," according to The Associated Press.

The Postal Service has been running a multibillion-dollar deficit for years, and the price increase is an attempt to contend with a United States that just doesn't send as many letters as it used to.

A prominent Chinese human rights lawyer has been sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison for subverting state power.

Wang Quanzhang is known for defending political activists, victims of land seizures and the banned religious group Falun Gong. His wife and former business partners say Wang committed no crime. Human rights groups are condemning the sentence.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered preparations for a second summit with President Trump to discuss the prospect of denuclearization on the Korean peninsula, state media said Thursday.

Updated at 7:28 p.m. ET

The Microsoft search engine, Bing, is back online in China after apparently being blocked on Wednesday, a company spokesperson told NPR.

"We can confirm that Bing was inaccessible in China, but service is now restored," the spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

The company declined to provide details about the cause of the disruption and return of the search engine.

Zimbabwean forces have engaged in "systematic torture" of protesters, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has found. The torture, mostly consisting of "indiscriminate and severe beatings," follows several days of looting, fires and street barricades by protesters angry over high fuel prices.

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