Bobby Allyn

Bobby Allyn is a business reporter at NPR based in San Francisco. He covers technology and how Silicon Valley's largest companies are transforming how we live and reshaping society.

He came to San Francisco from Washington, where he focused on national breaking news and politics. Before that, he covered criminal justice 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 10:26 p.m. ET

The coronavirus death toll has climbed to 811 in mainland China, according to Chinese health officials, a grim tally that surpasses the number of global fatalities recorded during the SARS epidemic between 2002 and 2003.

Updated at 12:04 a.m. ET

Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., is neck and neck with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Iowa caucuses, according to a partial release of results from the state Democratic Party.

With 71% of results in, Buttigieg has about 27% of the State Delegate Equivalent count, with Sanders close behind with 25% of delegate support.

Updated at 5:30 p.m.

House Democrats and President Trump's defense team made their final arguments in the Senate impeachment trial before lawmakers vote later this week on whether to remove Trump from office.

Both sides presented opposing versions of the president's handling of aid for Ukraine last summer and the impeachment proceedings so far, before ultimately arriving at divergent conclusions.

Updated at 8:00 p.m. ET

The Senate impeachment trial adjourned Friday evening, with a plan to return Monday morning to continue. Closing arguments will be presented Monday, after which senators will be permitted to speak on the floor. A final vote, during which President Trump is expected to be acquitted, is expected next Wednesday around 4 p.m. ET.

Updated 11:28 p.m. ET

Sen. Lamar Alexander said on Thursday night that he will not vote to allow witnesses and evidence into the impeachment trial of President Trump.

Updated at 10:56 p.m. ET

Senators weighing impeachment charges against President Trump spent Thursday firing questions at lawyers as they did the day before, just as the prospect of former national security adviser John Bolton's appearance as a witness continues to stoke speculation. The Senate will enter its next phase Friday — considering whether to allow witnesses and evidence.

Updated at 11:40 p.m. ET

The Senate on Wednesday night concluded the first of two days full of questions in the impeachment trial of President Trump. The proceeding offered clues about the thinking of senators, but the session consisted mostly of trial lawyers on both sides magnifying arguments they have already delivered.

There were, however, controversial moments in which Trump's counsel took positions Democrats decried as radical or even unlawful.

Updated at 7:35 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a group of Senate Republicans late Tuesday that he does not yet have the votes to stop Democrats from calling witnesses during the impeachment trial of President Trump, according to people familiar with the discussion.

But even as McConnell made the concession, the dynamic remains fluid. Whether Democrats' push for witnesses succeeds or fails could come down to a group of moderate Republicans who have remained open, but uncommitted, to new witnesses since the start of the trial.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

As President Trump's legal team pressed the case for acquittal on Monday, they repeatedly made two points: the charges against Trump do not meet the constitution's criteria for impeachment. And if the president is removed from office for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, it will set a "dangerous" precedent.

"You cannot turn conduct that is not impeachable into impeachable conduct simply by using words like quid pro quo," said one of Trump's lawyers, Alan Dershowitz, calling the charges "vague, indefinable."

Updated at 9:00 p.m. ET

House Democrats on Friday finished their third and final day of arguments that President Trump, impeached by the House, now should be convicted and removed from office by the Senate.

The president's lawyers will get their turn to lay out the case for acquittal starting this weekend.

"A toxic mess"

Around dinnertime on Tuesday, just about four hours into the impeachment trial of President Trump, Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, did not look enthralled by House Democrats' presentations. In fact, he looked the opposite. Eyes closed, he was slumped over and appeared to be snoozing.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., reportedly also dozed off briefly before jolting back awake.

Updated at 10:40 p.m. ET

House Democrats finished their second day of oral arguments on Thursday, contending that that President Trump's attempt to pressure Ukraine into investigations was not only an attempt to cheat in the 2020 election, but Democrats said it was also the kind of behavior the nation's founding fathers hoped to guard against.

On Jan. 24, 1966, Sen. Everett Dirksen of Illinois was thirsty on the Senate floor.

And so, for a moment, he put aside debate on labor law and asked the presiding officer of the chamber a question, his signature brawny bass voice amplifying its importance: Could he have a Senate page fetch him a generous helping of milk?

Hundreds of migrants from Central America on Monday moved off a closed border bridge and waded across the Suchiate River at the Guatemala-Mexico border after Mexican officials informed the group they would not be permitted to move farther into the country.

With the river low from the dry season, migrants were able to cross but were met with the Mexico's National Guard lining the river's banks on the other side.

Updated 4:05 p.m. ET Sunday

Investigators in Honolulu are combing through the charred rubble of seven homes and searching for the remains of a man who police say stabbed his landlord, fatally shot two officers and set a fire that destroyed his bungalow and six other homes.

Updated 3:30 p.m. Sunday

A quiet New England community west of Hartford, Conn., has found itself roped into the impeachment saga with the emergence of an improbable character in the ongoing Ukraine scandal: Robert Hyde.

Hyde is a 40-year-old congressional candidate and former landscaper in Simsbury, Conn., who is known for being brash, foul-mouthed and for hitching his candidacy on his fervent support for President Trump.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Prosecutors in the U.S. Virgin Islands have unveiled a new lawsuit against the estate of Jeffrey Epstein alleging that over two decades he ran a conspiracy in which he transported young women and girls to his private Caribbean islands by helicopter and boat and then subjected them to sexual abuse.

The International Court of Justice in the Netherlands announced Wednesday that it is poised to make a decision on whether it will order Myanmar to put an end to what human rights watchers say has been a campaign of genocide against the country's Rohingya Muslim minority.

The United Nation's top court says the order will be handed down on Jan 23.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Maryland has blocked the Trump administration's executive order allowing state and local governments to turn away refugees from resettling in their communities.

A group of civil rights and consumer groups is urging federal and state regulators to examine a number of mobile apps, including popular dating apps Grindr, Tinder and OKCupid for allegedly sharing personal information with advertising companies.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper says the U.S. has the constitutional authority to strike Iranian proxies in Iraq and Iran on the Islamic Republic's home soil in retaliation for attacks on American forces.

Updated at 5:35 p.m. ET

Attorney General William Barr announced Monday that 21 Saudi military cadets studying at U.S. military bases are being sent back to their home country after investigators found child pornography, "jihadi or anti-American content" on accounts or devices associated with the students.

The announcement comes a month after a Saudi national opened fire in a classroom at a naval base in Pensacola, Fla., killing three young sailors and wounding eight others.

Updated 8:38 p.m. Sunday ET

The Trump administration is planning to announce on Monday that more than 20 Saudi students receiving military training in the United States will be sent back to their home country, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The expulsions come in the wake of a Pentagon review of the Saudi officer who opened fire last month at a naval base in Pensacola, Fla., leaving three young sailors dead and wounding eight others.

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.

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