Families continue desperate search for missing loved ones, closure after California wildfires

Published by NBC News | November 17, 2018

As volunteers sift through the ashes for any sign of human remains and families chase down hints of loved ones at shelters, hopes of finding anyone alive are dwindling.

Customers buy out Donut City inventory to give owner time with his ailing wife

Published by NBC News | November 9, 2018

Residents of the Southern California town of Seal Beach have been pouring into a small, nondescript doughnut shop in the pre-dawn hours, buying up everything that’s for sale. Their goal is to get the store’s owner, John Chhan, to close the shop early—and spend time with his wife, who’s recovering from an aneurysm.

11-year-old intersex activist Ori Turner is fighting to end “gender-normalizing” surgery on children

Published by NBC News | October 24, 2018

When Kristina Turner heard her newborn baby was intersex, the first thing she had to do was learn what that meant. 11 years later, she and her child Ori are working together to educate the rest of the world.

Puerto Rico teen entrepreneur creates vital link between island farmers and consumers

Published by NBC News | September 28, 2018

Puerto Rican high school student José Nolla Marrero was 15 when he founded E-Farm, a digital platform that connects farmers across the island with consumers. In the wake of Hurricane Maria, that job only became more important, provided he could still find time to apply to college.

One year after Hurricane Maria: The struggle for housing in Vieques continues

Published by NBC News | September 17, 2018

FEMA approved $8.2 million for recovery in Vieques but estimates that the island sustained over $400 million in damage. Today, its residents remain displaced one year after the storm.

The future of farming without farmworkers

Published by NBC News | August 30, 2018

Going back five generations, Brad Goehring's family has owned vineyards in Clements, California. To combat a statewide labor shortage, he has turned to automating his farm work.

Stone Ghosts: A Journey through the Confederate South, from Charlottesville to Selma

Published by NBC News | August 10, 2018

From Charlottesville to Selma, NBC's Trymaine Lee and the New York Times' John Eligon travel the South to understand hate, heritage, and the legacy of the Confederacy.

'Ant-Man' science adviser explains the real-life physics behind the film

Published by NBC News | July 6, 2018

Spyridon Michalaki, a quantum physicist at Caltech, explains why Ant-Man could go toe-to-toe with Superman. Part of Mach at the Movies - a show where that explores the plausibility of our favorite sci-fi shows.

Building consciousness: How Westworld's sentient robots could become a reality

Published by NBC News | July 3, 2018

Neuroscientist David Eagleman, a science advisor on HBO's Westworld, explains just how close we are to mapping human consciousness onto robots. Part of Mach at the Movies - a show where that explores the plausibility of our favorite sci-fi shows.

Welcome to Ecotopia: California's solar pioneers want their off-the-grid lifestyle to go mainstream

Published by NBC News | May 31, 2018

Solar power pioneer John Schaeffer has been living off the grid in California since the 70s. At Ecotopia, he aims to convince the world that they can too.

Young Texan keeps charrería, which preceded rodeo, alive through three generations

Published by NBC News | May 4, 2018

Charrería is a centuries old Mexican tradition which formed the root of American rodeos. Now, a small group of Mexican-Americans in Southwest Texas are trying to keep the sport alive.

'Survival mode': The cost of being an underpaid teacher in Oklahoma

Published by NBC News | April 8, 2018

After massive cuts to education funding and no raises for the last ten years, teachers in Oklahoma staged a walkout. This now follows strikes across the country for education reform.

They escaped Kim Jong Un. Now these young North Korean defectors just want to grow up.

Published by NBC News | March 30, 2018

For young North Korean defectors, escape from an oppressive regime is only the first hurdle. Next, they must learn to live among people who don't understand what they've gone through in a world that's far more modern than the one they knew.

Does America Need Another Prison?

Published by NBC News | March 22, 2018

After the coal mines that drove the economy of Letcher County shut down, residents of this remote part of eastern Kentucky turned to a new project to save their community: a federal prison.

Living off the land: How these Puerto Rican farmers survived the storm

Published by NBC News | March 21, 2018

Immediately after Hurricane Maria, food supplies on the island were dwindling but this family of sustainable farmers had their crops.

When help arrives too late: Puerto Rico’s medical crisis

Published by NBC News | March 19, 2018

After Hurricane Maria, volunteers from Remote Area Medical set up free pop-up clinics in Puerto Rico.

Can a dictator and a dealmaker come to terms on nuclear weapons?

Published by NBC News | March 12, 2018

Donald Trump has accepted an invitation from Kim Jong Un to talk about the denuclearization of North Korea. Dr. Youngshik Daniel Bong, a professor at Seoul’s Yonsei Institute for North Korean Studies, thinks the likelihood of North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons is not as far-fetched an idea as many think.

Cryptocurrency gave young South Koreans a glimmer of hope, now dashed

Published by NBC News | March 2, 2018

For Juwon Park, cryptocurrency investment represented a 'life raft' to escape drowning in debt and move out of her parents' house. But she wasn't counting on the South Korean government's plans to regulate the market.

Meet the Americans skating for South Korea

Published by NBC News | February 20, 2018

Just making it to the Olympics is an achievement for Yura Min and  Alexander Gamelin, two American ice dancers who got South Korean citizenship for their shot at the games.

In remote areas of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, volunteers are a lifeline

Published by NBC News | January 17, 2018

Almost four months after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, volunteers are still serving as crucial lifelines for residents of remote areas that are difficult to reach.

Puerto Rico’s Christmas in the dark

Published by NBC News | December 21, 2017

Arlene Rivera says, "I'm never going to lose the Christmas spirit." She and her family have been living in the mountains of Adjuntas without electricity and water since Hurricane Maria.

Hit by Harvey, two Texas high school football teams hit back

Published by NBC News | December 8, 2017

In Texas, high school football is as much a religion as it is a sport. But for C.E. King High School, flooded during Hurricane Harvey and closed ever since, the game—like everything—has gotten harder. On the last night of the season, the team is making one last push to reach the playoffs and prove their school still has some fight left.

This Mother’s Addiction Went Viral, Now She’s Glad it Did (editor)

Published by NBC News | October 25, 2017

A police officer photographed Erika Hurt after she overdosed on heroin in her car, a needle still in her hand and her infant son in the backseat. A year after the photo went viral, Erika is thankful that the picture was taken.

Sandy Survivors Warn Hurricane Victims That Feelings of Loss Persist

Published by NBC News | October 24, 2017

Five years after Superstorm Sandy, residents of the flooded Queens neighborhood of Broad Channel are still living in the aftermath of the storm--and they're worried for those that are only beginning to rebuild after the latest hurricanes to hit the United States.

Three Families, Three Paths to Recovery

Published by NBC News | October 23, 2017

When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, the city was already one of the most economically unequal in America. And research shows that natural disasters can exacerbate that inequality. Through three stories of recovery, we see how.

Pilots Fly Into Hurricane-Hit Puerto Rico to Evacuate the Sick

Published by NBC News | October 12, 2017

Pilots from the northeast volunteer their time and their planes to move supplies to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands--and to bring sick people to hospitals on the mainland.

Puerto Ricans Band Together After Receiving Little Help from Government

Published by NBC News | October 6, 2017

After receiving limited aid, residents of Utuado, Puerto Rico have built a makeshift water station.

Life After Maria: ‘Living This is Something That I Don’t Wish on Anybody’

Published by NBC News | October 5, 2017

The home of Ana Toribio Vargas, resident of hard-hit Arecibo was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Two weeks after the storm, she struggles to pick up the pieces.

Puerto Rico Doctor: 'Medical Schools Don't Prepare You For This'

Published by NBC News | October 4, 2017

Two weeks after Hurricane Maria, Dr. Ubaldo Santiago from San Juan recounts the hospital crisis in Puerto Rico.

Two New Yorkers Give Puerto Rican Town the Ultimate Coffee Boost

Published by NBC News | September 15, 2017

Sam Sepulveda and Ivan Peña founded 787 Coffee in one of the poorest regions of Puerto Rico with hopes of revitalizing the U.S. territory's ailing economy and returning the one-time island staple to its former glory.

Supermodel Joan Smalls: “You’re Representing a Heritage’

Published by NBC News | September 21, 2017

Take a tour of Puerto Rico with supermodel Joan Smalls, who left the island at the age of 19 to pursue a career in high fashion and became the first Latina face of Estée Lauder.

Two New Yorkers Give Puerto Rican Town the Ultimate Coffee Boost

Published by NBC News | September 15, 2017

Sam Sepulveda and Ivan Peña founded 787 Coffee in one of the poorest regions of Puerto Rico with hopes of revitalizing the U.S. territory's ailing economy and returning the one-time island staple to its former glory.

After Harvey, Mother Seeks Shelter From New Flood

Published by NBC News | August 31, 2017

As flooding receded in Houston, an emergency release of water from two full reservoirs steadily inundated the neighborhood of Memorial.

"We Have To Go Help": Texas Family Answers Call in Wake of Harvey

Published by NBC News | August 30, 2017

In the days after Hurricane Harvey passed through Texas, Josue and Yolanda Martinez and her brother joined other volunteers in rescuing Texans stranded outside of Houston.

‘My Freedom Is Gone’: Returning to Find Harvey’s Destruction

Published by NBC News | August 28, 2017

After waiting out the storm in a Red Cross shelter in Victoria, Texas, Leonardo De La Garza returned home for the first time since Hurricane Harvey to find it in ruin.

Texans Leave Everything Behind to Find Shelter From Harvey

Published by NBC News | August 27, 2017

Texans with nowhere else to go find refuge, food, and peace at Saint Andrews Church in Pleasanton, Texas.

Hurricane Harvey Bears Down. But This Texas Family Refuses to Leave

Published by NBC News | August 26, 2017

Despite a mandatory evacuation order--and against the advice of friends and family--Juan Rodriguez chose to ride out the Category 4 hurricane at home in Victoria, Texas.

Trump Rally Offers His Supporters Hope for Fights to Come

Published by NBC News | July 26, 2017

President Trump traveled to Youngstown, Ohio, to rally supporters for the challenges ahead. NBC News spoke to attendees for a progress report on the president's first six months and their hopes for the next three-and-a-half years.

Journey of a Bullet

Published by NBC News | June 20, 2017

A gunshot wound may heal, but the bullet remains embedded in every facet of the survivor’s life. Follow how six people endured the physical force, paid the emotional toll and found a path to recovery.

At 13 He Falsely Confessed, 14 Years Later He Seeks Redemption

Published by NBC News | May 10, 2017

When Tyler Edmonds was 13 years old, he falsely confessed to murder to protect his sister, who had committed the crime. That moment began a 14-year journey seeking justice.

In the Age of Trump, Black Church Preaches Gospel of God and Guns

Published by NBC News | May 8, 2017

After the election of Donald Trump, firearm retailers across the nation reported a rise in the number of African Americans interested in buying guns, including a pastor in Cleveland, Ohio, who's invited a gun safety class into his church.

Arkansas Death Penalty: One Woman's Long Wait to See Her Husband's Killer Die

Published by NBC News | April 24, 2017

Just miles away from death row in Arkansas, Genie Boren prepares for the scheduled execution of her husband’s killer, Kenneth Williams. Williams is one of the previously eight scheduled executions in a 10 day span in Arkansas.

Portrait of Courage: Michael “Rod” Rodriguez

Published by The Today Show | February 23, 2017

President George W. Bush’s book “Portraits of Courage” includes the story of Michael “Rod” Rodriguez. Rodriguez hails from a military family, and was deployed 9 times over 21 years. After getting injured during his last deployment, he turned to blacksmithing to aid in his recovery.

Michael Moore: 'Do Not Despair, Do Not Give Up'

Published by NBC News | January 21, 2017

On the eve and day of Donald Trump's inauguration, activist and documentary filmmaker Michael Moore mobilizes protestors and says, "We are the majority."

Democrats: Left in the Lurch (video)

Published by NBC News | January 18, 2017

The curious decline and uncertain future of the Democratic Party

Army Vet Hasn't Missed a Swearing-In Since Nixon

Published by NBC News | January 18, 2017

Medal of Honor recipient Sammy Lee Davis has attended every presidential inauguration since Richard Nixon's in 1969. He made the trip to D.C. to see his friend, Donald Trump, take the oath of office.

Will President Obama Pardon Civil Rights Icon Marcus Garvey?

Published by NBC News | January 12, 2017

Dr. Julius Garvey says it’s important for President Barack Obama to clear his father’s name from the mail fraud conviction that caused the civil right icon Marcus Garvey to be deported from the United States to his native Jamaica. What would a posthumous pardon would signify for America?

'Second Chance at Life': Inmates Hope for Last-Minute Clemency

Published by NBC News | December 17, 2016

Many inmates hope that President Obama will grant them executive clemency before he leaves the White House next month. This is the story of one woman who finally went home after fighting for more than a decade for a reduction in her prison sentence.

The Yearlong Fight: ‘We Didn’t See Trump Coming’

Published by NBC News | November 11, 2016

For one Latino man--and first-time voter--getting Hillary Clinton elected was a matter of shielding his undocumented family.

He's No Longer Aaron Burr, Sir.  'Hamilton' Star Takes His Shot

Published by NBC News | September 12, 2016

Leslie Odom Jr., a Tony-winner for his portrayal of Aaron Burr in the Broadway smash, 'Hamilton,' has released a self-titled jazz album.  He talks to NBC News about life after Broadway, being in 'a garage band,' and stumping for Hillary Clinton. 

A moment and a movement: 'Beginners' stand up against Trump

Published by MSNBC | August 5, 2016

A young group of doctors in Cleveland, Ohio is determined the turn the pivotal swing state away from Donald Trump. They've formed Stand Together Against Trump to prevent the Republican nominee from re-branding himself in the months leading up to the election. 

Flag Burning Protest Spurs Mass Arrest at Convention

Published by MSNBC | July 28, 2016

Members of the Revolutionary Communist Party announced they would burn an American flag at both national conventions. By the time they were done in Cleveland, 17 of them would be in police custody, the largest mass arrest of the RNC. 

'It's Hard Being a Black Man in this City'

Published by MSNBC | July 12, 2016

In the days after the shooting of Alton Sterling, Trymaine Lee reports from Baton Rouge on the growing tension in the city and talks to one young resident inspired to activism by the death of a man he passed every day.

Birds of a Feather Perform Light Show Together

Published by MSNBC | June 9, 2016

New York artist Duke Riley has enlisted 2,000 pigeons to perform 'Fly By Night,' a light show above Brooklyn's East River. The performance celebrates the city's history of rooftop pigeon coops and commemorates Cob Dock, once the site of the Navy's largest carrier pigeon coop.

Immigrant Families Take Fight to Supreme Court

Published by MSNBC | April 22, 2016

As the Supreme Court heard arguments on the legality of President Obama's executive actions offering deportation relief to young immigrants and their parents, activists traveled from across the country to rally in front of the court and make their voices heard.

Have Lax Gun Laws Led to More Homicides

Published by MSNBC | April 14, 2016

Funerals for victims of gun violence have become so common in St. Louis that for many they're weekly community gatherings. Some blame the state legislature, which in 2007 eliminated most gun control laws. In the years since, the number of homicides has spiked. Trymaine Lee investigates how a city and the police deal with a rural state legislature that lives--and governs--according to a different set of standards than they do. 

Playing 'Russian roulette' with explosive oil

Published by MSNBC | April 4, 2016

The transport of explosive Bakken crude oil by train has surged in the last five years. A watchdog organization says the nation's 100,000 decaying rail bridges can't support such high volume, putting water supplies and the environment under threat of contamination. 

Cities demand more solar power

Published by MSNBC | November 13, 2015

Tony Dokoupil reports on how solar energy is catching on in big cities in the United States. Demand from New York City homeowners continues to grow. especially in Brooklyn neighborhoods. 

Drug epidemic spreads in Harlem - and beyond

Published by MSNBC | November 3, 2015

Users of K2 insist the "synthetic marijuana" is no more dangerous than the real thing, but an outbreak of emergency room patients suggests otherwise. Tony Dokoupil investigates.

Shuttered: The End of Abortion Access in America

Published by MSNBC | October 19, 2015

MSNBC's exploration of the campaign by southern state legislatures to close abortion clinics across the South.  (Videos by me.)

Police Chief makes unique offer to addicts

Published by msnbc | September 1, 2015

What happens when drug abusers are sent to rehab instead of jail? The police chief in Gloucester, MA is finding out. MSNBC and Upworthy take a look at this innovative new program.

Ditch the car, get a cargo bike

Published by msnbc | August 20, 2015

Tony Dokoupil and the owner of 718 Cyclery hop on bikes to explain why cargo bikes are becoming more popular in Brooklyn, NY. 718 Cyclery is hosting its first cargo bike rodeo on August 22 in the Park Slope neighborhood.

Black women speak out about their experiences with police violence

Published by Fusion | July 01, 2015

The names of black men shot and killed by police became synonymous with the slogan “black lives matter.”  But that doesn’t mean black women and girls are unaffected by state violence.

‘Father and son’ finally able to wed

Published by msnbc | June 25, 2015

After 52 years together and at one point legally adopting each other as father and son, Bill Novak and Norman MacArthur were finally able to tie the knot. Produced with Upworthy.

America's expanding immigration detention facilities

Published by msnbc | June 11, 2015

America’s capacity to detain immigrants is exploding with South Texas at the center of the expansion. But with reports of sexual assault and "prison-like" facilities, what are the costs to asylum-seeking immigrants? 

New interactive art paints rape survivors as heroes

Published by msnbc | May 26, 2015

In this technologically innovative and wildly popular interactive comic book, Priya’s Shakti, a gang-rape survivor-turned-superhero, demonstrates strength, courage and womanhood through artist Ram Devineni’s walk-in comic book. 

Lack of funding guts Mississippi schools

Published by msnbc | May 9, 2015

Mississippi spends among the least amount of money on their schoolchildren. MSNBC’s Seema Iyer reports on how Mississippi schools are continually forced to do more with less.

Piles of presidential memorabilia with nowhere to go

Published by msnbc | March 24, 2015

Austin Wright inherited scores of political artifacts covering the presidencies of George Washington to George W. Bush from his father Jordan, a prominent collector. Now Austin is looking for a new home for the 1.25 million pieces of Americana that currently lie stacked in a NYC storage bin. 

Why do people always ask this woman about used condoms?

Published by msnbc | February 12, 2015

When people learn Lauren Singer has kept two years worth of her trash in a single mason jar, they only want to know how she disposes of condoms and feminine hygiene products. So what does she do with her unmentionables?

Runaway Train: Is 2015 the end of the line for conductors?

Published by msnbc | January 29, 2015

Tons of deadly freight could soon rumble through America with one-person crews. In the balance: billions of dollars, thousands of jobs, and public safety.

LGBT: Banned from being all you can be

Published by msnbc | December 29, 2014

David identifies as a trans man but has to pass as a woman while he’s on duty in the U.S. Army. Some estimates say 15,000 trans people similarly hide their true identities because of an ongoing ban on trans service in the military.

The controversy behind 'edible' pot

Published by msnbc | December 20, 2014

Popular marijuana-infused baked goods have become a major part of the conversation on how to regulate Colorado's booming legal cannabis market. Seema Iyer gets a first-hand look at the commerce and controversy behind "edibles."

"We Do This All The Time"

Published by msnbc | December 1, 2014

Lauri Huffman says she was forced off her job for being pregnant. A pending Supreme Court case could determine her fate — as well as that of pregnant workers across America.

Ebola Takes Toll on NYC's "Little Liberia"

Published by msnbc | October 14, 2014

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has had outsized effects on New York’s “Little Liberia” community, with one resident losing 15 family members to the virus.

Obama Calls for Trans-Atlantic Unity to Isolate Russia

Published by GlobalPost | March 26, 2014

“Casual indifference would ignore the lessons that are written in the cemeteries of this continent,” Obama told EU leaders.

Syrian Refugees Threaten to Destabilize Lebanon (Video + Print) 

Published by GlobalPost | December 28, 2013

"The influx of Syrians into Lebanon has led to rising tension across the small nation. Ramshackle tent settlements continue to grow, populated by the poor and the sick who live in squalid conditions. Many worry the refugees will destabilize a country that has seen its population of four million swell by 25 percent since the conflict in Syria began."

Why Getting Medical Care in Lebanon is Harder than Escaping Syria (Video + Print)

Published by GlobalPost | December 29, 2013

"In the nearly three years since the war in Syria began, health-care workers across Lebanon have been overrun by waves of sick refugees. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children living in squalid refugee camps have placed a weight on a system ill prepared for the influx. Now, doctors and administrators struggle to treat their new patients, allocating money and medicine that are both in short supply."

Why Lebanon Refuses to Officially Welcome Syrian Refugees (Video + Print)

Published by GlobalPost | December 30, 2013

"The Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila, established in the aftermath of the Arab Israeli war of 1948, stands as a living example of why the Lebanese government has so far refused to formally welcome refugees from neighboring Syria. It is also a warning, proof of what can happen to neglected refugees and the country that tries to ignore them."

Vigil in Queens (Print)

Published by Open City | November 14, 2013

"As the 7 train rolled above them, loudly rattling the tracks, a group of Filipinos sang a quiet, slow hymn on the streets below. They had convened a candlelight vigil in Woodside, Queens to raise money and organize their community in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. Just five days earlier, the storm had wrought havoc on the island nation leaving thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced."

Will Either Bill Pass (Cover Photo)

Published by City & State | September 6, 2013

Shatila Blues: An Old Camp for New Refugees (Photo Gallery)

Published By Focus on Syria | August 14, 2013

"As the fighting in Syria continues, many Syrian Palestinians have fled to Shatila, the Palestinian refugee camp established in southern Beirut in the aftermath of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. After more than sixty years, the camp is a densely packed urban enclave, comprised of narrow, often dark alleys and crudely-built concrete structures that house approximately 20,000 residents."

In the Bekaa Camps, An Improvised Existence (Photo Gallery)

Published by Focus on Syria | July 12, 2013

"Since the start of the Syrian crisis, refugees have poured into Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, drawn by ties to family and friends and the hope of finding employment on the farms that surround the local communities."

A Day in Family Court (Print + Video)

Published by Juvenile Justice Information Exchange | May 20, 2013

"It’s a cliché that the wheels of justice turn slowly, but in spending a day at family court in Brooklyn, it can seem as though the wheels aren’t turning at all.  Judges hold hearings that often last just minutes and advance the case only by degrees before adjourning. Delays are frequent.  The process moves slowly as children linger in jail and their parents take off work to be there for them. Except when they don’t. It’s a system that operates by its own logic, and parents say it can be frustrating when they’re suddenly thrust into it."