National

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

There's something that really bothers Stanford psychiatry professor Keith Humphreys. When he thinks of all the years he has spent training the next generation of psychiatrists, the enormous investment in medical school and residency, he wants those doctors to devote that education to taking care of people with serious mental illness.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter says the military is lifting a ban on transgender service members.

"Effective immediately, transgender Americans may serve openly, and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military just for being transgender," he told reporters today at the Pentagon.

The fundamental reason for the change, Carter said, is "that the Defense Department and the military need to avail ourselves of all talent possible in order to remain what we are now – the finest fighting force the world has ever known."

A strange thing is uniting Democrats and Republicans in Washington: the widespread disapproval of a meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac in Arizona.

Alvin Toffler, the author whose celebrated 1970 book Future Shock examined the danger and promise of the accelerating pace of change in society, died in his sleep Monday in Los Angeles. He was 87.

At the core of Toffler's vision was that society wasn't just changing, but changing faster than it ever had before. He popularized the notion of "information overload" and wondered whether human beings could psychologically handle being bombarded by so much information and by change itself.

There are some things missing from the federal investigation into "Bridgegate":

The cellphone in New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's pocket during the 2013 George Washington lane closures.

Text messages the governor sent and received during the ensuing legislative investigation.

Why do people act the way they do? Many of us intuitively gravitate toward explaining human behavior in terms of personality traits: characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving that tend to be stable over time and consistent across situations.

This intuition has been a topic of fierce scientific debate since the 1960s, with some psychologists arguing that situations — not traits — are the most important causes of behavior. Some have even argued that personality traits are figments of our imagination that don't exist at all.

As the presidential election nears, a number of important voting law cases are still up in the air. And that can be confusing — for voters trying to figure out what they do or don't need to cast their ballots, for election officials trying to figure out how to run elections, and for politicians trying to make sure supporters get out and vote.

Here's a brief guide on where some of the big cases stand, as of the end of June. More rulings are expected, although courts are reluctant to make major voting law changes too close to Election Day.

Donald Trump has staked his brand on winning. "We will have so much winning," he has said in this campaign, "if I get elected, that you may get bored with winning."

But can he win the presidential election? In a country that has changed rapidly demographically, Trump's best shot is to drive up turnout among white voters, especially white men. But how likely is that?

Pages