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.

The full effect of the monthlong partial government shutdown is still rippling across the United States. In states like Pennsylvania, local officials remain in crisis mode as their neediest residents scramble to keep food on the shelves.

Daniel Davenport, 45, cobbles together a living by working part time in music production and relying on food stamps.

In January, the $182 he counts on every month was loaded twice on his government-issued Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program debit card.

After months of threats, federal prosecutors in Philadelphia launched a legal challenge on Wednesday against the nonprofit Safehouse, which is hoping to open what could be the nation's first site where people with opioid addiction can use drugs under medical supervision.

The longest government shutdown in U.S. history has some of the country's poorest residents worried about how they are going to stay fed.

In Pennsylvania, no place has more trouble keeping food on the table than the city of Reading, population 88,000, about an hour outside Philadelphia. Nearly half of all households there receive food stamps, the highest rate in the state.

The human toll of that statistic can be found everywhere, including among the people lining up for a monthly food pantry operated by St. James Chapel Church of God.

Days after Christmas, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and some of his assistants went rummaging around an out-of-the-way storage room in the office looking for some pieces of furniture. What they stumbled upon was surprising: six boxes stuffed of files connected to the case of activist Mumia Abu-Jamal. More than 30 years ago, he was convicted of killing a police officer in a racially charged case.

A judge in Philadelphia has reinstated appeal rights to former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal — convicted of killing a city police officer more than 30 years ago — who has long maintained his innocence as his case gained international attention.

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More than two weeks after the nation's worst fire in a century erupted in Northern California, crews are still trying to find hundreds of people.

The Camp Fire has claimed at least 85 lives and, as of Sunday, is 100 percent contained. But now dozens of disaster workers from across the country are coming to the town of Paradise to help out with the search mission.

In Northern California, search crews continue to sift through the burned city of Paradise more than two weeks after the eruption of the fire, which has claimed the lives of 84 people and charred a land area larger than the city of Chicago.

Searchers say they will need several more days to sift through the more than 20,000 structures that the Camp Fire engulfed in this working-class community in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Driving around Paradise is a bleak and haunting scene, made even more grim with dark clouds and rain falling.

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The Department of Justice has launched an investigation of child sex abuse within Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic Church, sending subpoenas to dioceses across the state seeking private files and records to explore the possibility that priests and bishops violated federal law in cases that go back decades, NPR has learned.

In Philadelphia, a battle between local officials and the Trump administration is heating up.

In defiance of threats from the Justice Department, public health advocates in Philadelphia have launched a nonprofit to run a facility to allow people to use illegal drugs under medical supervision. It is the most concrete step yet the city has taken toward eventually opening a so-called supervised injection site.

The non-profit, called Safehouse, was formed after a political heavyweight, former Pennsylvania governor, Ed Rendell, joined the board.

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As the Senate remains in a pitched battle over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court on Monday will begin its new term with far less fanfare.

The high court is launching its nine-month term evenly divided — with four conservative and four liberal justices — as an F.B.I. investigation into sexual misconduct allegations lodged against Kavanaugh delays a full Senate vote on the nomination. Kavanaugh was nominated to fill the vacancy created by the retirement this past summer of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who often cast the pivotal swing vote on cases.

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Updated at 5 p.m. ET

Editor's note: This story contains a graphic description of sexual assault.

A Montgomery County, Pa., judge sentenced disgraced comedian Bill Cosby to three to 10 years in state prison Tuesday, saying that the words of Cosby's main accuser Andrea Constand that the entertainer took her "beautiful, young spirit and crushed it" helped him reach his decision.

"It is time for justice, Mr. Cosby," said Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill. "This has all circled back to you."

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Bill Cosby will walk into a Pennsylvania courthouse Monday and face the judge who has presided over the world-famous comedian's sexual assault case for nearly three years. The sentencing hearing may conclude with Cosby losing his freedom for the rest of his life.

A top Justice Department official is putting cities considering medically-supervised drug injection facilities on notice: If you open one, prepare for swift and aggressive legal action.

With record numbers of fatal overdoses, several cities are working on plans to launch facilities where people can inject illegal drugs with staff on hand to help them if they overdose. Now, however, the Trump administration is vowing a major crackdown.

Ryen Aleman had headphones on and a controller in his hand, playing the popular football video game Madden NFL at a tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., when there were loud pops behind him. Other competitors began bolting out of the room. Something was wrong, he thought. When he realized the jarring sound was gunfire, Aleman told his video game opponent and instructed him to follow his lead.

"Let's crawl down. Let's crawl to the restroom," he said.

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Hurricane Lane, now downgraded to a tropical storm, is expected to continue to dump heavy rain in Hawaii on Saturday, as officials warn of flash flooding that could inundate homes and roadways after already pouring more than 3 feet of rain across the island.

Dozens of residents have been forced to evacuate their homes over the past two days, wading through waist-high water, and sometimes spreading brush fires, to safety, while thousands of others remain in shelters.

In court documents released this week, internal emails from the Department of Homeland Security show that federal officials tried to prove countries were becoming safer, even when that was not the case, in order to justify ending Temporary Protected Status for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war or natural disasters.

Officials at the University of Scranton and King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. have announced that buildings once honoring now-disgraced bishops will be renamed and that the bishops' honorary degrees will be revoked.

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