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Sen. Al Franken On Washington Today

Jul 21, 2017

Minnesota Senator Al Franken joins us. The one time comedian shares his view of Washington now.

Xanda, Son Of Cecil The Lion, Also Killed

Jul 21, 2017

It appears that the 6-year-old son of Cecil the lion has met with the same fate as his father, two years after the famed lion's killing at the hands of a trophy hunter sparked a global outcry.

Xanda was killed near Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park on July 7, according to the Oxford scientists who were tracking him with a GPS collar like the one they used to track his father.

Citing concern for the nearly 800,000 young immigrants who've been granted protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, California's Attorney General Xavier Becerra and 19 of his colleagues are asking President Trump to keep the program running.

More than half of female homicide victims were killed in connection to intimate partner violence — and in 10 percent of those cases, violence shortly before the killing might have provided an opportunity for intervention.

That is according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published Thursday, that takes a close look at the homicides of women.

The remains of Salvador Dalí were exhumed Thursday night, pulled from their resting place by Spanish officials hoping to confirm whether the surrealist painter fathered a child in an affair. The closed procedure extracted some hair samples, nails, teeth and two long bones from the artist's embalmed body, the DNA of which might offer the conclusive answer to a high-profile paternity lawsuit long underway.

Updated at 10:24 p.m. ET

The White House communications operation underwent a dramatic shake-up Friday. Sean Spicer resigned as press secretary after President Trump appointed Anthony Scaramucci, a wealthy New York financier, as his communications director. Appearing on camera before the White House press corps at a televised press briefing, Scaramucci then announced Sarah Sanders, Spicer's deputy, as the new press secretary.

In statements Friday night, Trump praised Scaramucci and Sanders.

In an attempt to reach a younger and more diverse audience, the largest and most well-known Latino advocacy group in the U.S., the National Council of La Raza, renamed itself this month. The new name, UnidosUS, was announced at the group's 2017 conference in Phoenix. This has caused a rift in the U.S. Latino community — some see it as shedding a dated name, but others see it as leaving a legacy behind.

Deadly Earthquake Strikes Greece And Turkey

Jul 21, 2017

At least two people were killed by a strong earthquake that struck Greece and Turkey in the early morning hours Friday, sending thousands of panicked vacationers and locals streaming outside.

Is Inflammation Bad For You Or Good For You?

Jul 21, 2017

Chronic, low-level inflammation seems to play a role in a host of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's, cancer and even depression. And even though the science on inflammation and disease is far from settled, tests and treatments are being promoted that claim to reduce that risk.

That's even though inflammation is also a force for good, protecting against infection and injury. Acute inflammation occurs when you sprain your ankle or get a paper cut. It's part of the immune system's box of tricks to spark a defense and promote healing.

Given the fact that "New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee" has been marketed as a "male enhancement" product, it might be fair to assume that consumers who plucked the instant coffee off store shelves had a clear idea of its intended effects.

The Affordable Care Act is not "exploding" or "imploding," as President Trump likes to claim. But Trump does hold several keys to sabotaging the insurance marketplaces, should he so choose — one of which his administration is reportedly weighing using.

Manal Idrees looks out the car window in shock at the streets of her neighborhood in the oldest part of Mosul, reduced to chunks of concrete and tangled metal.

She fled when ISIS moved in three years ago. Although she has seen images of the destruction after Iraqi forces retook Mosul two weeks ago, experiencing it in person is staggering.

"It's ruined — all ruined," she says as we drive by streets where not a single building is left standing. "Mosul is gone. Iraq is gone."

And then she starts to sob for the son she lost: "All the beautiful young men are gone."

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The U.S. government will ban American citizens from traveling to North Korea, citing safety and security concerns. The State Department confirmed the new restriction on Friday, after Young Pioneer Tours, which organized Otto Warmbier's fateful visit to North Korea, announced the pending move.

Warmbier's trip to the pariah nation ended in detention, imprisonment and a catastrophic head injury that resulted in his death after being released and deported to the U.S. last month.

Protesters, worshippers and security forces are massing in Jerusalem's Old City, where security measures at a religious shrine are angering Muslims. Tensions are high at the site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

There are reports of small skirmishes in Jerusalem, after Muslims gathered for Friday afternoon prayers outside Al-Aqsa mosque. Worshippers who refused to pass through the metal detectors chose instead to pray next to them.

From Jerusalem, NPR's Daniel Estrin reports:

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The only thing that appears certain in the Senate when it comes to health care is that there will be a vote next week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made that clear after a senators-only lunch with President Trump at the White House.

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This summer, scientists in California are releasing 20 million mosquitoes in an effort to shrink the population of mosquitoes that can carry diseases.

It sounds counterintuitive. But the plan is to release millions of sterile male mosquitoes, which will then mate with wild female mosquitoes. The eggs the females lay won't hatch, researchers say.

Why We Should Be Wary Of Moon Tourism

Jul 21, 2017

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Forty-eight years ago today, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin packed up the moon rocks they had gathered and blasted off of the moon for their trip back to Earth.

(SOUNDBITE OF ROCKET BLASTOFF)

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Chester Bennington, the singer from the rock band Linkin Park, died yesterday at 41 years old. Authorities say they are investigating his death as a possible suicide.

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A brain cancer diagnosis for Senator John McCain is sadly familiar news for one of his friends. Former Secretary of State John Kerry is close to McCain. Kerry was also a Massachusetts colleague of Senator Ted Kennedy, who died of cancer.

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Two things seem pretty certain about Republican Senator Mitch McConnell's health care push at this point. There is going to be a vote next week, and there's going to be a lot of vocal opposition to it.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

Harry Obst, who worked as a German interpreter for seven U.S. presidents through Bill Clinton, says he can only remember one who ever dispensed with an interpreter during discussions with a foreign leader: Richard Nixon.

It was a bad idea for lots of reasons, the author of White House Interpreter: The Art of Interpretation tells NPR.

When it comes to U.S. sanctions against Moscow, the Cold War has never really ended.

President Gerald Ford signed off on trade restrictions against the Soviet Union and other communist countries in a 1974 measure known as the Jackson-Vanik amendment, for its congressional sponsors.

The message to Moscow: If you deny basic human rights — in this case, the right of certain people, especially Jews, to emigrate from the Soviet Union — you can't conduct normal business with the United States.

Less than two months ago, U.K. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was way behind in the polls when he took the stage at a music festival in Liverpool.

With his shirt untucked, Corbyn, 68, introduced the indy rock band the Libertines and delivered an impassioned defense of public funding for the arts before a crowd of some 20,000, most of them youngsters.

He urged them to demand "a government that cares about sport, culture and the arts — and gives you the space to play and rehearse your music!"

Asma Jama was out to dinner with her family at an Applebee's in Coon Rapids, Minn., in October 2015, when a woman seated nearby starting getting angry. Why? Jama, who is Somali-American and Muslim, was speaking Swahili and wearing a hijab.

The woman, Jodie Bruchard-Risch, demanded that Jama speak English — and then smashed Jama in the face with a glass beer mug.

"I could see it from the doctor's face that it was really bad," says Jama, who is 39. "I had lacerations across my chest, all over my hands, and 17 total stitches."

Kenneth Jay Lane turned designing "fake" jewelry into a global business. He didn't take himself too seriously — joking that his costume jewelry wasn't fake or junk. Instead, he would pronounce it "faque" and "junque."

Lane died in his sleep at his home in Manhattan, according to Chris Sheppard, executive vice president of Lane's company, who says it has not been determined whether he died Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Lane was 85.

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