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In a bid to cut down on bureaucracy, the mayor of Paris has scrapped an arcane law that required bakers to inform city hall anytime they wanted to close up shop.

When the measure was passed by the Assemblee Nationale, or French parliament, in 1790, lawmakers wanted to make sure certain situations never repeated themselves. A long-term bread shortage, for example, was one of the factors that led to the 1789 French revolution, according to Stephanie Paul, a historian and Paris tour guide.

Stephen Hawking, who once stunned the scientific community by saying that black holes emit radiation, expounded on another groundbreaking theory on Tuesday.

The decision clock is ticking for Vice President Biden to decide about a presidential run — and history hasn't been kind to past candidates who waited until the last minute.

Recent campaigns are littered with would-be front-runners who tried to wait it out and seize late momentum. Instead, they ended up as has-beens.

In the 2004 election cycle, Gen. Wesley Clark didn't enter the contest until September. He was leading the Democratic polls then, but rapidly fell once he became an official candidate.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Doctors' practices are increasingly trying to reach their patients online. But don't expect your doctor to "friend" you on Facebook – at least, not just yet.

When billionaire developer Donald Trump entered the presidential race two months ago, he drew a sharp line between other candidates — needy candidates, always trading favors for money — and himself.

"I'm really rich. I assure you of that," he said as supporters cheered. "And by the way, I'm not even saying that in a bragga — that's the kind of mindset, that's the kind of thinking, you need for this country."

Between 5,000 and 8,000 Syrian refugees will be welcomed into the U.S. next year, officials said Monday.

Calling the U.S. a "leader" in resettling refugees, State Department spokesman John Kirby said the U.N. refugee agency has referred 15,000 Syrian refugees to the U.S., according to AFP News Agency.

If you've ever been to a museum with a child, this video probably represents your worst nightmare:

It shows a 12-year-old boy in Taiwan trip and stumble onto a 350-year-old Paolo Porpora oil on canvas painting called Flowers. The boy ripped a fist-sized hole in the painting, which is valued at $1.5 million.

Oops.

When listeners aren't writing to NPR to comment on a story, they mostly just want to know what music was played between segments. We call those buttons or breaks or deadrolls, and they give a breath after reporting a tragedy, lighten the mood after you most definitely cried during StoryCorps, or seize a moment to be ridiculously cheeky. How could you not play Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" following a story about why women shiver in the office?

After three days of talks and a standoff that escalated into an exchange of artillery fire, North and South Korea have come to a detente.

South Korea has agreed to stop blaring propaganda from speakers across the border and the North has agreed to lift its semi-war status.

Reporting from Seoul, Haeryun Kang filed this update for our Newscast unit:

Please read the following two sentences carefully. Choose which is correct, A or B.

A. According to a brand-new national poll, two-thirds of the American public supports annual federal testing, and 59 percent oppose letting students opt out of tests, while only 1 in 4 supports opting out.

B. According to a brand-new national poll, two-thirds of the American public thinks there is too much testing in schools. As for opt-outs, they are split, with 44 percent opposing it and 41 percent supporting it.

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Despite another bloody day on the Chinese markets, stocks around the world stabilized on Tuesday.

The Shanghai Composite continued its slide, ending the day 7.6 percent lower and below 3,000 for the first time since December. The plunge is the biggest since 1996. The European markets, however, seemed to shrug off the Chinese rout.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Cat Isn't A Fan Of Bathtime

Aug 25, 2015
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Have you ever felt like your cat was trying to say something? Well, how about this one?

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO)

CAT: (Meowing).

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This program does bring you sounds of the world, and that includes the sound of a bird outside a home in Boone County, Mo.

(SOUNDBITE OF WOOD THRUSH)

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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NPR's David Greene talks to members of the rock band Yo La Tengo at the end of their stint as Morning Edition's in-house band for a day, and throws it to them for a song.

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Investors are in the midst of a sell-off. The Chinese stock market's troubles are leading to big questions about how much that country's problems will be a drag on the rest of the global economy. The Dow Jones industrial average was down Monday nearly 600 points, or 3.5 percent.

So, what are average investors to do? Nothing. Hang tight. At least that's what most financial experts say.

But that advice is easier to give than to follow. When pushed off a cliff, one's natural instinct is to grab for anything to stop the fall.

Here is an eye-popping statistic from Brazil: 1 percent of the population controls almost half the land. The country is one of the most unequal places in the world in terms of land distribution. And one reason is colonial-era laws that are still on the books.

At an office in central Rio de Janeiro, where real estate sales in this area get notarized, the notary reads to us a list of families who are owed a percentage of all real estate transactions in certain parts of the city.

In the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina, law enforcement in New Orleans erroneously told evacuees to gather at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to await rescue.

The Justice Department is trying to make it easier for Native American tribes to gain access to national crime databases. Federal authorities say the program could prevent criminals from buying guns and help keep battered women and foster children safe.

The issue of who can see information in federal criminal databases might sound boring, until one considers a deadly shooting at a high school in Washington state last year.

A Maine couple who lost their daughter to a shooting in 2010 has filed the paperwork to start the process of putting criminal background checks for gun buyers to a vote next fall. The state currently requires the checks only for sales by licensed dealers, not for private sales conducted online, at gun shows or elsewhere.

In calling for a referendum to require background checks for most sales, Judi and Wayne Richardson are working with the state chapter of the advocacy group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, which was formed after the Sandy Hook school shooting of 2012.

This post was updated at 2:30 p.m. ET with comment from Sen. Menendez's spokesperson.

The Justice Department forcefully defended its prosecutors Monday against allegations of misconduct and perjury lodged by lawyers for Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and an eye doctor who served as one of his longtime donors.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Five months after the U.S. Justice Department said the city of Ferguson, Mo., unfairly used its courts to raise money, a new municipal judge ordered that all arrest warrants made before Dec. 31, 2014, be withdrawn.

Stocks opened Monday with a swan dive: The Dow Jones industrial average plunged about 1,000 points, or 5 percent, in just minutes.

By midday, enough brave buyers had waded back in to push up prices — up to where losses were only around 1 percent or so.

But that didn't last. Around 3 p.m., the Dow dropped again, sliding nearly 700 points.

Stress-filled minutes ticked down until 4 p.m.: CLANG, CLANG, CLANG.

The closing bell rang. Brows were wiped, and commentators scrambled to explain why investors had seen both panic selling and panic buying.

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