National & International News

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As House Republicans try to find common cause on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, they may be ready to let states make the ultimate decision about whether to keep a key provision in the federal health law that conservatives believe is raising insurance costs.

Conservatives from the House Freedom Caucus and members of a more moderate group of House Republicans, the Tuesday Group, are working on changes to the GOP health overhaul bill that was pulled unceremoniously by party leaders last month when they couldn't get enough votes to pass it.

The New England Patriots returned to the White House for the now-traditional visit to the president and presentation of a game helmet, jersey and other team-related swag. Correction, some of the Patriots visited the White House. Several, including most famously tight end Martellus Bennett, defensive back Devin McCourty and running back LeGarrette Blount, bowed out early on. (Blount was blunt: "I will NOT be going to the White House. I don't feel welcome in that house. I'll leave it at that," he told the Rich Eisen Show on Feb.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is campaigning for Omaha, Neb., mayoral candidate Heath Mello Thursday night, and he's not apologizing for it.

"Absolutely, and I want him to win," Sanders, I-Vt., told NPR Thursday, after a rally in Grand Prairie, Texas.

The Thursday event with Mello, a Nebraska state senator who's running as a Democrat in the mayoral race, is one of several rallies Sanders is holding across the country this week. It's part of a Democratic National Committee-organized unity tour with DNC Chair Tom Perez.

A demographic crisis looms over Maine, the oldest and whitest state in the U.S. with one of the country's lowest birth rates.

Employers are already feeling the effects on Maine's workforce as they struggle to fill positions with "old Mainers" — long-time residents in a state where many take pride in their deep family roots, especially along the shores of Washington County.

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Updated at 8:05 p.m. ET

One police officer is dead and two seriously wounded after a shooting on Paris' famous Champs Elysees, in an incident that left one attacker dead. The assailant reportedly targeted a police vehicle. Authorities say a bystander was also wounded.

French prosecutor Francois Molins said the authorities have identified the shooter and are assessing whether the attacker had accomplices. Raids and searches were ongoing, Molins said.

The 30-Year Music Legacy Of 'The Simpsons'

Apr 20, 2017

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Like it or not, on January 26, 1991, Vanilla Ice had the No. 1 album in America.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ICE ICE BABY")

VANILLA ICE: (Rapping) If there was a problem, yo, I'll solve it. Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it. Ice, Ice, baby...

The Food and Drug Administration says children under 12 should not be given prescription medicines that contain codeine or another narcotic, tramadol, and that such drugs can also be dangerous to youth between 12 and 18.

Russia's Supreme Court has banned the Jehovah's Witness organization after the country's Justice Ministry requested the group be labeled "extremist" and have their operation dissolved, a Russian state news agency reports.

It may soon become harder for immigrants to become Australian citizens. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull proposed sweeping changes Thursday.

Turnbull said applicants would need to be permanent residents for four years — three years longer than the current wait — show higher English competency and display even more evidence of integration through work or school and "respect for women and children."

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Massachusetts formally dropped more than 21,000 tainted drug convictions Thursday that were linked to a disgraced state chemist who in 2013 admitted to faking test results.

It's the largest single dismissal of convictions in U.S. history, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

As the first American president to be elected with no prior political or military experience, Donald Trump has had to adapt quickly to the responsibilities of public office.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency over the state's rapidly eroding coastline.

It's an effort to bring nationwide attention to the issue and speed up the federal permitting process for coastal restoration projects.

"Decades of saltwater intrusion, subsidence and rising sea levels have made the Louisiana coast the nation's most rapidly deteriorating shoreline," WWNO's Travis Lux tells our Newscast unit. "It loses the equivalent of one football field of land every hour."

It was a trifecta of conservative celebrities in the White House Wednesday night.

Ted Nugent, a longtime Trump supporter; camouflage-cowboy-hat-wearer, Kid Rock, who's been known to be strongly anti-shirt but pro- marijuana; and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin all gathered in the Oval Office for a quick photo shoot to go over some paperwork and have a little dinner.

All three jumped on the Trump train early in the primary campaign and appeared at numerous rallies on Trump's behalf in the months leading up to his election victory last November.

At 3:33 p.m. ET on Wednesday, SeaWorld welcomed its last orca born in captivity.

The birth at the SeaWorld in San Antonio, Texas, wasn't streamed live — unlike with April the giraffe — but it will be the final chance for SeaWorld guests to see a baby orca grow up.

Tim Wharton bristles at being called a "foodie," with its connotation of lush, sumptuous "food porn." He prefers "gastronaut," a label popularized by late British television chef Keith Floyd, for its evocation of intrepid culinary exploration.

The woman leading the Justice Department's investigation of foreign meddling into the 2016 election and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia has told staff members she will leave the department in May.

Mary B. McCord has served at the highest levels in the national security unit, either as its leader or chief deputy, for the past three years. A longtime federal prosecutor based in Washington, McCord easily won the confidence of both career lawyers and her supervisors inside the Justice Department.

Animals, especially mammals, need oxygen to keep their bodies and brains humming along.

But leave it to the African naked mole-rat to buck that trend. The rodents are bizarre in just about every way. They're hairless, ground-dwelling and cold-blooded despite being mammals. Now, scientists report in the journal Science that the animals are capable of surviving oxygen deprivation.

When 18-year-old Nermeen Ileiwat first began college, she could not wait to get into a relationship — maybe even get engaged before graduation. But after one year, the rising sophomore realized she had no idea what she wanted out of life and was in no position to get into a relationship.

That decision didn't last long. Only a few months after, Ileiwat met someone at a party, and their friendship quickly turned into something more.

House Republicans are mulling over new changes to their health care proposal, hoping to wrangle enough votes to pass a bill that would allow them to keep their campaign pledge to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

The latest proposal allows states to make changes to the ACA's rules governing health insurance policies and markets, in an effort to allow some states to offer stripped-down policies with lower premiums.

In case you ever find yourself hurtling into space, know this: When the little stuffed dog starts to float, that's when you've reached Earth's orbit.

Updated at 6:00 p.m. ET

General Motors has stopped operations in Venezuela after its only plant there was illegally seized by authorities, the automaker says in a statement. The details are murky: Multiple employees at the plant tell NPR that they believe auto dealers, not government officials, were responsible for the takeover.

The seizure happened Wednesday, as the "mother of all protests" brought hundreds of thousands of people into the streets to demonstrate against socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Beans, beans, the magical fruit

Healthy, tasty

And useful, to boot!

Save that canned water,

And whip it to foam

It's an egg-white replacement

Made right at home!

OK, so it's not the playground rhyme you grew up with. But with the avid following that canned bean water — more appetizingly known as "aquafaba" — has gained in just a few short years, maybe it's time that rhyme got rewritten.

The French go to the polls Sunday to cast ballots in the first round of a political race like no other in France's recent history: Entrenched politicians have been swept aside, with fringe candidates and untested newcomers filling the void.

After Sunday, the field of 11 presidential candidates will be narrowed down to two contenders, who will face each other in a runoff on May 7.

People with a brain injury or dementia often struggle to remember simple things, like names or places. In research published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, scientists have shown it may be possible to improve this sort of memory using tiny pulses of electricity — if they're properly timed.

A typical person's ability to remember things tends to vary a lot, says Michael Kahana, who directs the computational memory lab at the University of Pennsylvania.

The United States spends the most on health care per person — $9,237 – according to two new papers published in the journal The Lancet.

Somalia spends the least – just $33 per person.

Updated at 2 a.m. ET

Arkansas has carried out its first execution since 2005, just minutes before the expiration of the inmate's death warrant.

Ledell Lee was executed by lethal injection minutes before midnight Friday Central time in Grady, Ark. at the Cummins Unit facility, shortly before the warrant was set to expire.

Lee was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m. Thursday, NPR member station KUAR Public Radio reports.

If you filed for an extension on your taxes this week, you're right in step with the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress. They've put off voting on their promised tax overhaul until after they take another whack at repealing and replacing Obamacare.

That's got some Republicans concerned, including Stephen Moore, who was an economic adviser to the Trump campaign.

"You know, you've got a period when you're first elected where you've got to rush and get things done before that window slams shut," Moore says.

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