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The Miami Airport is just a short flight from Puerto Rico. But on Saturday afternoon, at the American Airlines rebooking counter, it felt very far away.

A Boeing 777 scheduled to land at San Juan had seemed poised to take off that morning — passengers seated, luggage loaded, doors closed. But after a few fruitless hours, it unloaded at the gate. Hundreds of passengers were stuck, again, unable to check on their family or make it back home.

As the nation has debated the GOP proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, NPR member station reporters have been talking to people around the country about how the proposed changes in the health law would affect them.

Here are five of those stories:

Officials continued to urge tens of thousands of people living downstream from a precarious, slowly failing dam in northwestern Puerto Rico to evacuate Saturday. But the U.S. territory's severely compromised communications infrastructure meant it was not immediately clear how successful the warnings would be.

Charles Bradley, the "Screaming Eagle of Soul," whose late-blossoming career was built on fiery performances that evoked his idol, James Brown, died in Brooklyn on Saturday, Sept. 23, according to a statement by his publicist. In 2016, Bradley was diagnosed with stomach cancer, which spread to his liver. He was 68 yeas old.

Numerous scientific agencies on both sides of the Pacific detected an earthquake Saturday near the site where North Korea set off a hydrogen bomb earlier this month, at first prompting speculation of another weapons test, before a consensus appeared to emerge that the tremor was a natural occurrence.

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The killing of two opponents of President Bashar Assad's regime has left their family and the wider relocated Syrian opposition community reeling in shock and fearing for their lives.

Police discovered the bodies of Orouba Barakat, 60, and her daughter, Halla, 23, who is a U.S. citizen, on Thursday night in their Istanbul apartment, reportedly after friends and colleagues were unable to reach them for several days.

The study has a depressing name: The Million Death Study.

But its latest set of data, published in the journal The Lancet on Wednesday, is anything but depressing when it comes to the topic of childhood deaths in India.

India has the tragic distinction of being a world leader in childhood deaths. Between 2000 and 2015, the death toll for children under the age of five was 29 million — a fifth of global childhood deaths.

Meet Your Friends Who Get Medicaid

Sep 23, 2017

When high levels of lead were discovered in the public water system in Flint, Mich., in 2015, Medicaid stepped in to help thousands of children get tested for poisoning and receive care.

When disabled children need to get to doctor's appointments — either across town or hundreds of miles away — Medicaid pays for their transportation.

Stinson Dean, an entrepreneur from Independence, Mo., is used to taking risks. He buys Canadian softwood framing lumber to sell to lumberyards in the U.S. and says coping with the ups and downs of the market is an inevitable part of doing business.

But when he started the company about a year and a half ago, he laid down a firm rule.

"One of the things I wasn't willing to risk was the health of my family," Dean says.

Kristy and Dana Dumont were ready to give a child in need a permanent home. They moved into a Dimondale, Mich., house with two spare bedrooms and a spacious, fenced-in yard, in a school district with strong extracurriculars and a diverse community.

The couple of 11 years began seriously considering adoption after Dana started receiving emails from Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services looking for foster and adoptive families.

For the past six weeks, voters in Germany have been inundated by campaign posters ahead of Sunday's national election.

Passers-by walking down the street in just about every German city, town or village get a detailed look at who is running in their district and a condensed version of their campaign messages.

Green Party posters warn Germans to "either end coal or end climate." Another message: "Healthy food doesn't come from nature that's sick."

The anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany placards are even blunter.

President Trump's poll slide appears to have stabilized.

Trump, who came into office with the lowest recorded approval and favorability ratings of any president, saw a steady decline in the months that followed his inauguration.

Hispanic Heritage Month is a nationally recognized, not-quite-a-month. (It's the back half of September and the front half of October).

Welcome to the latest installment of our education news roundup. This week: student loans, HBCUs, federal education policy and more:

The Department of Education scolds an online university

Western Governors University was ineligible for federal student aid and may have to return more than $700 million, according to an audit by the U.S. Education Department's oversight branch.

Brazil's army says it's dispatching nearly 1,000 troops to the country's largest shanty-town – or "favela" – in the hope of ending a wave of deadly violence that began nearly one week ago.

This afternoon military trucks carrying soldiers brandishing assault weapons began rumbling up to the edge of Rocinha, a sprawl of tumble-down hillside homes, shops, narrow streets and tiny alleys in the south of Rio de Janeiro.

Well before this year's series of historically powerful hurricanes, Puerto Rico already had a notoriously fickle power supply and crushing debt — the power authority effectively declared bankruptcy in July. Power outages were routine, even in cities.

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This week the big story in baseball is pretty sobering. It's about the safety of fans at the ballpark.

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The trouble at West High School started on Monday. That's when students and teachers at the Salt Lake City school noticed something.

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The words between the U.S. and North Korea this week have been blunt, provocative and personal.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Let's meet the two Republicans who are running for U.S. Senate in Alabama. Their runoff election is Tuesday. It's a race that's drawn outsized money and attention. And President Trump has endorsed Luther Strange, who was appointed to the seat earlier this year.

When Alexia Boggs was applying to law school, she initially considered all the big specialties, but none of them seemed quite right.

"I was looking for a field of law where none of my family could ever seek my help," she says, sarcastic but also not really joking.

Nasty, brutish and short.

Until about the last decade or so, that is how many of us were accustomed to thinking about Neanderthal life.

But a lot has changed since then, not least of which is the emergence of smoking gun DNA evidence that Neanderthals are, in fact, family.

Now a new study runs counter to earlier thinking by suggesting that Neanderthals reached maturity at about the same rate as modern humans.

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