National & International News

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A love song about wildflowers by a would-be militant turned folk singer is the hit song of the summer on both sides of the India-Pakistan border in Kashmir, a Himalayan valley that's been the site of fierce fighting and territorial disputes for decades.

When I was a high school junior in New Orleans taking AP American history, my teacher assigned us a paperback book. Slim in contrast to our hulking required textbook, it was a funny, compelling, even shocking read. Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James Loewen, explained how history textbooks got the story of America wrong, usually by soft-pedaling, oversimplifying and burying the thorny drama and uncertainties of the past under a blanket of dull, voice-of-God narration.

Orphanages are falling out of favor.

Ever since the horrific conditions in Romanian orphanages were widely publicized in the 1990s – naked children tied to cribs in overcrowded wards — there's been a movement in the international aid world to shut down orphanages completely.

But according to UNICEF, there are still 2.7 million children living in orphanages worldwide.

So what if someone tried to set up a good orphanage — a place where parentless kids could thrive? What would it look like? And what could it tell us about the basics of child rearing?

Israeli jets pounded targets in the Gaza Strip early Thursday, reportedly killing three people after Palestinian militants fired a barrage of rockets into Israel.

The Gaza Health Ministry said a pregnant woman, her 18-month-old child and a Hamas militant were killed. The Palestinian news agency WAFA cited health officials as confirming that a dozen other Palestinians were wounded in the airstrikes.

President Trump and his supporters have often complained about the "deep state" — a supposedly shadowy cabal of opposition bureaucrats buried deep within the government. But perhaps the biggest impediment to the president isn't the deep state at all. It's the "shallow state" — which exists right below Donald Trump at the Cabinet level.

Medicaid home care aides — hourly workers who help elderly and disabled people with daily tasks like eating, getting dressed and bathing — are emerging as the latest target in the ongoing power struggle between some conservative lawmakers and organized labor.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh shares one important view with President Trump: Both are deeply suspicious of any attempt to limit the president's power over executive branch officials.

That view could have important consequences for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 election, which includes allegations of collusion and possible obstruction of justice.

Updated at 4 a.m. ET

Bowing to congressional pressure, the Trump administration has announced new sanctions to punish Russia for a nerve agent attack in the U.K. on former spy Sergei Skripal.

It's difficult to know exactly what happened to Master Sgt. Charles Hobert McDaniel after U.S. Army forces were attacked by small groups of Chinese communist soldiers during the early days of the Korean War in November 1950.

But on Wednesday McDaniel's sons — both toddlers when he disappeared — got something they've been missing for 68 years: "certitude."

West Virginia's House Judiciary Committee has adopted articles of impeachment against all four justices on the state's Supreme Court of Appeals, accusing the judges of a range of crimes and throwing the court's immediate future into disarray.

Approved on Tuesday afternoon, the articles of impeachment recommend that the entire bench — Chief Justice Margaret Workman, Justice Allen Loughry, Justice Robin Davis and Justice Elizabeth Walker – be impeached "for maladministration, corruption, incompetency, neglect of duty, and certain high crimes and misdemeanors."

The landmark Denver Post building stands out and stands proudly, one of its home city's defining civic structures downtown, along with the seats of city and state government nearby.

In the building's lobby, words spell out the mission of the paper and its corporate parent, Digital First Media. Words such as: Report. Record. Investigate. Illuminate. Journalism.

The Trump administration's recent decision to release $195 million in military aid to Egypt has left rights experts stunned and deeply worried.

A year ago, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suspended that sum because Egypt's human rights record didn't meet the standards imposed by Congress.

Since that time, the space for civic freedoms in Egypt has shrunk, researchers say. Egypt's security forces have continued to lock up groups labeled dissidents or terrorists, and courts have handed down mass death sentences in cases widely criticized as politically motivated.

This week, the nation's capital is mourning the death of Valor.

Valor was one of two young eaglets in a nest at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., that is monitored by a popular 24/7 webcam. He fell from the nest in the middle of the night on July 26.

Healthy women with normal pregnancies can opt to have labor induced without worrying that the decision will make a cesarean section more likely, according to a major study published in this week's New England Journal of Medicine.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

The Southern California Gas Co., or SoCalGas, has agreed to pay $119.5 million in a settlement with several government entities over the company's massive methane natural gas leak in 2015 and 2016.

The settlement still needs to be approved by the courts.

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Ohio's special election yesterday to fill a congressional seat offers a textbook example of a razor-thin margin. Republican Troy Balderson holds a lead of less than 1 percent in a reliable GOP district. Last night, though, he claimed victory.

In a letter to its members sent this morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) listed three changes approved by its Board of Governors.

1. A three-hour Oscars telecast

We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide.

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

The counteroffer submitted by President Trump to Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller may be the "last, best chance" Mueller has to secure Trump's testimony, lawyer Rudy Giuliani told NPR on Wednesday.

That doesn't mean it's the White House's final offer or negotiations are closed, Giuliani said — but "if they said yes, we'd do it."

In 1973, documentary filmmaker Jennifer Fox wrote a story for her eighth-grade English class that alluded to a young girl's intimate relationship with a middle-aged man and woman. At the time, Fox's teacher assumed the story was fiction.

It wasn't.

"The Tale," as it was called, was based on Fox's own experiences with her male running coach and female horseback riding coach — which Fox considered normal at the time: "I wrote at 13 with no concept of abuse at all," she says. "It was a love story; it was a relationship."

A deceptively simple hashtag has climbed to the top of Twitter's trending lists across Argentina: #EsHoy, or "It's Today." The phrase, imbued as it is with fervent expectation, may seem puzzling to outsiders — but inside the country, the meaning is crystal clear.

There are a couple of fine lines that inevitably get mapped when you're picking music for kids that won't make you, a parent and adult human alive to the many and various pleasures of the musical world, crazy. First: What's the real difference between "bad" and "annoying," and on which side of that binary do you prefer to spend your time? Second: How much is the brain between that particular little set of ears going to understand those lyrics?

With Tuesday's primaries, women have hit another milestone in this record-breaking political year, setting a new record for the number of women who have secured a major party nomination for the U.S. House.

Democrats and Republicans have nominated 185 women to run for the House in November, as of Wednesday morning, according to the Center for Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

The figure breaks the prior record of 167 nominees set in 2016.

Updated at 2:48 p.m. ET

Rashida Tlaib has some experience being first, and not just because she is the eldest of 14 children.

As the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, she was the first person in her family to earn a high school diploma — then a college degree, and a law degree.

She was the first Muslim woman ever elected to Michigan's Legislature, where she served in the House for the maximum term of six years.

And in January, she is set to become America's first-ever Muslim congresswoman.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has explained in a series of tweets why his platform has not suspended conspiracy theorist Alex Jones or his website Infowars. Earlier this week, tech companies YouTube, Apple, Facebook and Spotify banned main content outlets in what Jones described as a "purge."

"He hasn't violated our rules. We'll enforce if he does," Dorsey tweeted. In an apparent reference to other tech companies, he added that Twitter would not "succumb and simply react to outside pressure."

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

A federal appeals court says a lawsuit over the cross-border killing of a Mexican teenager by a Border Patrol agent can proceed, saying that if the plaintiff's version of events is correct, the agent "violated a clearly established constitutional right and is thus not immune from suit."

Updated at 8:08 p.m. ET

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., was arrested Wednesday on charges related to insider trading.

A federal grand jury accused the Buffalo-area lawmaker of passing nonpublic information about a biotech company to his son, who traded on the information and passed it along to others.

"Congressman Collins cheated our markets and our justice system," said Geoff Berman, the interim U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. "He placed his family and friends above the public good."

Updated at 7:05 p.m. ET

Paul Manafort's former business partner Rick Gates concluded three sometimes punishing days of testimony in Manafort's bank and tax fraud trial on Wednesday as prosecutors and defense lawyers battled over his credibility.

Gates spent the early part of the week corroborating prosecutors' version of events, but Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, he endured a bruising cross-examination by Manafort's defense that touched on his admitted financial crimes and an extramarital affair.

Editor's note on Aug. 8, 2018: This piece has been substantially updated from a version published in 2014.

A solemn little boy with a bowl haircut is telling Mr. Rogers that his pet got hit by a car. More precisely, he's confiding this to Daniel Striped Tiger, the hand puppet that, Rogers' wife, Joanne, says, "pretty much was Fred."

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