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Tonight, as you plop down on the couch to watch the Democratic presidential debate or the baseball playoffs, consider for a moment what you're waving your remote at. If you're like millions of Americans, your cable box sits on a shelf under your flat screen, gathering dust, easy to overlook.

It's also easy to overlook the rent you're paying for that box month after month.

Retroactivity sounds like a really boring legal subject. Until you learn that some 2,000 people serving terms of life without parole could have a shot at release if the Supreme Court rules that a 2012 decision is retroactive.

The Taliban announced Tuesday they have withdrawn from Kunduz, the northern Afghan city that briefly fell under insurgent control last month.

The Taliban said the reason for pulling out of the city was to protect against further civilian casualties, but there are multiple reports of battles continuing outside of the city. Kunduz is also the site of a U.S.-led airstrike that hit a Doctors Without Borders hospital and killed 22 civilians.

NPR's Tom Bowman tells our Newscast Unit, Kunduz was the first major provincial capital to fall under Taliban control in 14 years.

It's a place where girls can play volleyball. They can do ballet (of course).

But soccer is a no-no.

That's the way it goes in Brazil, the country that famously loves soccer. There was once a legal ban — from 1941 to 1979 — noting that "women will not be allowed to practice sports which are considered incompatible to their feminine nature."

That law is no longer on the books. So things have changed. Brazil has a woman's national team (although there's only room for a few elite players). The Brazilian player Marta is an international superstar.

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Earlier this month, Wal-Mart trumpeted that it had beaten a goal it set five years ago: to open at least 275 stores in food deserts by 2016. That targeted expansion into "neighborhoods without access to fresh affordable groceries" came as part of the retailer's "healthier food initiative," lauded by — and launched with — First Lady Michelle Obama in 2011.

The Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil the black-maned lion in Zimbabwe last summer, generating international outrage, won't face charges and can return to the country, government officials said.

Zimbabwe officials announced last summer that they would try to extradite Walter Palmer, the big-game hunter who killed Cecil in a bow-hunt, after allegedly paying $50,000 for the "privilege." But after reviewing the case, they decided Palmer hadn't broken any hunting laws.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

On the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming, there's not a single trained sexual assault nurse examiner.

Northern Arapaho tribal member Millie Friday saw how devastating that lack could be when her own daughter was raped by a close relative. Friday was left with no choice but to take her daughter to a hospital off the reservation.

"We went straight to the emergency room and from the emergency room, the FBI was contacted," Friday says. "So she never even had that choice of what she wanted to do. It was just straight in."

Now that California has legalized aid in dying, advocacy groups are planning statewide education campaigns so doctors know what to do when patients ask for lethal medication to end their lives.

One of the first stops for doctors new to the practice is a doctor-to-doctor toll-free helpline. It's staffed by physicians from states where the practice is legal, who have experience writing prescriptions for lethal medication.

A federal appeals court has reinstated a civil rights lawsuit against the New York Police Department that accuses police of spying on Muslims in New Jersey.

A three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday reversed a lower court's ruling last year that found police did not violate the rights of Muslims by routinely putting some people and businesses under surveillance in an effort to prevent terrorism.

NPR's Joel Rose tells our Newscast unit that the appeals court sent the case back to district court. Here's more from Joel:

After just a week back on the job, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is making his presence felt in a big way, announcing plans to cut up to 8 percent of the workforce at the money-losing messaging company.

The cuts, some 336 of them, were approved by Twitter's board on Monday, as part of what the company calls "an overall plan to organize around the company's top product priorities and drive efficiencies."

In corporate speak, that means: "We need to get our act together before too many more investors lose patience with us."

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In an effort to move beyond recent controversy, Planned Parenthood announced Tuesday that it will no longer accept reimbursement for any fetal tissue it provides to medical researchers.

The organization has been the subject of negative attention in recent weeks following the release of highly edited sting videos recorded by an anti-abortion group alleging that Planned Parenthood illegally profits from its fetal tissue donation program.

President Obama signed legislation last Wednesday that makes a significant change in the health law's small business rules, following a rare bipartisan effort to amend the Affordable Care Act.

Most people are going to have lower-back pain at some point in their lives — roughly 70 percent of us. But what do you do when that aching back strikes? The answer is, take it slow.

Getting into physical therapy right away may help, a study finds, but so will the passage of time. The key is not to jump into expensive, invasive procedures that could make things worse.

After a 15-month probe, investigators with the Dutch Safety Board have concluded that a Russian Buk missile took down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine last year.

The crash in July 2014 killed all 298 people on board, most of whom were from the Netherlands.

Iran's parliament voted Tuesday to support the implementation of the nuclear deal struck by world powers in Vienna in July.

Just a few weeks ago, the nonprofit Trust for the National Mall staged a music festival — featuring Drake and the Strokes — to benefit the remarkable public space in Washington, D.C., that includes some of America's most recognizable landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and Washington Monument.

You may not have it marked on your calendar, but this coming Sunday is "adoption day." It's the day Iran must begin sharply curtailing its nuclear program as part of the landmark nuclear agreement reached this summer.

Nonproliferation experts say the steps Iran is about to take will put it significantly further away from having a nuclear weapon. Critics, however, warn of the possibility of cheating.

The man many Republicans would like to see as the next speaker of the House of Representatives has gotten really good at saying "no" over the past year.

Still, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan continues to get top billing as the only Republican who can unite the fractious Republican majority in the U.S. House, the party's largest in more than 80 years.

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Good morning, I'm David Greene. In a classic "Star Wars" moment, Darth Vader tells Luke Skywalker...


JAMES EARL JONES: (As Darth Vader) Your destiny lies with me.

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After rejecting a number of earlier offers, British-based beer company SABMiller accepted in principle a 69 billion British pound ($106 billion) offer from Budweiser brewer Anheuser Busch InBev.

If Tuesday's agreement is finalized, the new beer company will be the largest in the world and control two top U.S. brands in Budweiser and Miller Genuine Draft, according to The Associated Press.

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case that could determine the fate of more than 2,000 convicted juvenile murderers.

In 2012, the high court struck down as unconstitutional state laws that mandated an automatic sentence of life without any possibility of parole in these cases. The question now is whether that decision applies retroactively.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

India's "sacred cow" is at the center of a gathering storm.

Voices calling for more and stricter enforcement of state bans on the slaughter of cattle have grown more strident — and most recently, deadly.