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Along the border between the U.S. and Mexico, armed groups on patrol — mostly men — look for illegal immigrants and drug traffickers. They're not U.S. Border Patrol, but regular people who've decided to take matters into their own hands.

They call themselves militias. Groups such as these have been around for decades, but they exploded in number after Barack Obama was elected president. Today, there are 276 militia groups around the country, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In a cavernous, dimly-lit auditorium in Washington last month, three officials took the stage.

They settled themselves into tan, leather armchairs and fielded questions, including this one: Name a global flashpoint you're looking to with concern?

"North Korea," came the reply from one. "And how the United States and China deal with that situation."

The exchange is worth noting because the three people on stage were current or former CIA officials.

Researchers have launched an innovative medical experiment that's designed to provide quick answers while meeting the needs of patients, rather than drug companies.

Traditional studies can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and can take many years. But patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease don't have the time to wait. This progressive muscle-wasting disease is usually fatal within a few years.

Cori Bargmann's new job description includes "to help cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of the century." That's quite a lofty goal.

Bargmann is a neuroscientist and president of science for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the joint venture of pediatrician Priscilla Chan and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. The couple pledged $3 billion to solve major medical problems by helping scientists and engineers collaborate long term, over 25, 50, even 80 years.

Two weeks from Election Day, it looks more likely than ever that Democrats will win control of the Senate.

The World Series opens Tuesday night between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs — essentially a matchup of long-suffering vs. longer-suffering.

You can watch coverage of Game 1 in Cleveland starting at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

The Indians last won a World Series in 1948, and the Cubs haven't won since 1908. Fans and sportswriters are positively buzzing with excitement.

The Story Behind The Indian Lamp That Donald Trump Lit

Oct 25, 2016

Business is booming for India's potters, who make the ceremonial lamps that are lit during the upcoming Diwali festival, officially celebrated on October 30 this year.

In case you needed more evidence of the toll this divisive campaign is taking on America, a new survey says more than a third of social media users are "worn out" by the amount of political content they encounter.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


It has become a familiar story in a world bristling with live mics. A public figure is caught out using a vulgarity, and the media have to decide how to report the remark. Web media tend to be explicit, but the traditional media are more circumspect.

The Vatican has issued new guidelines recommending that the cremated remains of Catholics be buried in cemeteries, rather than scattered or kept at home.

"Following the most ancient Christian tradition, the Church insistently recommends that the bodies of the deceased be buried in cemeteries or other sacred places," state the guidelines released Tuesday by the Vatican.

So the family lore goes something like this: My mother was getting a check-up and some shots before a trip to Ghana with her boyfriend, who was from Accra. Then her doctor told her that she was pregnant. Then more tests and more news: she was pregnant with twins. She would have to cancel her long-anticipated sojourn to the Motherland.

"There isn't a simple answer when it comes to Mormons and Trump," Stephanie Fowers said. "We are so torn right now that hardly anyone I know will even mention his name anymore because it's too depressing."

That makes her just another disenchanted voter in the endless slog that is Campaign 2016. Fowers, a writer from Cottonwood Heights, Utah — and a Mormon — said that among the Mormons she knows, she sees a lot of indecision.

AT&T's proposed $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner has cast renewed attention on the financial performance and journalistic independence of one of the media conglomerate's best-known possessions, CNN.

"You have to allow the organization to run independently," AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson tells NPR. "It's not an altruistic thing either. I mean, I personally think it's a smart business thing to do. If the customer ever believes that the news is being tainted by the opinion of myself or somebody else within AT&T, that's brand damaging."

A federal judge has approved Volkswagen's $14.7 billion settlement over the carmaker's vehicle emissions scandal. The process of compensating affected U.S. car owners is beginning now, with the first buybacks expected to happen within the next few weeks.

Under the terms of the deal, Volkswagen agrees to either buy back or repair vehicles involved in the scandal. That means paying as much as $10.033 billion to owners. In addition, the carmaker has come to an agreement with the United States under which it will pay nearly $5 billion in environmental remediation.

China's ruling Communist Party is pledging tighter discipline than ever for its 88 million members and no let up in a four-year anti-corruption campaign that has seen more than 1 million officials investigated for graft.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio got booed off a stage in Orlando on Sunday, by a crowd that was overwhelmingly Latino.

It happened at Calle Orange, a street festival in downtown Orlando geared toward the city's large Puerto Rican community. The icy reception was an indication of the challenges that Rubio, a Republican of Cuban heritage, has faced in locking down support from Latinos in Florida as the state's Latino electorate has begun to shift to the left.

When scientists want to know what our ancient ancestors ate, they can look at a few things: fossilized animal bones with marks from tools used to butcher and cut them; fossilized poop; and teeth. The first two can tell us a lot, but they're hard to come by in the fossil record. Thankfully, there are a lot of teeth to fill in the gaps.

When parents think of the risks of flying, they usually think of turbulence, emergency landings or horrific crashes. Hot coffee probably doesn't top the list. But when children are injured on airlines, they're most likely to get hurt the same ways they do on the ground.

Antarctica's ice has been melting, most likely because of a warming climate. Now, newly published research shows the rate of melting appears to be accelerating.

Antarctica is bigger than the U.S. and Mexico combined, and it's covered in deep ice — more than a mile deep in some places. Most of the ice sits on bedrock, but it slowly flows off the continent's edges. Along the western edge, giant glaciers creep down toward the sea. Where they meet the ocean, they form ice shelves.

Pope Francis met with the president of Venezuela on Monday for a private conversation about that country's acute political and economic crisis, as the Vatican announced it would be mediating a meeting between Venezuela's government and the opposition.

A statement from the Holy See, as translated by Catholic News Agency, said the pope encouraged President Nicolas Maduro "to undertake with courage the path of sincere and constructive dialogue" and "to alleviate the suffering of the people — first of all, those who are poor."

In a working-class city in southeast Michigan there's a barbershop where kids get a $2 discount for reading a book aloud to their barber.

Telecom giant AT&T has reached an $85.4 billion deal to buy media titan Time Warner. The news of this transformational merger has shaken up both industries, raising eyebrows on Wall Street and drawing criticism from lawmakers and even the presidential campaigns.

It's a familiar scene for sleep-deprived parents everywhere: They put down the baby in the bassinet to sleep, and those tiny eyes flutter shut. Then they flutter back open and the crying starts. The only thing perhaps more harrowing than those long wakeful nights of a baby's first year is the fear that one day the child won't wake up.

President Obama's days in office are dwindling, and it's clear he intends to have as much fun as he can on the way out. Last night during a West Coast fundraising trip, he stopped by ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Obama took part in a recurring bit called "Mean Tweets," which consists of reading aloud some of the, you guessed it, mean tweets about him of late.

Such as:

@nathan: "Barack Obama is the Nickelback of presidents."

@woodstockdave: "Obama couldn't negotiate getting a Whopper without pickles."

Four people have died at an amusement park in Australia after an accident on a water ride on Tuesday.

The victims were all adults — two men and two women — Stuart Cohen reports for NPR from Sydney. The accident occurred at Dreamworld amusement park, a popular destination on Queensland state's Gold Coast.

An attack on a police academy in Quetta, Pakistan, has left more than 60 people dead and more than 100 others injured, NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

Most of the dead were young police cadets, he says.

"The cadets were asleep when the assault began. One survivor says three or four gunmen barged into their dormitory and started firing," Philip reports. "Some cadets escaped by jumping off the roof. Officials say all the attackers are now dead, and that two detonated suicide vests."

Lipton tea can be found in almost any grocery store, and the brand is just about synonymous with industrial Big Tea. So tea enthusiasts who sniff at the familiar square bags might be surprised that once upon a time, Lipton was known as the "farm to table" of the tea world. In fact, it was sold with the catchy slogan "direct from tea garden to tea pot."

So how did Thomas Lipton build this tea empire?

The Amorphophallus titanum is a striking plant even before you get close enough to smell it. Its scientific name means giant, misshapen phallus and it is not hard to see why. A giant column called a spadix rises 7 feet into the air from the center of a pleated funnel.