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The historic government shutdown is beginning to stir anxiety in and around Paradise, Calif. The town of about 25,000 people was almost completely destroyed by a deadly wildfire last November and almost everyone and everything directly affected is relying heavily on federal aid.

So far FEMA and Small Business Administration loans do not appear to be affected. But local officials say the shutdown is causing delays in more under-the-radar infrastructure projects, which could have serious, longterm consequences.

Updated at 1:00 a.m. ET Thursday

Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard who created the first index mutual fund for individual investors in 1975, died Wednesday at the age of 89, the company said.

Bogle transformed the way people invest. He believed that investors should own a mix of bonds and stocks but shouldn't pay investment managers to pick them.

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The oceans are filling up with plastic trash; much of it is packaging material. So environmentalists are demanding that corporations that sell consumer goods find new packaging that doesn't last for decades or even centuries. As NPR's Christopher Joyce reports, the movement is germinating in the Philippines, and it's led by a man who calls himself a simple island boy.

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The oceans are filling up with plastic trash; much of it is packaging material. So environmentalists are demanding that corporations that sell consumer goods find new packaging that doesn't last for decades or even centuries. As NPR's Christopher Joyce reports, the movement is germinating in the Philippines, and it's led by a man who calls himself a simple island boy.

Sniffles, sore throats and fevers seem to be all around lately.

If things get bad enough for you or a loved one to seek care, what are your expectations about treatment? Do you want a prescription for an antibiotic if symptoms suggest an infection?

Two portraits of William Barr emerged during the second day of his confirmation hearing to lead the Justice Department as President Trump's choice as attorney general.

One was of a brilliant and moral man who oversaw the resolution of a hostage crisis at a federal prison without any casualties and another was of an early 1990s attorney general who held views on race and policing that now seem antiquated and unacceptable to many in law enforcement.

Eight people were arrested in Melbourne, Australia, accused in the trafficking of millions of dollars worth of illegal drugs into the country over a period of months, two of them airline cabin crew members accused of smuggling the drugs via "body packing," officials announced Wednesday.

"Hitting a woman for a man is as normal as eating a tortilla from a food stand on the way to work," said Karen Paz, 34, from San Pedro Sula in Honduras, revealing a scar from a burn on her left shoulder. "He wanted to burn my face, but my daughter started screaming when she saw him taking the pan with boiling butter. She pushed him, and so he aimed for the arm instead."

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The oceans are filling up with plastic trash; much of it is packaging material. So environmentalists are demanding that corporations that sell consumer goods find new packaging that doesn't last for decades or even centuries. As NPR's Christopher Joyce reports, the movement is germinating in the Philippines, and it's led by a man who calls himself a simple island boy.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The oceans are filling up with plastic trash; much of it is packaging material. So environmentalists are demanding that corporations that sell consumer goods find new packaging that doesn't last for decades or even centuries. As NPR's Christopher Joyce reports, the movement is germinating in the Philippines, and it's led by a man who calls himself a simple island boy.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The oceans are filling up with plastic trash; much of it is packaging material. So environmentalists are demanding that corporations that sell consumer goods find new packaging that doesn't last for decades or even centuries. As NPR's Christopher Joyce reports, the movement is germinating in the Philippines, and it's led by a man who calls himself a simple island boy.

Updated at 8:59 p.m. ET

Officials leasing the Old Post Office Building for the Trump International Hotel in Washington improperly ignored the Constitution's anti-corruption clauses when they continued to lease the government property to President Trump even after he won the White House, according to an internal federal government watchdog.

Though Houston and Harris County make up one of the most ethnically and racially diverse metro areas in the country, that hasn't always been reflected in its judges. But the region recently took a big step towards representation when it elected a record 19 African-American women to the bench.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The oceans are filling up with plastic trash; much of it is packaging material. So environmentalists are demanding that corporations that sell consumer goods find new packaging that doesn't last for decades or even centuries. As NPR's Christopher Joyce reports, the movement is germinating in the Philippines, and it's led by a man who calls himself a simple island boy.

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When President Trump announced last month that he is ordering the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, he said ISIS was defeated. Vice President Mike Pence repeated that claim today even as ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack in the northern Syrian town of Manbij. That explosion killed four Americans and at least a dozen others. NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman is in the studio now to tell us more. Hi, Tom.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Hey, Ari.

SHAPIRO: What do we know about this attack?

Want to reduce your risk of dementia in older age? Move as much as you can.

We've all heard about techniques to get us more physically active — take the stairs, park the car a bit further from your destination, get up and march in place for a minute or two when standing or sitting at a desk.

Now a study finds even simple housework like cooking or cleaning may make a difference in brain health in our 70s and 80s.

Updated at 7:23 p.m. ET

Students and faculty at Michigan State University have called for the resignation or firing of interim President John Engler almost from the day he was appointed. This week, they got their wish.

On Wednesday evening, MSU Board of Trustees member Dianne Byrum confirmed she had received a letter of resignation from Engler and that letter would be acted upon at the trustee meeting scheduled for Thursday morning.

With Meghna Chakrabarti

Teachers on strike, this time in Los Angeles, the country’s second-largest school district. We’ll hear the debate on both sides.

Guests

Howard Blume, education reporter at the Los Angeles Times. (@howardblume)

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote in the House of Commons on Wednesday, a day after the stinging defeat there of her Brexit deal with the European Union.

In the vote, 325 lawmakers said they had confidence in May's government, while 306 voted that they did not.

While May withstood the challenge to her leadership, it is yet another indication that Brexit has thrown British politics into chaos.

The next great insect repellent might come from a strain of bacteria that lives inside a common parasitic worm.

A study published Wednesday in Science Advances has found that a compound derived from these bacteria is three times more potent than DEET in repelling mosquitoes. More research must be done to demonstrate its safety, but this bacterial chemical could play an important role in the fight against mosquito-borne illness.

The partial government shutdown is inflicting far greater damage on the U.S. economy than the Trump administration previously estimated, the White House acknowledged.

President Trump's economists have now doubled projections of how much economic growth is being lost each week.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. The nation remains gripped by a partial shutdown of the federal government, the longest in our history, over President Trump's demand for funding a border wall. Here's one of the arguments he's made for tighter restrictions on immigration.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We have a country. We have to have borders. We have borders. We have to have laws. We either have a country or we don't. And it's that simple.

"UNPRESIDENTED," reads the giant headline. "TRUMP HASTILY DEPARTS WHITE HOUSE, ENDING CRISIS."

That shocking story was delivered on crisp newsprint to commuters around Washington, D.C., on Wednesday under what appeared to be the signature banner of The Washington Post.

Online, a website bearing an eerie similarity to the Post's described a secretive resignation, global celebrations and the swearing in of Mike Pence as president.

There is more than just January's cold currently gripping the city of Westbrook, Maine. An immense, icy disk doing a solitary pirouette on the Presumpscot River is dazzling observers, local and distant alike.

Scientists say the disk is naturally occurring and has been seen before. Most of us have spotted eddies in flowing water, that is when a cross current creates a small whirlpool. But winter's cold adds a whiff of mystery to this phenomenon.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

The annual State of the Union message to Congress may be the latest casualty of the partial government shutdown.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., sent a letter to President Trump on Wednesday, suggesting a postponement until after the shutdown is over. The speech, which the president would deliver to a joint session of Congress and a national broadcast audience, was originally scheduled for Jan. 29.

Updated at 5:42 p.m. ET

Four Americans were killed in an explosion while conducting a routine patrol in northern Syria, according to the Pentagon. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

Two U.S. service members, one civilian employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency and one contractor working as an interpreter died in the attack in Manbij. Three service members were injured.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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