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Disenchantment, Matt Groening's new animated series that hits Netflix on Friday, August 17th, does for our mythical past what Futurama did for our imagined future, but it does so in a manner so closely reminiscent of that other show's wryly cynical sci-fi hi-jinks that it could have just as easily been called Pastarama, if that didn't sound quite so much like a seasonal promotion at Olive Garden.

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is one of the most vulnerable Democrats running for re-election in this year's midterm elections. Her future may depend on how closely she can align herself with President Trump without angering members of her own party.

Heitkamp must walk that fine line because she's campaigning in a state that went for Trump by more than 35 points in 2016. That pressure was on display this week after she became one of the first Democrats to meet privately with Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's pick to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Updated at 10:04 a.m. ET

More than 300 news publications across the country are joining together to defend the role of a free press and denounce President Trump's ongoing attacks on the news media in coordinated editorials publishing Thursday, according to a tally by The Boston Globe.

Updated at 8:51 a.m. ET

More than 70 people overdosed in or around a historic Connecticut park near the Yale University campus on Wednesday after receiving what authorities believe was synthetic marijuana laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl. Although there have been no deaths, at least two people suffered life-threatening symptoms, according to authorities.

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There are a bunch of historical anniversaries in August. The Watts riots happened 53 years ago. Woodstock was 49 years ago today in fact. And then there's the 46th anniversary of Wattstax.

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Several candidates took steps toward making history in yesterday's primaries. In Vermont, Christine Hallquist became the first openly transgender person to win a major party's nomination for governor.

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There are a bunch of historical anniversaries in August. The Watts riots happened 53 years ago. Woodstock was 49 years ago today in fact. And then there's the 46th anniversary of Wattstax.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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"I am a navy officer who has been stabbed in the back by his brothers in arms," reads a pinned tweet by Turkish former Lt. Cmdr. Cafer Topkaya.

"Trapped, purged, and imprisoned by his fellow countrymen. Once a NATO staff officer, now an exile. I guess it's time to tell my story!"

Determined to combat New Zealand's lofty housing prices, the country's lawmakers have trained their aim at a distant target: the buyers beyond their borders. By a close vote Wednesday, the Parliament passed a law banning most nonresident foreigners from purchasing existing homes or residential land.

A top Buddhist monk in China has resigned from his post after accusations of sexual misconduct by multiple nuns.

Xuecheng was the president of the Buddhist Association of China. A statement on the organization's website posted Wednesday said that Xuecheng's resignation had been accepted at a council meeting.

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It was back-to-school day for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida. Just six months ago, the school was the site of a mass shooting. A gunman killed 17 people and injured 17 others.

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There are a bunch of historical anniversaries in August. The Watts riots happened 53 years ago. Woodstock was 49 years ago today in fact. And then there's the 46th anniversary of Wattstax.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Updated at 5:54 p.m. ET

President Trump has revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, who has become an outspoken critic of the president.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced the move on Wednesday following an earlier discussion about pulling the clearance held by Brennan and a group of other targets.

Updated at 6:20 a.m. ET on Thursday

A suicide bombing in Kabul on Wednesday killed dozens of teenagers studying for university entrance exams at an educational center in a Shiite neighborhood, according to wire reports.

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has temporarily lost some Twitter privileges over breaking the site's rules against abusive behavior. Last week, the company was a notable exception after a wave of other major tech companies banned Jones and his main channels.

The penalties to Alex Jones' personal account, @RealAlexJones, are for one week. The Twitter page for his website Infowars posted screenshots of the notice that Twitter apparently sent Jones.

Long before he began studying for a career in health care, Marlon Munoz performed one of the most sensitive roles in the field: delivering diagnoses to patients.

As an informal interpreter between English-speaking doctors and his Spanish-speaking family and friends, Munoz knew well the burden that comes with the job. He still becomes emotional when he remembers having to tell his wife, Aibi Perez, she had breast cancer.

How To Get Women To Trust The Police? 'Gender' Desks

Aug 15, 2018

How do you get a woman to report to the police that she's been assaulted or abused if she doesn't trust the police to take action?

That, says activist Jamila Juna, is a serious problem in Zanzibar.

Juma is the executive director of the Zanzibar Female Lawyers Association (ZAFELA), which she helped found in 2003 to provide free legal aid to women and children. When a woman is assaulted in Zanzibar and wants to make a police report, there's a good chance Juma will be involved, in some capacity, as an advocate in her case.

After serving 14 months in a Turkish jail on terrorism charges that human rights groups say are baseless, Taner Kiliç stepped free on Wednesday into the embrace of his family.

Amnesty International posted a picture of its local honorary chair. Kilic is smiling, his arms wrapped around his wife and daughters, who are beaming as they grip him tightly.

The White House was forced to backtrack this week, after wildly misstating the level of job gains by African-Americans under President Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama.

The false claim came during Tuesday's press briefing, which was dominated by questions about Omarosa Manigault Newman. In her new tell-all book and on an accompanying publicity tour, the former reality TV star and presidential assistant has accused Trump of being a racist.

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Inspiration Through Procrastination

Aug 15, 2018

This program originally broadcast on March 13, 2018 with Meghna Chakrabarti.

From da Vinci to Darwin, how great minds put things off, but changed the world anyway. We’ll talk to two procrastinators: Andrew Santella, the writer of a new book about procrastination, and Tim Urban, whose TED talk on procrastination was one of the most viewed of 2016.

Just days after President Trump tweeted his decision to double tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum, Turkey has announced that it, too, is ratcheting up retaliatory tariffs.

"Tax rates on imports of some products have been increased on a reciprocal basis against the U.S. administration's deliberate attacks on our economy," the country's vice president, Fuat Oktay, said in a pair of tweets.

Updated at 1:13 p.m. ET

Los Angeles' public transit system has announced that it is the first in the U.S. to purchase millimeter wave scanners to screen Metro riders for suspicious objects as they move through stations.

The technology "will help detect weapon and explosive device security threats on the county's transit system," the system says in a joint press release with the Transportation Security Administration on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the LA Metro tells NPR that the system has ordered several units, at approximately $100,000 each.

A two-year grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania resulted in what the state's attorney general, Josh Shapiro, called "the largest, most comprehensive report into child sex abuse in the Catholic Church ever produced in the United States."

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