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Careful, Alexa Is Listening

Feb 16, 2018

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Today marks the start of the Year of the Dog. The Lunar New Year is celebrated in China, Vietnam and many other countries and by ethnic Asian communities all around the world. NPR's Anthony Kuhn has this story from the Chinese capital, Beijing.

Coast Guard Petty officer Jake DiPaola arrived on St. John in the Virgin Islands about a week after Hurricane Maria. In Coral Bay, on the island's eastern end, he says the marina was a mess.

"There were two sailboats right here," he says, while standing on the water's edge. "The mangroves across the water were shoulder-to-shoulder sailboats completely. And all of those got hauled out."

In her late 20s and attending college in Texas, Elizabeth Moreno suffered from debilitating back pain caused by a spinal abnormality. "I just could not live with the pain," she says. "I couldn't get dressed by myself, I couldn't walk across my house, let alone to class, and nothing, no drug that had been prescribed to me, even dulled the pain."

NPR and Kaiser Health News are undertaking a project to investigate and dissect real-life medical bills.

We expect that examining the bills will shed light on the often surprising prices for health care in the U.S.

Along the way, we're hoping to help people learn how to be more active and successful in managing the costs of their care.

Do you have a medical bill or explanation of benefits that you'd like us to see and scrutinize? Submit it here and tell us the story behind it.

We may use it, with your permission, in one of our monthly features.

A scandal that erupted last week in Australia over an affair between Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and one of his female staffers has devolved into an open conflict between Joyce and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that threatens to take down the coalition government.

In an extraordinary news conference on Thursday, Turnbull announced a ban on government ministers having sex with staff amid pressure over Joyce to step down over the affair with his former press secretary, Vikki Campion.

Thousands gathered for a candlelight vigil in Parkland, Fla., to honor the memory of the 17 people killed on Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at a local high school.

There were tearful remembrances at the Pine Trails Park Amphitheater, as well as open sobbing, and at one point, some in the crowd erupted into a chant of "No more guns!"

Cyril Ramaphosa has waited for this moment a long time.

The 65-year-old tycoon was elected president of South Africa by parliament Thursday, an elevation that was guaranteed after Jacob Zuma resigned the presidency the night before.

Following Thursday's vote in the National Assembly, Ramaphosa took words of praise from supporters and overt electoral threats from opposition leaders — then stood at the same podium where, 22 years ago, he shepherded the ratification of South Africa's constitution.

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Israeli police believe billionaire Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan bribed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with expensive cigars and pink champagne in exchange for a series of favors, among other corruption allegations police unveiled this week.

Netanyahu denied he did Milchan a single favor — except for one.

"The visa," Netanyahu said.

Why The AR-15 Is America's Rifle

Feb 15, 2018

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