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The people of southern Madagascar are on the brink of a famine and need immediate humanitarian aid, according to United Nations food agencies. A three-year drought, exacerbated by this year's El Niño, has caused harvests to continue to fail. And people are left with no money and almost nothing to eat.

Firefighters have temporarily halted efforts to recover bodies from the site of a devastating fire in Oakland, Calif., citing concerns that part of the building might collapse.

The "Ghost Ship" — a warehouse that was used as an artists' collective — burned down Friday night during a dance party. It was the deadliest fire in Oakland history.

At least 36 people are dead, authorities said Monday, and they expect the number of fatalities to rise when recovery efforts resume.

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A man with a rifle who claimed to be "self-investigating" a baseless online conspiracy theory entered the Washington, D.C., pizzeria Comet Ping Pong on Sunday, according to local police.

The man allegedly pointed the gun at a restaurant employee, who managed to escape, then fired the weapon inside the restaurant. There were no reports of injuries, police say. A North Carolina man has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with the shooting.

Leif Vollebekk, a singer-songwriter from Montreal, is preparing to release the new album Twin Solitude after a period of extensive touring, including some time soaking in the music scene in Reykjavik, Iceland. Just before this album, Vollebekk put out an EP of covers; he feels he has found his songwriting voice after trying on other artists' styles. Hear two songs from Twin Solitude in the player above.

Amanda Shires first hit the road when she was 15 years old, as a fiddler with the Texas Playboys. Between releasing four of her own solo records and playing with the Thrift Store Cowboys or with her husband Jason Isbell's ensemble, The 400 Unit, she's been on the road ever since. Until recently, when — at 34 weeks pregnant — she decided it was time to take a break from the road, waddle home and sit down for a minute.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Pearl Harbor later this month, becoming the first Japanese head of state to ever visit the site of the surprise attack.

President Obama will accompany Abe on the visit, which is scheduled for Dec. 27. The 75th anniversary of the attack is this Wednesday.

Earlier this year, Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, where he laid a wreath at a monument to those killed when the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Trying to understand the Trump Organization is a daunting task. President-elect Donald Trump has not released tax documents, so the best clues about his privately held business interests come from a financial disclosure form he released in May.

The document covers scores of pages with small type, and suggests he is financially involved with hundreds of companies, including some that simply license his name.

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Dr. Ben Carson to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development in his incoming administration.

"Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities," Trump said in a statement released Monday. "We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities."

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OK, for more on the politics of the pipeline, we're going to talk now with NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley. He's on the line. Hi, Scott.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Rachel.

You can re-enact that scene in the old movie Christmas Vacation.

A family goes into a forest and cuts down a ridiculously tall tree.

The U.S. Forest Service is selling Christmas tree removal permits for $5 in the Green Mountain National Forest of Vermont.

You go into the forest. You cut down the tree yourself. There's only one catch: the tree you choose cannot be more than 20 feet tall.

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The Washington, D.C., jail has big metal doors that slam shut. It looks and feels like a jail. But down a hall in the medical wing, past an inmate muttering about suicide, there's a room that looks like an ordinary doctor's office.

"OK, deep breaths in and out for me," Dr. Reggie Egins says to his patient, Sean Horn, an inmate in his 40s. They talk about how his weight has changed in his six weeks in jail, how his medications are working out and whether he's noticed anything different about his vision. Egins schedules an ophthalmology appointment for Horn.

A full decade after the Food and Drug Administration approved a vaccine to fight the sexually transmitted, cancer-causing human papillomavirus, almost half of all adolescents have still not received their first dose. This low vaccination rate is dramatic when compared to other routine childhood immunizations like polio and measles, mumps and rubella, where compliance is above 90 percent.

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The weekend fire at a warehouse party in Oakland, Calif., has claimed more than 30 lives, and that's just the count up to now.

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The Politics Of Trade Under Trump

Dec 5, 2016
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President-elect Trump dug in over the weekend on his approach to trade.

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He threatened, quote, "retribution or consequence" for companies that move workers out of the United States and then try to sell goods back to the U.S.

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When a robotic probe finally lands on a watery world like Jupiter's moon Europa, what do scientists have to see to definitively say whether the place has any life?

That's the question retired astronaut John Grunsfeld posed to some colleagues at NASA when he was in charge of the agency's science missions.

A lawsuit on behalf of Alabama's prisoners, claiming they're being denied mental health care, begins in federal court Monday. The class-action suit states that Alabama doesn't provide adequate mental health treatment for those behind bars.

Lawyers for the prisoners argue that the state provides little other than medication, and sometimes inmates are forced to take it against their will. The plaintiffs allege prison conditions are dangerous and discriminatory, which amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, a violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Student parent.

Ever heard that term? It's used for a student who is also a parent, and there are nearly 5 million of them in colleges around the country. That's over a quarter of the undergraduate population, and that number has gone up by around a million since 2011.

It can be really, really expensive to be a student parent, especially if you need to pay for child care while you're in class.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key surprised his country, announcing that he would be resigning in a week's time. Key, who is also leader of the National Party, made his decision public at a press conference on Monday afternoon local time.

"Sometimes you've got to make hard decisions to make right decisions," Key told reporters. "This is the hardest decision I've ever made, and I don't know what I'll do next."

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Italian voters have dealt a serious defeat to the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. In a referendum Sunday, they rejected Renzi's proposed constitutional reforms, which would have changed the balance of power between the executive and Parliament.

The "no" vote is expected to win by a margin of nearly 20 percentage points, in what is seen as a resounding message of discontent with Renzi's government. The lopsided result also signals the strength of anti-establishment sentiment in the country.

The Surreal Cookbook Of Salvador Dalí

Dec 4, 2016
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