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Walmart is the latest national company joining in the fight to try to help curb America's harrowing opioid epidemic, which now kills more people than breast cancer.

Aetna settled a lawsuit for $17 million Wednesday over a data breach that happened in the summer of 2017. The privacy of as many as 12,000 people insured by Aetna was compromised in a very low-tech way: the fact that they had been taking HIV drugs was revealed through the clear window of the envelope.

Lawmakers in the United Kingdom are debating a new tax on disposable cups in an effort to cut down on waste.

While the so-called "latte levy" is controversial, the goal is to replicate the success of Britain's tax on plastic bags; their use has declined by 80 percent since the tax was introduced in 2015. Proponents of the tax say it would encourage people to carry around their own reusable cups rather than use disposable ones, which in their current form are difficult to recycle.

The U.K. has appointed a minister of loneliness to tackle what Prime Minister Theresa May calls a "sad reality of modern life" for many U.K. citizens.

May announced the position Wednesday, appointing current Minister for Sport and Civil Society Tracey Crouch.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

In Michigan last night just after 8 o'clock, something strange happened.

KELSEY WILCOX: It shook my entire house. I thought that a large piece of furniture fell.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

A 'Fraught Time' For Press Freedom In The Philippines

Jan 17, 2018

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte does not like the press. Stung by critical media reporting, he has in the past months called some of the country's largest media organizations "bullshit," "garbage," "son of a bitch." Journalists, he said, have no shame.

Brace your abs for an emotional gut-punch. Brandi Carlile is here with bandmates and co-writers Tim and Phil Hanseroth. Together, they have a new album called By the Way, I Forgive You. It was recorded at Nashville's legendary RCA Studio A, produced by Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings. And it's filled with emotionally stirring songs — some that are massive and some that are stripped bare.

Beach Boy Brian Wilson has always urged folks to love their alma maters, but now he has an extra reason to let his own colors fly.

The original lineup of The Beach Boys — including brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson along with their cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine — are among the notable alumni of Hawthorne High School in Los Angeles County, Calif. On Jan. 15, Brian Wilson visited his alma mater, Hawthorne High School in Hawthorne, Calif. (He hashtagged his visit #betruetoyourschool, natch.)

Days after an Iranian tanker sank off the coast of China, succumbing to a deadly collision and several explosions, satellites are taking note of what the tanker left behind: several large oil slicks, stretching for miles in the East China Sea.

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Some TV genres are perennials. They've been around since the early days of television, and probably are never going away — weekly drama series featuring doctors or cops, for example.

Other TV genres are like locusts. They get buried, lying dormant, until they suddenly resurface. On prime time TV, the game show was dead for decades until Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? brought it back. And quite recently, Netflix's Godless, like HBO's Deadwood years before it, did its best to try and revive the TV Western.

Over the span of three weeks in 2015, more than 200,000 saiga antelope suddenly died in central Kazakhstan.

Scientists knew that bacteria called Pasteurella multocida type B caused the mass death. Now, new research suggests that the bacteria was already present in the animals; it was triggered and became harmful because of a period of unusual weather.

Richard Kock, a professor of Wildlife Health and Emerging Diseases at The Royal Veterinary College, witnessed the "rapidly accelerating death."

When The Decemberists release I'll Be Your Girl on March 16, it'll be the band's eighth album — part of a 17-year career that's taken listeners through everything from wry folk to ambitious rock opera. If I'll Be Your Girl's first single is any indication, Colin Meloy and his band have used their new record as an opportunity to try new things and hit a few reset buttons along the way.

The Thistle & Shamrock: New Year, New Music

Jan 17, 2018

Lift your winter spirits and warm your heart with the New Year's brand new releases, with artists including Anna & Elizabeth, Open the Door for Three, and Matthew Byrne.

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To create her wide-ranging music, New York-based artist Lea Bertucci has used a wealth of instruments and compositional techniques. But her primary creative tool is the saxophone, and on her new album, Metal Aether, she delves into it perhaps further than she ever has.

The State Department is withholding $65 million it planned to send to the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, calling for reforms and for other nations to step up their support — especially those that criticize the Trump administration's positions regarding Palestinians and Israel.

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The details of how North Korea will participate in the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea are still being worked out, but the two countries say their athletes will march together at the opening ceremony, under a unification flag.

The two countries will also form a unified women's hockey team to compete at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February, NPR's Elise Hu reports from Seoul. In addition, North Korea will send a cheering squad of 230 people to support athletes who make the trip.

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

The case before the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday had a surprise plot twist. Jurors were told that the accused was guilty of a triple murder — but the lawyer making that statement was not the prosecutor; he was the defense attorney.

The question before the justices was whether that violated the client's constitutional right to counsel. Justices liberal and conservative signaled that they have a problem with a lawyer who disregards his client's express wishes by conceding the defendant's guilt.

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Updated at 10 a.m. ET

Michigan residents got a surprise Tuesday night when a meteor punched through the clouds with an explosive flash. It was powerful enough to register on seismic instruments.

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