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Some Chicago drivers who have had their cars towed got a little victory this week after the Illinois Commerce Commission, a state oversight agency, revoked the license of Lincoln Towing Service.

The Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge sits on more than 5,000 acres of trees, wetlands and pristine rolling prairie about 16 miles northwest of Denver. It hosts 239 migratory and resident species, from falcons and elk to the threatened Preble's meadow jumping mouse.

It also used to be the site of a federal nuclear weapons facility — and it's reopening to the public this weekend.

A Minneapolis Theater 'Prop God' Retires

Sep 15, 2018

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(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DING DONG MERRILY ON HIGH")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Ding dong merrily on high...

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This week in the Russia investigation: Paul Manafort turns state's evidence ... what will he tell the government?

St. Paul

After a long career as an advocate for political animals of nearly every kind across the world, Paul Manafort is now going to work for the United States government.

I miss Bill Cunningham. There. I said it. I miss opening the Thursday and Sunday pages of the New York Times and seeing a whole cross-section of humanity, courtesy of Cunningham's photos, that had become a documentation of how New Yorkers lived and what they wore.

The new school year marches on, and so does our weekly roundup.

Tropical Storm Florence closes schools in the Carolinas

Lawanda Jones' house near Myrtle Beach, S.C., is next to a large, lovely tree. Earlier this week, as Jones listened to the evacuation orders and hurricane warnings piling up, she looked at that tree and thought: what if it falls?

On Friday afternoon, Jones stood outside Conway High School, a Red Cross shelter and, on drier days, home of the Tigers. She and her family have been staying at the shelter since Tuesday and, although it's crowded and difficult to sleep among strangers, she said she's glad she evacuated early.

Three years after suspending Russia's anti-doping agency for enabling athletes to cheat in the Olympics, a committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency has recommended it be reinstated.

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The first potential trial of the six lawsuits over the hotly contested 2020 census citizenship question could kick off the day before voters head to the polls for the upcoming midterm elections.

During a court hearing at Manhattan federal court on Friday, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman set the tentative start date for Nov. 5, adding that his "strong instinct" is that the two cases before him require a courtroom trial before he can issue a ruling.

Editor's note: Given the subject this story explores, the discussion includes some explicit language.

Two sisters from a remote pastoral village in Puntland State, Somalia, died on Sept. 11 of complications from a female genital mutilation (FGM) procedure.

An "inexperienced self-proclaimed traditional circumciser" performed the procedure the day before, according to Dr. Mohamed Hussein Aden, director of the University Teaching Hospital in Galkayo, Somalia, who sent an email with his comments to NPR.

It was the summer of 2013 and Daniel Handel had just moved to Rwanda. He was unpacking boxes in his new house, when his wife walked over with her laptop and said, 'You have to listen to this radio story!' The piece she played him was by NPR's Planet Money team, and it profiled a charity that was testing a bold idea: Instead of giving people in poor countries, say, livestock or job training to help improve their standard of living, why not just give them cash and let them decide how best to spend it?

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Flooding is a problem in North Carolina's New Hanover County. At a press conference this afternoon, New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon urged people who had not evacuated in time to stay home and let emergency responders do their jobs.

FEMA is rolling out a new tool as it begins to deal with now-tropical storm Florence. It's a rumor-control webpage.

Unfounded rumors — what might be called "fake news" — have been a problem in coping with recent disasters, according to Gary Webb, a professor and chair of emergency management and disaster science at the University of North Texas.

"Disasters do create a great deal of uncertainty, confusion and anxiety," Webb said, "and, as a result, there is the potential for rumors to propagate."

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Remembering Broadway Star Marin Mazzie

Sep 14, 2018

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One of Broadway's best-loved leading ladies has died. Actress Marin Mazzie died yesterday from ovarian cancer at the age of 57. Mazzie was known for her roles in the musicals "Passion" and "Ragtime." Jeff Lunden offers this appreciation.

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Updated at 7:17 a.m. ET Saturday

Typhoon Mangkhut barreled into the northern Philippines early Saturday morning, with the eye of the storm passing over the island of Luzon.

As of Saturday night local time, at least three people had been killed and at least 42 landslides had occurred, Reuters reports.

The Associated Press reports the Hawaii-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center downgraded Mangkhut from a super typhoon to an equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane after it made landfall before dawn Saturday.

Updated at 4:13 p.m. ET

The traditionally anti-union Tronc newspaper company on Friday agreed to allow journalists at its two Virginia newspapers to organize, averting the need for a federally overseen vote, organizers tell NPR.

In the pre-dawn darkness on Friday morning, work crews removed a controversial statue from San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza, after the city's arts commission unanimously voted to take down the "racist and disrespectful sculpture."

The statue depicts "the degradation and genocide of Native American peoples" using stereotypes that "are now universally viewed as disrespectful, misleading, and racist," the arts commission said in February.

A Swiss laboratory likely involved in analyzing samples from a March chemical attack in Salisbury, England, has reportedly been targeted by Russian agents.

Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday morning in North Carolina. While people along large swathes of the Eastern Seaboard have been dreading the storm for days, you can say one thing: it arrived right on time.

We are smack-dab in the middle of Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. Nearly all tropical storm activity in the Atlantic basin occurs between those dates.

UPDATED 6:46 p.m. ET

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh strongly pushed back on an allegation of sexual misconduct from more than 30 years ago. The allegation was made in a letter by a woman who said the incident took place in high school.

"I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time," Kavanaugh said in a statement.

It's the rainy season now in Mexico. Between May and September, on most late afternoons, thick clouds roll into Mexico City's mountain-ringed valley. The skies darken and then an amazing downpour ensues.

Despite the rainfall, for five months of the year, many of the metropolitan area's more than 20 million residents don't have enough water to drink. Nearly all that rainwater runs off the streets and highways into the city's massive drainage system built to stave off perennial flooding.

Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET

In the days leading up to the arrival of Hurricane Florence, North Carolina's governor offered a series of dire warnings.

"Even if you've ridden out storms before, this one is different," Gov. Roy Cooper said.

As Hurricane Florence made landfall, it appeared many North Carolinians had listened.

Updated at 2:49 p.m. ET

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded guilty on Friday and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Manafort entered his guilty plea to two felony counts during an hourlong hearing in federal court in Washington, D.C. The plea took place three days before he was to face trial on charges related to his lobbying work for Ukraine and alleged witness tampering.

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Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

More than 100 people were waiting to be rescued from homes and vehicles Friday morning in New Bern, N.C., after Hurricane Florence brought severe flooding to the area. Officials say more than 100 people have already been rescued in the area overnight.

Six swift water rescue teams have been working since Thursday afternoon to evacuate individuals and families, in some cases, from the roofs of their homes, the New Bern Public Information Officer Colleen Roberts said Friday afternoon.

New Bern Resident On Hurricane's Impact

Sep 14, 2018

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