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Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET

Richard Cordray, the embattled director of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, announced Wednesday that he will leave the agency by the end of November.

"I am confident that you will continue to move forward, nurture this institution we have built together, and maintain its essential value to the American public," Cordray wrote in an email to the agency's staff.

Jeff Stevens decided to give up alcohol when he was 24.

He's 50 now — and he's had no regrets about going sober for the sake of his health. Except for one thing: He has really missed good beer.

"If you're drinking, you have an infinite amount of things you can drink," Stevens says. Shelves are full of craft IPAs, stouts and bitters. "Whereas only about half the bars I've been to have a non-alcoholic beer. And if they do, it's usually just one choice."

Think "renewable energy" and the wind and sun come to mind, but someday it may be possible to add ocean energy to that list.

At MedStar Washington Hospital Center, doctors and nurses are moving as many patients as they can from intravenous medications to the same drugs in pill form.

As more executives accused of sexual harassment are being ousted from companies around the nation, including NPR, many are rethinking whether human resources departments are willing or able to handle the job of fielding and investigating complaints. Many have grown skeptical, after recent news stories suggesting some HR departments knew of issues, but failed to adequately respond. Many others have lost faith in HR through experiences of their own.

Updated at 12:01 ET Nov. 16

There are a lot of anxious graduate students at universities around the country right now.

That's because to help pay for more than $1 trillion in tax cuts for U.S. corporations, the House Republican tax plan would raise taxes on grad students in a very big way. These students make very little money to begin with. And many would have to pay about half of their modest student stipends in taxes.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

So, $1.4 trillion is a lot of money. It's what all of the NFL teams together are worth, and then some. It's more than twice the Defense Department's 2016 budget. It's enough to buy nearly 3.2 million homes at the median U.S. home price right now.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

When it comes to shop-till-you-drop capitalism, there's no match for China.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DOUBLE ELEVEN DAY")

PHARRELL WILLIAMS: (Singing) If your friends are asking where you've been today...

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And this is the sound of the political moment we're in.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Wait.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Oh, boy, oh.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Oh.

Vanity Fair has named Radhika Jones as its new editor-in-chief. Condé Nast, the magazine's parent company, announced the surprise selection Monday.

"Radhika is an exceptionally talented editor who has the experience and insight to drive the cultural conversation—balancing distinctive journalism with culture and humor," Bob Sauerberg, president and CEO of Condé Nast, said in a statement.

Less than a week after the iPhone X release, a Vietnamese security firm says it has done what others couldn't — trick the phone's facial recognition software. How? One very creepy mask.

Trump In Asia: A 'Rebalance' Toward Trade

Nov 13, 2017

As President Trump nears the end of his five-country and multiple-summits Asia trip — the most expansive visit to Asia in 25 years by a sitting U.S. president — one might well ask, as Monty Python does in The Meaning of Life, "What's it all about?"

The trip has provided a bewildering message of impulses, priorities, pronouncements and tweets, but one theme stands out: The Trump administration intends to push for fair and reciprocal trade and economic practices from allies and nonallies alike.

Republicans in Congress say cutting corporate taxes would improve the balance sheet for U.S. businesses, giving them more money to spend on jobs and investment.

But how does anyone know that's what will happen?

It's the question at the heart of the debate taking place on Capitol Hill right now about whether to lower corporate taxes, and by how much.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Buena Vista winery in Sonoma Valley, founded in 1857, is considered the birthplace of California wine. The cavernous cellar, carved into a hill by Chinese laborers, has survived earthquakes, several owners and last month's fires in Northern California.

Now, the black tree stumps and scorched hills right next to the winery's buildings show just how close the flames came — less than 30 feet, says Tom Blackwood, general manager at Buena Vista.

There was a time in China when the solid steel-framed bicycle was the perfect representation of its pace of life. A man in a black cap pedaling down a market street, bearing fruits and vegetables in his front wire basket — that was the full expression of Chinese commerce.

But that has long since changed. Bicycles began disappearing from Beijing and other cities two decades ago, replaced by cars as China's fortunes rose. There are now 6 million cars on Beijing's streets alone; last year, some 28 million cars were sold across China.

Trump Talks 'America First' In Asia

Nov 11, 2017

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Trump has brought America First to Asia. Here he is Friday in Da Nang, Vietnam, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

When Republicans began assembling their tax overhaul proposals they were aiming to make them revenue neutral; the tax cuts could not lead to increased deficits. Holding the line on deficits has long been the goal of Republican deficit hawks.

Digital lip-syncing aimed at teens is officially a big, big business: Chinese tech company Bytedance has announced it plans to "merge" with — acquire — Musical.ly, a popular lip-synching app launched in China in 2013.

Financial terms of the deal weren't included in today's announcement, but news reports put the deal's value at between $800 million and $1 billion.

A new study is bolstering the case for putting more autonomous vehicles on the road sooner rather than later — at the same time that self-driving cars are hitting a milestone in parts of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Uber has encountered another setback in the U.K., as a tribunal told the ride-hailing giant — once again — that drivers are workers entitled to protections like time off, regular breaks and a guaranteed minimum wage.

An employment tribunal ruled in favor of the drivers more than a year ago, but Uber appealed. The company lost its appeal on Friday.

Uber plans to appeal the decision once again.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

American oil companies are trying to recruit a younger, more diverse workforce. But a history of racism and sexism in that industry is making this difficult. Here's NPR's Jeff Brady.

President Trump — in the harshest language on trade so far on his five-nation tour of Asia — told a regional summit in Vietnam that his administration "will not tolerate" continued trade abuses and that countries must "follow the rules" if they want to do business with the U.S.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET: Thursday evening the Senate approved a resolution mandating sexual harassment prevention training for all employees of the Senate, including senators.

Usually it takes a scandal that rocks the Capitol to change the way it runs, but this time lawmakers aren't waiting for one before they beginning taking steps to enhance safeguards against sexual harassment in Congress.

In China's coal country, Shanxi Province, the black stuff is a more than just a source of income — it is a source of identity. Lumps of it are for sale at the national coal museum, in elegant, satin-lined gift boxes. The rest of the coal museum is faded and out of date, much like the city of Taiyuan, where it is located, about 300 miles southwest of Beijing.

The experience of reporting sexual harassment has changed radically in a few weeks.

Widespread allegations of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein's sexual misconduct touched off a torrent of other public allegations that are now toppling some powerful figures across many industries.

That list includes NPR's top editor, Michael Oreskes, who was fired last month amid allegations of sexual harassment.

Now, many victims find themselves holding a very loud microphone.

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