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Michael Horn, the CEO of Volkswagen's U.S. business, is appearing in Congress Thursday morning to answer lawmakers' questions about the German automaker's use of software in its diesel vehicles to fool emissions tests. VW has said some 11 million vehicles worldwide have the software.

Volkswagen has "withdrawn the application for certification of our model year 2016 vehicles," Horn says, adding that the company is still working with U.S. agencies on the certification process.

The Most Important Quiz Of The Day

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West Egg on a Seabiscuit with Lady Marmalade―yum! For our final round, every correct answer is a word, phrase, or proper noun that contains the name of a breakfast food or beverage.

Heard in The Milk Carton Kids: No Expiration Date

I Saw The Seinfeld

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In this game we put our VIPs, The Milk Carton Kids, on the same team. Kenneth describes famous Seinfeld catchphrases to Joey, who must guess the line. But there's a catch: Kenneth has never really seen Seinfeld.

Heard in The Milk Carton Kids: No Expiration Date

Opposites Attract

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The word "sanction" can mean both "to approve or permit" and "to punish." Weird, huh? It's an example of a contronym: a word that can be its own opposite, or have two contradictory meanings.

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Disney Uncensored

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It turns out that fairytales aren't all glass slippers and singing woodland creatures. In this game we uncover the dark secrets behind Disney's beloved animated films. We give a summary of the original story — guess the title of the watered-down Disney version.

Heard in The Milk Carton Kids: No Expiration Date

Alone, Together

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Dave Chappelle walks down the "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and Bobby Fischer meets Eleanor Rigby in this musical game about well-known recluses. Jonathan Coulton sings clues about famously solitary people set to songs about being alone.

Heard in The Milk Carton Kids: No Expiration Date

Elementary My Dear Emma Watson

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Ever notice how Hollywood is always trying to spruce up old films? They colorize black and white movies, reboot franchises, and now it turns out they're inserting celebrities into famous lines! We give clues from a film plus celebrity names for our contestants to combine.

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No Expiration Date

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Like Simon & Garfunkel, the legendary folk act they're often compared to, The Milk Carton Kids have a timeless quality to them. But the duo didn't start their careers working together.

Guitarist Joey Ryan first met Kenneth Pattengale at the latter's solo show in Los Angeles.

The Sorrow And The Pity

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In the critically acclaimed Rocky III, Mr. T uttered the immortal line, "I pity the fool," and a catchphrase was born. In this game we ask our contestants to channel their best Mr. T impersonation and answer questions about things that rhyme with "fool." I pity the spool!

Heard in The Milk Carton Kids: No Expiration Date

The last several years have seen something of a resurgence of European crime fiction in the United States. It's no secret that the genre is massive overseas, in Scandinavia and especially France, where roughly one in five books sold is a crime novel. The success of books like Alex, the first thriller by popular French author Pierre Lemaitre to be translated into English, further proves that Americans are catching the bug.

A day after the Russian navy fired cruise missiles at targets in Syria — and two days after Russia's warplanes veered into Turkey's airspace — NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance "is able and ready to defend all allies, including Turkey, against any threat."

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House Republicans will huddle privately at noon on Thursday to nominate the party's candidate to succeed John Boehner as speaker of the U.S. House.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is heavily favored to secure the nomination, but his ultimate victory on the floor of the U.S. House later this month is still in question.

The House Freedom Caucus, a group of roughly 40 Republicans representing some of the nation's most conservative congressional districts, bucked the party leadership and endorsed Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., for speaker on Wednesday.

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Updated at 8:09 a.m. ET

Investigative journalist Svetlana Alexievich has been awarded this year's Nobel Prize for Literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday. Alexievich is the first writer from Belarus to win the prize.

Alexievich won "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time," according to the citation for the award.

The ethics committee of soccer's world governing body has banned the group's president and other leaders for 90 days, citing ongoing investigations into allegations against FIFA President Sepp Blatter, UEFA President and FIFA Vice-President Michel Platini, and FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke.

The suspensions go into effect immediately and could be extended by 45 days, FIFA says.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says there isn't much time. Congress and the White House face two big deadlines to fund the government. It will be an intricate maneuver to meet both deadlines even as congressional leadership changes. And in an interview with NPR, Lew described behind-the-scenes negotiations meant to avert a last-minute crisis.

"There are conversations going on at a staff level," Lew told NPR's Steve Inskeep, "and I think the key is for Democrats and Republicans [in Congress] to talk to each other."

New York City may have dodged a major storm recently when Hurricane Joaquin headed out to sea, but it was an unwelcome reminder of what happened three years ago when the city suffered catastrophic flooding during Superstorm Sandy. Now, the New York subway system is racing to get new flood-proofing technologies ready in time for the next big storm.

One of those methods is called the Flex-Gate, a big sheet of waterproof fabric designed to cover subway entrances and keep the water out.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

The top Republican and Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee are preparing to introduce a bill Thursday they're billing as "companion" legislation to the major Senate sentencing overhaul unveiled last week.

Avoiding a possible strike, the United Autoworkers Union and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.

According to a statement from UAW:

After a lengthy bargaining process, your UAW FCA National Bargaining Committee has secured significant gains in a proposed Tentative Agreement with FCA announced today.

Behind a complete-game shutout thrown by right-hander Jake Arrieta, the Chicago Cubs advanced to the Divisional Series on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, beating the Pirates 4-0.

Kyle Schwarber had a home run and three runs batted in for the Cubs and Dexter Fowler had three hits and scored three times. Chicago will open its series against St. Louis at 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday. The Cardinals won 11 of the 19 games the divisional rivals played this season.

Three members of one of the wealthiest and most politically well-connected families in Honduras have been indicted by the U.S. on money laundering charges.

According to the court document, three members of the Rosenthal family, along with their lawyer, are accused of laundering money for drug traffickers.

NPR's Carrie Kahn reports on the indictment that was unsealed after one of the men was arrested Tuesday in Miami:

The death penalty reared its head again at the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday. It was the first time the court publicly considered a death case since last term, when a constitutional challenge to lethal injection procedures erupted into a rare, nasty and vituperative debate among the justices. This time, the issues were far more technical but still a matter of life and death.

Republicans in the U.S. House will take an initial vote Thursday on who they think should replace John Boehner as speaker of the House.

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz recently announced his candidacy for speaker, but the front-runner for the job is current House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from Bakersfield, Calif.

And McCarthy's roots in California's Central Valley provide some clues about how McCarthy might run the House, if he's elected speaker.

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A lot of politicians are being asked what to do about gun violence after a gunman killed nine people in Oregon last week. And the answers from the large field of Republican candidates for president are varied. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

After months of not committing to a position on President Obama's proposed Asia trade deal, Hillary Clinton came out against it Wednesday.

The rain has stopped in South Carolina, but for people living along the coast, the worst of the flooding could still be ahead.

The floodwaters have not receded and as the water in the swollen rivers flow toward the ocean, more damaging high waters are expected.

As Laura Hunsberger reports for NPR, Gov. Nikki Haley says the state is ready:

The death-with-dignity movement took a giant step forward this week, with 38 million people coming under its umbrella in a single swoop when California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the End of Life Option Act on Monday.