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The world's third-largest carbon polluter has submitted its long-range plan to curb greenhouse gas admissions in advance of December's Paris climate summit. India does not commit to an absolute reduction in carbon emissions, but does promise to ramp up renewable energy to help slow global warming.

In the seemingly never-ending saga between Donald Trump and Latinos, the business mogul-turned-presidential candidate has canceled plans to attend a Q&A session with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The meeting was originally scheduled for next Thursday, Oct. 8, at the Newseum in Washington D.C.

A statement from the USHCC said Trump's "decision to forfeit the Q&A session was motivated by the concern of being 'put on trial.' "

The USHCC said Trump was unwilling to abide by the terms of the event:

It has been decades since an education secretary had as high a national political profile as the long-serving Arne Duncan, who famously accompanied President Obama from Chicago and even more famously likes to shoot hoops with the president.

Supporters note that Duncan has advocated passionately for narrowing the opportunity and achievement gaps in America's public schools, ending the "school to prison pipeline" and boosting pay for teachers who serve in high-poverty schools.

After nearly seven years in office, Education Secretary Arne Duncan will step down in December. The former head of Chicago Public Schools came to Washington back in 2009 with his friend — a newly-elected President Obama.

Duncan's tenure was remarkable for two reasons:

First, he got a lot done. A lot. The list is long, so, for the purposes of this short post, let's focus on perhaps the biggest thing he did, which was also one of the first things he did. In the summer of 2009, Duncan made this grand pronouncement:

A 15-year-old British teen has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to charges that he plotted to killed police officers at a military parade.

The New York Times reports that the teen, who was not named because of his age, will serve at least five years of that sentence.

The paper reports:

Updated 7 p.m. ET

Pope Francis had a private meeting in Washington, D.C., with a gay couple a day before he met with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who spent time in jail last month for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Yayo Grassi, Francis' longtime friend from Argentina, spoke about the meeting during an interview with CNN. Grassi says that he and his partner, Iwan Bagus, and several others met with the pontiff at the Vatican Embassy on Sept. 23.

A collection of stringed instruments, largely silent for seven decades, is giving voice to the horrors of the Holocaust. The “Violins of Hope” were once owned by the inmates of Nazi concentration camps and are now part of a three-month exhibit that opens today in Cleveland. David C. Barnett from Here & Now contributor WCPN has the story behind the violins.

Cancer was once referred to as “The Big C.” Then along came another C. A miracle, really, for so many: chemotherapy. It attacked cancers, prevented them from spreading, and helped so many people into remission. But, of course, it also has debilitating side effects.

Now, a landmark study, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, finds that many women with early stage breast cancer can skip chemotherapy and do just fine.

Computer models are now showing a shrinking likelihood that Joaquin will make landfall in the U.S., even as the hurricane batters the Bahamas with heavy winds, rain and coastal flooding. The National Hurricane Center says the Category 4 storm is “extremely dangerous.”

Mothers have been warned for years that sleeping with their newborn infant is a bad idea because it increases the risk the baby might die unexpectedly during the night. But now Israeli researchers are reporting that even sleeping in the same room can have negative consequences: not for the child, but for the mother.

The New York City Health Department is at it again, this time with ads in the subway and on bus shelters chatting up the glories of IUDs.

"You spent the night in Brooklyn," one brightly colored poster reads. "But you left your birth control in Staten Island. Maybe the IUD is right for you."

Since 1960, the Democrats were the party that nominated new generation candidates. Three of them — Kennedy, Clinton and Obama — won the White House. Republicans nominated old guys, whether they lost — think Dole, McCain and Romney — or won, like Ronald Reagan. But this year, the geezers are on the Democratic side. Hillary Clinton is 67, Bernie Sanders is 74 and, if he gets in, Joe Biden is 72. On the Republican side, for a change, it's a completely different story.

President Obama passionately pleaded for stricter gun laws in the aftermath of yet another mass shooting Thursday. Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and others renewed their calls for stricter gun control measures.

Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET

A powerful Hurricane Joaquin was pummeling the Bahamas as it stayed put over the islands with sustained winds of 130 mph.

The storm is expected to begin a gradual march north, but most forecast models now place it firmly on a trajectory that stays well offshore from the U.S. East Coast, alleviating some concern over its potential impact.

Scientists have just made a breakthrough in understanding how clouds interact with the surrounding air by studying some of the most boring clouds you can imagine in unprecedented detail.

"If you ask a child to draw a cloud they would draw a white puffy cloud floating in the air all by itself — and that's the kind of cloud we were looking at," says Raymond Shaw, an atmospheric scientist at Michigan Technological University.

Chris Mintz was shot multiple times by a gunman at an Oregon community college Thursday, and now he's being called a hero, after it emerged that Mintz ran at the attacker and tried to block the door to a classroom and protect his classmates. Mintz is now recovering from surgery.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET.

Arne Duncan will step down as President Obama's education secretary in December, a White House official confirms to NPR.

Obama has selected Deputy Education Secretary John B. King Jr. to replace Duncan. King is a former New York State education commissioner. (President Obama is making a personnel announcement at 3:30 p.m. ET.)

What do you see in your community that helps you be heart healthy, and what gets in your way? People who live in the "stroke belt," an area in the Southeast with high rates of heart disease and stroke, can show you.

"The idea was to have community residents take photos of their individual take on the topic of barriers to heart health," says Sarah Kowitt, a study author and graduate student in public health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

It was a routine launch for the Atlas V booster, which was carrying a Mexican satellite into orbit as it lifted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral on Friday morning. But the rocket's expanding exhaust plume was anything but ordinary.

Chicago Public Schools has lowered its official high school graduation rate following revelations that thousands of dropouts were being misclassified as transfers.

The official rate for 2014 was actually 66.3 percent, not 69.4 percent, officials said late Thursday. CPS also revised down the graduation rates for each year dating back to 2011.

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Responding to a flood of interest in the surprise revelation that Pope Francis met with controversial county clerk Kim Davis, the Vatican says the event shouldn't be seen as an endorsement of all of Davis' views. Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Rowan County, Ky.

Davis was one of "several dozen" people the pope met at the end of his visit to Washington, D.C., the Vatican says.

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Adventures In Airport Securty

Oct 2, 2015

Customs agents in Paris seized 115 live scorpions.

They'd come from Cameroon, bound for the U.S., marked as samples for medical research though the shipper sells "animal companions."

Screeners in Denver noticed bottles labeled T-N-T. They cleared the area.

And they found the bottles held bath salts.

They bottles labeled T-n-T were wedding favors at the marriage of people whose names both start with T.

How To Take A Selfie With Your Dog

Oct 2, 2015

When you're trying to take a selfie with your dog, telling your pet to "say cheese" probably won't elicit a smile.

But a tennis ball perched on top of a smartphone is a real attention getter.

The "pooch selfie" is a simple attachment that allows dog owners to attach the fluffy ball.

It's been a hit on Kickstarter. Now to the bigger challenge — getting cats to focus.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Say the name Malala and instantly one thinks of a heroine known to millions, the schoolgirl from Pakistan's lush, once idyllic Swat Valley who dared speak out when the Taliban invaded her home and tried to prevent girls from going to school.