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Four of last season's hurricanes were deemed so destructive and deadly that the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization has decided to retire their names.

A new report from the Congressional Budget Office predicts the federal deficit will balloon past $1 trillion in the next two years. That takes into account the Republicans 1.5 trillion dollar tax overhaul signed into law last year, and a $1.3 trillion bipartisan spending bill last month.

After one of the most destructive hurricane seasons ever, the names of four hurricanes are being retired. The World Meteorological Organization, the international body responsible for naming hurricanes, says it will no longer use Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate to name hurricanes. The organization says it retires names for hurricanes when "a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity."

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What makes a group of animals genetically similar to each other?

Traditionally, scientists have thought that animals living near each other are more likely to have things in common genetically. Another explanation is that animals living in similar environments — like high altitudes or hot temperatures — might evolve in similar ways.

Facing a potential death penalty over a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., and standing to receive $25,000 from his mother's life insurance policy — and possibly much more than that from her estate — Nikolas Cruz wants the money to go to a group named by the victims, his attorneys say.

That news emerged from a recent court hearing about Cruz's finances, which included the question of whether the 19-year-old can afford to hire a lawyer. Cruz has confessed to killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

Mike Pompeo, currently the director of the CIA, testified in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today as President Trump's nominee to be the next secretary of state. Pompeo faced a battery of questions not only on matters of diplomacy but also on whether he is willing to stand up to the president.

Updated at 12:27 p.m. ET

A fact-finding team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is on its way to Syria and will begin working there by Saturday, spokesperson Johan de Wittlaan said Thursday.

Days after being released from a hospital, the daughter of a former Russian spy who was poisoned in southern England last month said she didn't need help from the Russian Embassy, which has accused the U.K. of holding her against her will.

The Ripple Effects Of Ryan's Retirement

Apr 12, 2018

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Russia's Military Capabilities

Apr 12, 2018

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Even Trade: Car For Candy

Apr 12, 2018

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In Henry IV, Part 2, Shakespeare writes, "Uneasy rests the head that wears the crown."

Speakers of the House do not wear crowns. But if they did, these days their crowns might as well be woven of thorns.

Just ask Paul Ryan, who has announced he will relinquish the speakership by not seeking re-election this fall.

As the Trump administration evaluates potential military operations against Syria, the White House has declined to explain why it believes it has the legal authority to conduct them without authorization from Congress.

But the White House does have a secret seven-page memo that may make the case.

As she leaves a 12-hour-day on the labor and delivery shift, Dr. Katie Merriam turns off her pager.

"I don't know what I'd do without it, you know? It's another limb. I always know where it is," she says, laughing.

The third-year resident in obstetrics and gynecology at the Carolinas Medical Center hospital in Charlotte, N.C., works in a medical specialty dominated by women, treating women. Merriam says she feels a special connection to her patients.

When Evan Taylor heard that Oklahoma teachers planned to walkout, he converted his small Tulsa church into a "glorified daycare" furnished with board games, crafts and a movies to keep kids entertained.

Updated at 3:10 a.m. ET

Pope Francis has acknowledged "serious mistakes" in his handling of Chile's sex abuse scandal and summoned the country's bishops to an emergency meeting in Rome to discuss the matter.

Francis blamed a lack of "truthful and balanced information" for misjudging the situation concerning Bishop Juan Barros, who he appointed to the small diocese of Osorno in 2015 despite allegations that he had helped cover up abuse by his mentor, the Rev. Fernando Karadima.

Fashion designers. Community activists. Parents. Converts. High school students facing down bullies. Podcasters creating their own space to exhale.

The newest generation of American Muslims is a mosaic, one of the most racially and ethnically diverse faith groups in the country. At a time when all religions are struggling to keep youth engaged, Islam is growing in the U.S., according to the Pew Research Center.

A committee of the Missouri state House is expanding its investigation into Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, who admitted to having an extramarital affair with his hair stylist but denies he abused her. The panel will make recommendations about whether to pursue impeachment.

Updated at 10:58 a.m. ET Thursday

Officials from the U.S. Census Bureau and Commerce Department, which oversees the census, are expected to be grilled on Capitol Hill next month about the addition of a controversial citizenship question to the 2020 census form. They are set to appear before lawmakers at a public hearing scheduled for May 8, according to a statement from Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

John Boehner, former speaker of the House, became an unlikely advocate for marijuana on Wednesday.

Reversing years of opposition to the drug when he served in Congress, the Republican announced that his "thinking on cannabis has evolved."

He tweeted that he was joining the Board of Advisors of Acreage Holdings, a corporation formerly known as High Street Capital Partners that operates cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensing across 11 states.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen called a 200 percent spike in illegal border crossings in March compared with a year ago "a dangerous story" as she pressed lawmakers Wednesday to provide funding for President Trump's proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Nielsen appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security to push for approval of the Trump administration's $47.5 billion FY 2019 budget request for her department, which includes $18 billion for the border wall.

Among the many questions Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrestled with as he testified before Congress Tuesday and Wednesday was one of a more existential nature: What, exactly, is Facebook?

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) asked Zuckerberg whether the social networking website was a tech company or a publisher.

Zuckerberg replied, "When people ask us if we're a media company — or a publisher — my understanding of what the heart of what they're really getting at is, 'Do we feel responsibility for the content on our platform?' The answer to that, I think, is clearly yes."

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More American troops are dying because of aviation accidents.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS MONTAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #1: And we have a breaking development in the crash of an Air Force F-16 jet outside of Las Vegas. The Air Force...

Updated at 4:10 p.m. on Friday

Days after Israeli troops fatally shot a Palestinian photojournalist covering protests on the Gaza border, Israel's defense minister alleged the photographer had served as a high-ranking member of the military wing of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas since 2011.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

California Gov. Jerry Brown agreed Wednesday to deploy 400 National Guard troops in response to a Trump administration request to border state governors. But in a letter sent Wednesday, Brown says California troops will not enforce federal immigration laws or build a border wall.

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