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Mary Anderson loved climbing mountains. She and her husband Lloyd scaled the peaks of the Pacific Northwest where they lived. In the 1930s, their passion led to the founding of a successful business that catered to like-minded people, REI.

Across the country, there's a backlog of kits containing potential evidence of sexual assaults. Victim advocates say the situation threatens public safety. Lawmakers in dozens of states are pushing for funding, and in Texas, one state representative has offered an innovative solution.

Thousands of rape kits sit sealed and untested in forensics labs and law enforcement offices in Texas. What's missing is state and local funding to pay to analyze the evidence in many of those kits.

North Miami police Officer Jonathan Aledda is facing charges of attempted manslaughter and negligence for shooting a behavioral therapist who had been trying to help a patient with autism return to a group home last summer, prosecutors say.

The daytime shooting took place last July, when therapist Charles Kinsey was working to bring a 27-year-old man in his care back to the group home for mentally disabled adults. Video from the scene showed Kinsey lying on the ground next to his patient, his hands in the air, shortly before he was shot.

At the White House press briefing on Tuesday, press secretary Sean Spicer created a controversy by saying Adolf Hitler did not use chemical weapons in World War II. Spicer later apologized on CNN.

President Vladimir Putin made the comment that Russia-U.S. relations are worse under President Trump to Russian TV today as his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The U.S. is pressuring Russia to cut ties with Syrian President Bashar Assad after a chemical attack on civilians the US believes his regime carried out.

A large church in Alabama is one step closer to creating its own police force, a move that seems to be without precedent in the U.S. The state's Senate has approved legislation that would give church police officers the same powers other law enforcement officers have in Alabama.

After being approved by Alabama's Senate on a 24-4 vote, the bill now heads to the state House of Representatives, where an identical bill was sent to the Public Safety and Homeland Security committee in February.

The Daily Mail has agreed to pay damages and issue an apology to first lady Melania Trump to settle defamation claims over the British tabloid's insinuations that she "provided services beyond simply modelling."

The basis for the lawsuits in the U.S. and the U.K. was the Mail's report about Melania's time as a model, published online and in a two-page article last summer under the headline, "Racy photos and troubling questions about his wife's past that could derail Trump."

Leave no man behind. That's an old idea in warfare — it's even part of the Soldier's Creed that Army recruits learn in basic training.

And never leaving a fallen comrade is also the rule for some warriors who are ants, according to a report published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.

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During the 2016 presidential campaign the FBI obtained a secret warrant to monitor the communications of Carter Page, who was then serving as an adviser to Donald Trump, over concerns that Page was acting as an agent of Russia, according to a report from The Washington Post.

Bill O'Reilly is taking a vacation. The popular Fox News pundit announced his break from broadcasting at the end of The O'Reilly Factor on Tuesday night, pointedly noting that the family trip has long been in the works.

"Often around this time of year, I grab some vacation because it's spring and Easter time," O'Reilly told his audience. "Last fall, I booked a trip that should be terrific."

Could a real shake-up be coming soon to the Trump White House — and is his chief strategist Steve Bannon the one on the outs?

The president sounds fed up with the infighting, and he appears to be picking sides — predictably with his family. In an interview with the New York Post's Michael Goodwin, Trump seems to push away Bannon.

Blink while driving on Highway 34, east of Greeley, Colo., and you might miss the former town of Dearfield.

All that's left of the once-thriving town on Colorado's eastern plains are a rundown gas station, a partially collapsed lunch counter and a former lodge. They are the only indication that there was once a community here. The grass around these buildings is crispy and straw-colored, whipped back and forth by relentless winds. The snowcapped Rocky Mountains barely peek through the haze to the west.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has registered to run for his third term as Iran's president, putting a jolt into next month's elections. He's the latest hardline challenger to emerge against President Hassan Rouhani, declaring his candidacy in a move that caught many by surprise.

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Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he had a "productive" meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on Wednesday, despite palpable tension between the U.S. and Russia.

"There is a low level of trust between our two countries," Tillerson said after the meeting. "The world's two foremost nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationship."

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Robbinsville High School sits in a small gap in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Green slopes dotted with cattle hug in around the school before they rise into a thick cover of pine trees.

David Matheson is the principal here. And he's the only high school principal in the state who still performs corporal punishment. At Robbinsville, corporal punishment takes the form of paddling - a few licks on the backside Matheson delivers with a long wooden paddle.

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To the Democratic Republic of Congo next, where political tension is mounting. Opposition is calling for the president to step down. A peace deal has stalled. Here's NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton.

As members of Congress debate the future of the health law and its implications for consumers, how are they personally affected by the outcome? And how will the law that phases out the popular Medigap Plan F – popular supplemental Medicare insurance — affect beneficiaries? We've got answers to these and other recent questions from readers.

Updated at 5:35 p.m. ET

President Trump on Wednesday sharply reversed his 2016 campaign stance on NATO. "I said it was obsolete; it's no longer obsolete," Trump declared, after a meeting at the White House with the alliance's secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg.

In a hospital in Irbil, Iraq, 4-year-old Hawra' is briefly distracted by a new pink hat and a big stuffed toy. But soon she goes back to calling for her mother — her cries filling the hospital room.

"Your mother is in Mosul getting treatment," her grandmother, Aliya Ali, assures her in a singsong voice. "We'll go there," she tells the little girl, before turning to admit that the only thing she can do is lie.

Dorothy Mengering, who became a beloved guest on her son's Late Show on CBS, died on Tuesday.

Letterman's publicist Tom Keaney confirmed Mengering's death Tuesday for The Associated Press. She was 95.

Mengering made frequent appearances on the show before Thanksgiving and Mother's Day.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

The Trump administration is lifting a federal hiring freeze as of Wednesday morning.

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney announced the policy change in a briefing to reporters Tuesday.

Cautioning "this does not mean agencies will be free to hire willy-nilly," Mulvaney said the across-the-board hiring freeze the president imposed by executive order three days after taking office in January is being replaced with a "smarter plan, a more strategic plan, a more surgical plan."

In the first special congressional election since President Trump took office, a Republican candidate won a narrower-than-expected victory in a district Trump easily carried less than six months ago.

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