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Someone who might be able to relate to Rod Rosenstein right now is George Terwilliger. He was also deputy attorney general. He served under President George H.W. Bush, and he's with us now. Welcome to the show.

The Trump administration is defending the president’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, citing his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

But the unusual dismissal is facing criticism from some within the intelligence community. Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance), a former career intelligence officer.

Firearms safety is key for people who use weapons at work or for recreational shooting. But one risk has been little acknowledged: Lead dust exposure.

In a standard bullet, a solid lead core wrapped in a copper jacket sits atop a stack of gunpowder and lead primer. When the gun fires, the primer ignites, the gunpowder lights, and some of the lead on the bullet boils. When the casing snaps out of the ejection port, lead particles trail behind it. As the bullet hurtles down the barrel of the gun, a shower of lead particles follows.

Mexico's government is contesting a new international report that says the country had 23,000 homicides in 2016 — a level surpassed only by Syria. The International Institute for Strategic Studies says that intense violence fueled by Mexico's drug cartels has reached the level of an armed conflict.

"The annual survey's lead investigator says Mexico's second-place ranking was surprising, considering the deaths are nearly all attributable to small arms," NPR's Carrie Kahn reports, "and not tanks or aircraft fire as in the political wars of Syria or Iraq."

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Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were interviewing four candidates Wednesday to serve as interim FBI director, following the firing of James Comey.

A reporter in West Virginia was arrested and charged with a crime Tuesday after he repeatedly attempted to question Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Price was walking through a hallway in the state Capitol, which he was visiting with Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway as part of a "listening tour" on the opioid crisis. Several protesters were gathered in the hallway, as was Dan Heyman, a reporter for the Public News Service.

The president fired FBI Director James Comey Tuesday. NPR's Steve Inskeep talks to NPR's Domenico Montanaro and GOP Rep. Chris Stewart, member of the House Intelligence Committee, about the decision. Stewart tells Inskeep that Comey had lost confidence "frankly on both sides of the aisle. ... It was probably appropriate to make a change."

Years from now, a girl named Alia Joy will have a claim to fame to tell at summer camp: She was the first baby to be breast-fed on the floor of Australia's Parliament.

Her mother is Greens party co-deputy leader Larissa Waters, who was returning to Parliament after giving birth to her second child, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

Betsy DeVos spoke through waves of boos and shouted protests during her commencement speech at Bethune-Cookman University on Wednesday, delivering a celebratory address with what seemed at times to be grim-faced resolve.

Updated at 9 p.m. ET

Questions about the abrupt dismissal of FBI Director James Comey swirled on Wednesday, but Comey himself reportedly told staff he would not "spend time on the decision or the way it was executed. I hope you won't either."

In a farewell letter, Comey said, according to CNN, "It is done, and I will be fine, although I will miss you and the mission deeply." He added:

The White House says President Trump fired James Comey because of how he handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Let that sink in for a moment.

The president, who campaigned before crowds that chanted, "Lock her up," is telling the American people that he summarily fired the FBI director, by letter, because he went outside Department of Justice protocols in speaking out about the Clinton investigation months ago.

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President Trump's sudden firing of former FBI Director James Comey is sending shock waves through Capitol Hill this morning. And it led to a rare public show of force staged by Democrats on the Senate floor. NPR's Geoff Bennett joins us with the latest. Geoff, good morning.

Six weeks after a bridge collapse shut down a crucial piece of the interstate system in Atlanta, Georgia officials say they'll be ready to reopen Interstate 85 by May 15 — more than five weeks ahead of schedule. The road normally carries nearly 250,000 vehicles a day.

President Trump hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the White House on Wednesday, one day after firing the man whose agency is investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election that brought Trump to power.

On a back street in Osaka, the sound of schoolchildren floats out of Tsukamoto Kindergarten. A cuckoo clock and a stand of bamboo sit in front of the school building's orange facade — and Astro Boy, a cartoon figure, looks down from a window.

From its exterior, there's no visible sign that the school is at the center of a scandal on which the leader of Japan has staked his political future.

The school's owner is accused of using his relationship with Japan's first family to secure a plot of land for a new, right-wing primary school at a massive discount.

Chelsea Manning, the former Army private who leaked a trove of classified documents to WikiLeaks, will be released from prison on May 17, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Manning's 35-year prison sentence was commuted in January by then-President Barack Obama.

Most recently, Manning has been held in a prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. After her release, her attorney says, she'll live in Maryland.

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Fifty thousand signatures on protest petitions. Calls on the president of the university to resign. People on Twitter saying they're mailing back their degrees.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced on Tuesday that he will not run for re-election because of allegations that he sexually abused minors three decades ago.

Murray is a skilled, bare-knuckled politician and it was assumed he would cruise to re-election this year.

But a few weeks ago, he was sued by Delvonn Heckard, 46, who says that back in the 1980s, Murray paid him for sex when Heckard was a minor.

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And the news surprised lawmakers on both sides of the aisle today. NPR congressional correspondent Susan Davis is at the Capitol, and she has been talking to some of them. And she is with us now. Hi there, Sue.

SUSAN DAVIS, BYLINE: Hey, Kelly.

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