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The man accused of killing nine people during a Bible study in Charleston, S.C., last year has rehired his defense attorneys to represent him in the first phase of his federal murder trial.

Dylann Roof, 22, faces 33 federal hate crimes charges for walking into the basement of a historically black church and sitting among worshipers before opening fire, according to prosecutors. The government is seeking the death penalty.

Firefighters have temporarily halted efforts to recover bodies from the site of a devastating fire in Oakland, Calif., citing concerns that part of the building might collapse.

The "Ghost Ship" — a warehouse that was used as an artists' collective — burned down Friday night during a dance party. It was the deadliest fire in Oakland history.

At least 36 people are dead, authorities said Monday, and they expect the number of fatalities to rise when recovery efforts resume.

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Updated Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. ET

A man with a rifle who claimed to be "self-investigating" a baseless online conspiracy theory entered the Washington, D.C., pizzeria Comet Ping Pong on Sunday, according to local police.

The man allegedly pointed the gun at a restaurant employee, who managed to escape, then fired the weapon multiple times inside the restaurant. There were no reports of injuries, police say. A North Carolina man has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with the shooting.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Pearl Harbor later this month, becoming the first Japanese head of state to ever visit the site of the surprise attack.

President Obama will accompany Abe on the visit, which is scheduled for Dec. 27. The 75th anniversary of the attack is this Wednesday.

Earlier this year, Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, where he laid a wreath at a monument to those killed when the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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OK, for more on the politics of the pipeline, we're going to talk now with NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley. He's on the line. Hi, Scott.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Rachel.

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You can re-enact that scene in the old movie Christmas Vacation.

A family goes into a forest and cuts down a ridiculously tall tree.

The U.S. Forest Service is selling Christmas tree removal permits for $5 in the Green Mountain National Forest of Vermont.

You go into the forest. You cut down the tree yourself. There's only one catch: the tree you choose cannot be more than 20 feet tall.

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The Politics Of Trade Under Trump

Dec 5, 2016
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President-elect Trump dug in over the weekend on his approach to trade.

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He threatened, quote, "retribution or consequence" for companies that move workers out of the United States and then try to sell goods back to the U.S.

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The weekend fire at a warehouse party in Oakland, Calif., has claimed more than 30 lives, and that's just the count up to now.

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The big news coming out of North Dakota and it's about the future of a controversial oil pipeline. The Army Corps of Engineers announced yesterday it will not approve a building permit for the key and final section of the Dakoda Access pipeline.

A full decade after the Food and Drug Administration approved a vaccine to fight the sexually transmitted, cancer-causing human papillomavirus, almost half of all adolescents have still not received their first dose. This low vaccination rate is dramatic when compared to other routine childhood immunizations like polio and measles, mumps and rubella, where compliance is above 90 percent.

The Washington, D.C., jail has big metal doors that slam shut. It looks and feels like a jail. But down a hall in the medical wing, past an inmate muttering about suicide, there's a room that looks like an ordinary doctor's office.

"OK, deep breaths in and out for me," Dr. Reggie Egins says to his patient, Sean Horn, an inmate in his 40s. They talk about how his weight has changed in his six weeks in jail, how his medications are working out and whether he's noticed anything different about his vision. Egins schedules an ophthalmology appointment for Horn.

When a robotic probe finally lands on a watery world like Jupiter's moon Europa, what do scientists have to see to definitively say whether the place has any life?

That's the question retired astronaut John Grunsfeld posed to some colleagues at NASA when he was in charge of the agency's science missions.

A lawsuit on behalf of Alabama's prisoners, claiming they're being denied mental health care, begins in federal court Monday. The class-action suit states that Alabama doesn't provide adequate mental health treatment for those behind bars.

Lawyers for the prisoners argue that the state provides little other than medication, and sometimes inmates are forced to take it against their will. The plaintiffs allege prison conditions are dangerous and discriminatory, which amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, a violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Student parent.

Ever heard that term? It's used for a student who is also a parent, and there are nearly 5 million of them in colleges around the country. That's over a quarter of the undergraduate population, and that number has gone up by around a million since 2011.

It can be really, really expensive to be a student parent, especially if you need to pay for child care while you're in class.

President-elect Donald Trump's unprecedented call with Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen has brought all varieties of foreign policy wonks out of the woodwork. Most are critical — some are mocking — of the president-elect's break with four decades of diplomatic protocol.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key surprised his country, announcing that he would be resigning in a week's time. Key, who is also leader of the National Party, made his decision public at a press conference on Monday afternoon local time.

"Sometimes you've got to make hard decisions to make right decisions," Key told reporters. "This is the hardest decision I've ever made, and I don't know what I'll do next."

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Italian voters have dealt a serious defeat to the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. In a referendum Sunday, they rejected Renzi's proposed constitutional reforms, which would have changed the balance of power between the executive and Parliament.

The "no" vote is expected to win by a margin of nearly 20 percentage points, in what is seen as a resounding message of discontent with Renzi's government. The lopsided result also signals the strength of anti-establishment sentiment in the country.

NFL Targets Kids In Outreach Campaign

Dec 4, 2016
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The Army Corps of Engineers has denied a permit for the construction of a key section of the Dakota Access Pipeline, granting a major victory to protesters who have been demonstrating for months.

The decision essentially halts the construction on the 1,172-mile oil pipeline just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Thousands of demonstrators from across the country had flocked to North Dakota in protest.

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