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American author George Saunders has won the Man Booker prize for his first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, a polyphonous meditation on death, grief and American history.

Saunders, widely lauded for his short stories, was considered the favorite to win the award. His novel centers on the death of Abraham Lincoln's beloved son Willie and the night that Lincoln reportedly spent in the graveyard, devastated by his grief and lingering by his son's body.

As thousands of Californians take stock of the damage caused by wildfires, one boy's story has at least half of the teams in Major League Baseball rallying behind him.

In a letter to the Oakland Athletics, posted on Twitter by Katie Utehs, an ABC 7 News Bay Area journalist, 9-year-old Loren Jade Smith writes about his love of the team and the loss of his beloved baseball collection in the fire.

Not long after journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia pulled out of her home in northern Malta on Monday, her car erupted in a blast that sent her flying across a nearby field. The victim of an apparent car bombing, Caruana Galizia died immediately.

But the hard questions stirred by her murder — and by the journalism she left behind — are unlikely to fade as quickly as those flames.

Updated on Oct. 18 a 4:25 p.m. ET

The pushback — and the outrage — began immediately.

Trump was asked on Monday why he had not yet commented on the deaths of four U.S. soldiers who were ambushed during a mission in Niger on Oct. 4. In his answer, Trump turned attention to the policies of past presidents and their contact with families of service members who have died.

On Tuesday, he followed his initial comments with more assertions, offering a specific example. That prompted further rebuttal from staff of previous administrations.

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President Trump today doubled down on his misleading claim that his predecessors didn't call the families of soldiers who were killed in action. NPR's Geoff Bennett has details from the White House.

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On Wednesday morning, a federal judge in Manhattan will hear preliminary arguments in a case that claims President Trump is violating the Constitution's ban on accepting foreign payments, or emoluments.

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Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Hawaii has partially blocked President Trump's third attempt to restrict entry into the U.S. for citizens of certain countries. The Department of Justice says it plans to appeal.

The newest version of the travel ban was due to go into effect on Wednesday. Like two previous executive orders, it was challenged in multiple courts. The new ruling by Judge Derrick K. Watson is only one piece of the complicated legal puzzle over the long-term fate of the president's efforts to limit travel to the U.S.

The Justice Department said Tuesday that it has indicted two Chinese nationals suspected of manufacturing and then distributing in the U.S. a synthetic opioid that officials say kills thousands of Americans every year.

The two suspects, Xiaobing Yan and Jian Zhang, face a raft of charges, including conspiracy to distribute large quantities of fentanyl and drugs with a similar chemical makeup in the U.S. through the mail or international delivery services.

Preparations for a major shakeup of China's Communist Party leadership are all but complete, ahead of a national congress that begins in Beijing on Wednesday. President Xi Jinping, the party boss, is expected to cement his already considerable power and embark on a second five-year term.

Last Saturday, in an auditorium bedecked with red flags and hammer-and-sickle emblems, the party's outgoing central committee members raised their hands in unison to approve the congress's final preparations.

Need a break from hard news? How about an old-fashioned stakeout? An unidentified bovine — it looks to be a young bull — drove a section of New York City to distraction, leading a very slow speed chase into and around outdoor sports fields in the Prospect Park area of Brooklyn.

Live video from the scene provided by ABC 7 TV's helicopter showed the animal ambling around a soccer field as a New York City police truck idled nearby. A crowd gathered outside the fence at the Prospect Park Parade Ground; several times, the bull stopped in its tracks to stare back at them.

Six months into a protracted battle with militants besieged in the southern city of Marawi, the Philippine military appears to be on the cusp of victory.

In a speech to soldiers in the city on Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte was decisive: "Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby declare Marawi City liberated from the terrorist influence."

When Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida last month, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency. On Monday, he did the same thing in Alachua County, ahead of a speech by white nationalist Richard Spencer at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

People who have obsessive-compulsive disorder can get trapped inside a thought. It repeats itself, like a stuck song. Did I lock the door? Is that doorknob clean enough to touch? I better wash my hands again — and again.

The biology underpinning this loop remains murky to scientists, but scientists are beginning to sniff out potential genetic factors behind OCD and shed light on how the disorder affects the brain.

Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., has withdrawn his name from consideration as America's drug czar, President Trump said Tuesday. Marino is stepping back days after reports that legislation he sponsored hindered the Drug Enforcement Administration in its fight against the U.S. opioid crisis.

Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces are in the process of kicking ISIS out of Raqqa, the extremist group's self-declared capital where it has terrorized civilians and plotted attacks against targets linked to the U.S. and its allies. Now ISIS fighters are reportedly bottled up in a stadium complex in the Syrian city.

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One-third of all the food produced each year for human consumption is never eaten. That adds up to about 1.3 billion tons of waste per year. That unappetizing fact is the inspiration for a new documentary, Wasted! The Story of Food Waste, which was released on Oct. 13 in theaters and on demand.

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There was a time when the National Rifle Association was known primarily for promoting gun safety and advocating for gun ownership for hunting and home protection.

But that seems a long time ago.

It still does those things, to be sure, but these days the NRA is far more recognizable as an uncompromising political force, aggressively defending its interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, while working to defeat any and all politicians it views as its enemy.

The Trump administration has made a number of changes to health policy in the past two weeks, raising questions about how consumers will be affected. Will the new rules for birth control coverage affect access to an intrauterine device? Might an association health plan help bring down costs for workers at small businesses? And if you're healthy, doesn't a short-term health plan that is cheaper than marketplace coverage make sense? Here are some answers to those questions.

In what appeared to be a thinly veiled reference to politics in the Age of Trump, Sen. John McCain on Monday warned Americans against "half-baked, spurious nationalism," calling the abandonment of U.S. global leadership "unpatriotic."

Speaking in Philadelphia, where he was being honored with the Liberty Medal by the National Constitution Center, McCain did not mention the president by name, but his words appeared to be aimed at Trump and his administration.

Authorities are increasingly optimistic that they have turned the tide in their week-long battle against the deadliest wildfires in California's history.

Lighter winds were helping firefighters both in the air and on the ground to contain the majority of the biggest fires, and rain forecast for later in the week would further boost their efforts, NPR's David Schaper reports from Santa Rosa.

Callista Gingrich, the wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, has been confirmed as the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican in a 70-23 Senate vote that included backing from key Democrats.

President Trump announced her nomination in May.

She is the CEO of Gingrich Productions, an author, filmmaker and former congressional aide. She is the third wife of Newt Gingrich.

The Catholic News Agency writes:

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