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American lives have been getting steadily longer, and since the 1960s that trend has been driven mostly by a remarkable reduction in heart disease. But those improvements have slowed dramatically. Scientists are now wondering whether we're approaching the end of the trend of longer, healthier lives.

That's because the steady decline in heart disease is fading.

Hip-hop artist Amisho Baraka, who performs as Sho Baraka, is one African-American man who feels left out by both major political parties — and he says this will affect his vote come November.

Back in the 1980s, Davao City was a largely lawless city on the largely lawless island of Mindanao, known to the wider world mostly for its Muslim and communist insurgencies.

Almost two decades ago, Dr. Lars Aanning sat on the witness stand in a medical malpractice trial and faced a dilemma.

The South Dakota surgeon had been called to vouch for the expertise of one of his partners whose patient had suffered a stroke and permanent disability after an operation. The problem was that Aanning had, in his own mind, questioned his colleague's skill. His partner's patients had suffered injuries related to his procedures. But Aanning understood why his partner's attorney had called him as a witness: Doctors don't squeal on doctors.

Keeping The Dead In Their Place

Sep 23, 2016

Runaway coffins. It's an issue floating to the surface with increasing frequency in Louisiana. It happened again last month when two feet of rain fell in less than 72 hours in some parts of the state. Towns were flooded — as were their cemeteries.

Protests in Charlotte, N.C., continued for a third night — without the violence of earlier demonstrations. Police officers and National Guard troops shared the streets with marchers protesting a fatal police shooting earlier this week.

Jay Price of member station WUNC describes the mood as "mellow," and says that police and protest leaders worked to keep the marchers moving, doing laps of uptown Charlotte.

The stakes were high Thursday night for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and for city residents as the mayor delivered a long promised "major" address detailing his plans to reduce the rising toll of gun violence in the city.

The shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old African-American man, by Charlotte, N.C., police is under investigation and the circumstances are very much in dispute, but when you listen to protesters, you hear that their frustration isn't about just this one case.

Betty Shelby, the Tulsa Police Department officer who shot and killed Terence Crutcher, is being charged with first-degree manslaughter in the case, Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler says.

Kunzweiler announced the charge Thursday afternoon, six days after Crutcher died in a controversial encounter that was captured on video by a police helicopter camera and dashboard cameras.

For all the international furor over genetically modified food, or GMOs, the biotech industry has really only managed to put a few foreign genes into food crops.

The first of these genes — actually, a small family of similar genes — came from a kind of bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt. Those genes make plants poisonous to certain insect pests.

Chinese officials are under fire after a local government tried to repair a section of the Great Wall by apparently just paving it over. Now, a centuries-old stretch of the wall looks more like a gray sidewalk than a global treasure.

"The five-mile stretch of wall in northeast Liaoning province is known as a particularly scenic part of the 'wild wall,' " NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing. "Its towers and parapets are partially crumbled by seven centuries of wind and rain."

Take a look at this video:

If a word is spelled correctly, the pigeon has been taught to peck at the word. If it's spelled incorrectly, the pigeon is supposed to peck at the star. When it gets it right, the machine hands it some food.

A group of researchers from New Zealand were able to train four pigeons to consistently — with 70 percent accuracy — recognize dozens of words. The smartest pigeon learned about 60 words that it could distinguish from about 1,000 nonwords.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Syrian President Bashar Assad blamed the U.S. for the collapse of a fragile cease-fire earlier this week and denied carrying out well-documented human rights abuses, such as besieging civilians or using chemical weapons against them.

As presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump get ready for their first debate Monday night, Here & Now looks at some of the highlights in the history of presidential debates.

The first Clinton-Trump debate falls on the anniversary of the first-ever televised presidential debate, between Republican Richard Nixon and Democrat John F. Kennedy, on Sept. 26, 1960.

There’s just over a week left in Major League Baseball’s regular season. But only one team — the Chicago Cubs — has clinched a playoff berth.

That means the race for the postseason, both division winners and wild card hopefuls, is reaching a crescendo.

Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with Here & Now sports analyst Mike Pesca about how the end of the season is shaping up.

Ruling on a lawsuit filed by a state's Democratic attorney general against its Republican governor, the Kentucky Supreme Court says Gov. Matt Bevin doesn't have the authority to unilaterally slice money out of a state university's budget.

From member station WUKY in Lexington:

For Emily Ladau, Hillary Clinton's speech on Wednesday about an inclusive economy with greater opportunities for those who are disabled wasn't just any candidate speech. It was a speech targeted directly at her.

"This has been my life since the moment I was born," says Ladau. "The reality is that I'm sort of a political statement on wheels, whether I want to be or not."

Ladau was born with a genetic physical disability and uses a wheelchair. She is a writer and disability advocate.

Say one thing for certain: The lists don't lack for leading lights.

When President Obama doled out the 2015 National Medals of Arts and National Humanities Medals on Thursday, plenty of the artists and arts patrons he draped with awards had familiar names — including Mel Brooks, Morgan Freeman, Terry Gross and nearly two dozen others.

The breathtaking sadness of seeing a boy suffering amid Syria's civil war has prompted a breathtaking offer of hospitality and kindness.

The sight of shell-shocked 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh, who was wounded in an airstrike in Aleppo, left many people speechless last month. It also prompted a New York boy named Alex to write to President Obama with a simple request: "Can you please go get him" so Omran can become part of Alex's family?

Less than a year after China suspended its one-child policy, officials in the central Chinese city of Yichang are asking public servants to have two children.

The request came in a public memo from municipal officials posted to the city government website. After more than 35 years, China relaxed one-child restrictions in January, allowing couples nationwide to have a second child if they want to.

(This post was updated at 2:11 p.m. ET.)

Puerto Rico's governor, Alejandro García Padilla, has declared a state of emergency over a power outage that at its peak affected 1.5 million customers.

By morning that number had been cut by a couple hundred thousand, but more than a million customers on the island remained without electricity.

In a new episode of Web comedy show Between Two Ferns, Hillary Clinton jokes about what she should wear at next Monday's debate, attending Donald Trump's wedding and Chelsea Clinton's friendship with Ivanka Trump.

Comedian host Zach Galifianakis asked the candidate a variety of (not surprisingly) irreverent questions — like what would happen if Clinton got pregnant in office and whether she ever thinks to herself, "Oh, maybe I should be more racist."

Signs, rocks, tear gas, fireworks, broken glass, blood: The streets of Charlotte, N.C., have borne witness to days of unrest after a fatal police shooting on Tuesday.

Two nights of protests have included peaceful calls for unity as well as violence and destruction. On Wednesday night, a civilian was shot at a protest and now, city officials say, is on life support.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Editor's Note: Names of sexual assault victims have been changed in this story, to protect their privacy.

Haley woke up early one morning in June 2014. She had been out with a few friends at a bar in Ashland, Ore., the night before, and she felt safest going home with them rather than walking home alone.

"It turns out," she said, "the creeper that I had to be afraid of was in my circle of friends."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Actor Jeff Goldblum played Dr. Ian Malcolm in "Jurassic Park."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "JURASSIC PARK")

JEFF GOLDBLUM: (As Dr. Ian Malcolm) I'm always on the lookout for a future ex-Mrs. Malcolm.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have spent the summer throwing attacks at one another from across the country and over the Internet. But on Monday night, the two will stand face to face on a debate stage for the first time.

Law and order have been a major theme this year on the campaign trail. But that means very different things to the two major party presidential candidates.

With just under two months to go before the November election, we're taking a closer look at where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stand on issues of crime and policing.

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