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The revelation that Volkswagen rigged software to cheat on emissions tests got us wondering: What else is the software in your car doing that you don't know about?

Well, that answer, for the time being, will remain a mystery.

That's because there's a little-known law in the U.S. that bars car owners — and researchers — from accessing the software inside vehicles.

There are as many as 100 million lines of computer code in some new cars. They help control the steering, cruise control, air bags, entertainment and anti-skid systems.

We might not be able to remember every stressful episode of our childhood.

But the emotional upheaval we experience as kids — whether it's the loss of a loved one, the chronic stress of economic insecurity, or social interactions that leave us tearful or anxious — may have a lifelong impact on our health.

Ralph Lauren Corporation announced that Stefan Larsson has been named CEO, starting in November. The 75-year-old founder and face of the fashion mega-house, Ralph Lauren, will continue to "actively drive the company's vision," a company statement read.

A bipartisan group of senators on the Judiciary Committee is preparing to unveil a criminal justice overhaul proposal as early as Thursday, two sources familiar with the deal told NPR.

The plan follows months of behind-the-scenes work by the staffs of Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican who is chairman of the committee, and several other lawmakers representing both political parties.

Twitter's newest high-profile user just might push the issue of domestic surveillance back into the presidential campaign's conversation.

Edward Snowden sent his first-ever tweet at noon on Tuesday, asking, "Can you hear me now?"

Driving in rural, southern Hungary, especially at night, you're likely to see people emerging from dark forests along the side of the road. They trudge along the highway's narrow shoulder and sometimes flag down passing cars, asking for help.

They're migrants and refugees who've entered Hungary by the tens of thousands in recent months, mostly en route to Germany and other northern European countries.

But it's illegal for civilians in Hungary to help them get there.

House Republicans questioned the head of Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, on whether the women's health group needs federal funding. The testimony comes after the release of a series of videos that allege the organization violates rules on fetal tissue donation for research.

For the first time since surreptitious videos put Planned Parenthood in the spotlight again, the organization's president, Cecile Richards, faced the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Many people have drawn those parallels between the end of World War II and today's refugee crisis. Ian Buruma wrote the book, "Year Zero: A History Of 1945," and he joins us from Brussels.


IAN BURUMA: Thank you.

Teachers, parents and politicians have long wrestled with the question:

How important is preschool?

A new answer comes in the form of a study — out of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. — that is as clear as it is controversial.

DJ Session: Soundtrack For A Recovery

Sep 29, 2015

For this week’s edition of the Here & Now DJ Sessions, host Jeremy Hobson sits down with KCRW DJ Anne Litt. Anne has been off the air waves for a while following a ski accident last winter. She shares some music that caught her ear during her recovery.

“These are really the artists that kept me going and have me most excited about being back on the air,” she said.

Turbulence In Markets And Commodities

Sep 29, 2015

Shares in the commodities trader Glencore were doing better today after falling nearly 30 percent Monday as the company struggles with commodity prices that have hit record lows. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson looks at the markets and how commodity companies are grappling with low prices with Jason Bellini of The Wall Street Journal.

Juan Salgado is president and CEO of the Instituto del Progreso Latino in Chicago, and today he was among the 24 winners of this year’s MacArthur Foundation “genius grants” who will each receive $625,000 over five years, no strings attached. Salgado’s organization has become a national model for helping immigrants learn English and improve their work skills.

Before they were removed following an outcry over privacy, backscatter X-ray security scanners at airports also raised worries among some travelers and scientists about exposure to potentially harmful radiation.

Mars is basically a pretty arid place, so it's pretty astonishing that the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was able to spot signs of liquid water on the planet's surface.

Angelina Diaz-Ramirez had no idea a surgeon was about to cut open her chest. The 50-year-old had been rushed to the hospital from the California field where she worked picking green beans. Doctors said she had a heart attack and that they would do surgery to install a pacemaker.

But Diaz-Ramirez, an immigrant from Mexico, doesn't speak Spanish or English. She speaks Triqui, an indigenous language. And the hospital had no one who could translate the doctors' words for her.

"None explained anything to me," said Diaz-Ramirez. "I was scared, but I didn't have a choice."

For several years now, a popular purveyor of tacos has suggested that Americans who get the munchies late at night are participating in a contemporary dining ritual called "Fourthmeal."

Larry Goldstein is trying to find drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease. A biologist in cellular and molecular medicine at the University of California, San Diego, Goldstein also just started testing something he hopes will enable paralyzed people to walk again.

For both lines of research, he's using cells from aborted fetuses.

"The fetal cells are vital at this time because, to our knowledge, they have the best properties for the kinds of experiments that we need to do," Goldstein says.

How cool is Queen Silvia of Sweden?

Back in 1976, superstar band ABBA congratulated her on her marriage to Swedish King Carl Gustaf with a performance of their hit song Dancing Queen on Swedish TV.

A day after the Taliban seized control of the city of Kunduz, a military operation is underway to try to retake the provincial capital in northern Afghanistan. The U.S. carried out an airstrike to aid coalition and Afghan forces, according to NATO.

The fall of Kunduz is seen as "the Afghan Taliban's biggest victory since they were ousted from power 14 years ago," NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

Philip filed this report for our Newscast unit:

Doctors To Get 70,000 New Medical Codes

Sep 29, 2015

Doctors are getting a billing system that's sure to cause headaches.

Introduced by the federal government, 70,000 new medical codes will describe diagnoses in detail.

Like this:

Crashed in a spacecraft? That's V95.41XA.

Walked into a lamppost? Twice? That's W220.2XD.

Others include, "Problems in relationship with in-laws..."

"Other contact with a squirrel ..."

And, "Underdosing of caffeine."

Not included: death via paperwork.

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From his first moments on air, new host Trevor Noah gave fans The Daily Show they have known and loved for years, with a few upgrades.

There were new graphics and a new desk, but the same old frat rock guitar music in the intro and the same show-closing Moment of Zen. Noah even began his hosting gig last night by talking about the guy he was succeeding, recently departed Daily Show host Jon Stewart.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit