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Democrats onstage during their party's presidential debate were quick to condemn President Trump's abrupt and unilateral decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria. But their responses as to what role the U.S. should play in the region were generally cloudier.

Trump's decision last week appeared to set in motion a Turkish incursion into northern Syria and the advancement of Turkish-backed militias against Kurdish forces that had helped the United States battle ISIS.

Three major U.S. drug distributing companies are negotiating a multibillion-dollar settlement to end numerous lawsuits filed by state and local governments seeking compensation for costs associated with the opioid crisis.

The drug distributors — Amerisource Bergen, McKesson and Cardinal Health — could pay as much as $18 billion over 18 years, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the discussions.

The White House removed the core of its Ukraine policy team in the spring and replaced it with "three amigos" considered more reliable for the plan to pressure Kyiv, a senior U.S. diplomat was described as telling House investigators on Tuesday.

That's according to the account Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., gave to reporters about the closed-door deposition by George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary in the State Department's European and Eurasian Bureau.

Ukraine was bound to come up during Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate at some point, but when it did, it quickly became clear that neither former Vice President Joe Biden nor his primary opponents wanted to focus on it.

With the debate's second question, Biden was given a chance to address the unfounded allegations lobbed by President Trump: that Biden used his federal power to corruptly favor a Ukrainian gas company that was paying his son, Hunter.

Gail Collins has had an adventurous career as a writer.

She’s been writing her column in The New York Times since 1995, and she was the first woman to serve as the paper’s editorial page editor. Plus, she’s penned seven books, most recently “No Stopping Us Now: The Adventures of Older Women in American History” — which traces the history of women aging in America.

The Kremlin's reckless foray into U.S. domestic politics, coupled with a whole list of dangerous adventures elsewhere around the world, has triggered an avalanche of conspiracy theories and nutty commentary that make Moscow's foreign correspondent corps cringe and despair.

Updated at 8:59 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is proposing to exempt Alaska's Tongass National Forest from long-standing protections against logging and development, opening the door for potential timber harvesting on 165,000 acres of old-growth forest.

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A thief walked into a San Francisco gallery on Sunday afternoon, plucked a rare Salvador Dalí from an easel in the front window, and strode out the door.

Rasjad Hopkins, associate director at Dennis Rae Fine Art Gallery, was working at the time. The door to the gallery was open, and Hopkins had his back turned.

"Snatch and run," Hopkins tells NPR.

It took just a few minutes to realize the etching was gone. For some reason, the work hadn't been locked with a tether as it normally was.

Today, we've got an interview with Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig about the band's latest album, Father of the Bride.

"There is something that truly unites all good songwriting," Ezra tells Talia Schlanger. "It's a type of wit, it's a way with words, it's poetry, it's a sense of humor."

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This year's Nobel Prize in economics was awarded to three scholars who revolutionized the effort to end global poverty: Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo of MIT and Michael Kremer of Harvard are essentially credited with applying the scientific method to an enterprise that, until recently, was largely based on gut instincts.

But how does their approach work in practice? Why is it considered so ground-breaking? And how much has it actually changed life for the world's poorest? Here's an explainer.

Don't Assume – Test!

Then-national security adviser John Bolton was distressed about Rudy Giuliani. Trump's personal lawyer had bypassed established procedure for representing the White House with a foreign leader and had launched a secret back channel of communication with Ukraine. The shadowy moves were so potentially combustible that Bolton in private meetings earlier this year called Giuliani "a hand grenade who is going to blow everybody up."

Just over a month after Hurricane Dorian slammed into the northern Bahamas, parts of the island nation are still in ruins, thousands of people remain displaced and rebuilding has only just begun.

"We are moving as quickly as we can to get up and running," says Michael Jones. "But when that will be is anyone's guess."

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Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit


Updated at 8:11 p.m. ET

The interim chief of the Fort Worth Police Department apologized on Tuesday to the family of Atatiana Jefferson in the aftermath of her fatal shooting by a police officer while she was in her home.

"This incident has eroded the trust that we have built with our community and we must now work even harder to ensure that trust is restored," said Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus.

When I was a teenager, I had an argument with a close friend about Bill Bryson.

Both of us were competitive debaters, which meant we actively sought out sweeping, magisterial works like A Short History of Nearly Everything — something from which we could glean as much as possible from as little as possible. It's easy to imagine precocious teenagers reading Bryson's new book, The Body: A Guide for Occupants, in much the same spirit.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has criticized a tweet sent by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey in support of Hong Kong protesters, saying of Morey, "I believe he wasn't educated on the situation at hand."

James has just returned from the NBA's tense trip to China, where teams played exhibition games but many player appearances were canceled owing to the controversy over Morey's statement, which was deleted shortly after it was posted.

The heart attack that pulled 78-year-old Sen. Bernie Sanders off the campaign trail earlier this month also renewed debate over the appropriate age for a president in a race where all the front-runners, including the incumbent, are in their 70s.

Now 73, President Trump was the oldest president to take office. Both Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, would topple that record if they won. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who turned 70 over the summer, comes in as the youngest of the candidates topping the polls.

A quarter of the nation’s homeless people live in the state of California.

Reports over the years have described the impact of the homelessness crisis in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco. But smaller cities and towns are also experiencing an uptick — including Bakersfield, California.

According to Megan Person, director of countywide communication for Kern County, 46% of people living in the area are one paycheck away from catastrophe.

Ronan Farrow's 2017 exposé of the sexual misconduct allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein in The New Yorker earned him a Pulitzer Prize and helped usher in the #MeToo movement. Now, in his new book, Catch and Kill, Farrow writes about the extreme tactics Weinstein allegedly used in an attempt to keep him from reporting the story.

A British couple and their 3-month-old son are being detained in a federal immigration facility in Pennsylvania after they say they accidentally strayed across the U.S.-Canada border.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents arrested the family for unlawfully entering the country while on vacation in British Columbia. The family said that while driving, they swerved down an unmarked road to avoid an animal.

Twelve Democratic candidates are set to debate on Tuesday night in Westerville, Ohio. Much has happened since the last debate.

The House of Representatives began an impeachment inquiry. Elizabeth Warren caught up with Joe Biden in many polls as the Ukraine controversy ensnared him and his son Hunter Biden. Bernie Sanders cut back on campaigning after suffering a heart attack two weeks ago.

For roughly 36 hours, players who logged into Fortnite, the wildly popular online battle royal video game, were greeted by a black hole that shut down the game itself. But on Tuesday morning, it returned as Fortnite Chapter 2, giving its fans a new map and tweaking how they play the game.

In an interview with ABC News that aired Tuesday morning, Hunter Biden said his involvement in the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma was, in retrospect, "poor judgment on my part," although he said he did "nothing wrong at all." Biden asked, "was it poor judgment to be in the middle of something that is ... a swamp in many ways? Yeah."

Biden also reiterated that he will not work for any foreign companies should his father become president.