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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. You may place a phone call to France, even if you don't know anybody there. France copied a service first launched by Sweden. You pick up the phone, and you're connected with a French volunteer, as promised in this ad.

Two years ago, PawHser Moo's mother started pushing her and her sisters to join a group called Growing Colorado Kids. As Moo recalls, at first, she was far from thrilled by the idea.

"I was like, 'Oh my gosh, no! I have to wake up early!' " says Moo — a pretty typical reaction for a 14 year old. Wake up early on Saturdays just to catch a van up to rural Adams County, about a half-hour drive from Denver, only to spend hours outside gardening? It was hardly her first choice for her weekends.

Simon Schama calls portraiture "the least free of painterly genres." He writes: "No rose will complain of excessive petal-droop in a still life; no cheese will take you to task over inaccurate veining. ... But portraiture is answerable as no other specialty to something lying beyond the artist's creativity. That something is the sitter paying the bill."

Simon Schama calls portraiture "the least free of painterly genres." He writes: "No rose will complain of excessive petal-droop in a still life; no cheese will take you to task over inaccurate veining. ... But portraiture is answerable as no other specialty to something lying beyond the artist's creativity. That something is the sitter paying the bill."

Married couple Rennie and Brett Sparks have been making songs together as The Handsome Family for 21 years. In 2014, they gained much wider fame when their haunting song, "Far From Any Road," became the theme for the first season of HBO's True Detective. The duo's dark, surreal lyrics come from Rennie, and the music, which draws from country music and church hymns, is written by Brett. Their latest album, Unseen, is based on their experiences living in the Southwest.

Married couple Rennie and Brett Sparks have been making songs together as The Handsome Family for 21 years. In 2014, they gained much wider fame when their haunting song, "Far From Any Road," became the theme for the first season of HBO's True Detective. The duo's dark, surreal lyrics come from Rennie, and the music, which draws from country music and church hymns, is written by Brett. Their latest album, Unseen, is based on their experiences living in the Southwest.

In September of last year, Donald Trump released his first tax plan, but now he has made another go of it. Over the last couple of months, he has released an overhaul that changes rates and includes newly announced child care deductions. The revised plan would still cost the government trillions in revenues, according to a new analysis, though not as much as his last plan.

North Carolina's governor has dropped a lawsuit asking a federal court to preserve the state's HB2 law limiting civil rights protections for LGBT people and regulating who uses which public bathrooms.

In court documents Friday, Gov. Pat McCrory cited "substantial costs to the State" as one reason for dropping his lawsuit against the federal government, writing that it did not serve the "interests of judicial economy and efficiency."

The story is as tragic as it is horrifying.

An impoverished young mother from China's Gansu province killed her four young children and herself. Her husband later killed himself as well. The murder-suicide case has gone viral on Chinese social media, as commenters wonder if the family's poverty contributed to the turn of events.

On August 26, neighbors say Yang Gailan fed her four children, all under the age of seven, and took them with her to tend to the sheep. They never came back.

As further proof that this presidential campaign is everywhere, Sunday night's Emmys stage featured several nods to the candidates as well as the current political climate. Here are some highlights:

1. Julia Louis-Dreyfus' wall

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

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET with charges

The suspect in the New York and New Jersey bombs has been charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer. Prosecutors in Union County, N.J., say Ahmad Khan Rahami has also been charged with two weapons crimes. His bail has been set at $5.2 million.

Our original post:

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

Russia's parliamentary elections brought a landslide win for President Vladimir Putin's United Russia and its allies, in a vote that gives Putin a free hand in the country he first led in 2000. At least one incident of ballot-stuffing was caught on camera; officials say results from that station won't be counted.

This Week In Politics

Sep 19, 2016
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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Oh, middle school. The land of pantsing. Mean girls who won't let you sit with them in the cafeteria. And, these days, cryptic taunts posted on social media, where parents and teachers can't always see them.

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

Much of the anger and anxiety in the 2016 election are fueled by the sense that economic opportunity is slipping away for many Americans. This week, as part of NPR's collaborative project with member stations, A Nation Engaged, we're asking the question: What can be done to create economic opportunity for more Americans?

Violent crime is likely to rise slightly this year in the nation's 30 largest cities, and murders will increase too, mostly because of problems in one place--Chicago — according to a new, preliminary analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice.

The center, a nonpartisan group that monitors developments in law and justice, said only Chicago has endured a year-over-year rise in both violent crime and homicides in 2015 and 2016. Overall, analysts said, violent crime remains near record lows.

Bill Clinton says that out of the hundreds of thousands of donors to the Clinton Foundation over the past 18 years, there must have been some people who gave to the foundation to gain influence with him and his wife.

But the former president told NPR that doesn't mean any donors received anything improperly.

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It was the night of the small-screen giants. And none stood taller at the 2016 Emmys than the HBO juggernauts Game of Thrones and Veep, which won for best drama and comedy series, respectively. The People v. O.J. Simpson also won the Emmy for outstanding limited series.

Game of Thrones and VEEP may have pulled off repeat wins at Sunday's Emmy Awards, but there was also plenty of room for fresh faces in the winner's circle.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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I was in New York for the weekend, visiting a friend who lives on West 27th Street. We'd been in at an event in Brooklyn; in the cab home, the radio had been saying something about an explosion in Chelsea, on 23rd Street between 6th and 7th — four blocks from her home.

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