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The fire that has been raging for 10 days in southern California – one of the largest and most destructive in the state's history — is being gradually contained, firefighters say, but there's still a long way to go.

A court in India has sentenced six people to death for the brutal killing of a man belonging the country's Dalit caste, formerly known as "untouchables," after he married a woman of a higher caste. The bride's father was among those convicted for his role in masterminding the attack.

The case stems from a March 2016 attack on 22-year-old Sankar, who was hacked to death by a gang of knife-wielding men outside a shopping mall in Udumalpet, a rural town in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu. His wife, Kausalya, was severely wounded in the assault but survived.

If you're a noted chef and invited to a holiday party, it's kind of assumed that you'll bring something homemade along. At least that's how it usually goes for Yotam Ottolenghi, who admits his success can sometimes intimidate hosts.

But you don't have to be a world-class chef to make showstopping desserts this holiday season: We asked him to suggest recipes that home cooks of all skill levels can tackle.

When a pregnant woman finds out that she's likely to give birth to a baby with Down syndrome, she's often given the option to terminate the pregnancy. But families affected by the genetic disorder, which causes developmental delays, are conflicted over whether such abortions should be legal.

In deep-red Texas, Republicans will have to fight for every seat in Congress during next year's midterm elections. For the first time in 25 years, Democrats are running in all of Texas' 36 congressional districts, according to documents filed with the Texas Secretary of State's office.

Those filings set a record for the number of Democratic challengers in an era of Republican dominance, says Mark Jones, political science fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute. It is a departure from 2016, he says, when eight Republican-held congressional seats went uncontested by Democrats.

When Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein faces questions Wednesday on Capitol Hill about the investigation into Russia's election interference, he is certain to be asked about unflattering text messages exchanged by FBI agents about then-candidate Donald Trump.

In the text messages, seen by NPR's Carrie Johnson, between agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, Trump is referred to several times as an "idiot."

Thousands of firefighters working on little sleep have started to make more progress in their effort to contain the remaining fires in Southern California. The Thomas Fire, the fifth-largest in modern California history, is now 20 percent contained, up slightly from Monday. But the threat remains.

It may be hard to imagine a composer being inspired by public hearings and court cases. But Lake Erie and its problems take center stage in a new oratorio from Cleveland composer Margaret Brouwer.

Elizabeth Miller (@llmiller12) of Great Lakes Today has more on the piece and its recent premiere.

Resident chef Kathy Gunst shares her culinary ideas to celebrate Hanukkah with Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson and Robin Young.


John’s Traditional Potato Latkes

The starchier the potato you use, the crisper the latke will be. Use a good high-starch potato, like Yukon Gold. Get the oil nice and hot — but not burning — and the pancakes will be golden brown on the outside with relatively little grease.

It's time to find out what, if anything, our "mysterious interloper" has to say.

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San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee Dies At 65

Dec 12, 2017

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San Francisco lost its mayor early this morning. Ed Lee died after suffering a heart attack last night. He first took office in 2011 as acting mayor, succeeding Gavin Newsom. Here is Lee at that swearing-in ceremony.

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Iraq is celebrating the defeat of ISIS. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi over the weekend declared December 10 the country's newest national holiday. He presided over a huge military parade in Baghdad with troops and tanks.

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Many older adults want to stay in their own homes as long as they can, and often they need some help to make that possible. Not everyone has family to count on. So for tens of thousands of older Americans, the solution has been something called the village.

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All this week we are talking to our friends here at NPR about their favorite things from 2017. And we're nerding out here. These are not, like, simple best-of lists.

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Last week, another human foot washed ashore near Sooke, Canada, on Vancouver Island — the 13th foot found in British Columbia in the last decade.

Human feet have also had a tendency to wash ashore in Washington state.

The most recent foot (with lower leg bones tibia and fibula attached) was encountered by a man walking his dogs in the town of Jordan River, the CBC reports.

The latest viral video to capture young Africans' social media pages has a striking lack of epic fails or baby animals. It's literally just Ghana's president Nana Akufo-Addo in a joint press conference in Accra with French president Emmanuel Macron, who was making the last stop of his first Africa tour on November 30.

Editor's Note: This story was originally published in September and has been republished with updates about the U.N. investigation of extreme poverty in Alabama and other U.S. locations.

The United Nations is investigating extreme poverty in the U.S.

When the cargo ship El Faro set out from port in Jacksonville, Fla., en route to Puerto Rico, there was little indication of trouble. A gathering weather system named Joaquin was still just a tropical storm. But within days, Joaquin had swelled into a major hurricane — and a broken El Faro lay almost three miles below the surface of the sea, along with all 33 members of its crew.

In Westfield, N.Y., perch, bass, catfish and trout are growing fat on the byproducts of an adjacent brewery and distillery. The fish, still young but intended to be harvested and eaten next year, are the first fruits of an innovative project aimed at turning waste into food while addressing a suite of problems associated with more conventional means of catching and farming seafood.

France's education chief says that when students go back to school next fall, all mobile phone use will be banned in schools for students roughly 15 and younger.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in southern New York has filed federal terrorism charges against Akayed Ullah, the 27-year-old man who police say attempted to carry out a suicide bombing in a pedestrian tunnel near the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan on Monday.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said Ullah "came to kill, to maim, and to destroy" as thousands of New Yorkers were using the transit system to get to work and go about their lives. Ullah acted "in support of a vicious cause," Kim said.

As a cattle herder in Benue, a rural state in central Nigeria, Sale Tambaya's life revolved around his herd of roughly 100 cows and a few dozen sheep. Normally, he would take them out from a pen near his thatched hut every morning to graze freely in the surrounding grassland. But on Nov. 1, taking grazing animals in the open was designated a criminal activity in Benue. Overnight, his family's livelihood had become a threat to their safety.

So at 6 a.m., he made his decision: The only way to keep both family and herd safe was to flee.

Updated at 5:22 p.m. ET Dec. 14

How do Native Americans experience discrimination in daily life?

The Arctic is a huge, icy cap on the planet that acts like a global air conditioner. But the air conditioner is breaking down, according to scientists who issued a grim "report card" on the Arctic on Tuesday.

They say the North Pole continues to warm at an alarming pace — twice the rate as the rest of the planet, on average. This year was the Arctic's second-warmest in at least 1,500 years, after 2016.

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