National & International News

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Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor says she has been diagnosed with "the beginning stages of dementia, probably Alzheimer's disease," in an open letter that was released Tuesday.

O'Connor, 88, is the first female justice to serve on the high court, and she has remained active after retiring in 2006. She left the court to care for her husband, John, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Now, O'Connor says, the disease is forcing her to withdraw from public life.

Mass movements are rarely set into motion by the work of just one or two individuals.

Instead, they generally rely on the skills and efforts of many. While one or two faces often serve as the group's mouthpiece — faces at which both admiration and condemnation are directed — behind them are many more who are equally responsible for inciting and sustaining the cause.

Updated at 9:45 a.m. ET

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was "brutally murdered" as part of a meticulous operation by a team of Saudis, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday, rejecting Saudi Arabia's claim that the death was accidental. Erdogan called for Saudi Arabia to share facts about the case and said the suspects should be tried in Turkey.

The Museum of the Bible said Monday that five of its 16 famous Dead Sea Scrolls fragments are fake.

A team of German experts analyzed the privately funded Washington, D.C., museum's fragments and found they had "characteristics inconsistent with ancient origin." The fragments will no longer be displayed at the museum.

Another Storm Victim — Pecan Groves In Southwest Georgia

6 hours ago

Tucked away in a corner of the Pine Knoll Pecan Grove, near the town of Pretoria, Ga., is one of those things that Mitch Bulger says made the decades he spent living and working here worth it — a bubbling spring-fed pool.

"I promise you," he told me. "Stick your finger in that. It's the coldest water."

Over the past couple of decades, booming cities have forced people to move to smaller cities nearby. Think San Francisco and Oakland, Calif., or New York and Hoboken, N.J. That kind of boom is happening now in Boston. An hour away, New England's second-largest city, Worcester, is booming.

"Properties are hot commercially, properties are hot residentially ... everyone just wants a piece of Worcester right now. It's crazy," said Kate McEvoy, a vice president for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and fifth-generation Worcesterite.

It's a chilly autumn afternoon but inside a little Brooklyn bakery, it's hot. School just let out, and the store is filled with kids eyeing baked goodies. Their banter mixes with Caribbean music playing in the background.

La Gran Via Bakery is an institution in this neighborhood. It's been around since 1978 — three generations of pastry chefs making cakes, cupcakes and traditional Latin American pastries.

More than 300 people recently packed into a college auditorium in the middle of a weekday to see Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Democrat is running for governor and, if elected, would be the first in the party to win the seat in the state in 20 years. He'd also be the first African-American governor in Florida's history.

He's facing former Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis in a contest that has been marked by heated attacks, the influence of President Trump and a hurricane.

State Rep. Christy Perry pledged her full support for President Trump while standing next to her SUV, which has "NRA" on the license plate and is parked outside a Boise, Idaho, gun shop she co-owns.

"He's doing a good job," said Perry, a four-term Republican member of the Idaho Legislature who has voted for a litany of conservative causes, including weakening labor unions, restricting abortion and boosting charter schools.

With those credentials, Perry hopes for another big win on Election Day — one that puts her at odds with Trump and GOP orthodoxy.

President Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, is in Moscow for a second day Tuesday, to discuss the U.S. intent to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The end of the 31-year old treaty is a sign that world powers may be returning to an arms race mentality.

But it's not the only one.

The Justice Department has revealed more than ever about the inner workings of Russia's disinformation war against the United States and the West — including how it continues to this day.

A criminal complaint unsealed Friday in the Eastern District of Virginia served both to level charges at a woman accused of serving as the money boss for the operation and to document, in ample detail, how it works.

An explosive device was found at the Westchester County, New York, home of billionaire philanthropist George Soros on Monday afternoon.

In a statement to NPR, the Bedford Police Department said an employee of the house found a suspicious package in the mailbox. They opened it, revealing what "appeared to be an explosive device." The employee placed the package in a nearby wooded area and alerted authorities.

Updated 9:15 a.m. ET

Hurricane Willa, which has weakened after briefly ramping up to a Category 5 storm, remains "extremely dangerous" and is poised to bring "life-threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall" to Mexico's Pacific Coast on Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Updated 11 a.m. ET Tuesday

The Supreme Court has temporarily shielded Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from having to sit for questioning under oath in the lawsuits over a controversial citizenship question the Trump administration added to the 2020 census.

They've come a long way since "Lyin' Ted."

There they stood on stage before tens of thousands, President Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, embracing each other, hands on shoulders, pats on the back, here at the Toyota Center in Houston.

"In just 15 days, the people of Texas are going to re-elect a man who has become a really good friend of mine," Trump said of Cruz after their extended embrace.

A new portrait that is vaguely reminiscent of something painted by an old master is headed to Christie's New York auction block later this week, making it the first computer-generated artwork up for sale at a prestigious art house.

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton arrived in Moscow this weekend to a murmur of dampened outrage over President Trump's announcement to leave the 1987 arms control treaty that marked the end of the Cold War.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader who signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with then-President Ronald Reagan, called the decision a "mistake" that didn't originate from a great mind.

Microplastics have been found in human stool samples from countries in many parts of the world, according to a small pilot study being presented this week at the 26th annual United European Gastroenterology conference in Vienna, Austria.

Hold on to your hats: A sea cucumber that looks like a headless chicken has been caught on video in the deep seas near East Antarctica.

It's a surprising location for the species, Enypniastes eximia, to turn up. The last place it was filmed was thousands of miles away in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

A new bridge in southern China will shave more than two hours off the trip from Hong Kong to Zhuhai on the mainland. The result of nearly nine years of construction, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge project even includes a tunnel in its 34 miles across the Pearl River Delta.

The U.S. military command in Afghanistan has acknowledged that an American general was wounded during a deadly insider attack in the southern city of Kandahar last week. Initially, the command described him only as an "American service member."

On Thursday, Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Smiley was in a meeting at the Kandahar governor's compound with senior American and Afghan officials. Just before the meeting broke up, an Afghan guard suddenly turned his weapon on those present.

Updated at 5:15 pm ET

A memo that has reportedly been circulating at the Department of Health and Human Services aims to narrow the federal government's definition of "sex" under Title IX — a change that could leave transgender people without a number of the legal protections that have become standard in recent years.

The memo reported on by The New York Times has not been released publicly. NPR has not seen it, and HHS says it does not comment on "alleged leaked documents."

"Society, have mercy on me / I hope you're not angry if I disagree," go the closing lines of "Society" — a three-chord folk song written by Jerry Hannan. Last week, amidst a contentious midterm election season, two aspiring politicians in Vermont performed the song as an elegant aisle-crossing and a rare cross-party collaboration.

Updated at 2:59 p.m. ET

As a vast train of migrants treks across Mexico, fleeing violence and poverty for the fate that awaits them at the U.S. border, President Trump is vowing that there will be repercussions for the countries that have allowed their passage.

Updated at 9:13 p.m. ET.

Newly released surveillance footage shows a man apparently wearing the same clothes Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was wearing the day he disappeared after entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul. A Turkish ruling party official called the footage evidence of a Saudi cover-up, while another official described the man seen in the video as a "body double."

Joachim Roenneberg, who led a small team that sabotaged the Nazis' nuclear hopes during World War II, has died at the age of 99. Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced Roenneberg's death on Sunday, calling him a hero.

Powerful drugs that have been used for decades to treat delirium are ineffective for that purpose, according to a study published online Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Antipsychotic medications, such as haloperidol (brand name, Haldol), are widely used in intensive care units, emergency rooms, hospital wards and nursing homes.

Technology continues to get closer and closer to our bodies, from the phones in our pockets to the smartwatches on our wrists. Now, for some people, it's getting under their skin.

In Sweden, a country rich with technological advancement, thousands have had microchips inserted into their hands.

The chips are designed to speed up users' daily routines and make their lives more convenient — accessing their homes, offices and gyms is as easy as swiping their hands against digital readers.

To explain why he grows coca, the raw material for cocaine, rather than food crops on his 5-acre farm in southern Colombia, Luis Tapia does the math.

Every three months, Tapia, 60, harvests the bright green coca leaves with his bare hands, then mixes them with gasoline, sulfuric acid and other chemicals to make coca paste. He then sells the paste to drug traffickers who turn it into powder cocaine. A pound of paste, he says, sells for more than one ton of corn.

"That's why everyone grows coca," Tapia says.

Ryan "China" McCarney has played sports his entire life, but sometimes he has to force himself to show up on the field to play pick-up soccer with his friends.

"I'm dreading and I'm anticipating the worst. But I do it anyway. And then, it's a euphoric sensation when you're done with it because you end up having a great time," says McCarney.

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