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Murders are on the rise in the United States.

The national murder rate jumped dramatically in 2015, and early indications are that it rose again in 2016, though official numbers aren't available yet.

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Amid deep strains in the U.S. relationship with Mexico, a country that's been a favorite target of President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security chief John Kelly took part in talks in Mexico City Thursday that were aimed at smoothing out tensions.

"That's going to be a tough trip," the president said Thursday morning at the White House. Some of the key issues between the two countries: immigration, border security, trade and U.S. aid to Mexico.

Lawyers for a 17-year-old transgender student and the Gloucester, Va., school board that wants to limit which bathroom he can use don't agree on much.

But both sides have concluded the Trump administration's decision this week to revoke guidance that protects transgender students' ability to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity only heightens the need for a hearing before the nation's highest court.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has struck down a local law that protected people in the city of Fayetteville from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Arkansas is one of a handful of states where it is illegal for local governments to pass anti-discrimination laws that cover classes of people not already protected under state law.

President Trump's education secretary, Betsy DeVos, struck a defiant tone in brief remarks before conservative activists at a political conference outside Washington, D.C., on Thursday. But she held back on the administration's rescinding of Obama administration guidance to schools on transgender rights.

Never underestimate a tiger, no matter how fat.

It's an enduring truth we'd all do well to remember — and one that attendants at a tiger enclosure at the Siberian Tiger Park in China's Heilongjiang province have learned all over again.

On Wednesday, the Trump administration made big news regarding the rights of transgender students. But what exactly changed?

There are reports Thursday of heavy fighting between Iraqi forces and ISIS, which still controls the western section of Mosul. The fight has centered around the city’s airport.

What Makes An Effective Protest Movement?

3 hours ago

President Trump’s policies on immigration, refugees and more have prompted millions of people to take to the streets. Many of them are first-time protesters.

More than 50 years after it was incorporated as a town, Centerville, N.C., is on its way to dissolving its charter, as the town is unwilling to impose a property tax and unable to offer services beyond streetlights.

Its leaders say the rural town, which comprises less than 200 acres and has fewer than 100 residents, is struggling to pay its bills and has run out of options.

Top White House advisers Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference to make the case that despite seeming like a political odd couple, the two represent the successful marriage of disparate wings of the Republican Party, united under President Trump.

The headlines are everywhere today: Americans trust the news media more than they do President Trump.

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows that 52 percent of registered voters said they trust the news media more than Trump to tell them "the truth about important issues." Only 37 percent say they choose Trump.

When winter freezes Lake of the Woods in northern Minnesota, the landscape becomes dotted with sturdy wooden or metal shacks and canvas shelters. Inside them, people are ice fishing.

The sport attracts people to the frigid winter lakes in Canada and the northern United States. Some take it seriously enough to partake in official competitions. But for most people, it is a way to enjoy time with family, friends and perhaps a bottle of schnapps, and ultimately a delicious fish dinner from the day's efforts.

To Test Zika Vaccines, Scientists Need A New Outbreak

5 hours ago

Researchers are eager to test promising vaccines against Zika, the virus that sparked a global health emergency last year.

But uncertainty over whether the Zika epidemic will continue affects researchers' ability to finish testing vaccines. They need locations with an active viral outbreak to conduct large-scale human trials and make sure the vaccine actually protects against disease.

Last November, helium balloons with pictures of the bridal family floated over Bangalore Palace in southern India, welcoming some 50,000 guests to a $75 million wedding.

Kansas was out in front of just about every other state in 2013 when it fully privatized its Medicaid program and renamed it KanCare.

The switch to managed care was one of the first big policy changes made by Gov. Sam Brownback, who promised it would both improve health care and lower costs.

KanCare was immediately controversial.

Supporters of expanding Medicaid eligibility to more low-income Kansans succeeded Wednesday in a last-gasp effort to advance a measure, overpowering opponents who thought they had blocked it earlier in the week.

What's in a name? A lot, according to a new study from researchers at Ryerson University and the University of Toronto, both in Canada.

Days after expanding the fight for of Mosul, Iraq's security forces are pushing further into the strategic city's western portion, focusing on its airport. Thousands of ISIS fighters are believed to be in Mosul, the extremist group's biggest stronghold in Iraq.

From Erbil, Iraq, NPR's Alice Fordham reports for our Newscast unit:

With a nudge of a robotic arm, astronauts aboard the International Space Station captured a space capsule carrying 5,500 pounds of cargo early Thursday.

"Capture confirmed," NASA TV's announcer stated at 5:44 a.m. ET. The capture took place as the space station and the SpaceX capsule flew in orbit 250 miles over Australia's northwest coast.

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Good morning. I'm David Greene. Remember this woman?

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UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Where's the beef?

For nearly a century, people have reported mysterious epidemics of permanent paralysis in rural regions of Africa. In 1990, Hans Rosling a Swedish epidemiologist and pop-star statistician, who died of pancreatic cancer earlier this month, linked the malady to cyanide in the staple crop, cassava.

Will the election of Donald Trump, who once boasted of grabbing women by the genitalia and has a history of sexist remarks, create a wave of female candidates at all levels of government in the coming years?

Early signs from the groups that work with women considering a bid for office suggest a level of intense interest not seen in at least a quarter century.

Kate Noble had never considered getting involved in politics until she woke up the day after Trump's surprise victory over Hillary Clinton.

President Trump wants to hire 5,000 more Border Patrol agents and 10,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to enforce his executive orders on immigration.

It wont be easy.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was blunt when asked by a member of Congress about it. He said he will add to the ranks "as fast as we can."

But he quickly added, "we will not lower standards and we will not lower training." Kelly then said he didn't believe "we're going to get 10,000 and 5,000 on board within the next couple of years."

Sen. John McCain made an unannounced trip to northern Syria last week to meet with U.S. forces stationed there, his office announced on Wednesday.

McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, went to discuss the campaign for defeating militants from the Islamic State.

"Sen. McCain's visit was a valuable opportunity to assess dynamic conditions on the ground in Syria and Iraq," according to a statement from spokeswoman Julie Tarallo.

The trip, which is considered official travel, was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

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