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When U.S. troops were ambushed in Niger on Oct. 4, the widespread reaction was surprise. The U.S. has military forces in Niger? What are they doing there?

Yet in many ways, the Niger operation typifies U.S. military missions underway in roughly 20 African countries, mostly in the northern third of the continent. They tend to be small, they are carried out largely below the radar, and most are focused on a specific aim: rolling back Islamist extremism.

If all goes well, people on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands could have power restored next week for the first time since a pair of devastating Category 5 hurricanes struck in September, the local electric utility says.

"Portions of St. John are scheduled to be restored by the middle of next week," says Jean P. Greaux, Jr., communications director for Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority.

Urinary tract infections cause painful urination and are unfortunately widespread. Scientists estimate that somewhere between 40 percent to more than 50 percent of women will get a UTI in their lifetime, and one in four will get a repeat infection. Left untreated, they can lead to kidney problems.

Nearly a month after Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico, almost 80 percent of the territory is still without power. While nobody expected a quick restoration of Puerto Rico's badly outdated power grid, officials have estimated that it could take at least six months.

Barry Blitt drew his first New Yorker cover back in 1992. Ever since, he has been skewering politicians of all stripes. In 2008, he drew Barack and Michelle Obama fist-bumping in the Oval Office, and in 2016, he drew Donald Trump in a tiara and a women's bathing suit.

"I have a sketchbook open and I'm just trying to make myself laugh," Blitt says.

His new book, simply titled Blitt, features some of the cartoonist's most memorable and merciless work.

Having police officers wear little cameras seems to have no discernible impact on citizen complaints or officers' use of force, at least in the nation's capital.

That's the conclusion of a study performed as Washington, D.C., rolled out its huge camera program. The city has one of the largest forces in the country, with some 2,600 officers now wearing cameras on their collars or shirts.

U.S. District Judge Susan Ritchie Bolton says that President Trump's pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio does not "revise the historical facts" of his case — and that she will not vacate her ruling that found Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt.

Japanese voters have just days left to decide who they will support in a snap general election set for Sunday.

Japanese politics are usually tame. But this time around, the charismatic governor of Tokyo is adding unexpected elements to the race.

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In a four-day nationwide operation aimed at sex trafficking, the Federal Bureau of Investigations says it had rescued 84 minors, and arrested 120 people.

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Editor's note: The archived video of the polio panel discussion will be posted next week.

The world is incredibly close to wiping out polio. This year the number of polio cases has shrunk to fewer than a dozen. And those cases are in just two countries- Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"I'll be famous one day, but for now I'm stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons." That's harsh language from the downtrodden sixth-grade narrator of Diary of A Wimpy Kid, a blockbuster series of graphic novels.

But it speaks to a broader truth.

State legislative races don't usually draw a lot of national attention – but Virginia's House District 13 race is: it pits a Republican incumbent known for unsuccessfully sponsoring a so-called "bathroom bill" against a transgender woman.

Rose Crumb can't even count the number of people she's helped die.

The former nurse, 91, who retired in her mid-80s, considers the question and then shakes her head, her blue eyes sharp above oval spectacles.

"Oh, hundreds," estimates Crumb, the woman who almost single-handedly brought hospice care to the remote Pacific Northwest city of Port Angeles, Wash., nearly 40 years ago.

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"Only The Brave" opens today. It dramatizes the story of elite firefighters, the Granite Mountain Hotshots. They were killed in an Arizona fire.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "ONLY THE BRAVE")

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Some jobs are just not a good fit. That seems to have been the case for a certain canine trainee named Lulu at the Central Intelligence Agency.

The black Labrador was in an intensive course of study to learn how to sniff out bombs. But Lulu just wasn't that interested.

"[It's] imperative that the dogs enjoy the job they're doing," the CIA writes in a news release on Wednesday announcing Lulu's reassignment to her handler's living room.

The CIA on Thursday was forced to walk back an assertion by Director Mike Pompeo, who incorrectly said U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian efforts to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election were unsuccessful.

Asked at a security conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday whether he could say with absolute certainty that the November vote was not skewed by Russia, Pompeo replied: "Yes. Intelligence community's assessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election."

Senate Republicans passed a $4 trillion budget blueprint late Thursday by a narrow 51-49 vote, with Kentucky's Sen. Rand Paul joining Democrats in opposing the measure considered a key step in forward on President Trump's promises of a tax overhaul.

The White House praised the bill, saying it "creates a pathway to unleash the potential of the American economy through tax reform and tax cuts."

The four teenagers running to be the next governor of Kansas were tested Thursday at a forum organized by their peers at Lawrence Free State High School.

Six children were recovered, and one suspect was arrested in Kansas during a nationwide sex trafficking sting that took place earlier this month.

USDA Won't Implement Tougher Meatpacker Rules

Oct 19, 2017

The U.S. Department of Agriculture won’t go forward with rules meant to make it easier for small livestock producers to report possible unfair treatment.

The agency’s decision on the proposal, which came at the tail end of the Obama administration, was announced Tuesday and met with mixed response.

Another toddler has reportedly been crushed to death by an unsecured Ikea dresser, after the furniture giant recalled millions of chests and dressers over the risk of deadly tip-over accidents.

Jozef Dudek, 2, died in May, according to lawyers for his family, when he was crushed by an Ikea Malm dresser in his parents' room after he was put down for a nap.

Exposure to polluted air, water and soil caused nine million premature deaths in 2015, according to a report published Thursday in The Lancet.

The causes of death vary — cancer, lung disease, heart disease. The report links them to pollution, drawing upon previous studies that show how pollution is tied to a wider range of diseases than previously thought.

This winter is going to be a warm one for the majority of the United States, according to forecasters at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.

They say that the La Niña weather pattern is likely to develop. That means "greater-than-average snowfall around the Great Lakes and in the northern Rockies, with less-than-average snowfall throughout the Mid-Atlantic region," Mike Halpert of the Climate Prediction Center said in a forecast Thursday.

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