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For one Pakistani mother, sunburn signals her desperation to find her son.

Zarjan Atta rode rickshaws and buses for four days on desert roads, deepening and reddening her brown skin, as she traveled from her village to Karachi, Pakistan's southern port mega-city.

That's where her son Nawaz, 23, was living with relatives and studying at Karachi University. Her relatives say armed men dragged him from their flat on Oct. 28. They were in civilian clothes.

They pushed the women and children into a room. They warned: If you speak, you'll be next.

This post was updated Dec. 14 at 9:30 a.m. to note that Maryland extended enrollment until Dec. 22.

Gene Kern, 63, retired early from Fujifilm, where he sold professional videotape. "When the product became obsolete, so did I," he says, "and that's why I retired."

The New Year will bring a new test for President Trump and the United States' relationship with Russia.

Five years ago, President Obama signed a bill imposing sanctions on a group of powerful people there charged with involvement in the death of a Russian lawyer who uncovered a $230 million tax fraud scheme — and then died in government custody. The sanctions infuriated Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A Father's Pregnancy Photo Shoot

Dec 14, 2017

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Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. An expectant father came up with a perfect gift for the mom. Nick Roberts surprised his girlfriend, Brianna, with a pregnancy photo shoot.

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This is where the mom bares her belly and kind of shows off the bump?

A Hippo For Christmas, At Last

Dec 14, 2017

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Good morning. I'm David Greene.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I WANT A HIPPOPOTAMUS FOR CHRISTMAS")

GAYLA PEEVEY: (Singing) I want a hippopotamus for Christmas.

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In Tanzania today, a solemn ceremony.

(SOUNDBITE OF BAND PLAYING)

It seems like a lot of Americans are interested in the net-neutrality debate. Some 22 million public comments have been filed with the Federal Communications Commission on the issue of whether all web traffic should be treated equally.

There's new — and shocking — evidence about the toll that health care costs are taking on the world's most vulnerable.

Morgan Spurlock, the filmmaker best known for his 2004 documentary Super Size Me, acknowledged on Wednesday examples of sexual misconduct in his past in an online confessional titled "I am Part of the Problem."

Amid a flurry of accusations of sexual harassment and abuse that have taken down numerous high-profile men in recent months, Spurlock linked from his Twitter account to a nearly 1,000-word post, admitting: "I don't sit by and wonder 'who will be next?' I wonder, 'when will they come for me?'"

A Kentucky state lawmaker has apparently killed himself after facing several allegations in reports by the investigative arm of Louisville Public Media — the most serious of which was the alleged sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl in the basement of the church where he served as pastor.

For the third straight year, Kansans can expect a higher than average danger for wildland fire. 

When Sen.-elect Doug Jones, D-Ala., addressed his cheering supporters Tuesday night in Birmingham, Ala., one of his first shout-outs went to his African-American supporters. As well it should have.

The popular crowdfunding service Patreon has backed off plans to change its payment structure, after widespread, vocal and passionate opposition from creators and their fans.

Last week, the site announced it would attach a surcharge to every individual donation pledge — a change that would negatively impact anyone trying to send small quantities of money to multiple artists they support. Many users immediately pulled their support from the platform.

On Wednesday, the site reversed course, apologized to members who have already lost money, and issued a mea culpa.

A class-action lawsuit against the City of New York has spurred the first suit of its kind that promises cash compensation to those who say they were illegally put in solitary confinement while at Rikers Island jail complex between 2012 and 2015. As the Associated Press reports, the city will pay more than $4 million to 470 plaintiffs in the case.

Wildfires in December are the new norm for California.

In the West, they are burning hotter and more intensely than ever due to climate change, and the situation is made worse by the explosion of development in fire prone areas and past firefighting decisions. Here are three reasons the fires are massive and likely won't abate anytime soon.

1. It's nearly impossible to put out a modern mega-fire

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As we've just heard, we've heard some of what President Trump had to say about this deal. Later in the day in a speech, Trump made another pitch for it, urging Americans to call on Congress to help push the measure over the finish line.

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I grew up in San Luis Obispo, a small town about 20 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean in central California. I was raised primarily by my grandmother, Anna Herrera. She was a very affectionate woman who liked to tell jokes and stories and take walks along the river behind her small house.

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The Federal Reserve has announced it will raise interest rates a quarter percentage point, the latest sign of the growing strength of the U.S. economy. It’s the third rate increase this year.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson finds out more from Diane Swonk (@DianeSwonk) of DS Economics.

The retail economy in rural America has been rough for decades. But where thousands of stores have closed in recent years, Dollar General is thriving, sometimes at the expense of local shops. Dollar Generals are discount stores that sell goods from hand tools to hot dogs. They're reshaping the retail landscape in small towns. And making lots of friends — and enemies — in the process.

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Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

For the third time this year and the fifth time since the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve has increased interest rates another quarter of a point.

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