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Updated at 11:50 p.m. EDT

Mei Xiang, the female giant panda at the Washington National Zoo, gave birth to two live cubs on Saturday.

The first cub was born in the afternoon, and the second cub emerged 4 1/2 hours later. Both appear to be healthy, the zoo reports.

The horror of Agent Orange and its effects on Vietnam war veterans and Vietnamese citizens is well-documented.

But many U.S. veterans who never fought in that war say they, too, handled toxic chemicals at military bases around the world, suffering the same health consequences. Retired Lt. Col. Kris Roberts is among them.

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It's been less than six months since Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American man, died after sustaining severe injuries in police custody. At the time, Gray's death set off days of demonstrations in Baltimore — as well as rioting and criminal charges against six police officers. Those officers have all pleaded not guilty.

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The Italian coast guard says it is in the process of trying to rescue as many as 3,000 migrants after receiving distress calls from a flotilla of four boats and 14 rubber dinghies off the coast of Libya.

The BBC reports:

"At least 1,200 people have already been rescued from five of the boats, in one of the largest such operations to date.

"The route from Libya to Italy is one of the busiest for migrants trying to enter Europe."

A suicide car bomb targeting a convoy in the Afghan capital has killed a dozen people, including three American contractors, NATO say. Scores of others were wounded.

The attack, which wounded 66 people, took place in Kabul's Macrorayan neighborhood, what The Associated Press describes as "a Soviet-built housing estate lined with shops, hospitals and schools."

Seven people were killed outside a British airshow near Brighton after a military jet crashed into a busy road, police said Saturday. More than a dozen others were hurt.

The single-seat Hawker Hunter jet — taken out of service with the royal air force and navy decades ago — failed to pull out of an acrobatic loop at the Shoreham Airshow and hit several vehicles on the A27 in nearby West Sussex, on England's south coast.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump repeatedly referred to "criminal aliens" and "illegal aliens" in the immigration plan he released on Sunday. "Alien," and especially "illegal alien," have become such staples in the vocabulary of conservative pundits and politicians that many immigrant rights advocates now reject those terms as derogatory and dehumanizing.

But it wasn't always like that.

Update at 8:30 p.m.:

Danny has weakened to a tropical storm, the NOAA has announced, and the maximum sustained winds have dropped to 65 mph.

Our previous post continues:

Hurricane Danny has weakened a bit, getting a downgrade from a Category 3 to a Category 2 storm as it moves across the Atlantic toward the islands of the eastern Caribbean.

When a Palestinian man in Israeli custody came close to death this week, doctors challenged an Israeli law.

Palestinian prisoner Mohammad Allan was in critical condition after he had refused food for two months, protesting his detention since last November in Israeli custody. Suspected of ties to a militant group, he was held with no charges, no lawyer and no accusations to face in court.

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET

North and South Korea are holding high-level talks aimed at defusing tensions and preventing an exchange of artillery at the border from leading to a full-scale conflict between the bitter rivals.

Throughout the week, Russians have been watching scenes of destruction on the evening news.

It's part of Russia's war against so-called contraband foods, as authorities crush, burn and bury Western food products.

Russian authorities are enforcing a ban on many foods from the European Union, the United States and other nations that have sanctioned Moscow for its aggression in Ukraine.

We often hear the story of the Second World War through the experiences of American and British soldiers pitted in battle against Germany and Japan.

But the largest volunteer force in the world then was the Indian Army: More than 2 million Indian men fought for Britain, even as Indian citizens struggled to be free of the British Empire.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

More details are emerging about the incident in which three Americans, including two U.S. servicemen traveling in civilian clothes, overpowered, tackled and subdued a Kalashnikov-wielding gunman aboard a high-speed train in Belgium.

One of those who helped take down the assailant was slashed multiple times with a box cutter in the scuffle and remains hospitalized with non-life threatening wounds, according to The Associated Press.

The rise of Donald Trump as a Republican presidential candidate has surprised many pundits, but not conservative commentator Glenn Beck.

Trump has widened his lead over other Republican presidential candidates in public opinion polls. Other non-professional politicians, including Dr. Ben Carson, a brain surgeon, and Carly Fiorina, the former head of Hewlett-Packard, have also shot ahead of politicians in the polls.

Voters are angry, and they "want somebody just to say it the way they think it — especially if they say it in a non-politically correct way," Beck says.

Jimmy Carter told a press conference he called on the morning of the day he would have the first radiation treatment on the cancer in his brain, "I'd like for the last guinea worm to die before I do."

Mr. Carter was frank, funny and graceful speaking this week about his health, and his faith. But his remark about the guinea worm may have puzzled a few people.

Soon after their wedding, Dr. Mimi Lee and Stephen Findley decided to create five embryos. Lee had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, and she worried that treatment would leave her infertile. Now that they're divorced, Lee wants to use them; Findley, however, does not.

Those embryos are at the heart of a court case that will soon decide a very modern problem: Which member of a divorced couple gets control of their frozen embryos?

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And it's now time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Of the many New Hampshire journalists who have covered the state's presidential primary, few can match longtime Associated Press photographer Jim Cole, who has captured every New Hampshire primary since 1980.

Cole has a rule he follows when out on assignment: No matter how crowded the press gaggle gets, he never takes a picture while he's touching another photographer. The point is to force himself to think of a different approach to each shot.

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Stocks Fall; Dow Down 10 Percent Since May

Aug 22, 2015
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The stock market had its worst one-day crash in four years yesterday. The Dow Industrial Average plunged 531 points, and that was it in just one day. Last week saw a global sell-off that sent markets around the world sharply lower. NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

Two U.S. Soldiers Help Subdue Gunman On French Train

Aug 22, 2015
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In Syria, the United States is focused on countering the self-declared Islamic State, or ISIS. But what strikes terror among perhaps even more Syrians are the indiscriminate, so-called barrel bomb attacks by government forces.

Barrel bombs are crude metal drums packed with explosives and shrapnel. They are dropped off the hatch of helicopters and have the power to pulverize an entire block. Syrian activists have filmed hundreds of attacks and posted the videos online.

Ten years ago, Ethel Curry rode out Hurricane Katrina in her upended refrigerator as it floated near the ceiling of her home in East Biloxi, Miss. As it went higher, she used a fan blade to break the ceiling tile.

"The rafters were so small, I had to hold on to each side to keep my head above the water," recalls Curry, who is 70 now. "And I stayed there 5 1/2 hours, until the water went down."

In one photo, 23-year-old photographer Liu Yuyang captured a special moment between Mei Lin and her two granddaughters. The 83-year-old woman is smiling as one granddaughter leans down to give her a kiss and the other poses for the camera.

But Mei Lin's eyes give away how tired she is. Her hair has completely grayed, and her face is deeply lined. At her age, Mei Lin is supposed to live relatively carefree. Instead, she has to support her family of four: her daughter, son and two granddaughters — all of whom are mentally ill.

The year since Michael Brown died in Ferguson, Mo., several confrontations between African-Americans and police have become national stories. Often, black journalists have been leading the coverage on these incidents and the steady trickle of them have taken a psychological toll. Many of them shared their experiences with Gene Demby of NPR's Code Switch team.

Police say a man entered a New York City federal office building Friday afternoon, approached a metal detector and shot a security guard at close range. The guard was pronounced dead later at a hospital.

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