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In the basement of a suburban Philadelphia home, half a dozen high school freshman boys recently met to munch on chips and pretzels — and to talk about sexual assault in the wake of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.

A Jewish organization called Moving Traditions brought them together as part of its programs to encourage teenagers to talk about this and other difficult issues.

Not so long ago — the administration of President George W. Bush — $1 million could get you elected to Congress. Now, four weeks from Election Day, Democrats say 60 of their candidates raised that much or more, just in the last three months.

Fueled by an energetic base of small donors, Democrats are going into the final stretch of the election with a substantial financial advantage, erasing Republicans' typical fundraising edge.

The end of the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination sets up a new battleground over abortion rights, and activists on both sides of the issue are gearing up for what's likely to be a series of contentious battles from the high court to state legislatures.

A Missouri judge ruled on Tuesday that state election officials can no longer tell voters they must show a photo ID in order to cast a ballot. The ruling blocks part of Missouri's voter identification law.

Cole County's Judge Richard Callahan said the state cannot advertise that a photo identification is required to cast a ballot. "No compelling state interest is served by misleading local election authorities and voters into believing a photo ID card is a requirement for voting," he wrote in his ruling.

Updated at 5:30 a.m. ET Thursday

Tropical Storm Michael is weakening as it churns across south-central Georgia.

On Wednesday, Michael was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the continental U.S. in more than a quarter-century, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Duke Energy CEO on the future of energy

Oct 9, 2018

With the rush of technological change, evermore severe storms and the push for renewable energy sources, this is not the easiest time to run an energy company. Yet Lynn Good does just that, having taken over Duke Energy as CEO back in 2013. Duke is now one of the largest energy companies in the United States, with more than 7 million customers in the Midwest and Southeast.  

For Good, the biggest challenge in leading an energy company is thinking about the future and the speed at which the world is changing.

IMF forecasts slower global growth

Oct 9, 2018

The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday it's shaving off some of its earlier optimism about world economic growth over the next couple years. It has downgraded its growth forecast for this year from 3.9 percent to 3.7 percent, and for next year, the IMF has ticked the world's growth down from 2.7 percent to 2.5 percent. The forecast took some of the wind out of U.S. and Chinese economic expansion, too, saying both countries would grow more slowly than previously thought. So what could be dragging us down in a year's time?

When people living with HIV walk out of prison, they leave with up to a month's worth of HIV medication in their pockets. What they don't necessarily leave with is access to health care or the services that will keep them healthy in the long term.

Lara Alqasem, a 22-year-old Florida native, landed at Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport last Tuesday, expecting to start her studies in human rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Instead, she has spent the past week detained.

Alqasem, whose father is of Palestinian heritage, was barred from entering the country and accused of supporting a boycott of Israel that was started by Palestinian leaders.

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Goodbye, Google+ — We Forgot You Existed

Oct 9, 2018

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This week, Google disclosed a data breach, one that potentially affected hundreds of thousands of users. It was on the company's social media platform Google+.

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Imagine a small, developing nation whose education system is severely lacking: schools are poorly funded, students can't afford tuition or books, fewer than half of indigenous girls even attend school — and often drop out to take care of siblings or get married.

These are the schools of rural Guatemala.

Now meet a firebrand educator who thinks he has a way to reinvent schools in Guatemala.

His school is called Los Patojos, a Spanish word used in Guatemala that means "little ones."

It's been a year since the The New York Times ran an exposé alleging sexual harassment by Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein. That led to an outpouring of allegations as others spoke out, leading to the downfall of many leaders and executives, including top news editors at NPR.

Passwords that took seconds to guess, or were never changed from their factory settings. Cyber vulnerabilities that were known, but never fixed. Those are two common problems plaguing some of the Department of Defense's newest weapons systems, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The flaws are highlighted in a new GAO report, which found the Pentagon is "just beginning to grapple" with the scale of vulnerabilities in its weapons systems.

Updated 10:33 p.m. ET

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has temporarily blocked lower court orders for depositions by two senior Trump administration officials in the multiple lawsuits over the new question about U.S. citizenship status on the 2020 census.

A Romanian man was briefly detained on Tuesday in connection with Saturday's high-profile rape and killing of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova, but after questioning, a Bulgarian official said the unidentified man would be released without charge.

Marinova's beaten and strangled body was found in the bushes by the banks of the Danube River in the northern Bulgarian city of Ruse, police said.

R.I.P., Google Plus

Oct 9, 2018

We hardly used ye. Google is phasing out its social platform Google Plus after a massive data breach. We look at how this could affect Google’s business model. Also on today's show, the International Monetary Fund predicted in its global economic forecast that trade disputes and turbulent emerging markets will slow global economic growth. And, are electric scooters all that bad, or are they a sign of where our transportation system is headed? A report on the electric scooter craze from Los Angeles.

Credit card interest rates are rising

Oct 9, 2018

A report out today from Creditcards.com shows that credit card interest rates are on the rise. The average rate is just over 17 percent, up from about 16.15 percent this time last year and 15.22 percent in 2016.

The reason? The Federal Reserve has been hiking interest rates since 2015. That means banks have been paying more to borrow money, and they’re passing that cost on to their customers, including credit card borrowers, said Lucia Dunn, professor emeritus at Ohio State University.

If you're a first-time mother and you opt for epidural anesthesia during labor, your doctor may suggest you wait about an hour after your cervix is completely dilated before you start trying to push the baby down the birth canal.

But a study published Tuesday in JAMA, the flagship journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that might not be the best advice.

Google plans to shutter its Google+ social network for consumers, citing its limited adoption with users. The tech giant announced the decision at the same time that it disclosed that the privacy of up to a half-million Google+ accounts could have been affected by a "bug."

The company says it discovered and patched the issue in March but decided not to disclose it immediately. It said it had no evidence that any third-party developer was aware of the bug or had misused profile data.

The National Security Agency's Rob Storch is a talkative guy at a place that specializes in eavesdropping.

Everyone is familiar with the official film genres, like the Western or the romantic comedy. But most of us divide movies into less intellectual categories.

There are movies that everybody has to see, like A Star is Born. There are movies you couldn't pay me to see; in my case, that's anything with the word "Saw" in its title. And then there are movies we know we ought to see but dread having to go.

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85: Expl4inathon

Oct 9, 2018

It's time for another Explainathon, the biannual tradition when we put Kai and Molly to the test: In 30 minutes, they'll try to answer as many of your questions as possible. It's going to be tough, because this might just be our widest-ranging 'thon yet: Gamers! Trade wars! Gas prices! Bots on the trading floor! Plus, Kai and Molly will try to stump each other.

Coin-operated gumball machines aren't as common as they used to be. With sales slowly dwindling over the years and high domestic sugar prices, America's sole remaining gumball maker has been branching out to stay afloat.  

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(Markets Edition) New numbers show the benefits of aggressively helping young people finish school and find jobs. A study followed two groups, both ages 16 to 24, on their journeys. Then we dive into the markets, where the latter half of this week signals the beginning of a new season of sorts for market participants. Also, we check in on the last American gumball company standing, Ford Gum and Machine Company, which has been around for more than a century.

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The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has resigned from her post. This morning, she joined President Trump at the White House, and the two held a joint news conference. Here's some of what Haley had to say.

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