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Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid will give his farewell address Thursday on the Senate floor. The Nevada Democrat has served in Congress for 30 years, and as his party's leader in the Senate for 12.

Reid tells Morning Edition's Rachel Martin that he — and many other Americans — are still anxious about the incoming Trump administration, but he sees reasons for optimism as well.

"I've learned to accept the Trump election," he says.

One of the fundamental ways scientists measure the well-being of a nation is tracking the rate at which its citizens die and how long they can be expected to live.

So the news out of the federal government Thursday is disturbing: The overall U.S. death rate has increased for the first time in a decade, according to an analysis of the latest data. And that led to a drop in overall life expectancy for the first time since 1993, particularly among people younger than 65.

Fake news played a bigger role in this past presidential election than ever seen before. And sometimes it has had serious repercussions for real people and businesses.

That's what happened to a pizzeria in Washington, D.C., recently, when an armed man claiming to be "self-investigating" a fake news story entered the restaurant and fired off several rounds.

Smoke hung in the air for days in Oakland's largely Latino Fruitvale district after a deadly fire broke out late Friday night in an artists' warehouse, leaving 36 people dead.

Like so much of the city, it's a neighborhood facing ripples of gentrification created by the tech boom in the Bay Area, which now has some of the highest rents in the country.

President-elect Donald Trump's phone call with the president of Taiwan last week, initially characterized by Trump transition staffers and Taipei officials as just a small courtesy, has emerged as part of a lobbying strategy by a quintessential Washington insider.

Former Sen. Bob Dole, a war hero, lion of the Senate and 1996 Republican nominee for president, was an early supporter of Donald Trump, even when other Republican leaders were still wary.

As I write this I have 42 Internet tabs open, across four browsers, and I feel completely at ease. Apparently, I'm not alone. A new Pew Research Center study found that most Americans are not overloaded by information, or at least, they don't feel they are.

In Bangladesh, a new report finds, impoverished children are working long hours in violation of that country's labor laws. Children under the age of 14 who've given up school for jobs are toiling an average 64 hours a week, according to a British think tank.

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The 21st Century Cures Act that gained congressional approval on Wednesday has been championed as a way to speed up drug development, but it's also the most significant piece of mental health legislation since the 2008 law requiring equal insurance coverage for mental and physical health.

The bill includes provisions aimed at fighting the opioid epidemic, strengthens laws mandating parity for mental and physical health care and includes grants to increase the number of psychologists and psychiatrists, who are in short supply across the country.

Marking the day in 1941 that thrust the U.S. into World War II, Americans are honoring veterans and remembering those who lost their lives in Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. We're also remembering how the nation responded to what President Franklin Roosevelt called a "date which will live in infamy."

Royal Dutch Shell has signed a provisional agreement to develop oil and gas fields in Iran, a move that could signal energy companies will not be deterred from doing business with the Islamic Republic despite uncertainty whether a Trump administration will scrap a nuclear deal agreed to by world powers.

This post was updated at 5:12 p.m. ET

Linda McMahon, the co-founder of the pro-wrestling enterprise World Wrestling Entertainment, was selected Wednesday by President-elect Donald Trump to head the Small Business Administration.

In a statement released by the Trump transition team, Trump called McMahon "one of the country's top female executives" and said she would help push his "America First" agenda forward. He added:

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A Brighter Outlook Could Translate To A Longer Life

13 hours ago

Older women who look on the bright side of life were less likely to die in the next several years than their peers who weren't as positive about the future.

The research, published Wednesday in the American Journal of Epidemiology, is the latest to find an association between a positive sense of well-being and better health, though it's not yet clear whether one causes the other.

The unofficial motto of a public charter school co-founded by Betsy DeVos — President-elect Trump's choice to lead the Department of Education — could be "No Pilot Left Behind."

Nearby a small maintenance hangar that's part of the West Michigan Aviation Academy, one of the school's two Cessna 172 airplanes chugs down the tarmac of Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The school is based on the airport's grounds, just outside Grand Rapids.

President-elect Donald Trump intends to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, according to multiple news reports. Trump's transition team has not confirmed the news to NPR.

As attorney general, Pruitt has made no secret of his disdain for the EPA.

The sweet aroma of cookies baking wafts through the kitchen as the kids trample in and plead, "When are they gonna be ready?" Smile and reply softly, "Soon. But these are for the company, dear hearts."

And these cookies will still be there when your guests arrive, because the kids will taste them and move onto the chocolate chips and frosted Santas.

With twinges of flavors like anise, cardamom, basil, liqueur and coffee, these treats definitely appeal to grown-up taste buds.

The death toll from a disastrous warehouse fire in Oakland, Calif., stands at 36 after authorities have ended recovery efforts, officials say.

Firefighters and investigators have been searching the site for days, since the artists' collective known as the "Ghost Ship" burned down late Friday night, during a dance party. They briefly halted efforts when a wall was discovered to be leaning, calling in structural engineers to ensure the safety of recovery workers.

The Senate is expected to vote this afternoon on the 21st Century Cures Act. It is considered landmark legislation that would provide funding for research programs like Vice President Joe Biden’s moonshot against cancer.

It will also make significant changes in how drugs are tested and approved.

The act passed in the House overwhelmingly and is expected to easily pass the Senate as well.

The tragic warehouse fire in Oakland, Calif., is raising fears of a backlash against the city’s artists and the way many of them live and work. If the city decides to red-tag buildings that don’t have permits, artists could lose their homes and studio spaces.

Stephanie Martin Taylor (@SMartinTaylor) from Here & Now contributor KQED reports.

Even before the election, critics had been drawing comparisons between Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler.

They’ve pointed to Trump’s promise to ban Muslims, deport millions of immigrants, crack down on the press and “make America great again.”

The Weather Channel has a message for the website Breitbart:

"Earth Is Not Cooling, Climate Change Is Real and Please Stop Using Our Video to Mislead Americans"

When AT&T, a leading Internet provider, proposed a massive merger with Time Warner, a huge media conglomerate, the question many people asked was: Will I have to pay more for my TV?

On Wednesday, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee quizzed the CEOs of the two companies — over and over posing basically the same question: What will the $85.4 billion merger mean for the prices that consumers may have to pay?

Pope Francis is calling on those who use and control the media to avoid disinformation and "the sickness of coprophilia" — comparing a love of scandal to an abnormal interest in feces that can also include elements of sexual arousal.

An obsession with scandal can do great harm, Francis said Wednesday, in remarks that also cited people's tendency toward coprophagia (the eating of feces).

What Former Employees Say ITT Tech Did To Scam Its Students

16 hours ago

When he first moved to Miami, Waltter Teruel says working as a recruiter for ITT Technical Institute was a welcome change from his life in New York where he was selling antiques and life insurance.

As a recruiter, Teruel says ITT Tech took care of the pitch to potential students for you. Recruiters used scripts set out in detailed Powerpoint presentations and got long lists of prospective students to call. But soon the welcome change faded. "Most of these students, they were looking for a job," not more school, says Teruel.

President-elect Donald Trump plans to nominate retired Marine Gen. John Kelly to become his secretary of homeland security, various news outlets are reporting. Trump's transition team has not confirmed the news to NPR, but the official announcement is expected next week.

President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to serve as U.S. ambassador to China, the transitional office confirmed Wednesday.

The longest-serving governor in U.S. history, Branstad has extensive ties to China and a close friendship with the Chinese President Xi Jinping that goes back decades.

Ohio's Legislature has passed a bill that would ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is typically around six weeks after conception — before many women even realize they're pregnant.

The bill is now sitting on the governor's desk. John Kasich has 10 days to veto the measure; otherwise, it becomes law, reports NPR's Jennifer Ludden.

Jennifer notes that the bill does not include exceptions for rape or incest — the only exception would be if the life of the woman were in danger.

As Donald Trump continues to court controversy via Twitter, Fox News host Megyn Kelly tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the president-elect "really does need to be aware of the power that he has when he releases these tweets."

Crews have recovered 21 bodies from the site of a Pakistan International Airlines flight that crashed north of Islamabad on Wednesday. Search teams were still working to find other victims in the crash of the plane carrying 48 people, including former pop singer Junaid Jamshed, according to local media.

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