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Wencke Petersen came to Liberia in late August to do what she normally does for Doctors Without Borders in hotspots all over the world — manage supplies.

But the supplies she was meant to organize hadn't arrived yet. So she was asked to help with another job: standing at the main gate of the walled-in compound, turning people away when the unit was full.

For five weeks, she gave people the bad news.

Ferguson, Mo., continues to watch and wait as a grand jury decides whether to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Brown's death was the spark for the mass protests in Ferguson, but many of the city's black population say the problems go deeper, and that they are unfairly singled out by police.

Ferguson police statistics show the department does arrest blacks at a higher rate than other racial groups. But that disparity is true for police departments across the country.

Ebola: Then And Now

6 hours ago
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With a deadline for a nuclear deal between Iran and Western powers less than 24 hours away, the negotiators have started talking about a second extension.

Quoting unnamed State Department officials, Reuters and the Associated Press report that Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Sunday and discussed the possibility of extending negotiations past the Monday deadline.

For veterans like Katherine Keleher, Facebook can be a nightmare.

When the 25-year-old former Marine had a photo of her posted to "Just the Tip, of the Spear" last fall, she was so nervous she couldn't bear to look and asked a friend to check the page for her. The group's name, abbreviated JTTOTS, plays off of innuendo and the Marine Corps moniker as the Tip of the Spear.

In our semi-regular Word Watch feature, we take a look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story.

Western New York can't catch a break. First, it was paralyzed by a mountain of lake-effect snow and unseasonably cold weather. Now, things are thawing and rain is moving in. By Monday, meteorologist say the high temperature could hit 60 degrees.

As USA Today reports, that could cause some serious flooding. The paper adds:

A 12-year-old boy carrying a replica gun has died after a Cleveland Police officer opened fire on Saturday.

According to a statement, police received a call warning of someone pointing a gun at people near a playground

"Upon arrival on scene, officers located the suspect and advised him to raise his hands," police say. "The suspect did not comply with the officers' orders and reached to his waistband for the gun. Shots were fired and the suspect was struck in the torso."

First, there was James Foley. Then Steven Sotloff. Finally, Abdul Rahman Kassig, also known as Peter Kassig. All three were American hostages, brutally murdered by the so-called Islamic State.

This past week the White House confirmed that it's conducting a review of its hostage policy, but in a press conference, White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the United States will not change its policy on ransoms: America does not pay them.

Four years after its revolution sparked the broader Arab Spring, Tunisians headed to the polls on Sunday to pick their next head of state.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

"With more than two dozen candidates contesting the presidency and more than 50% of the vote required for an outright win, the race was considered likely to go to a runoff next month.

The people of Reading, Pa., didn't have the same compassion that Charlie Brown had.

A 50-foot spruce tree — called "nasty," "pathetic" and "ugly" — will be replaced with a prettier pine.

As the AP reports, the tree was put up by the city in a public space and the complaints started immediately. The tree was missing tons of branches and it had unseemly shape.

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When someone does something utterly selfless, you might think, oh, they're just a generous kind of soul. But new research suggests altruism may be hardwired in the brain. Reporter Michelle Trudeau has more.

Sgt. Kristy Rodriguez is sprinting on a treadmill. She's wearing dark green shorts, a matching T-shirt, and white sneakers. The pace keeps getting faster.

Rodriguez is at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, taking part in a Marine Corp experiment to determine whether women will be allowed to serve in ground combat units.

"A lot of people think that we can't do it," she says. "I don't think the same."

As she runs, Rodriguez stares at a photo, the iconic shot of Marines planting the American flag at Iwo Jima.

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What Microbes Lurked In The Last Public Restroom You Used?

18 hours ago

The invisible world of the bathroom isn't pretty — unless you're a microbe. After scanning the microbial zoo of four public restrooms recently, a team of researchers found a diverse swarm of characters that persisted for months despite regular cleaning of the facilities.

Oddest thing: Thanksgiving in turn-of-the-20th century America used to look a heckuva lot like Halloween.

People – young and old – got all dressed up and staged costumed crawls through the streets. In Los Angeles, Chicago and other places around the country, newspapers ran stories of folks wearing elaborate masks and cloth veils. Thanksgiving mask balls were held in Cape Girardeau, Mo., Montesano, Wash. and points in between.

In 2008, Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham traveled with her then-partner from their home in Mississippi to San Francisco, a few months after gay marriage became legal in California. They'd been together for about a year and a half before they decided to get married.

After the ceremony, they went back to Mississippi, where they lived together. Then a year later, they decided to split up. The state of Mississippi doesn't recognize same-sex marriage, however, so they couldn't get a divorce there.

Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry Dies

21 hours ago

Marion Barry, the fiery Washington, D.C., politician who was famously re-elected after going to jail for crack cocaine possession, has died after months of battling health issues. He was 78.

The four-term mayor, who was still serving his third term on the D.C. Council, was famous for fighting for the District's disenfranchised, but won national notoriety after he was caught on FBI video with an ex-girlfriend and crack cocaine in 1990.

He was considered by many to be the district's most charismatic and controversial politician.

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It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Tess Vigeland.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

What Does Its Chosen Banner Say About ISIS?

Nov 22, 2014
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The so-called Islamic State or ISIS is known for its social media savvy. But the pictures and videos you see online feature a much more traditional propaganda technique - the group's flag.

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