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Missouri’s two Planned Parenthood affiliates on Wednesday morning sued to overturn the state’s highly restrictive abortion laws, a move expected since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down similar laws in Texas in June. 

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Jefferson City, sets up a showdown over state statutes that were enacted in the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which held that the right to an abortion in the early stages of pregnancy is rooted in the Constitution.

For the first time in eight years, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has agreed to cut oil output, ratcheting down production by 1.2 million barrels per day in hopes of stabilizing the global oil market. News of the deal sent oil futures higher Wednesday morning.

With the cut, OPEC's production will drop to 32.5 million barrels a day, effective on Jan. 1, 2017.

In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, President-elect Donald Trump tried to tamp down growing concerns that he will not separate his vast global business interests from his role as head of the U.S. government.

Trump is promising to hold a "major news conference" in two weeks to talk about how he's turning his empire over to his children.

The Hassan Sham camp, a sprawling refuge for displaced people east of Mosul, is growing by the day as people flee fighting in the city, which Iraqi forces are trying to wrest from ISIS control.

Among the tents, toilets and food distribution centers, aid workers have set up classrooms in tents. There's a play space where little girls are jumping rope in the chilly sunshine, while hundreds more children sit in class.

They're learning English, Arabic, arithmetic — most for the first time in years.

A nonprofit research group is giving scientists a new way to study the secret lives of human cells.

On Wednesday, the Allen Institute for Cell Science provided access to a collection of living stem cells that have been genetically altered to make internal structures like the nucleus and mitochondria glow.

Severe thunderstorms in the Southeast on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning brought tornadoes, hail and wind damage, killing at least five people, according to the National Weather Service and media reports.

The storms in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee come during an extreme drought in the region, which has fueled devastating wildfires in Tennessee and other states.

As the storm system was brewing, The Associated Press reported that according to predictions, the rains might help suppress the wildfires but won't be enough to end the drought.

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Wilbur Ross Jr., a billionaire investor and turnaround specialist, as his commerce secretary.

Ross announced his selection Wednesday during a joint CNBC interview with longtime Wall Street banker Steve Mnuchin, Trump's pick for Treasury secretary.

"Wilbur Ross is a champion of American manufacturing and knows how to help companies succeed," Trump said in a statement announcing his choice.

President-elect Donald Trump has picked his campaign finance chairman, Steve Mnuchin, to be his Treasury secretary. The Wall Street banker spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs, where he was a partner, and is now chief executive of Dune Capital Management, a privately owned hedge fund.

Mnuchin confirmed his selection Wednesday during a joint CNBC interview with billionaire investor Wilbur Ross Jr., who has been tapped for commerce secretary.

If you blinked, you might miss the quick burst of a headlight signaling that it was time to go.

The U.S. Supreme Court takes up important immigration questions Wednesday, even as President-elect Donald Trump talks of pushing for more deportations. The legal issue before the court tests whether people who are detained for more than six months have a right to a bond hearing.

The late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro loved baseball. And you may have heard that he was such a good player that years before the Cuban revolution, he tried out for the New York Yankees in Havana.

Or not. This myth has persisted for years, and though it might be fun to contemplate the historical consequences of this "What if?" scenario, Adrian Burgos Jr., University of Illinois history professor and author of Playing America's Game: Baseball, Latinos and the Color Line, says it simply didn't happen.

Spain's national art museum, the Prado, has been around nearly 200 years and has one of the world's biggest collections of Renaissance and Baroque art.

But only now has it devoted a solo exhibition to a female artist: the 17th century Flemish painter Clara Peeters.

Rifle fire crackled over a snowy field in central Estonia, interrupted by the rhythmic thumping of a heavy machine gun. From their position on a ridge, paratroopers from the U.S. Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade opened up on the opposite tree line, as their comrades below inched toward an imaginary enemy bunker.

The foe in the exercise earlier this month was unnamed. But with the Russian border just 70 miles away, it was clear what kind of scenario was being played out.

It's Never Too Late To Quit Smoking, Even In Your 60s

Nov 29, 2016

Older people who smoke may think there's no reason to give up the habit. After all, hasn't the damage to their bodies already been done?

But it turns out there's a benefit to quitting even later in life. Research published Wednesday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that older adults who quit smoking in their 60s had a lower chance of dying in the years that followed than contemporaries who kept smoking.

The number of people who have trouble paying their medical bills has plummeted in the past five years as more people have gained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act and gotten jobs as the economy has improved.

A report from the National Center for Health Statistics released Wednesday shows that the number of people whose families are struggling to pay medical bills fell by 22 percent, or 13 million people, in the past five years.

So here's a riddle: What college doesn't have a campus, or professors, or students or even a football team?

Give up? The Electoral College!

OK, that was a little juvenile (if you really want to bring back your childhood, here's a video explaining the Electoral College by Schoolhouse Rock.)

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Remember a couple of years ago, when it seemed like we were all one big happy family, Americans of every age and political stripe, joined in common pursuit? Millions of us spent that summer pouring buckets of ice water on our heads, to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

President-elect Donald Trump ran an insurgent, anti-establishment campaign, but the latest addition to his prospective Cabinet is about as establishment as it gets.

Elaine Chao, whom Trump picked Tuesday to head the Department of Transportation, worked in both Bush administrations, has ties to the conservative Heritage Foundation, has sat on numerous corporate boards and spent several years running the United Way of America. She also happens to be married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

President-elect Donald Trump unveiled two big health care decisions Tuesday.

After campaigning with lots of populist and anti-Wall Street rhetoric, Donald Trump is seriously considering a veteran Wall Street financier, Steve Mnuchin, to be his Treasury secretary.

Mnuchin spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs, ultimately as a partner at the investment bank. More recently, he's headed a privately owned hedge fund, Dune Capital Management. Last April he became Trump's chief fundraiser, and he's now a member of the president-elect's transition team.

Updated Dec. 1, 9:05 a.m.: The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to approve the 21st Century Cures Act, a sprawling bill to fund medical research and revamp how drugs and medical devices are approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The advice President Obama has offered his successor is mostly under wraps. But the outgoing commander-in-chief made a point of going on the record with this wisdom for President-elect Donald Trump: hire a good lawyer and listen to him.

Trump has selected elections expert Don McGahn as his new White House counsel. McGahn will have a lot of work to do, mostly behind the scenes. Veterans of the office said if the White House counsel is doing their job the right way, hardly anyone knows their name.

The day after Donald Trump swept to victory, the head of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Zippy Duvall, released a videotaped statement aimed at the President-elect and other political leaders in Washington.

"Rural America turned out and made their voice heard in this election," he said. "Now it's time for our elected leaders to support rural America."

The other contestants in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant wore revealing swimsuits.

She came out in a burkini — head-to-toe swimwear — and a hijab, the traditional Muslim head covering.

Halima Aden, a 19-year-old Muslim from St. Cloud, Minn., wanted to compete on her terms. She wasn't sure how the pageant would react to her request to wear a burkini. "I prepared myself to hear 'no,' " she says. "But I was hoping they'd say 'yes.' So when they did allow me to wear a burkini, I was so thrilled."

Today is Giving Tuesday, a day of fundraising for non-profits that comes on the heels of several of the biggest shopping days of the year.

Cyber Monday yesterday racked in record sales for online retailers, and over the Black Friday weekend, millions more people shopped online than in stores for the first time ever.

Surfcasting is ocean fishing from the shore. To find the best, Here & Now‘s Robin Young went to Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of New England.

There she met Paul Schultz, the legendary surfcaster who is featured in the definitive book “Reading The Water” by Robert Past.

But this endeavor is about more than casting a line out to attract a fish; it’s also about exploring and restoration.

On Nov. 28, 1966, the writer Truman Capote invited 540 people to the grand ballroom of New York’s Plaza Hotel for the “Black and White Ball.”

The guest list for Capote’s extravaganza included a mix of artists and socialites, from Frank Sinatra and Andy Warhol to Gloria Vanderbilt and Lynda Bird Johnson. Capote threw the party in honor of his friend Katharine Graham, the recently widowed publisher of the Washington Post.

But in the process, Capote also helped invent our modern sense of celebrity.

The former North Charleston, S.C., police officer charged with murder in the death of an unarmed black man during a traffic stop took the stand Tuesday to testify in his own defense.

Michael Slager is accused of gunning down Walter Scott after pulling him over for a broken taillight. If convicted, Slager could face life in prison.

After Donald Trump is sworn in as president on Jan. 20, he will follow a time-honored tradition and make his way from the U.S. Capitol down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Along the way, just a few blocks before he reaches the White House, he'll pass the Trump International Hotel. The 263-room luxury hotel is becoming the focus of a debate over conflict of interest between Trump and his business dealings.

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