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There's a new jungle Jedi out there.

Scientists who discovered a new primate, which lives in eastern Myanmar and southwestern China, are such big Star Wars fans, they named the ape after Luke Skywalker.

They also chose the name, skywalker hoolock gibbon, because the Chinese characters mean "Heaven's movement," according to the BBC. The new species is also known as the Gaoligong hoolock gibbon, named for Mt. Gaoligong on the border between China and Myanmar.

Let's say you're a farmer in the Midwest, growing conventional corn and soybeans. Times are tough right now. Prices are in the toilet.

If only you were selling organic soybeans and corn. They're worth almost twice as much, per bushel, as your conventional crops.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated the rusty patched bumblebee an endangered species — the first such designation for a bumblebee and for a bee species in the continental U.S.

The protected status, which goes into effect on Feb. 10, includes requirements for federal protections and the development of a recovery plan. It also means that states with habitats for this species are eligible for federal funds.

A federal judge in South Carolina formally sentenced Dylann Roof to death on Wednesday, one day after a jury recommended that he be executed for murdering nine people in a Charleston church.

Under federal sentencing laws, the death penalty can be imposed only if all 12 jurors agree on it, and the judge cannot overrule the jury's decision.

One More 'Case Against Sugar'

Jan 11, 2017

Still coming to grips with sugar. Author Gary Taubes says we're still in denial.

We know too much sugar is a bad idea. But we are surrounded by sugar. American diets swim in it. Everyone knows how hard it can be to pull away. My guest today Gary Taubes says we are paying a terrible price. In obesity and diabetes, but also, he says, in heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's. Sugar, he says, may have prematurely killed more people than tobacco. This hour On Point, I'll pass on the cookies. We hear the case against sugar. — Tom Ashbrook

A Pew survey of police officers across the U.S. found that most officers believe their jobs have grown more difficult and more dangerous following a series of high-profile deaths of black citizens during encounters with police.

The survey also uncovered sharp disparities between the perceptions of black and white officers — and between officers and the general public — over the state of race relations in America.

Volkswagen has agreed to pay $4.3 billion to settle civil and criminal allegations over its diesel emissions cheating scheme involving some 590,000 vehicles in the U.S.

The company has also agreed to plead guilty to three criminal felony counts.

Medecins Sans Frontieres, the medical humanitarian organization, has added a basic item to its medical bag of drugs, stethoscopes and syringes: food.

Out of nowhere, a shocking video appeared on a Russian TV news program late one evening in March 1999. A surveillance tape showed a naked, middle-aged man who resembled Russia's top prosecutor, Yuri Skuratov, cavorting with two unclothed young women. Neither was his wife.

Senate committees heard testimony Wednesday from three of President-elect Donald Trump’s picks for his cabinet. Rex Tillerson, chief executive of Exxon Mobil, for secretary of state; Elaine Chao, former labor secretary, for secretary of transportation; and, for the second day, Sen. Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, for attorney general.

BuzzFeed on Tuesday published a 35-page document that contained explosive and unsubstantiated allegations about ties between President-elect Donald Trump and Russia.

BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief defended the decision as “the job of reporters in 2017.”

This has been updated at 10:00 pm ET with Clapper statement

President-elect Donald Trump denounced as "fake news" Wednesday reports that Russia had compromising information about him before the election.

He also acknowledged for the first time that Russia was behind the hacking of emails from the Democratic National Committee, although he seemed to couch it later in the news conference by saying it "could have been others."

It was on a routine patrol in 1986 that Steven McDonald's life took a dramatic turn. McDonald, who was just two years into his service with the New York Police Department, and his partner confronted a trio of boys in Central Park. Within seconds, one of those teens drew a handgun and shot McDonald three times.

That shooting left him paralyzed from the neck down. Yet his life was arguably shaped as much by those three bullets as by the three words he famously expressed afterward: "I forgive him."

Italy has been described as the world's biggest open-air museum.

And with illegally excavated antiquities, looting of unguarded, centuries-old churches and smuggling of precious artworks, it's also an art theft playground.

But thanks to an elite police squad, Italy is also at the forefront in combating the illicit trade in artworks — believed to be among the world's biggest forms of trafficking and estimated to be worth billions.

President-elect Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he plans to nominate David Shulkin to be his secretary of veterans affairs, a position that requires Senate confirmation.

Shulkin is currently the undersecretary for health at the VA, which means he runs the Veterans Health Administration. He was nominated for that position by President Obama in March 2015 and confirmed by the Senate that June.

The outcome of the repeal-and-replace Obamacare debate could affect more than you might think, depending on just how the GOP congressional majority pursues its goal.

Beyond the Affordable Care Act's marquee achievements like guaranteeing health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and allowing children to stay on parents' plans until age 26, the roughly 2,000-page law created a host of other provisions that affect the health of nearly every American.

In Weathersfield, Vt., a town once dotted with small milking farms, about 60 cows peacefully chew hay at their home on Fuller Farm. They are the last remaining dairy herd in Weathersfield, and they'll be auctioned off this week. This is a growing trend in the changing dairy industry — in the state and beyond.

Donald Trump's Press Conference, Annotated

Jan 11, 2017

For the first time in 167 days, President-elect Donald Trump held a wide-ranging news conference.

NPR's politics team, with help from reporters and editors across the newsroom, live-annotated the speech. Portions of the transcript with added analysis are underlined in yellow, followed by context and fact checks below.

Note: The transcript was updated throughout the press conference. While we are working to correct errors, it may contain discrepancies and typographical errors.

It's been used to buy drugs. Guns. Child porn. And to launder money.

But high-profile institutions like the World Bank, UNICEF and USAID think it could be a force for good, helping the poorest of the poor.

It's a technology called blockchain — a global, online ledger that's free for anyone to use and that isn't regulated by any one party.

Maybe you've heard of it. And maybe you don't know exactly what it is.

That's because it's not easy to define.

Facebook is unveiling a new journalism project Wednesday. No, the Silicon Valley giant isn't hiring a team of reporters. Facebook says it wants engineers — the tech talent at local and global publishers — to tag-team earlier on to develop technologies that make Facebook a more powerful platform to distribute news and discuss it.

Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson had a tense confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, clashing even with Republican members over his views on Russia, international human rights violations and the lobbying and deal-making of Exxon Mobil when he was CEO.

China sent its only aircraft carrier into the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday morning, an unusual and provocative move that comes as tensions are high between the mainland and the self-governing island.

NPR's Rob Schmitz reports from Beijing that China says the carrier was returning from weapons drills in the South China Sea, and that its passage through the strait complies with international law. Here's more from Rob:

It was billed as a "listening session," a chance for Latino leaders from across the country to sit down with members of President-elect Donald Trump's transition team and talk about the issues important to them and to their constituents.

On campuses today almost every educational interaction leaves digital traces. Assignments and feedback are given through online portals; debates and discussions happen via learning management systems as well as in classrooms, cafes and dorm rooms.

Those and other digital crumbs give technologists the opportunities to examine the processes, practices and goals of higher education in ways that were largely impossible a decade or so ago.

Democrats don't have too many opportunities to set the agenda in Congress right now. They don't decide what bills are called for a vote, and, due to changes in Senate procedures, won't be able to block any of President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet picks without Republican defections.

One thing Democrats can affect are the headlines coming out of the first wave of confirmation hearings.

Donald Trump hasn't held a wide-ranging press conference in 167 days. That streak is expected to be broken Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET, when Trump holds his first news conference since being elected president.

He'd tweeted 1,601 times in that time, as of midnight Wednesday.

In late October, just weeks ahead of the election, President-elect Donald Trump made a quick detour to Washington for the official opening of his new five-star hotel, just a few blocks from the White House.

Fitness tracking is all the rage right now. If you want to, you can monitor your heart rate, count your footsteps and calories burned, and even monitor your sleep patterns, all by using devices that can fit around your wrist or in your pocket. But that's if you're human. Fresno Chaffee Zoo, in Fresno, Calif., is taking fitness tracking to a mammoth new level — part of a national project to guard the health and happiness of zoo elephants.

There's a small-scale charity movement starting to take hold in neighborhoods across the country. Think of those "little free library" boxes, but with a twist: These are small pantries stocked with free food and personal care items like toothbrushes and diapers for people in need.

They're found near churches, outside businesses and in front of homes. Maggie Ballard, who lives in Wichita, Kan., calls hers a "blessing box."

Recently, NPR brought you the story of one of 2016's most successful musicians: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Last year, the Universal Music Group released a 200-CD box set of the composer's works. Multiply that by the 6,000-odd sets sold worldwide as of early December, and you had 1.25 million CDs. And that, we said, had given Mozart a hit release.

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