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Russian Lab Explosion Raises Question: Should Smallpox Virus Be Kept Or Destroyed?

An explosion this week in a Russian lab, one of only two labs in the world known to store live samples of the variola virus, which causes smallpox, has raised anew questions that have been asked since the disease was eradicated in 1980.

Should humankind hold on to the live virus to conduct research on treatments, tests and vaccines in case smallpox were to reemerge?


Bloomberg via Getty Images

How An 'International Price Index' Might Help Reduce Drug Prices

In gridlocked Washington, both Democrats and Republicans have signaled there's potential for a deal when it comes to lowering prescription drug prices. Now, there's an idea both Congressional Democrats and the White House seem to like: They want to base U.S. prices on something called an international price index.


Dina Temple-Raston/NPR

The Mysterious Death Of The Hacker Who Turned In Chelsea Manning

Debbie Scroggin and her husband live at the end of a series of gravel roads in a lonesome part of Kansas. It is the kind of place where, Debbie says, "you have to drive 15 minutes to get anywhere." Getting to the Scroggin house involves turning onto a desolate ribbon of gravel that cuts through fields as far as the eye can see. It was easy to think that someone might come here to either get lost or be forgotten. Scroggin remembers Adrian Lamo arriving on a night train with nothing but a broken suitcase and a hangdog expression.


Getty Images for Amazon

Amazon Makes 'Climate Pledge' As Workers Plan Walkout

Amazon is "done being in the middle of the herd" when it comes to climate-focused company policies, CEO Jeff Bezos said Thursday.

The company is pledging to power its global infrastructure with 100% renewable energy by 2030 and to be carbon-neutral by 2040. To help get there, it plans to buy 100,000 electric delivery vans from Michigan-based company Rivian, in which Amazon previously invested.


Steven Mlodinow/EOL.org; Greg Lasley/EOL.org; dfwuw/EOL.org

North America Has Lost 3 Billion Birds, Scientists Say

Over the past half-century, North America has lost more than a quarter of its entire bird population, or around 3 billion birds.

That's according to a new estimate published in the journal Science by researchers who brought together a variety of information that has been collected on 529 bird species since 1970.


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As Vaping Illnesses Rise, Doctors Warn Of Possible 'Irreversible Damage' To Lungs

Nationwide, people who vape continue to sicken with severe and unexplained lung illness, leaving doctors and patients concerned about both the acute and long-term effects of the injuries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that there are now 530 confirmed or probable cases of lung injury associated with vaping, a jump from 380 cases reported last week. Seven people have died.


Courtesy of Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden Speaks Out: 'I Haven't And I Won't' Cooperate With Russia

In 2013, Edward Snowden was an IT systems expert working under contract for the National Security Agency when he traveled to Hong Kong to provide three journalists with thousands of top-secret documents about U.S. intelligence agencies' surveillance of American citizens.


Karina Perez for NPR

With Abortion Restrictions On The Rise, Some Women Induce Their Own

When Arlen found out she was pregnant this year, she was still finishing college and knew she didn't want a child.

There's a clinic near her home, but Arlen faced other obstacles to getting an abortion.

"I started researching about prices, and I was like, 'Well, I don't have $500,' " said Arlen, who is in her 20s and lives in El Paso, Texas. We're not using her full name to protect her privacy.

"So I was like, 'OK, there's gotta be other ways.' "


AP

Schiff Vows To Escalate Standoff Over Spy Complaint; 'Fake News,' Trump Scoffs

Updated at 6:25 p.m. ET

House intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff vowed Thursday he is willing to sue the Trump administration over a dispute about the content of an as-yet-unknown complaint to the intelligence community's official watchdog.

Schiff told reporters after a closed-door meeting with the inspector general, Michael Atkinson, that the Justice Department has opined that the material is shielded by privilege and can be withheld from lawmakers.


AP

Imelda Causing 'Major, Catastrophic Flooding' In Southeast Texas, Forecasters Warn

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

Swaths of southeast Texas were underwater Thursday after Tropical Depression Imelda caused catastrophic flooding. Scores of residents had to be carried through the floodwaters and motorists needed to be rescued from submerged vehicles. Children were forced to shelter in place at schools in Houston.


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