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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Equifax data breach exposed the personal information of an estimated 143 million Americans. It has led to a lawsuit against the company by the state of Massachusetts, an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, and the promise of congressional hearings. The episode, though, has revealed that up until now, the big three credit reporting companies have had a lot of clout in Washington, D.C., analysts say.

In Cambridge, Mass., a woman named Kristin sits down on a stone bench to talk about a common but rarely discussed injury that's starting to grow along with the opioid epidemic: rape.

Otto Fricke says he knew what he was getting himself into.

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When the fourth-graders in Mrs. Marlem Diaz-Brown's class returned to school on Monday, they were tasked with writing their first essay of the year. The topic was familiar: Hurricane Irma.

By the time I visited, they had worked out their introduction and evidence paragraphs and were brainstorming their personal experiences. To help them remember, Mrs. D-B had them draw out a timeline — starting Friday before the storm. Then, based on their drawings, they could start to talk about — and eventually, write about — what they experienced.

When 2-month-old Isaac Enrique Sanchez was diagnosed with pyloric stenosis, a condition that causes vomiting, dehydration and weight loss in infants, his parents were told that their son's condition was curable. The problem was that no hospital in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas had a pediatric surgery team capable of performing the operation on his stomach.

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For only the second time during his tenure as governor, John Hickenlooper is calling lawmakers back to the Capitol outside of their regular session. He wants them to fix an error that is keeping thousands of dollars from getting to the Denver Zoo and regional transportation districts.

But a special session may not lead to a simple fix.

The massive earthquake rattled through Mexico City at about 1 p.m. local time Tuesday, razing buildings and filling the air with thick clouds of dust. As residents left their offices and homes, dozens of which sustained severe damage or collapsed entirely, the sun was glaring high in the sky.

It was midday, and the children were still in school.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said it will hold short-term interest rates steady for the time being. But the central bank said that in October it will begin to unwind the extraordinary stimulus it used to battle the Great Recession.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said the process will be gradual. But over the long run, the plan will put upward pressure on consumer interest rates, including for car loans and mortgages.

Early Wednesday, Spanish police raided government offices in Catalonia and detained at least a dozen separatist leaders — just 10 days before a planned referendum vote on Catalonian independence.

Catalonia, a region in northeast Spain, has its own language and culture. Separatists have long advocated for independence; a vote in 2014 overwhelmingly supported splitting away from Spain, although turnout was low.

Madrid did not recognize that vote, calling it illegal — and considers the upcoming referendum, slated for Oct. 1, to be equally unconstitutional.

A dispute over a $75 speeding ticket has climbed through the levels of Iowa's court system, reaching the lofty heights of the Iowa Supreme Court for oral arguments.

Marla Leaf got a speeding ticket because a camera allegedly caught her driving 68 mph in a 55-mph zone on an interstate freeway through the city of Cedar Rapids in February 2015.

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Syrian government troops and allied militias are locked in a race against rebels backed by the United States for control of Deir ez-Zor, an oil-rich province that will give whoever governs it greater influence in the country's wider civil war.

Government soldiers and supporting militias have now crossed the Euphrates River, which had served as an informal dividing line between them and the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as they waged separate offensives against ISIS in the area.

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel thwacked the latest Republican health care proposal Tuesday night after one of the senators sponsoring the bill invoked Kimmel's name.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., touted Tuesday on Capitol Hill that his plan passes the "Jimmy Kimmel test."

For the first time, scientists have edited the DNA in human embryos to make a fundamental discovery about the earliest days of human development.

By modifying a key gene in very early-stage embryos, the researchers demonstrated that a gene plays a crucial role in making sure embryos develop normally, the scientists say.

How 3 Rickshaws Won A Million Dollar Prize

17 hours ago

On a stage at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, the young executives of six start-up companies made their final, feverish bids to win the coveted Hult Prize. Each had formed and launched business ideas over the last year that would try to solve this year's Hult Prize challenge – improving the well-being of at least one million refugees over the next five years.

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Voter turnout among college students nationwide was up by 3 percentage points in the 2016 election, according to a new report — faster than turnout growth among all voters. But depending on the type of school, that turnout grew either far faster or in some cases plummeted.

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After Hurricane Harvey, it was no surprise that restaurants in New Orleans quickly became a hub for many local efforts to help.

In the long haul, though, it is restaurants in the very areas hard-hit by Harvey that will be their own sources of community self-help.

That's one lesson from New Orleans' experience after Hurricane Katrina, and it's one that translates to others facing monumental loss. It's the way restaurants, fancy and modest alike, become beacons, and how the principle of service reaches beyond hot meals and cold drinks.

On The Ground In Puerto Rico

20 hours ago

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Updated at 2:45 a.m. ET Thursday

Hurricane Maria has damaged Puerto Rico's power infrastructure in ways that, in a worst-case scenario, could take months to repair, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told CNN late Wednesday.

"Our telecommunications system is partially down," he said. "Our energy infrastructure is completely down."

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Hurricane Maria has made landfall in Puerto Rico. Officials say this could be the strongest hurricane ever to hit the U.S. territory, and that is unnerving even hurricane veterans on the island like Abel Mendez.

Sen. Lankford On Closing Havana Embassy

22 hours ago

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