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In Maine's North Woods, forests and rivers that used to feed paper mills will now be permanently protected as a national monument — thanks to a donation by the co-founder of Burt's Bees.

President Obama announced the creation of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument on Wednesday, just one day before the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

A potentially habitable planet about the size of Earth is orbiting the star that is nearest our solar system, according to scientists who describe the find Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Gunmen attacked the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul on Wednesday evening, as students and staff hunkered down in place or fled for their lives, witnesses say.

Hospital officials say at least one student was killed and at least 14 injured, as Jennifer Glasse, reporting from Kabul, tells our Newscast unit.

"Right now there are dozens of Afghan police, security forces, special forces. They've surrounded the campus," Glasse says. Here's more:

Nestled among rolling hills and grazing cows, Elmore Mountain Bread in central Vermont is quintessentially pastoral. The setting is apropos, given the owners' recent decision to start grinding their own flour by stone — a veritable step back in time.

A fisherman in the Philippines might have discovered the largest natural pearl ever found — and then kept it hidden under his bed for 10 years.

The pearl's existence was revealed by Aileen Cynthia Maggay-Amurao, a tourism officer in Puerto Princesa, on the island of Palawan.

She says the fisherman is one of her relatives and that he discovered it in a giant clam and kept it as a good-luck charm.

Graduate students win recognition as employees

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Amy Scott

Colleges and universities are still absorbing the news of a ruling Tuesday by the National Labor Relations Board. The board voted 3-1 that graduate student research and teaching assistants at Columbia University are employees and have the right to unionize. Grad student unions have been recognized at many public universities since 1969. Among private schools, just New York University voluntarily recognizes a student union.

TPP proponents face a tough crowd this election season

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Sabri Ben-Achour

Trade deals are rarely popular in election years but this year they seem to be extra unpopular.  Mr. Trump appears opposed to most of the U.S. trade deals up to this point and both he and Secretary Clinton oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership.  That complicates the efforts to get the thing passed, even as President Obama has said he would make a push for the deal after the election. 

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake shook central Myanmar around 5 p.m. local time on Wednesday, damaging buildings and sending people running into the streets across the region.

How the U.S. military is kinda like Walmart

16 hours ago
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Kai Ryssdal and Bridget Bodnar

Rosa Brooks did a stint at the Pentagon as well as a civilian counselor of the undersecretary of defense for policy.

Her experiences there are the foundation for a new book about the way the American military does what it does today — which is a whole lot.

It's called, “How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon.”

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