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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: The federal hate crimes trial against Dylann Roof began today in South Carolina. He's the man prosecutors say killed nine worshippers at a historic black church last year. They say Roof wanted to start a race war. NPR's Debbie Elliott was in court today. She joins us now from outside the federal courthouse in Charleston. And Debbie, I understand it was actually a rather dramatic day of opening testimony, and a...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Another thing that Branstad will have to address if he's confirmed as ambassador to China is his new boss's approach to Taiwan. The president-elect shocked China and many in Washington when he spoke with the president of Taiwan on the phone last week. At the time, Trump transition staffers and Taiwanese officials described it as a small courtesy. It may also have been part of a lobbying strategy engineered by a...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: If he's confirmed, Terry Branstad will be the go-between for Trump and China, which will be tricky, given Trump's campaign promise to slap Chinese goods with tariffs of up to 45 percent. For more on whether Trump could actually make good on that promise, we've called on Mark Wu. He teaches international trade law at Harvard Law School, and he's a former U.S. trade negotiator. Welcome back to the program. MARK WU:...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: The Senate gathered this afternoon to say goodbye to Vice President Joe Biden. Biden has been a presence there for more than 40 years. And NPR's Scott Detrow says it was a rare bipartisan moment in an increasingly partisan Capitol. SCOTT DETROW, BYLINE: By now, Joe Biden's Senate story is pretty well-known. He was elected in 1972. He need to be 30 to serve in the Senate, as minority leader Harry Reid pointed out in...

President-elect Donald Trump intends to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, announcing his decision in a statement Thursday. As attorney general, Pruitt has made no secret of his disdain for the EPA. His official biography calls him "a leading advocate against the EPA's activist agenda." He has repeatedly challenged the agency's rules in court, and he has even sued the EPA for an allegedly cozy "sue and settle" relationship with...

When AT&T, a leading Internet provider, proposed a massive merger with Time Warner, a huge media conglomerate, the question many people asked was: Will I have to pay more for my TV? On Wednesday, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee quizzed the CEOs of the two companies — over and over posing basically the same question: What will the $85.4 billion merger mean for the prices that consumers may have to pay? AT&T is the second-largest wireless Internet provider and one of the largest...

The death toll from a disastrous warehouse fire in Oakland, Calif., stands at 36 after authorities have ended recovery efforts, officials say. Firefighters and investigators have been searching the site for days, since the artists' collective known as the "Ghost Ship" burned down late Friday night, during a dance party. They briefly halted efforts when a wall was discovered to be leaning, calling in structural engineers to ensure the safety of recovery workers. The end of recovery efforts...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhdymoRTz6M The Weather Channel has a message for the website Breitbart: "Earth Is Not Cooling, Climate Change Is Real and Please Stop Using Our Video to Mislead Americans" That's the title under which The Weather Channel published an article on Tuesday , after Breitbart used the cable news channel's coverage in a factually incorrect story about climate change. The article addressed Breitbart's misleading use of a Nov. 3 Weather Channel video in which forecaster...

In the first wave of aerial attacks on Pearl Harbor, 183 Japanese planes dropped bombs on American naval vessels. Other planes bombarded U.S. airfields. When it was over, the USS Oklahoma had capsized, and another battleship, the USS Arizona, was destroyed. In the end more than 2,400 American service members and civilians were dead. After 75 years, there are fewer eyewitnesses to the events of Dec. 7, 1941. But one man does have a story from that infamous day — a story that he says no one...

When he first moved to Miami, Waltter Teruel says, working as a recruiter for ITT Technical Institute was a welcome change from his life in New York where he had been selling antiques and life insurance. As a recruiter, Teruel says, ITT Tech took care of the pitch to potential students for you. Recruiters used scripts set out in detailed PowerPoint presentations and got long lists of prospective students to call. But soon the welcome change faded. "Most of these students, they were looking...

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