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Twitter shocked the Internet Thursday with a farewell to Vine: "In the coming months we'll be discontinuing the mobile app."

We could have seen it coming. The six-second looped-video site hasn't gotten much love from Twitter, which is grappling with self-reflection: another quarter of losses, layoffs of 9 percent of the staff, constant rumors of a potential sale.

"It's the consumers' information. How it is used should be the consumers' choice." So said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler as the commission adopted rules requiring Internet service providers such as Comcast and Verizon to get customers' permission before selling the data they collect to marketers.

The vote was 3-2 along party lines.

The U.S. Department of Justice has charged 61 people and entities with conspiracy and fraud over a scam that involved phone calls from people pretending to be from the IRS or other government agencies.

The conspiracy defrauded at least 15,000 people of more than $300 million, the U.S. government says. The defendants — 56 people and five call center groups — were indicted last week, and the documents were unsealed on Thursday.

Hours after announcing a 9 percent staff cut, Twitter says it's also cutting the Vine looping-video app, which burst to popularity after its launch in 2013 but has struggled to match that growth in the past year.

The shutdown of Vine, which recently claimed more than 200 million monthly viewers, will occur "in the coming months," the company says in a blog post about the move.

Protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline have been raging for months, but tensions have been escalating. Recently, tribal leaders — led by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II — called on the Department of Justice to look into what they describe as unnecessary use of force by state and local law enforcement.

Tesla surprised Wall Street Wednesday by posting a profit of nearly $22 million for the third quarter. It's a surprise because it's only the second time in the company's history that it has posted a quarterly profit.

West Virginia residents have settled part of a civil lawsuit over a chemical spill that contaminated drinking water for thousands of people in 2014, according to The Associated Press.

The U.N. General Assembly votes every year on a resolution calling for an end to the U.S. embargo on Cuba. The U.S. has always opposed the symbolic measure.

But today, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N Samantha Power told the General Assembly that for the first time, the U.S. would abstain.

Today may be the day when cable and telecom execs shake their heads at Google with a smug "I told you so."

The tech giant is scaling back its plan to wire American cities for hyper-fast Internet — the project called Google Fiber.

The Walloons still aren't budging.

Thursday is supposed to be signing day in Brussels for a major free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, an agreement seven years in the making, which involves 29 countries with a combined population of more than 500 million.

The media was lined up. Special pens were set aside. VIPs were making travel plans, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and many European leaders.

But the Walloons are still saying, "No deal."

As Hillary Clinton traverses battleground states across the country in the final stretch of the election, Donald Trump paid a visit Wednesday to the solidly Democratic, tiny District of Columbia.

He wasn't there for D.C.'s votes.

Trump was attending the opening of the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C., in what is known as the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue, blocks from the White House.

The barbarians are invading Rome — again.

At least, that's the complaint of a group of Italian intellectuals protesting the "siege" of the city's cultural sites by outside enemies such as McDonald's and cheap souvenir shops.

Some 170 people have signed their names to an open letter appealing to UNESCO for help in combating the "commercial exploitation" of the ancient city.

The EpiPen, the anti-allergy device that has been under investigation because of huge price increases, is soon going to have some competition.

Kaleo Pharmaceuticals, a small privately held drugmaker, says it plans to bring the Auvi-Q epinephrine auto-injector back onto the market in 2017.

Both the Auvi-Q and EpiPen devices inject a dose of epinephrine into the thigh of a person experiencing a severe allergic reaction.

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Most parents have experienced sticker shock when they find out just how much it will cost to care for their infant or toddler full- or even part-time. For parents who have little choice, this can be a big financial strain.

In fact, the most common challenge parents face when looking for child care is the high cost. That's the finding of a recent poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Sounds, particularly those made by other humans, rank as the No. 1 distraction in the workplace. According to workplace design expert Alan Hedge at Cornell, 74 percent of workers say they face "many" instances of disturbances and distractions from noise.

"In general, if it's coming from another person, it's much more disturbing than when it's coming from a machine," he says, because, as social beings, humans are attuned to man-made sounds. He says overheard conversations, as well as high-pitched and intermittent noises, also draw attention away from tasks at hand.

This presidential election year has tested the limits of free speech on Twitter. It's a prime political platform for Republican candidate Donald Trump, for the correspondents covering both presidential candidates, and for the purveyors of hate speech.

Emily Bell is the director for the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School. NPR's Steve Inskeep talked with Bell about the challenges Twitter faces.

Interview Highlights

On the quality of debate on Twitter

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Cori Bargmann's new job description includes "to help cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of the century." That's quite a lofty goal.

Bargmann is a neuroscientist and president of science for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the joint venture of pediatrician Priscilla Chan and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. The couple pledged $3 billion to solve major medical problems by helping scientists and engineers collaborate long term, over 25, 50, even 80 years.

AT&T's proposed $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner has cast renewed attention on the financial performance and journalistic independence of one of the media conglomerate's best-known possessions, CNN.

"You have to allow the organization to run independently," AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson tells NPR. "It's not an altruistic thing either. I mean, I personally think it's a smart business thing to do. If the customer ever believes that the news is being tainted by the opinion of myself or somebody else within AT&T, that's brand damaging."

A federal judge has approved Volkswagen's $14.7 billion settlement over the carmaker's vehicle emissions scandal. The process of compensating affected U.S. car owners is beginning now, with the first buybacks expected to happen within the next few weeks.

Under the terms of the deal, Volkswagen agrees to either buy back or repair vehicles involved in the scandal. That means paying as much as $10.033 billion to owners. In addition, the carmaker has come to an agreement with the United States under which it will pay nearly $5 billion in environmental remediation.

Telecom giant AT&T has reached an $85.4 billion deal to buy media titan Time Warner. The news of this transformational merger has shaken up both industries, raising eyebrows on Wall Street and drawing criticism from lawmakers and even the presidential campaigns.

Lipton tea can be found in almost any grocery store, and the brand is just about synonymous with industrial Big Tea. So tea enthusiasts who sniff at the familiar square bags might be surprised that once upon a time, Lipton was known as the "farm to table" of the tea world. In fact, it was sold with the catchy slogan "direct from tea garden to tea pot."

So how did Thomas Lipton build this tea empire?

Buick, a subsidiary of General Motors, has become the first domestic brand in more than three decades to earn one of the highest ratings for reliability from Consumer Reports. Results from the Consumer Reports Annual Brand Reliability Survey were released in Detroit Monday.

The cost of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is expected to rise an average of 22 percent in 2017, according to information released by the Obama administration Monday afternoon.

Still, federal subsidies will also rise, meaning that few people are likely to have to pay the full cost after the rate increases to get insurance coverage.

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AT&T's proposed $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner is already raising eyebrows among an important constituency: politicians. Reaction to the deal, which was announced Saturday night, has been swift, and skeptical, from both sides of the aisle.

At a rally in Gettysburg, Pa., earlier Saturday, after news of the deal had started to trickle out, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump said it was "a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

A drive 30 minutes north of Omaha, Neb., leads to the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant. It's full of new equipment. There's a white concrete box building that's still under construction. It's licensed until 2033. But the plant is closing Monday.

Nuclear power is expensive, especially when compared to some of the alternatives, so the U.S. nuclear power industry is shrinking. As more plants go offline, industry leaders are forced to reckon with what critics call a "broken system" for taking plants out of service and storing radioactive waste.