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Gary Austin, who created and led one of improvisational theater's most influential troupes, the Groundlings, died Saturday at the age of 75 of cancer.

Austin was a writer, director, and musical performer whose students comprised a virtual Who's Who of modern comedy, including many cast members of Saturday Night Live.

As Deadline Hollywood reported,

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, has begun issuing weekly reports that name sheriffs, the agency claims, who are uncooperative when it comes to enforcing federal immigration laws. ICE says some sheriffs are refusing the federal government's requests to hold people in their jails believed to be in the country illegally. But many sheriffs argue what they're being asked to do is not constitutional.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka laid out his vision for organized labor Tuesday, taking on both political parties for catering to moneyed interests instead of focusing on the plight of American workers — the hallmark of the presidential campaign.

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In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered one of his most politically charged speeches from Harlem's Riverside Church. In "Beyond Vietnam," he not only condemns the Vietnam War, but also compares American tactics to those of Nazis. His speech paints a dark vision of the world, a contrast to the optimistic speech he had delivered 4 years earlier, "I Have a Dream."

There was a lot of buzz when Philadelphia passed a soda tax, and there's early evidence it's led to its intended aim of reducing sugary drink consumption. But further expansion of the pre-K programs the tax is intended to fund is in limbo. That's because the American Beverage Association and local businesses are suing to to abolish the tax. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for April 5. The case could end up in the state's Supreme Court.

A rain forest sings with the sounds of insects, birds, maybe a howler monkey or two. But scientists are discovering that some forest dwellers also communicate in ways humans usually can't hear — via ultrasound.

A team from Dartmouth College has recorded these signals in treetops on a pristine Panamanian island called Barro Colorado, and slowed them down to make sense of them.

Health officials have published the first comprehensive view of Zika-linked birth defects occurring in the U.S.

The study is the largest so far to estimate the risk of severe birth defects from Zika infections in pregnant women, researchers report Wednesday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report,

Taking Shortcuts In Drug Testing Can Put Patients At Risk

Apr 4, 2017

We all want breakthroughs in medicine. I've never met someone who doesn't.

Even with all the progress we have seen in medicine, millions of people suffer, or have family members who suffer, from diseases that are making their lives worse or threatening their lives. Time means something different to these people. They do not have the luxury of waiting patiently while researchers test new drugs.

In 2014, James Knowles had just been re-elected mayor without opposition when one of his city's white police officers shot and killed Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American. Knowles suddenly became the public face of Ferguson, Mo., a small town under intense scrutiny.

Some questioned whether Knowles would remain in his post. He did. And now, he is running for a third term.

Depending on where you sit, the U.S.-Mexico border is:

a) a dangerous frontier that allows drug traffickers and illegal immigrants to cross freely into the U.S.

or

b) a familiar frontier that is navigated as a regular part of everyday life.

For people who live along the border in the twinned cities of Nogales, Ariz., and Nogales, Mexico, it's nearly always the latter.

The sister cities are known collectively as Ambos Nogales, or "Both Nogales."

Monday night's national title game was expected to be a fast-paced, competitive showcase for North Carolina forward Justin Jackson and Gonzaga point guard Nigel Williams-Goss, two of the best players in college this season.

It was certainly competitive, but with both teams' tough defenses locking up the main offensive options, the game turned into a foul-laden slog rather than a shootout. The Tar Heels were able to pin their opponent in the end, 71-65, winning the school's sixth national title.

The leader of the U.S. Justice Department has ordered federal authorities to emphasize building partnerships with local law enforcement over hard-nosed investigations of them, asking a federal judge in Baltimore to delay a hearing this week on a deal to overhaul the city's troubled police force and casting a cloud over a host of other federal consent decrees that target unconstitutional law enforcement practices.

Imagine a concrete room, not much bigger than a parking space. No window. You're in there 23 hours a day, 7 days a week; you don't know when you'll get out of this room. A month? A year? A decade?

Our minds don't do well with that kind of solitude and uncertainty.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is removing Orlando's chief prosecutor from a number of murder cases in an ongoing dispute over the death penalty.

Through executive order, the Republican governor is reassigning 22 first-degree murder cases from State Attorney Aramis Ayala to a prosecutor who handles a different judicial circuit.

Ayala, a Democrat, is the first black elected prosecutor in Florida, and has said she will not seek the death penalty in Orange and Osceola counties, one of the largest judicial circuits in the state.

The NHL won't be pausing its season to allow players to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics, officials announced on Monday.

Many pro players have expressed a desire to compete in the Games at Pyeongchang, South Korea. But the league says it doesn't see a benefit to the sport — and does see a risk of injuries.

The NHL has allowed players to participate in every Olympic Games since 1998.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, disputes over money played a role in the decision not to continue.

New research published Monday adds fuel to an ongoing debate in the public health community over whether a few extra pounds are good, or bad, for you.

Earlier research found that being somewhat overweight, but not obese, may result in a longer life.

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Senate Democrats on Monday secured the votes needed to filibuster Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. This sets up a political fight that will substantially change the way the Senate considers future high court nominees.

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Recall Of Some EpiPens Extends To U.S.

Apr 3, 2017

The pharmaceutical company Mylan NV announced a recall of some brand-name EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. auto-injectors on Friday.

As President Trump moves to fulfill his campaign promise to deport millions of immigrants who are in the country illegally, they'll most likely include Mexicans whose children were born in the U.S.. Over half a million of these kids are already in Mexico.

Researchers call them "los invisibles", the invisible ones, because they often end up in an educational limbo of sorts. Most don't read or write in Spanish, so they're held back. Many get discouraged and stop going to school. In some cases schools even refuse to enroll them.

The U.S. Senate could make history this week, but no one is feeling particularly good about it.

"It is depressing; I'm very depressed," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "We're all arguing against it, but we don't know any other option."

The nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and the GOP blockade against Merrick Garland before him are forcing another showdown over whether to invoke the "nuclear option" and change the rules of the Senate to make it easier for a president to get all of his nominations approved.

Earlier this winter, photographer Michael Furtman was driving along the North Shore of Lake Superior in search of great gray owls. Several of the giant, elusive birds had flown down from Canada looking for food.

He pulled off on a dirt road where he had seen an owl the night before. An owl was there, perched in a spruce tree, but a pair of videographers were filming it.

"I backed off; I was going to just let them have their time with the bird," Furtman says. "And then I saw them run out and put a mouse on the snow."

California native Malcolm Mirage's dream was to own a legal cannabis dispensary. For years, he had grown marijuana and sold it on the black market, while working a day job as a personal trainer. But in his late 20s, Mirage decided it was time to jump into the growing legal industry — before it got too crowded — and build his expertise into a sustainable, above-board business.

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Now we're going to get a different view of the summit this time from Beijing. We turn to NPR's Beijing correspondent Anthony Kuhn. Anthony, greetings. Thanks so much for talking with us.

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