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When 30-year-old Edward Archer opened fire on a Philadelphia policeman earlier this month, he quickly offered authorities a motive: He told them he had done it for the Islamic State.

"He pledges his allegiance to the Islamic State," Capt. James Clark of the Philadelphia Police Department told reporters hours after the Jan. 7 shooting. "He follows Allah and that is the reason he was called upon to do this."

The FBI, for its part, has said it is investigating the attack as a possible act of terrorism — inspired by ISIS.

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When Marine Cpl. Zach Skiles returned from Iraq, he couldn't sleep, hold down a job or pay rent. Earlier this year, he and his father sat down to talk for the first time about his life after the war.

An experiment has been underway in California since November 2014, when voters approved Proposition 47: put fewer lawbreakers in jail without increasing crime. The measure converted a list of nonviolent felonies into misdemeanors, which translated into little or no jail time for crimes such as low-value theft and possession of hard drugs.

Police didn't like Prop 47 when it was on the ballot, and now many are convinced they were right to oppose it.

Florida's Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys was a horror tale come to life.

"There's just too many stories," Roger Kiser, who was at the school in the 1950s, told NPR in 2012. "I know of one [boy] that I personally saw die in the bathtub that had been beaten half to death. I thought he'd been mauled by the dogs because I thought he had ran. I never did find out the true story on that. There was the boy I saw who was dead who came out of the dryer. They put him in one of those large dryers."

UPDATE January 26, 11:52 a.m.: This live Q&A has ended. Watch a recorded version in the player above.

Former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, who was found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting multiple women while on his beat, was sentenced to 263 years in prison.

Holtzclaw's sentencing Thursday was temporarily delayed, after his attorney requested a new trial. Holtzclaw claimed there was evidence that hadn't been presented at trial.

The judge rejected the request, and sentenced Holtzclaw to 263 years in prison, to be served consecutively. That's the maximum sentence, and the one which had been recommended by a jury last month.

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Editors' note, Feb. 1, 2016: On Jan. 20, we reported on a statement from the American Psychological Association that a research paper, "Chronic Adolescent Marijuana Use as a Risk Factor for Physical and Mental Health Problems in Young Adult Men," had a statistical error. The APA now says that statement, which was titled "APA Corrects Article Regarding Teen Marijuana Use," should not have said there was an error in the paper. Jim Sliwa, a spokesman for the APA, told NPR: "There was no error.

By some accounts, education is a $7 trillion global industry ripe for disruption. Others see it as a sacred pursuit, nurturing developing minds while preserving tradition. Around the world, education means equal rights and opportunity.

People risk their lives for it every day.

Gentle warning: This is a big story about a big nation. My beloved editor, Scott, suggests it can be read as a story and/or used as a living-history resource.

Americans are doers. In the United States today, history is an action word. This is, after all, a participatory democracy, and people are participating in its history by volunteering, crafting, interpreting, re-enacting, re-creating and exploring the old — anew.

Maybe it was last January's big measles outbreak at Disneyland that scared more California parents into getting their kids vaccinated. Or maybe health campaigns have become more persuasive. Or maybe schools getting stricter about requiring shots for entry made a difference.

Whatever the reasons, childhood vaccination rates last fall went up in 49 of 58 counties in California, according to data released Tuesday by state health officials.

As the issue of immigration — legal or otherwise — gains traction in the 2016 presidential race, there's more evidence that illegal immigration is not only declining, but it's been on a decade-long downward trend.

"The undocumented population has essentially reached zero growth, " said Robert Warren, the author of a new report published by the New York-based Center for Migration Studies. "The population has stopped growing because slightly more people are leaving than are coming in from Mexico."

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ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began her day here with a fundraiser. Tonight she's back on the campaign trail.

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It may seem like déjà vu for Hillary Clinton — an insurgent candidate has erased her once-dominant lead in Iowa just days before the Democratic caucuses.

That's what happened in 2008, when she finished a disappointing third behind Barack Obama and John Edwards. Now, it's Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has closed the gap in the Hawkeye State.

Grace Coddington, the longtime creative director at American Vogue, will be shifting to a new role at the magazine — creative director at-large — as she pursues outside projects. The 74-year-old stylist began her career in fashion as a model and was hired by Vogue editor Anna Wintour in 1988 as fashion director.

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At first blush, the FBI's national crime numbers for the first half of 2015 seem like bad news: Violent crime is up 1.7 percent over the same period last year.

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On Capitol Hill today, Republicans blasted the Obama administration's executive actions on guns. The president wasn't there to defend them. Instead, his attorney general took the grilling. NPR's justice correspondent Carrie Johnson reports.

As Iran prepares to pump even more oil into an already glutted market, that oversupply isn't just making gas cheaper for your car — it's also causing jet fuel prices to go down sharply. And that's now pushing airfares down, too.

A nearly unanimous Supreme Court Wednesday reinstated death sentences for three convicted Kansas murderers. The decision cast doubt on the impression that a majority of the justices might now be willing to strike down capital punishment in its entirety.

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