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Why do we humans like to play so much? Play sports, play tag, play the stock market, play duck, duck, goose? We love it all. And we're not the only ones. Dogs, cats, bears, even birds seem to like to play. What are we all doing? Is there a point to it all?

If you're struck by a macaw, sucked into a jet engine or are having relationship problems with your in-laws, fear not: Your doctor now has a medical diagnosis code for that.

On Thursday, doctors, hospitals and health insurers must start using the ICD-10, a vast new set of alphanumeric codes for describing diseases and injuries in unprecedented detail.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The cost of getting into some national parks increases on Thursday.

The rates will go up despite the fact that visitation at parks is up, which means bigger crowds, congested traffic and busier visitor centers. But more people aren't translating into a big boost for park budgets. For example, visitation at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is up 20 percent so far this year and Yosemite, Yellowstone and Zion are also seeing double-digit increases. The parks are also seeing the strain. About 100 parks are planning an entrance fee hike.

A federal inspection station on Interstate 10 in the West Texas desert earned the nickname "checkpoint of the stars" for all the entertainers who kept getting busted there. In the past six years, Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Nelly and Fiona Apple were all arrested for possession of marijuana.

These days, though, after a decision by a local lawman, everyone from personal pot smokers to medium-size marijuana traffickers can avoid jail.

Ben Carson, notably the only black man running for president, made a joke Wednesday afternoon about running away from the cops as a kid.

"Throwing rocks at cars, I really liked that," he said, describing his childhood. "Sometimes, the police would come, always in unmarked cars. And, they'd be chasing us across the field."

Carson said he would hop over 10-foot-tall fences, to run away from the police.

"Now, that was back in the days before they would shoot you," he said, laughing. The crowd joined in laughter.

In the latest embarrassment for the Secret Service, agents were found to have improperly accessed, shared and potentially released an unsuccessful 2003 Secret Service job application of Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah, according to a government report.

It says that the agents' actions stemmed from a desire to discredit Chaffetz, who was heading investigations of scandals inside the Secret Service.

Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is running to be the next speaker of the House, and most observers think he has it locked up. But Tuesday night he said something on Fox News that is causing Democrats to celebrate and conservatives to experience heartburn.

It's been exactly one year since the CDC confirmed that Thomas Eric Duncan had Ebola. He had flown from Liberia to Dallas to visit his fiancé, and became the first person diagnosed with the deadly virus on American soil.

During his stay at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, two nurses also fell ill with Ebola. Duncan died, but the nurses survived, as did a handful of Americans who fell ill in West Africa but were transported back to the United States for care.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul could be on the chopping block and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham may not even make the undercard debate under criteria released Wednesday by CNBC ahead of its Oct. 28 GOP presidential debate.

The rules would limit the prime-time debate to any candidates polling above 3 percent. That's of an average of national polls released between Sept. 17 and Oct. 21. Surveys from NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox News, CNN and Bloomberg will be used to make the determination.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



Emma Green covers religion and culture for The Atlantic, and she joins me now. Welcome to the program.

EMMA GREEN: Thanks for having me.

SIEGEL: Were you surprised to learn about this meeting between the pope and Kim Davis?

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



TO: America's colleges and universities

FR: America's high school students

RE: Please make the college admissions process less daunting and more collaborative, creative, engaging and in tune with the Digital Age. Oh, and while you're at it, try to level the admissions playing field between rich and poor.

Correctional facilities have to provide health services to people who are incarcerated, but that doesn't mean the care is free of charge. In most states, inmates may be on the hook for copayments ranging from a few dollars to as much as $100 for medical care, a recent study finds.

It's a typical morning at the Dupont Veterinary Clinic in Lafayette, La. Dr. Phillip Dupont is caring for cats and dogs in the examining room while his wife, Paula, answers the phone and pet owners' questions. Their two dogs are sleeping on the floor behind her desk.

"That's Ken and Henry," Paula says, pointing to the slim, midsize dogs with floppy ears and long snouts. Both dogs are tan, gray and white, with similar markings. "I put a red collar on Ken and a black collar on Henry so I can tell who's who."

Fernando Aguilar has five kids and named his only son after his hero, Isaac Newton.

"I looked up to him and so does my son, and hopefully one day we can make contributions to society like he did," says Aguilar.

Isaac's in third grade at Herrera Elementary School in Houston. Aguilar thinks his 8-year-old is a smarty, just like the famous physicist: "I think he's going to be a lot smarter than I am."

But when the local school tested Isaac in kindergarten for the gifted and talented program, he didn't qualify.

We might not be able to remember every stressful episode of our childhood.

But the emotional upheaval we experience as kids — whether it's the loss of a loved one, the chronic stress of economic insecurity, or social interactions that leave us tearful or anxious — may have a lifelong impact on our health.

The revelation that Volkswagen rigged software to cheat on emissions tests got us wondering: What else is the software in your car doing that you don't know about?

Well, that answer, for the time being, will remain a mystery.

That's because there's a little-known law in the U.S. that bars car owners — and researchers — from accessing the software inside vehicles.

There are as many as 100 million lines of computer code in some new cars. They help control the steering, cruise control, air bags, entertainment and anti-skid systems.

Doctors are finding elevated levels of lead in the children in Flint, Mich., and local tap water is the likely cause.

That's the latest alarming news to come out of the city, which switched its water source about a year and a half ago.

Ralph Lauren Corporation announced that Stefan Larsson has been named CEO, starting in November. The 75-year-old founder and face of the fashion mega-house, Ralph Lauren, will continue to "actively drive the company's vision," a company statement read.

A bipartisan group of senators on the Judiciary Committee is preparing to unveil a criminal justice overhaul proposal as early as Thursday, two sources familiar with the deal told NPR.

The plan follows months of behind-the-scenes work by the staffs of Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican who is chairman of the committee, and several other lawmakers representing both political parties.

For the first time since surreptitious videos put Planned Parenthood in the spotlight again, the organization's president, Cecile Richards, faced the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Twitter's newest high-profile user just might push the issue of domestic surveillance back into the presidential campaign's conversation.

Edward Snowden sent his first-ever tweet at noon on Tuesday, asking, "Can you hear me now?"

Teachers, parents and politicians have long wrestled with the question:

How important is preschool?

A new answer comes in the form of a study — out of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. — that is as clear as it is controversial.

Updated 6:20 p.m. ET

Southern Methodist University officials are considering an appeal of the NCAA's sanctions against the men's basketball program.

"There are a couple of things that we know we are going to consider, very seriously, appealing," SMU president Gerald Turner said, according to the Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA. He added that head basketball coach Larry Brown had his full support.

Before they were removed following an outcry over privacy, backscatter X-ray security scanners at airports also raised worries among some travelers and scientists about exposure to potentially harmful radiation.

Angelina Diaz-Ramirez had no idea a surgeon was about to cut open her chest. The 50-year-old had been rushed to the hospital from the California field where she worked picking green beans. Doctors said she had a heart attack and that they would do surgery to install a pacemaker.

But Diaz-Ramirez, an immigrant from Mexico, doesn't speak Spanish or English. She speaks Triqui, an indigenous language. And the hospital had no one who could translate the doctors' words for her.

"None explained anything to me," said Diaz-Ramirez. "I was scared, but I didn't have a choice."