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Penguins can't swipe right, but they can grab a big red heart in their beak and waddle it over to deliver at their beloved's feet.

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We're going to go now to NPR's Greg Allen, our reporter who's been covering this story from Miami.

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(Inaudible) it up from here. Hi, Greg.

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: Hi, Mary Louise.

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And let's return to our top story today - multiple fatalities in a school shooting in Florida this afternoon. The school is Marjory Stoneman Douglas High. It is in Parkland. That is northwest of Fort Lauderdale.

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To celebrate Valentine's Day, you can buy a sappy card. Or a silly one.

Or, you can buy one that takes on Islamophobia with messages like "This burka is built for two" and "First Muslim Registry ... Then Wedding Registry."

These are some of the valentine creations of Tanzila Ahmed, a Los-Angeles-based writer, artist, activist and co-host of the podcast #GoodMuslimBadMuslim.

The messages make people laugh — and squirm. And that was absolutely her intention, Ahmed says.

Today is Ash Wednesday.

For many of us, the smudge on people's foreheads signifies the first day of Lent.

Photographer Greg Miller has been documenting this ritual on the streets of New York City for the past 20 years.

His upcoming book, Unto Dust, features 40 portraits from his decades of work.

Here is what he told us about the project.


Why did you decide to do this project?

For much of the past half-century, children, adolescents and young adults in the U.S. have been saying they feel as though their lives are increasingly out of their control. At the same time, rates of anxiety and depression have risen steadily.

What's the fix? Feeling in control of your own destiny. Let's call it "agency."

"Agency may be the one most important factor in human happiness and well-being."

Ramona Morales, who turns 80 in May, technically has a criminal record. Her offense? One of her renters kept chickens.

"Beautiful chickens. Beautiful roosters they were," Morales says walking in the backyard of the modest ranch home she rents out in the Coachella Valley city of Indio, Calif.

Beautiful, but annoying to some neighbors and against the Indio's municipal code on keeping farm animals in a residential area.

And violating that code comes with a price. The price for Morales: $6,000.

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It's a well-intentioned effort to provide men with some of the same financial protection from birth control costs that women get. But a new Maryland law may jeopardize the ability of thousands of consumers — both men and women — to use health savings accounts.

The Maryland law, which took effect Jan. 1, mandates that insurers cover vasectomies without requiring patients to pay anything out-of-pocket — just as they must do for more than a dozen birth control methods for women.

America's adversaries are circling like coyotes just beyond the light from the campfire, top intelligence officials warn — but that's not the scariest thing to some members of the Senate intelligence committee.

What bothers them is the need to convince people the coyotes are there.

"My problem is, I talk to people in Maine who say, 'the whole thing is a witch hunt and it's a hoax,' because that's what the president told me," said Sen. Angus King, I-Maine.

Is graffiti art? One court in Brooklyn has decided yes, ruling for spray paint over New York real estate.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wants to start cutting checks for victims of Hurricane Harvey starting now.

At a meeting with business leaders in Rockport, Texas, Tuesday — one of the areas slammed hardest by the storm — the governor announced the state expects to receive more than $1 billion in hazard-mitigation funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency by next summer. Five hundred million of that is available immediately.

A federal judge in New York has ruled that the Trump administration cannot end the Obama-era program designed to protect from deportation young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.

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The man who set off a pressure cooker bomb in Manhattan has been sentenced to life in prison.

Ahmad Khan Rahimi was convicted of detonating the homemade bomb in the Chelsea neighborhood in September 2016, injuring 30 people. He also planted a second bomb that failed to explode.

After a two-week trial in October, a jury found Rahimi guilty on eight counts, including the use of a weapon of mass destruction. Federal Judge Richard Berman, who presided over the trial, imposed the sentence Tuesday in New York.

The head of a major Hispanic business association is stepping aside after allegations of improperly increasing his salary and sexual misconduct.

The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said president and CEO Javier Palomarez and its board of directors "have mutually agreed to undergo a leadership transition for the organization effective immediately," the organization said in a statement to NPR.

Editor's note: This post refers frequently to the use of a racial slur.

Professor Emeritus Lawrence Rosen opened his course last week with a question. The anthropologist, who has spent four decades teaching at Princeton University, was introducing a class called Cultural Freedoms: Hate Speech, Blasphemy, and Pornography — and his question was meant to shock.

Both the challenges and opportunities of U.S. Christianity are evident at Fairmeadows Baptist Church in Duncanville, Texas, just south of Dallas.

On some Sundays, services at the church draw as few as a dozen worshippers, most of them white.

For the past year, however, the church has also been home to a largely Hispanic tenant congregation that calls itself Erez Baptist, and in that incarnation the church is thriving. The average Sunday attendance is around 80, and the congregation has a youth music group and already sponsors a missionary in Brazil.

Before Valentine's Day, love is in the air. But sometimes, love hurts. It's a harsh reality that many Mexicans deal with by listening to rancheras, traditional songs from Mexico's countryside that you can put on when you need a good cry. One young woman found a connection to her ancestors through the sounds of guitars and tears.

A longer version of this story originally aired on NPR's Latino USA.

Wednesday is Valentine's Day, and if you struggled to find just the right words to tell a special someone how you feel, you have options.

There are the classic options: Store-bought superhero valentines or sappy Hallmark cards. Or if you're into something sweet — boxes of pastel-colored candy hearts, emblazoned with messages like "BE MINE," "XOXO" and "HOT STUFF."

But if those candy greetings feel tired, or just aren't striking the right note, Colorado researcher Janelle Shane has some ideas.

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