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The bond between humans and dogs isn't just psychological or the common love of bacon.

It's also genetic.

For about 15,000 years, dogs have migrated in lockstep with humans around the globe. They have followed us from Asia into Europe, North America and back to Africa — all the while hunting, protecting and snuggling us.

Now it looks as though dog DNA has evolved in lockstep with our DNA.

Scientists in China have found evidence that dogs developed protection against malaria in the same way that people in West Africa have.

One year after fireworks celebrating Diwali, the religious festival known as the festival of lights, enveloped New Delhi in a thick, choking smog, courts in India have issued bans on fire cracker sales and restrictions on when fireworks can be exploded.

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

President Trump is striking a formal blow against the Iran nuclear deal. But he is stopping short of asking Congress to reimpose sanctions on Tehran. Instead, the president is urging lawmakers to pass a new law, spelling out conditions under which sanctions could be reimposed.

Did he or didn't he declare independence? That is the question in Spain.

The answer has huge implications for what the Spanish government does next and how the country's relatively young democracy — indeed, possibly even the whole European Union — might stay intact.

Ian Brady killed five children in the 1960s, in an infamous case of depraved murder. Brady died five months ago, but arguments over disposing of his body only now seem to be over, with a U.K. court saying Brady will be cremated with "no music and no ceremony," rejecting a plan to play the "Witches' Sabbath" portion of Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique.

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And now let's turn to NPR's Peter Kenyon, who covered the nuclear deal and continues to cover Iran. Peter, what struck you about what you just heard?

An American woman and her family were freed after being held by an extremist group in Afghanistan for five years. David Greene talks with journalist David Rohde, who was held by the same group. Rohde is an adviser to Hostage U.S., a nonprofit group that supports hostages and their families.

Gen. John W. "Mick" Nicholson settles into his wood-paneled office inside the American-led military headquarters in Kabul. It's lined with plaques, pictures and ceremonial swords.

He has spent more time in Afghanistan, in various jobs, than any other senior American officer — a total of 5 1/2 years. The commander of NATO's Resolute Support mission and U.S. forces in Afghanistan since March 2016, Nicholson is a genial West Point graduate with salt-and-pepper hair — and a renewed confidence.

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Yesterday, when President Trump signed an executive order on health care, he made a promise.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Today is only the beginning.

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If the mayor of Paris holds sway, gas-powered cars will be gone from her city by 2030. Instead, citizens will get around via public transport, bicycles, and electric cars — and Paris will be on its way to carbon neutrality by 2050.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo's call on Thursday for an end to petrol-fueled cars on Paris roads by 2030 follows a previously announced plan to eliminate diesel cars from the city by 2024, when Paris will host the Summer Olympics.

In October 1971, South African anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol died under suspicious circumstances in police custody. An inquest the next year found that he committed suicide by jumping out of a 10th floor window at a Johannesburg police station.

But today, a Pretoria judge reversed that finding, saying that Timol was murdered and that the apartheid police holding and interrogating him were responsible.

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An outbreak of the plague is growing in Madagascar.

A nation's flag embodies a defining aspect of its identity. It could be related to geography (the rising sun in Japan), nature (the maple leaf of Canada or the cedar of Lebanon), religion (the Christian cross or the Islamic crescent and star), political ideology (the hammer and sickle) or mythology (the Welsh dragon).

In a new book on flags, A Flag Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of National Symbols, Tim Marshall explores how a "piece of colored cloth" can arouse profound emotions of loyalty, love and pride in the breasts of its citizens.

With kisses on the cheek in a gleaming hall of Egypt's intelligence services, leaders of rival Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah reached an agreement for Hamas to hand over control of the Gaza Strip to the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority.

The deal is just an early step in a longer process that could end a decade-long split that has nearly paralyzed Palestinian political leadership and increased the misery for Gazans in need of jobs and aid.

With President Trump's announcement that he plans to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen as homeland security secretary, he still has one more Cabinet post to fill — health and human services secretary. A president having to find replacements for two Cabinet secretaries this early in an administration is unprecedented. But observers are more alarmed by the less visible vacancies at the sub-Cabinet level: hundreds of positions without a nominee, and a president who says he has no intention of filling many of the jobs.

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

The Trump administration has announced that the U.S. will withdraw from UNESCO, the United Nations' chief cultural and educational agency. In a statement released Thursday, the State Department said the move won't take effect for more than a year, noting the withdrawal will be as of Dec. 31, 2018.

In 2015, world powers agreed to give Iran relief from some economic sanctions in return for inspections and limits on its nuclear program. Since the nuclear deal — formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — took effect in January 2016, Iran has allowed inspections and is seeing some economic payoff.

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Romania's 'Brain Drain'

Oct 12, 2017

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Sen. Ben Cardin On The Iran Deal And Trump

Oct 12, 2017

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

When the Iranian nuclear agreement was reached in 2015 there was a hope — and it was just a hope — that the deal would lead to a more moderate Iran.

As tough sanctions were lifted, Iran received billions of dollars in oil revenues that had been blocked. The country's international isolation eased, raising the possibility that Iran's friction with the U.S. and some Arab states might give way to greater engagement, at least in some areas.

No one is talking like that now.

The prime minister of Spain has two requests for the leader of Catalonia.

First: Clarify whether the region is, indeed, declaring independence from Spain. And second: If that is the case, take it back.

Otherwise, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says, Spain will suspend Catalonia's current autonomy, institute direct rule and possibly even jail the Catalan president.

The ultimatum comes with a deadline: Catalonia has five days for the first demand, and three additional days for the second, Reuters reports.

This summer's fatal collision between the USS John S. McCain and a tanker ship off the coast of Singapore was "preventable," the U.S. Navy said Tuesday while announcing that the ship's commander and his deputy have been relieved of their duties.

The U.S. 7th Fleet, based in Japan, said in a statement that commanding officer Cmdr. Alfredo J. Sanchez "exercised poor judgement" and executive officer Cmdr. Jessie L. Sanchez "exercised poor leadership of the ship's training program."

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