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Back in May, three Indiana judges got into a fight. It was the crescendo of an incident brimming with colorful details: a gaggle of judges drinking the night before a judicial conference, a failed attempt to visit a strip club called the Red Garter, a brawl in the parking lot of an Indianapolis White Castle.

The altercation apparently started sometime after 3 a.m., when one of the judges, Sabrina Bell, raised a middle finger at two men yelling from a passing SUV, and ended after one of those men shot two of the judges.

When Elle Simone Scott was a young girl, her family relied on food stamps and her school's free lunch program to get by.

"At several points in my life, receiving free lunch when I needed it the most, it was so beneficial for me," she says. "You know, it was sometimes the most complete meal that I and some of my friends would have in a day."

Members of the Michigan State University marching band are braving below freezing temperatures to take part in "Sparty Watch" — a more than 50-year-old protection scheme devised to fend off attacks on MSU's beloved mascot, The Spartan, in advance of their rivalry football game on Saturday.

It's 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and 22 degrees. Twenty members of the MSU marching band and color guard are huddled outside in the snow flanking the 9-foot bronze statue.

When the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine was abruptly removed from her post earlier this year, some Democratic lawmakers called it "a political hit job." Now the congressman in charge of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump is making the case that Marie Yovanovitch's ouster is part of the story of a president abusing his power in relations with Ukraine.

Yovanovitch will be the sole witness Friday, the second day of the inquiry's public hearings over whether Trump used military aid as leverage to pressure Ukraine into investigations that would benefit him politically.

The Italian government declared a state of emergency Thursday in Venice following the city's worst flooding in over 50 years. On Tuesday, high tides allowed the high-water mark to reach 6 feet, 2 inches, just 2 inches less than the record measurement in 1966.

What's happening in the impeachment inquiry: A timeline

22 minutes ago

The US House of Representatives announced an impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump on Sept. 24, 2019, sparked by a whistleblower complaint that warned of "urgent concerns" regarding the president's actions in Ukraine. Since the investigation was launched, House investigators have heard testimony from multiple officials, including both political appointees and career foreign service staff.

Below is a timeline of key events, which will be updated as the impeachment process continues.  

Nov. 13, 2019

As protesters hunker down at university campuses in Hong Kong, police are accusing them of firing arrows and tossing Molotov cocktails off bridges. The clashes between protesters and police are a sign that violence continues to escalate in Hong Kong, even after more than five months of intense protests over concerns that China is seeking to limit freedoms there.

In a tiny wooden lodge, in a misty valley in Montenegro, six locals puff away on homemade cigarettes and sip the country’s traditional plum brandy at 11:15 a.m.

There are six glasses on the small table, filled with ice-cold water drawn from their river. It’s that clean.

Montenegro’s rivers are some of Europe’s last free-flowing bodies of water. But they are under threat from small hydropower plants as the country rapidly shifts from a legacy of coal toward cleaner energy.

But renewable energy doesn’t always mean green.

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Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

After 43 years in the State Department, Anne Patterson got a plum job offer from the Pentagon and thought the opportunity would be an honorable way to cap her long career as a foreign service officer.

But then Patterson's nomination unleashed a torrent of articles in conservative media that painted her as a clandestine partisan or worse. And shortly after the headlines rocketed around the Internet, then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis withdrew Patterson's nomination, and she eventually left government.

More than a week after Election Day, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin is conceding the Kentucky gubernatorial election to Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear after a recanvass failed to significantly change the close final margin.

"We are going to have a change in the governorship based on the vote of the people," Bevin said at an afternoon news conference.

The International Criminal Court has greenlighted an investigation into possible crimes against humanity perpetrated against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority. Since 2017, hundreds of thousands of them fleeing violence have arrived in neighboring Bangladesh.

Actor Reese Witherspoon became famous in her 20s after starring in films like Election and Legally Blonde, but by the time she entered her 30s, the film landscape had shifted. DVD sales had shrunk and smaller, female-centered movies were in short supply. It was nearly impossible to find good leading roles for women.

Witherspoon began asking different movie studios what projects they were developing for women. "With the exclusion of one studio, everybody said 'Nothing. Nothing with a female lead,' " she says.

In some ways, the fact that Behrouz Boochani touched down in New Zealand on his way to a literary festival is unremarkable. His memoir, No Friend but the Mountains, won Australia's richest literary prize earlier this year, after all, and presenting at such festivals is a pretty standard item on any celebrated writer's itinerary.

But this trip represented something unfamiliar for the Kurdish-Iranian journalist: his first glimpse of freedom in six years.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi believes that the impeachment inquiry currently underway has uncovered evidence that President Trump's actions amounted to bribery.

Multiple witnesses have alleged that the president leveraged U.S. foreign policy — a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart and security assistance funds appropriated by Congress — for investigations that could benefit him politically.

Updated at 4:37 p.m. ET

Two students have died after a gunman opened fire Thursday morning at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, Calif., according to law enforcement officials. Three other students also were shot.

Authorities have not named the suspect but say he is a 16-year-old student at the school. He carried out the attack on his birthday.

On a roadside in northern Sri Lanka, a dozen women in bright-colored saris squat in the shade of an open canvas tent, waving tattered photographs at passing cars. They're school portraits, now yellowing, of their children who disappeared more than a decade ago in the country's civil war.

The women weep and nod as each tells her own son's or daughter's story. Kasipillai Romee was 16. She wanted to be a doctor. Sheeva Kumar was 20. He went to work and never came home. Rajendran Uday was 22 when soldiers came at midnight and took him away.

Take a quick scan of the 16 nominees for next year's Aspen Words Literary Prize, and you're likely to find that their dust jackets boast the stuff of international headlines. And that's the point: The annual award, which revealed its longlist Thursday, is intended to honor fiction that doesn't shy from the weightiest, thorniest of social issues today.

(You can jump to the full list by heading to Aspen's website or clicking here.)

A Juul pod is not an e-cigarette is not a vape pen is not a mod, as any serious vaper can tell you.

The Department of Homeland Security now has new leadership: Hours after acting Secretary Chad Wolf was sworn into that post, he named Ken Cuccinelli as his deputy. Cuccinelli is an immigration hard-liner who was once seen as President Trump's pick for the top job.

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Turmoil In Bolivia

9 hours ago

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Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is officially joining the 2020 Democratic presidential race less than three months before voters start casting ballots.

"I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field. They bring a richness of ideas and experiences and depth of character that makes me proud to be a Democrat. But if the character of the candidates is an issue in every election, this time is about the character of the country," Patrick said in an announcement video published online Thursday morning.

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Ten Democratic candidates will debate next week in the fifth primary face-off, which has increasing importance, with presidential hopefuls set to face voters in fewer than three months.

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