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Updated at 5:28 p.m. ET

Four U.S. senators told the head of the nation's top consumer protection agency Thursday that they want her to launch examinations into serious problems with a program designed to offer loan forgiveness to public service workers.

As a teenager, Katie Gruman was prescribed one mental health drug after another. None seemed to help her manage symptoms of anxiety and bipolar disorder, so she self-medicated with alcohol and illicit drugs.

It would take five years, and trying more than 15 different medications, before she found meds that actually helped.

Now 28 and in recovery, Gruman has been on the same drugs for years. But when a clinician recommended a genetic test to see which drugs work best for her, she took it.

A protest by environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion sparked violence and disruption at a train station on Thursday. Before the sun had come up, some trains were at a standstill. Protesters had climbed atop the railcars; at least one grandfather had glued his hand to one.

Updated at 5:49 p.m. ET

U.S. Vice President Pence says he has brokered a cease-fire deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to suspend the Turkish incursion into northern Syria, targeting Kurdish forces. However, minutes later, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated that he did not consider it a cease-fire.

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Updated at 4:07 p.m. ET

Next year's Group of Seven gathering of the leaders of the world's biggest economies will take place at President Trump's Doral golf resort outside of Miami, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announced on Thursday.

"We used a lot of the same criteria used by past administrations," Mulvaney said. He later said it was almost as though the resort had been built for the event.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET

White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged Thursday that President Trump expected concessions from Ukraine's president in exchange for engagement — but said that's just how business is done in diplomacy.

Mulvaney was asked whether it was a quid pro quo for the White House to condition a meeting between Trump and Ukraine's president on an agreement by Ukraine to launch an investigation that might help Trump politically.

Updated at 5:12 p.m. ET

A powerful nor'easter storm is pummeling the New England area with heavy rain, strong winds and floods, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people in several states Thursday morning.

Does the chaos in Syria help ISIS?

23 hours ago

As the Turkish military continues its incursion into northeast Syria, there are reports of ISIS detainees leaving prisons and detention camps.

Five ISIS detainees escaped from Navkur prison last Friday after Turkish mortars landed nearby, according to the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is responsible for all of the ISIS prisons in northern Syria.

Chad Dechow, a geneticist at Pennsylvania State University who studies dairy cows, is explaining how all of America's cows ended up so similar to each other.

He brings up a website on his computer. "This is the company Select Sires," he says. It's one of just a few companies in the United States that sells semen from bulls for the purpose of artificially inseminating dairy cows.

Dechow chooses the lineup of Holstein bulls. This is the breed that dominates the dairy business. They're the black-and-white animals that give a lot of milk.

High rates of childhood obesity are a problem in a rising number of low- and middle-income countries, according to a new global assessment of child malnutrition by UNICEF. It's the agency's most comprehensive nutrition report in two decades.

Our small NPR reporting team arrived in Syria just in time to witness a historic moment in the long-running civil war. But we didn't think we would have to rush out so quickly.

Updated at 7:35 p.m. ET

White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged several substantial facts about the Ukraine affair on Thursday — but disputed that it was inappropriate or that the administration even was trying to hide what it had done.

Mulvaney acknowledged that President Trump expected concessions from his Ukrainian counterpart in exchange for engagement and also that Trump had empowered his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to run what has been called a parallel foreign policy for Ukraine on his own.

Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, is speaking to Congress behind closed doors on Thursday as part of the House's impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

In his prepared remarks, the former businessman says: "as we go through this process, I understand that some people may have their own specific agendas: some may want me to say things to protect the President at all costs; some may want me to provide damning facts to support the other side. But none of that matters to me. ... Simply put, I am NOT here to push an agenda. I am here to tell the truth."

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Congressman Elijah Cummings has died at the age of 68 years old. A Democrat, he was widely admired as a principled leader both on Capitol Hill and in his hometown of Baltimore. Here he is talking at Morgan State University's commencement back in May.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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One of Elijah Cummings' fellow chairmen is on the line next. Adam Smith leads the House Armed Services Committee. Mr. Chairman, good morning.

ADAM SMITH: Good morning.

INSKEEP: What has the House of Representatives and the country lost?

Updated at 9 a.m. ET

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he has reached an agreement with the European Union on a new Brexit deal that would allow the EU to continue collecting value-added tax from Northern Ireland and allow special treatment for certain goods going over the Irish border.

Johnson hailed the "new deal that takes back control," and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called it a "fair and balanced agreement."

As the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland has an important job, though it's not a position that makes someone a household name.

So how has he become a crucial player in the controversy that could jeopardize the Trump presidency?

A brutal attack on one of Hong Kong's most prominent pro-democracy leaders, who was reportedly beaten with hammers by a group of unknown assailants, is being widely condemned by the territory's government, opposition lawmakers and Amnesty International.

Jimmy Sham, who leads the Civil Human Rights Front and has been actively involved in the months-long anti-government protest movement, was left bloodied and dazed after the attack Wednesday evening in Hong Kong's congested Mong Kok district.

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The United Kingdom and the European Union say they have agreed to a Brexit withdrawal deal. NPR's Frank Langfitt is on the line from London. Hey, Frank.

FRANK LANGFITT, BYLINE: Hey. Good morning, Noel.

KING: So it has been a journey.

LANGFITT: It has.

Updated at 11:10 a.m. ET

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Baltimore attorney and civil rights advocate who served in Maryland's legislature before representing the state in the U.S. House, where he took on a lead role in investigating President Trump, has died. He was 68.

Cummings, the head of the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Reform, died early Thursday at Johns Hopkins Hospital from complications related to longstanding health challenges, according to The Associated Press.

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The number of children and young adults dying by suicide continues to rise, and a new report says the trend affects children as young as 10. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published that report. Here's NPR's Rhitu Chatterjee.

Drones Start Deliveries

Oct 17, 2019

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Good morning. I'm Noel King. Over the weekend, the Pittsburgh Steelers played the Los Angeles Chargers in LA, and they heard a familiar song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RENEGADE")

STYX: (Singing) The renegade who had it made, retrieved for a bounty.

In Hong Kong these days, conflicting views of the ongoing anti-government protests are painfully felt in Yuen Long, a town far to the northwest of the glittering skyscrapers on Hong Kong island. It's famed for its cuisine and ancestral temples — and for its pro-Beijing sympathies.

When scientist Giulia Poerio was a little girl, she says she would experience this very peculiar — and distinct — feeling: "a warm, tingling sensation that starts at the crown of the head, almost like bubbles on the scalp."

Updated at 5:28 p.m. ET

Two businessmen who allegedly conspired with associates of President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to illegally funnel foreign money into Republican campaigns pleaded not guilty Thursday in a federal court in New York.

David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin are alleged to have worked with Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman to make illegal campaign contributions with money from foreign donors.

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