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Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

Four witnesses are testifying in front of the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, starting the second week of public hearings in the ongoing impeachment inquiry investigation.

The morning session features Jennifer Williams, a career State Department staffer detailed to work with Vice President Pence's staff, as well as Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the Ukraine specialist on the National Security Council. Former U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and former Russia director for the NSC Tim Morrison are testifying in the afternoon.

It was a moment of genuine bipartisanship at the House Ways and Means Committee in October, as Democratic and Republican sponsors alike praised a bill called the "Restoring Access to Medication Act of 2019."

The bill, approved by the panel on a voice vote, would allow consumers to use their tax-free flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts to pay for over-the-counter medications and women's menstrual products.

Updated at 5:18p.m. ET

Two correctional officers who were assigned to guard Jeffrey Epstein on the night he died in his cell have been indicted for allegedly ignoring more than 75 mandatory checks on the wealthy financier then fabricating records to cover it up.

Federal authorities charged Michael Thomas and Tova Noel with multiple counts of falsifying records and conspiracy. The two worked as guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a federal facility in Manhattan that is mostly used for defendants awaiting trial.

Imagine, just for a minute, living inside a war zone. Going to work every day, caring for your family, trying to be normal in a situation that is anything but normal. That was the experience of filmmaker Waad al-Kateab and her husband, Hamza, a doctor, who made the decision to stay in the besieged city of Aleppo, Syria.

Toilet Signs Give The Scoop On Pee And Poop

Nov 19, 2019

World Toilet Day — that's today, Nov. 19 — is no joke. (Although clearly the German toilets pictured above have a sense of humor.)

This day in honor of the loo was created by Jack Sim, a Singapore entrepreneur who founded the World Toilet Organization in 2001. In 2013, it was declared an official U.N. day. The aim is to raise awareness about the need for more toilets. And there's a lot of need.

Sweden's deputy director of public prosecutions, Eva-Marie Persson, says she has decided to end her office's investigation of rape allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Persson's office says the evidence "has weakened considerably."

Despite her decision, Persson said in a news conference in Stockholm on Tuesday that she found the account of the alleged victim to be credible.

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Doctors are reporting the first evidence that genetically edited cells could offer a safe way to treat sickle cell disease, a devastating, incurable disorder that afflicts millions of people around the world.

Billions of cells that were genetically modified with the powerful gene-editing technique called CRISPR have started working, as doctors had hoped, inside the body of the first sickle cell patient to receive the experimental treatment, according to highly anticipated data released Tuesday.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

Two western hostages held for more than three years by Taliban forces in Afghanistan were freed today in southeastern Zabul province in exchange for three Taliban commanders held by the Kabul government, an Afghan official tells NPR's Diaa Hadid. The official requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the news media.

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Good morning. I'm David Greene. Her parents are award-winning artists, and now she is, too. Blue Ivy, the 7-year-old daughter of Beyonce and Jay-Z, has won a songwriting award for the hit "Brown Skin Girl."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BROWN SKIN GIRL")

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A New Chapter For Sudan

Nov 19, 2019

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

Sudan is in the midst of massive change. In September, a new 18-member cabinet took the official oath of office, a milestone for the historic joint civilian-military council. And now, as ousted former President Omar al-Bashir awaits trial for corruption, Sudan is beginning to rebuild itself. It just announced a nine-month economic rescue plan.

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The Democratic presidential primary has taken a back seat to the impeachment inquiry over the past few months, so it's fitting that the fifth candidate debate will take place on the same day that the most anticipated impeachment witness, Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, testifies before the House Intelligence Committee.

But a lot more than the path to impeachment has changed since the Democratic candidates last gathered on the debate stage.

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Updated at 8:40 p.m ET

Two witnesses called by Republicans in the House impeachment inquiry testified Tuesday, indicating they had reservations over the content of President Trump's July 25th phone call with the president of Ukraine, and his desire to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

The country is witnessing one of only a handful of times in its history that Congress has gone through with public hearings on whether to impeach a president. And yet, the overwhelming majority of Americans across parties say nothing they hear in the inquiry will change their minds on impeachment, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Sandra Puma marched toward the center of Bolivia’s capital of La Paz on Thursday with her six-month-old child strapped to her chest. 

She was marching in a protest against Bolivia’s new interim president, her eyes stinging from the heavy rounds of tear gas shot by police to stop the crowd, which was several thousands strong, from reaching the presidential palace.

On Monday evening, House committees released the transcript of a State Department official who testified in the impeachment inquiry Nov. 15 that he overheard the president tell the U.S. envoy to the European Union that he was seeking political investigations from Ukraine's president.

House committees have released the transcript of David Hale's testimony before the impeachment inquiry.

Hale, the under secretary of state for political affairs, is the third-highest-ranked official at the State Department. He allegedly knew about the White House's push to recall Marie Yovanovitch from her post as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

Updated at 9:02 p.m. ET

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday the Trump administration's latest pro-Israel change in U.S. policy, saying the State Department is rescinding a 1978 department legal opinion that viewed settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank as inconsistent with international law.

The Trump administration's plan to ban most flavored vaping products has stalled out, at least for the moment.

Two months ago, President Trump announced he was pursuing the new policy to put a dent in the youth vaping epidemic. The plan was supposed to have been unveiled in a matter of weeks.

But industry pushback and the politics of vaping appear to have derailed that process.

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Susannah Cahalan had all the symptoms of a severe mental illness.

SUSANNAH CAHALAN: I was hallucinating. I was paranoid. I was actively psychotic.

The Italian city of Venice is still reeling from a week of three exceptional tides whose floodwaters have caused massive damage to the city's cultural legacy and to residences and businesses.

The disaster has gripped Italy and inspired a wave of volunteers to salvage what they can.

There is a bookshop in Campiello del Tintor square named Libreria Acqua Alta, which means High Water Bookstore. Following Sunday's exceptional high tide, the square as well as the store's pavement were under several inches of water.

The Samoan government closed schools indefinitely Monday as it attempts to quell a measles epidemic that has killed at least six people and hospitalized dozens more. Health officials said the Pacific island nation's low immunization rate is the cause of the outbreak.

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