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Starting early last year, the nation's most powerful consumer protection agency sent examiners into companies that run student loan call centers to try to fix a troubled loan forgiveness program. But the Department of Education blocked the bureau from getting the information it needed, NPR has learned.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is designed to help firefighters, military service members, nonprofit workers and others. But thousands of people say they were treated unfairly and rejected.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

In less than a week, a landmark battle over who bears responsibility for the U.S. opioid crisis will begin in federal court.

The case involves thousands of plaintiffs at virtually every level of government and defendants from every link in the chain of opioid drug production — from major multinational corporations such as Johnson & Johnson and CVS, right down to individual doctors. And on Oct. 21, the first trial is set to kick off before a judge in the Northern District of Ohio.

Julie Andrews knows she's been lucky.

She's worked hard, yes, but she's also lived long enough to realize that her success was not just the result of that work. It was also borne out of opportunity — and the opportunities that came early in her career changed everything.

Julie Andrews' first film performance was her role in Mary Poppins; her next, The Sound of Music. As it turns out, even a Hollywood icon can feel insecure about her early performances.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its nominees for its newest class of inductees on Tuesday morning: 16 artists and groups ranging from the late Whitney Houston to German synth pioneers Kraftwerk to rap royalty in the form of the late Notorious B.I.G.

The 2020 nominees also include Dave Matthews Band, Pat Benatar, Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Judas Priest, MC5, Motörhead, Nine Inch Nails, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden, T. Rex and Thin Lizzy.

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Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Shay Bradley's dying wish was to make people laugh. So during a long illness, the Irish man planned a special touch for his funeral. People watching his coffin being lowered into the ground heard a voice from inside.

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Twelve Democratic presidential candidates will debate tonight in Westerville, Ohio. For a race that seemed static for a long time, suddenly there is a lot going on. Here's NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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All right, now a story out of Idaho. Potato farmers there are experts at getting their crops out of the ground before it freezes over. Third-generation potato farmer Kent Sutton farms 400 acres. And here's his schedule, starting with planting.

Updated at 11:10 a.m. ET

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned on Tuesday of a "prolonged" impact from one of the most destructive typhoons in decades to hit the country. The death toll has now risen to at least 74, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Typhoon Hagibis brought record-breaking rainfall and caused extensive flooding and power outages, forcing the government to approve a special budget for disaster response.

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On a recent Sunday in a tiny gym just outside of Boston, physical trainer Justice Williams teaches Leo Morris a stretch called the Brettzel.

"Yasss," Williams shouts. "There you go. Elbows down."

"Jesus," Morris says, exhausted.

"Yass," Williams shouts again. "And hold. Very nice."

Morris, who is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, is among about 10 people working out who identify as gay, trans and/or queer.

This is "Queer Gym." It's one of a few workout spaces explicitly for LGBTQ folks that's cropped up in North America in recent years.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

Turkish-backed militias carrying out attacks in northern Syria came very close to American forces on the ground on Tuesday, putting them and their base "directly at risk," a U.S. official in Syria tells NPR.

Like a lot of young women her age, 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson had a date Friday night — but unlike many of her peers, Jefferson's date was with her 8-year-old nephew. They were enjoying a heated video game that went into the early hours of Saturday when police arrived at the house Jefferson shared with her mother.

When Will tried his first vape during his sophomore year, he didn't know what to expect. It was just something he had vaguely heard about at school.

"I just sort of remember using it a bunch of times, like in a row," he says. "And there's this huge buzz-sensation-like head rush. And I just ... didn't really stop."

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Status Of ISIS Detainees In Syria

Oct 14, 2019

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The very day President Trump was sworn in — Jan. 20, 2017 — he signed an executive order instructing administration officials "to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay" implementing parts of the Affordable Care Act, while Congress got ready to repeal and replace President Obama's signature health law.

The Golden Ray cargo ship was carrying more than 4,000 new cars when it capsized off the coast of Georgia last month. The crew survived, but the 656-foot ship is still there, lying half-submerged at about 90 degrees, on its side.

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno and leaders of the country's indigenous peoples have reached a deal to cancel a disputed austerity package. The move follows nearly two weeks of violent, widespread protests.

The unrest began after Moreno ended government subsidies that have helped keep fuel prices low in Ecuador for some 40 years. The move was part of a broader austerity plan related to $4.2 billion from the International Monetary Fund to prop up Ecuador's government and economy.

Trust Your Gut: What Selling Guns Online Is Like

Oct 14, 2019

In a parking lot in Fayetteville, Georgia, John Pander is about to head into a competitive shooting match. And he’s brought along a pistol he doesn’t shoot anymore. It’s a SIG SAUER P229.

Pander usually buys his guns new, from federally licensed dealers. He keeps them locked up in a safe at home, but sometimes the safe fills up.

“So it all comes down to space,” said Pander. “And yeah, sometimes you want to fund the next purchase.”

So when he’s got his eye on a new gun, he puts an old one up for sale.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden unveiled an ethics plan on Monday that directly targets President Trump, accusing him of creating the "most corrupt administration in modern history." It's a sign the Democratic presidential candidate is ramping up his defense ahead of the fourth Democratic debate in Ohio on Tuesday.

A disturbing video depicting President Trump shooting, stabbing and setting on fire critics and the media was played at a conference held by a pro-Trump group at his Miami resort.

The video rampage was shown during a three-day conference held by American Priority at Trump's National Doral Miami, according to the organizers.

It is hopefully clear that a review and discussion of the Succession season two finale is not suitable for people who do not want to be spoiled regarding the Succession season two finale. If it is not clear: You will know what happened on this episode by the time you're finished reading this piece. Choose wisely.

Updated at 5:33 p.m. ET

Kurds in northern Syria have announced an abrupt change in alliances in the wake of President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. forces from the area.

American soldiers had been supporting Kurdish fighters, as part of the U.S. military's operations against Islamic extremists in the region. But, with the U.S. already withdrawing, neighboring Turkey has launched an operation against Kurds in Syria, who they argue are terrorists.

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