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Two class action lawsuits filed in Australia's High Court claim people seeking asylum in Australia who arrive by boat without proper documentation are subject to torture and crimes against humanity. The suits say the Australian government is also guilty of intentional infliction of harm in the use of an offshore processing system, according to The Guardian.

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Copyright 2018 KQED. To see more, visit KQED.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

When you hit your 40s, it's only natural to want to try new things.

Winter Storm Wallops Parts Of Southeastern U.S.

2 hours ago

A deadly snowstorm carrying snow, sleet and freezing rain created dangerous road conditions and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of households and businesses in five states from Virginia to Georgia over the weekend. At least three deaths have been blamed on the storm.

Jenna Neikirk was nearing the end of her first pregnancy when her blood pressure shot up to dangerous levels.

"I started feeling splotchy and hot, just kind of uncomfortable, so I took my blood pressure at work and it was 160 over 120," she says. Neikirk's a physical therapist in Atlanta and knew that level was alarmingly high.

She left work and walked over to her obstetrician's office, which was in the same medical complex.

Roger, a buff red kangaroo who made his home at a sanctuary in Australia but achieved renown worldwide for his impressive musculature, has died at the age of 12.

Roger was rescued as an orphaned joey; he was trapped inside his dead mother's pouch when a man named Chris Barns discovered him and decided to found a kangaroo sanctuary. (That sanctuary was recently featured in a BBC documentary series called Kangaroo Dundee.)

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr walks up the stairs from her office in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to her car when she notices that the sky has darkened and is starting to open up.

Tiny drops of rain fall. Within seconds they've become large and squishy, splashing against the concrete – and she's forgotten her rain boots. Her hot pink slingbacks won't make it through a downpour.

Many of the best of this year's books were graced with humor and distinguished by deep dives into American identity. It was also a very good year for deceased authors whose posthumously published books were so much more than mere postscripts to their careers. Rebecca Makkai's The Great Believers -- a sweeping story about the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and its long aftermath — is my pick for novel of the year.

As the international climate summit in southern Poland enters its second and final week, most countries agree on the basic scientific facts: greenhouse gasses are causing climate change, and every country is feeling its effects.

But the United States, under the leadership of President Trump, has taken a different view. The administration questions the overwhelming scientific evidence suggesting that human activity is causing the climate to warm. As a result, the U.S., which has been a leader in past negotiations, is playing unpredictable role in this year's summit.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

President Trump says he will be making a decision "soon" on a new chief of staff. But some of the candidates whose names have been floated for the post say they're not interested.

It seems people are not exactly lining up for the chance to try to organize Trump's impulsive and unpredictable operation, especially in the face of an aggressive special counsel's investigation and newly empowered Democrats in the House of Representatives.

Former North Dakota lawmaker Rae Ann Kelsch died last month at age 58 after eating raw oysters at a New Orleans restaurant. The alleged culprit: a fast-moving bacterial infection — linked to consuming raw or undercooked shellfish — that caused her organs to shut down.

The place where Kelsch ate oysters has not been publicly released.

Given the rivalries and violence that divide the global community today, it is hard to imagine that on December 10, 1948, the nations of the world approved, almost unanimously, a detailed list of fundamental rights that every human on the planet should enjoy.

The men and women from eight African countries packed into a rubber raft late last month and set off from the Libyan city of Sabratha in the hope of crossing the Mediterranean to reach Italy.

But powerful sea winds blew them off course. They drifted at sea for 10 days before their boat ended up back in Libyan waters and capsized off the coast of Misrata.

At least 12 died. Libyan authorities managed to rescue 10.

Carlos Ghosn, the powerful auto executive who recently lost his role as chairman of Nissan, has been formally indicted on charges that he underreported his income to Japanese authorities.

The Nissan Motor Co. as well as a top aide to Ghosn also were indicted, accused of assisting in the financial misconduct, state broadcaster NHK reports.

Updated at 2:42 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case brought by Republican-led states that were seeking to defund Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide women's reproductive health services.

Updated at 12:35 p.m. ET

British Prime Minister Theresa May has postponed a critical vote on the draft Brexit deal she negotiated with the European Union, conceding that it would not have enough support to pass Parliament if the vote were held Tuesday as scheduled.

"I've listened very carefully to what has been said in this chamber and out of it, by members from all sides," May told the House of Commons on Monday, only to be interrupted by a peal of derisive laughter from lawmakers.

The French government is hoping Saturday's "yellow vest" protests were the last. The movement, named for the fluorescent safety vests worn by demonstrators, is not only the country's biggest social and political crisis in 50 years, but, according to many analysts, a very threat to French democracy. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has called for national unity and said, "It's time to stop the fighting and begin the dialogue."

At a major climate meeting in Poland, nearly 200 countries are trying to reach a deal on dramatically reducing carbon emissions. But a recent U.N. report found that may not be enough to avoid dangerous impacts from the warming climate. In fact, the world is falling so far short of what's needed, it said, that it might be necessary to pull massive amounts of carbon dioxide out of the air.

We know we need to exercise for our health, but a lifelong exercise habit may also help us feel younger and stay stronger well into our senior years. In fact, people in their 70s who have been exercising regularly for decades seem to have put a brake on the aging process, maintaining the heart, lung and muscle fitness of healthy people at least 30 years younger.

Angela Lautner knew her thirst was unusual, even for someone directing airplanes, outside in the Memphis summer heat.

"We had coolers of Gatorade and water for people to always have access to," Lautner remembers of her job as a ground services agent. "But the amount of thirst that I felt was just incredible."

She had no appetite and she lost an unusual amount of weight. Then after a trip to the emergency room, Lautner, who was 22, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. The diagnosis was life changing.

Last week in the Russia investigations: The special counsel ties up loose ends, but that may not mean the finish line is any closer.

Endings and beginnings

Never mind that it still isn't fully clear what the Russia imbroglio is — what picture all the puzzle pieces are supposed to form when they're put together.

An even more basic question that's just as difficult to answer is: How much longer will it go?

Updated Dec. 10 at 4:10 p.m. ET

A school in California where a student on the autism spectrum died last week after being physically restrained violated several state regulations, according to findings from a preliminary investigation by the state's Department of Education.

On Nov. 28, 13-year-old Max Benson was restrained by a staff member at his small private school in El Dorado Hills, Calif. While he was being restrained, Max lost consciousness.

China Summons U.S. Ambassador Over Arrest Of Huawei CFO

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China's Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. and Canadian ambassadors over the weekend to protest the detention of the chief financial officer of tech giant Huawei Technologies.

Meng Wanzhou, 46, was detained on December 1 during a layover in Vancouver, en route from Hong Kong to Mexico. She faces extradition to the U.S., where officials say Meng engaged in fraud while allegedly conducting business that ran afoul of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

For public school teacher Kaitlyn McCollum, even simple acts like washing dishes or taking a shower can fill her with dread.

"It will just hit me like a ton of bricks," McCollum says. " 'Oh my God, I owe all of that money.' And it's, like, a knee-buckling moment of panic all over again."

She and her family recently moved to a much smaller, older house. One big reason for the downsizing: a $24,000 loan that McCollum has been unfairly saddled with because of a paperwork debacle at the U.S. Department of Education.

On display now at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., is a special exhibit centered on a rare Bible from the 1800s that was used by British missionaries to convert and educate slaves.

What's notable about this Bible is not just its rarity, but its content, or rather the lack of content. It excludes any portion of text that might inspire rebellion or liberation.

Just outside Charlottesville, Va., the roads lose their markings as they wind through the woods, passing an occasional church, a cemetery and a plantation known as Highland, owned by America's fifth president James Monroe. For the first time in its 225-year history, the site has begun telling the stories of the African-American men and women who were enslaved there, and consulting with their descendants.

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