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President Trump's brand-new national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, will inherit a National Security Council struggling to attract talent, current and former U.S. officials tell NPR.

The National Security Council is traditionally one of the most desirable places for ambitious and talented people to work in the U.S. government, because it affords such close proximity to power. But in the Trump administration, some of the government's brightest minds are turning down high-powered NSC assignments, and others are avoiding the place altogether.

Saudi Arabia's military displayed pieces of missiles and drones Wednesday, saying the wreckage is proof the recent attack that crippled Saudi oil production was "unquestionably" sponsored by Iran.

At a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi military spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki said Saturday's strike came from the north — not from Yemen, where Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the attack. Both Iran and Iraq are to the north of Saudi Arabia.

India Announces Widespread Ban Of E-Cigarettes

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The Indian government announced Wednesday a sweeping ban on electronic cigarette products. The decision was made with the intention of protecting young people from becoming addicted to nicotine.

The Cabinet approved the ordinance, which prohibits the manufacture, sale, storage and advertisement of all e-cigarette products.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, called the ban a "quantum jump towards healthy living."

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Hearing On Military Domestic Violence

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Book: 'Juliet Takes A Breath'

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The New York City Council is considering a repeal of a 2017 law that banned conversion therapy, the strongly-condemned practice of attempting to change a person's sexual orientation or gender.

A diver maintains an open-water cage where tuna are being farmed in Izmir, Turkey.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. "Heaven, My Home" is the latest crime novel by Attica Locke, a prize-winning novelist also known for her television work, which includes writing for the hit series "Empire" and the recent Netflix mini series "When They See Us." This new book is the second in a series about an African American Texas ranger. And our critic-at-large John Powers says that Locke knows how to write a mystery novel that stings.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Heavy rains are triggering flash floods in eastern Texas as Tropical Depression Imelda draws nearer in the Gulf of Mexico — one of several large storms that forecasters are watching closely Wednesday. In the Atlantic, Bermuda is under a hurricane warning as Hurricane Humberto nears the island as a Category 3 storm.

Researchers are beginning to understand why certain brain cancers are so hard to stop.

Three studies published Wednesday in the journal Nature found that these deadly tumors integrate themselves into the brain's electrical network and then hijack signals from healthy nerve cells to fuel their own growth.

Updated 1:35 p.m. ET

A Pennsylvania state senator has stepped down following his arrest on charges of possession of child pornography.

Sen. Mike Folmer submitted his letter of resignation on Wednesday to Republican colleagues in Harrisburg, according to leadership in the state chamber.

Updated at 2:31 p.m. ET

President Trump has named Robert C. O'Brien, who has been his special envoy for hostage affairs, to be his new national security adviser.

Trump made the announcement in a Wednesday morning tweet.

"I am pleased to announce that I will name Robert C. O'Brien, currently serving as the very successful Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department, as our new National Security Advisor. I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!" Trump said.

Six volunteer firefighters use machetes to cut a path through the vines and underbrush of the Chiquitano forest in Bolivia's eastern lowlands. They're approaching the leading edge of a fire that's been burning for hours.

They attempt to smother it with shovelfuls of dirt and water they carry on their backs in tanks normally used to fumigate crops. But the smoke is getting thicker, the heat stronger and swirling winds push the flames forward. Realizing they are overmatched, José Zapata, the only trained firefighter among the group, orders his men to pull out.

Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET

Los Angeles County prosecutors say they have charged Democratic donor and LGBTQ activist Ed Buck with running a drug house and other crimes after a man overdosed on methamphetamine at Buck's apartment last week. The man survived, but two other men have died from overdoses at Buck's apartment in the past two years.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

The Federal Reserve cut interest rates Wednesday for the second time in seven weeks, in an effort to prolong the decade-old economic expansion in the face of rising headwinds.

The Fed lowered its target for the federal funds rate by a quarter percentage point, to a range of 1.75% to 2%. President Trump, who has been calling for deeper rate cuts, criticized the move as another "fail" by the Fed. Major stock indexes fell after the central bank's announcement but later recovered.

In the first three months after getting his Dexcom continuous glucose monitor, Ric Peralta managed to reduce his average blood sugar level by three percentage points.

"It took me from not-very-well-managed blood sugar to something that was incredibly well managed," says Peralta, a 46-year-old optician in Whittier, Calif., who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2008.

For Arizona Diamondbacks fans who like to stick to the basics at home games, peanuts, popcorn, and Cracker Jack remain obvious options. But for those whose game-day taste borders on outrageous, Stephen Tilder, executive chef at Chase Field in Phoenix, has some options.

You can get 18-inch bratwursts adorned with everything from tater tots to fried eggs.

Chase Field is among the stadiums nationwide that now tout menus brimming with outrageous edible novelties.

Israel's second election in less than six months looks unlikely to clear up its political impasse, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once again falling short of a majority in parliament and forced to scramble for allies to retain power.

Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party is projected to win 30 to 33 seats in the 120-member Knesset, while the centrist Blue and White party led by former military chief Benny Gantz looked likely to get 32 to 34 seats.

The Vaping Illness Outbreak: What We Know So Far

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An outbreak of severe lung disease among users of electronic cigarettes continues to spread to new patients and states, and public health officials say it's too soon to point to a cause.

According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 380 confirmed and probable cases have been identified in 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The CDC has confirmed six deaths, and a seventh death has been reported by public health officials in Tulare County, Calif.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

President Trump said Wednesday his administration is revoking a waiver that allowed California to set its own standards for automobile emissions — a move that could derail a years-long push to produce more fuel efficient cars.

In a series of tweets Wednesday, Trump said the action will result in vehicles that are safer and cheaper, and that "there will be very little difference in emissions between the California standard and the new U.S. standard."

Israel Goes To The Polls Again

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in the political fight of his life. Israel held its second national election in six months and the polling for it is too close to call.

Updated: Sept. 18, 10:26 a.m. ET

The U.S. abortion rate is continuing a long-term downward trend, according to new data released by the Guttmacher Institute on Wednesday.

Free software pioneer and renowned computer scientist Richard Stallman resigned from his post at MIT following recent comments about one of Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking accusers. He also resigned as president of the Free Software Foundation.

With the ease of uploading music online, Internet sensations are made every day. But for one rising bedroom pop artist, it was truly accidental ... almost.

Until recently, mxmtoon — who otherwise prefers to go by her first name, Maia — kept her music a secret from the people in her immediate life. Now, with her debut album, the masquerade, mxmtoon is slowly peeling back the layers of her online persona.

Nailed It! is a competition show in which home bakers try to re-create elaborate cakes — and often fail spectacularly.

"Our show is truly like: As long as you don't kill people with your food, you might win!" says co-host Nicole Byer.

So when Byer learned the Netflix program was nominated for an Emmy, she was shocked.

"The call I got from Netflix, one of the execs on the show, she was like ... 'We were — nominated?' " Byer says. "Everybody was surprised."

Twitter and Facebook last month suspended hundreds of thousands of accounts and operations that they said were part of a Chinese state-linked disinformation campaign designed to discredit pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

For the first time in half a century, the U.S. government just revised the way that it inspects pork slaughterhouses. The change has been long in coming. It's been debated, and even tried out at pilot plants, for the past 20 years. It gives pork companies themselves a bigger role in the inspection process. Critics call it privatization.

A protest is mounting over one of the recipients of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Goals Award, to be presented next week in New York City, as part of events surrounding the U.N. General Assembly. The award is given to individuals who have contributed to efforts to improve the lives of the poor.

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