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Francesco "Frank" Cali, the reputed leader of the Gambino crime family, was shot to death outside his house in Staten Island on Wednesday night, in a killing that echoes Mafia murders of the 1980s.

The New York Police Department says that at 9:17 p.m. ET, officers received a 911 call reporting an assault in progress in front of Cali's house.

"Upon arrival, officers found a 53-year-old male with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso," the police said in a statement sent to NPR. Cali was taken to Staten Island University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Updated at 11:12 a.m. ET

A federal order grounding all 737 Max jetliners in the U.S. comes after repeated assurances from the manufacturer that the planes are safe.

The case against a Vietnamese woman accused of killing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's estranged half-brother will go forward, prosecutors in Malaysia said Thursday.

Two women were accused of smearing a toxic nerve agent on the face of Kim Jong Nam as he walked through a Kuala Lumpur airport terminal in 2017. The man was dead within 20 minutes, and the women — who said they thought they were taking part in a Japanese game show — were arrested and charged with murder.

Students with disabilities and disability rights advocates are among those angry — and feeling victimized — after the arrests in the college admissions and bribery scandal Tuesday.

"Stories like this are why we continue to see backlash to disability rights laws," Rebecca Cokley, director of the Disability Justice Initiative at the Center for American Progress, said in a statement.

A woman in California who says Johnson & Johnson baby powder caused her to develop mesothelioma was awarded $29 million by a jury Wednesday. J&J says it will appeal the judgment.

Updated at 1:26 p.m. ET

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke is running for president, hoping to build on the momentum the Democrat generated in a Senate contest last year.

The value of civility is one of the few things Americans can all agree on — right? That's the common assumption. And yet it's an assumption that depends on everyone thinking they're a full member of the community.

But what about when they aren't?

One of the most prominent members of special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russia's attack on the 2016 presidential election will soon leave the office and the Justice Department, two sources close to the matter tell NPR.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, is set to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
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Commerce Secretary Wilbur

Updated at 2:46 p.m. ET

California Sen. Kamala Harris says she was bent toward a career fighting for civil rights almost since birth.

The Democrat is the daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father who met at the University of California, Berkeley, and were active in the movement during the 1960s.

"I was born realizing the flaws in the criminal justice system," she told NPR's Steve Inskeep.

The federal case announced this week charging parents with buying their kids admission to top universities is shining a light on the admissions process. Every year, U.S. colleges and universities are tasked with sorting through a mountain of applications. Some of the most selective schools, like Harvard, can get upwards of 40,000. So how do officials know if the information in all of that paperwork is truthful?

Terry Cowdrey, a former acting dean of admissions at Vanderbilt University, says the key is in consistency.

The new president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, signed a decree Wednesday pardoning about 700 political prisoners and fulfilling a promise he made in his inaugural address in January.

With its fastest-selling plane grounded in the U.S. and around the world, Boeing faces potential hits to its bottom line as well as to its reputation. A lengthy delay could cut Boeing's revenues by billions, some analysts say.

After several hours of clawing through mountains of debris with bare hands, hammers and heavy equipment, approximately 37 people have been rescued from a building that collapsed Wednesday morning in the Nigerian city of Lagos. But many more are trapped under the rubble, including dozens of children.

Several news outlets reported at least eight people died, as of Wednesday night.

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California Governor Gavin Newsom called the death penalty morally wrong, discriminatory and a failure today. He then signed an executive order placing a moratorium on capital punishment.

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Plastic garbage from Trader Joe's and an AARP card are peeking out of hillocks of plastic trash piling up in Indonesia.

It's a sign of a new global quandary: What should wealthy countries do with their plastic waste now that China no longer is buying it?

For years, America sold millions of tons of used yogurt cups, juice containers, shampoo bottles and other kinds of plastic trash to China to be recycled into new products.

And it wasn't just the U.S. Some 70 percent of the world's plastic waste went to China – about 7 million tons a year.

Saudi Arabian women's rights activist Loujain Alhathloul was among several women to appear in a closed-door hearing Wednesday in a case that has added to heightened global scrutiny over the kingdom's human rights record.

"Lost Hollywood." The phrase conjures up starlets in silver lamé and lunchtime gimlets at The Brown Derby; it does not bring to mind slimy swamp creatures or screwball surrealists starring in movies featuring walking melons. But two new books that retrieve forgotten moments in Hollywood history expand our sense of La La Land's long legacy of magic and bad behavior.

If you have a bad reaction to a medicine, it might not be the drug itself, but what are called "inactive ingredients" in the pill or capsule.

An article published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine surveys this field and finds ingredients that are potentially troublesome for some people are ubiquitous.

A group of prominent scientists and bioethicists is calling for a global moratorium on any new attempts to bring gene-edited babies into the world.

"We call for a global moratorium on all clinical uses of human germline editing — that is, changing heritable DNA (in sperm, eggs or embryos) to make genetically modified children," the 18 scientists and bioethicists from seven countries write in an article published Wednesday by the journal Nature.

After an 18-year-old Saudi woman, who said she feared death if deported to Saudi Arabia, arrived in Canada, she directed some of her first public comments back home. Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun encouraged other women to flee family abuse and the oppressive controls imposed on them by the conservative kingdom.

She has just showed them how to do it.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. You wouldn't believe what some emergency rooms charge, or maybe you would because you've gotten bills. For example, one hospital charged $76 for Bacitracin antibacterial ointment. One woman who fell and cut her ear and was given an ice pack but no other treatment was billed $5,751. My guest, Sarah Kliff, is a health policy journalist at vox.com who spent over a year investigating why ER bills are so high even with health insurance and why the charges vary so widely from one hospital to the next.

It's no secret that wealth brings advantages when it comes to sending your kids to college. Rich and famous parents can donate large sums of money to schools or lean on their names and connections. Some ritzy colleges explicitly prefer the children and grandchildren of alumni — at Harvard University, an investigation found last year that these "legacy" admits were over five times more likely to get in than the average Joe.

Federal judges have sentenced other former aides of Donald Trump to prison, but a filmmaker is seeking a different kind of judgment on Steve Bannon, the onetime guru who thinks he's the one who got Trump elected president.

Updated at 5:48 p.m. ET

The Federal Aviation Administration says it is temporarily grounding all Boeing 737 Max aircraft operated by U.S. airlines or in U.S. territory.

The announcement Wednesday afternoon follows decisions by many other countries to ground the planes after 157 people died in Sunday's crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8.

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