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The frigid deep sea is considered Earth’s final frontier.  

We know little about life in the deepest parts of the ocean, but new evidence shows we’re already having an impact on it.

Recent tests on shrimp-like crustaceans that live more than six miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean in the Mariana Trench show high levels of long-banned, cancer-causing pollutants in their bodies.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been confirmed as the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency Pruitt has long criticized.

The Senate approved Pruitt on a 52-46 vote Friday afternoon, with two Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota — voting for his nomination. Republican Susan Collins of Maine voted no.

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Courtesy of the Krump family 

Since Kristina Krump and her husband, Nicholas, started dating, they’ve dreamed about leaving Phoenix to live abroad, maybe after sending their last child to college, or in retirement. In the meantime, they and their three boys spend a month every summer in Latin America.

Last year, the family went to Costa Rica and Nicaragua. It was a welcome break, Kristina Krump said, from US politics and bad news.

A news outlet publishes a story that a Republican politician dismisses as "fake news." Sounds familiar, right?

But in this case, there's a twist. The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel in Colorado is accusing state Sen. Ray Scott of defamation and threatening to sue. If filed, legal experts said it would be the first suit of its kind, potentially setting a legal definition for what is considered fake news and what is not.

The Trump Media Survey Is Phenomenally Biased. It's Also Useful

Feb 17, 2017

The GOP put out a survey Thursday night that's enough to make a social scientist cringe.

It's called the "Mainstream Media Accountability Survey," but this "survey" commits a variety of polling sins.

It contains:

-- Leading questions ("Do you believe that the mainstream media does not do their due diligence fact-checking before publishing stories on the Trump administration?"),

Trump Talks Jobs At Boeing Plant In South Carolina

Feb 17, 2017

More than two months after he publicly criticized Boeing over the costs of a new Air Force One, President Trump visited one of the aircraft company's newest facilities Friday: a plant in North Charleston, S.C., where the company will unveil a new version of its 787 Dreamliner.

As a second trial continues for activists who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, federal prosecutors have subpoenaed a former reporter for Oregon Public Broadcasting.

John Sepulvado, who now works in California, interviewed Ryan Bundy for a broadcast last year on Jan. 9.

Small Oregon Credit Union Offers Banking To Marijuana Businesses

Feb 17, 2017

The federal ban on marijuana means banking is a big problem for marijuana businesses.

Some owners are driving around with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash. But now, one small Willamette Valley credit union is opening accounts for them.

Shane Saunders with MAPS Credit Union said they’ve opened more than 100 accounts.

“Really for us it’s about community safety and about serving our community," he said.

He said account holders are extensively vetted, including a visit to their business, to make sure they’re not doing anything illegal.

Oregon lawmakers who are trying to decide whether to seek re-election would have to make up their minds sooner under a measure introduced Thursday.

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Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

China has the second largest movie box office in the world. So it’s no wonder that Hollywood panders to Chinese audiences and censors.

Marvel Studio cast Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing in “Iron Man 3” — even though they cut her scenes from the international version of film. The Chinese government saves humanity in “2012” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” and the heroes of “The Avengers,” in an act of flagrant Chinese product placement, use Vivo V3 phones.

The young mother spoke softly but with determination. After fleeing from her abusive boyfriend, she and her newborn baby found refuge last month in a women's shelter on the outskirts of Moscow.

According to Russian law at the time, he could have faced criminal prosecution for striking her. Now, under legislation signed Feb. 7 by Russian President Vladimir Putin, her partner would most likely face an administrative fine of up to $500.

Oroville Dam Reached Capacity Faster Than Previous 16 Years

Feb 17, 2017

Since going over capacity last week, the water level in the Oroville Dam has dropped, but it's still at a higher level for this time of year than the previous 16 years.

It's been a long week. Take a moment — or even a minute! — to watch something beautiful.

It's nice to have a friend who's a good listener, but a doll called My Friend Cayla listens a little too well, according to German regulators who say the toy is essentially a stealthy espionage device that shares what it hears and is also vulnerable to takeover by third parties.

Americans have complained for years about presidential campaigns that start too early and last too long.

Now, they are confronted with one that refuses to end — even after reaching the White House.

There may never be a "last word" written or spoken about President Trump's 77-minute barrage in the East Room Thursday, but the first word from many was: "Wow."

True Fact Or Fictitious

Feb 17, 2017

Guest musician Julian Velard sings about old wives tales in this parody of Stevie Wonder's classic song, "Superstition." Can you guess which tales are true and false before the contestants do?

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Mystery Guest

Feb 17, 2017

This episode's Mystery Guest is Lauren Singer, who decided to change her life in a radical way while she was in college. Now she runs a blog that teaches people how to follow her lead. Ophira Eisenberg and guest musician Julian Velard ask yes or no questions to figure out what she did to change her life!

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Ménage À Trois

Feb 17, 2017

They say two is company and three's a crowd, but these treasured trios prove that saying wrong. Contestants must guess the collective name given to a particular trio. For example, "Larry, Moe and Curly," are "The Three Stooges."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Retired Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward has turned down the position of national security adviser to President Trump, a White House official tells NPR's Mara Liasson.

Harward was offered the job after Michael T. Flynn, the former general, resigned Monday after just 24 days on the job. Trump said his confidence in Flynn had eroded after Flynn misled then-Vice-President-elect Mike Pence about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

A federal appeals court says doctors in Florida must be allowed to discuss guns with their patients, striking down portions of a Florida law that restricts what physicians can say to patients about firearm ownership.

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