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Updated December 9 at 11:50 am ET

Sports Betting Ban Could Be Overturned

Dec 8, 2017

It’s estimated that Americans bet $150 billion on sports each year. It’s legal in a handful of states, but the Supreme Court heard arguments this week in a case that could open up sports gambling to every state.

Certain pivotal events in history seem to open up a schism in time, separating what really happened from countless other "what ifs."

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Frankie Shaw (@frankieshawisag), the executive producer, director, writer and star of “SMILF,” a Showtime comedy about a single mom struggling to raise her son in South Boston.

Interview Highlights

On making a show about a “different South Boston”

"The Defense Department is starting the first agency-wide financial audit in its history," the Pentagon's news service says, announcing that it's undertaking an immense task that has been sought, promised and delayed for years.

Of the tally that is starting this week, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said, "It demonstrates our commitment to fiscal responsibility and maximizing the value of every taxpayer dollar that is entrusted to us."

Jerry Parkes stands in a vast field of spiky leaves and peers at a pineapple that is larger than usual. "Wow, look at the size of this fruit!" he exclaims.

There is a vast trove of Hollywood gold 160 feet below Kansas City, Missouri.

It’s inside a underground warehouse, where several hundred thousand film canisters line the towering shelves at Underground Vaults & Storage.

“As far as the older titles, ‘Gone with the Wind,’ ‘Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea,’ ” says manager Brian Corwin.

In this session, you've got front-row seats to a mini concert by Combo Chimbita, who absolutely lit up the World Cafe with what they call "tropical futurism." What does that mean? You're about to hear it in action. But, just so you know what you're in for, Combo Chimbita uses cumbia as a building block but they get psychedelic, trippy and downright freaky, with an inventive combination of rhythms and sounds from Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America.

What do you get when you cross an Australian post-punk drummer with a lute player who is the descendant of Greek musical royalty? Easy: Today's guests Xylouris White!

Xylouris is George Xylouris, from a famed family of musicians based in a mountain shepherding village on the Greek island of Crete. George has been a professional musician since he was 12.

White is Jim White, an Australian post-punk drummer with a deft touch, able to go from thunderous to tender on a dime. Jim held it down in the instrumental trio Dirty Three, and has also backed Cat Power and PJ Harvey.

It wasn't criminal; it was celestial. A police dashcam in New Jersey caught a dazzling sight in the early hours of Saturday: a meteor soaring through the sky in a flash of fiery brilliance. A second or two passes and then with a burst of light, it's gone and the sky returns to blackness.

Hamilton Police Sgt. Michael Virga was on patrol around 3 a.m. when he saw it. "It was a pinpoint in the sky, then a bright lime green streak and then it disintegrated," he tells NPR.

California Wildfires: Tell Us Your Story

Dec 8, 2017

Wildfires are burning across a large swath of Southern California, and NPR is working to bring you the latest information. If you have been affected, we would like to hear from you.

Did you have to evacuate? What is happening in your neighborhood? How are these fires affecting your mental and emotional state?

If possible — and if you're in a safe place — we would like to follow your story.

Put your love of perfection outside the office door and come in for some office fun. This collaboration between Philadelphia's Kurt Vile and Melbourne's Courtney Barnett is more about newfound friends poking jabs, goofing around and having fun with words than reaching any new musical heights.

I never really understood why so many people saw The Crown as a superior TV show last season.

Yes, the Netflix drama has the production values and ambition of an epic motion picture, tracing the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II. And for those who miss the aristocratic soap opera of Downton Abbey, a big-budget recounting of the royal family's turmoil over marriages and abdications is quite a replacement. Who can argue with 13 Emmy nominations?

Sheryl Connelly has a crazy job. She's in charge of looking into the future for Ford Motor Co. The automaker is trying to predict how people my age — from Generation Z — will use cars.

"I have two Gen Zers at home," Connelly says. "So my 16-year-old daughter is thrilled, actually. Her car is ready to go. As soon as she has her license, it's in the driveway. And so she sits in her car and she listens to the radio and she loves her car."

That's definitely not me.

Pope Francis isn't pleased with the words to the Lord's Prayer — specifically, the part about temptation.

In an interview with an Italian TV network, the pontiff said that the current language of the Our Father prayer "is not a good translation."

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Updated at 2:35 p.m. ET

At least 14 U.N. peacekeepers were killed when rebels attacked a peacekeeping base in a remote area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Thursday. Five Congolese soldiers also died and at least 40 peacekeepers were wounded in the three-hour firefight.

"This is the worst attack on U.N. peacekeepers in the organization's recent history," U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement Friday.

If I spot a blade of interesting-looking grass, my first inclination isn't to wonder what it tastes like. But a group of researchers in Australia recently stumbled upon two new species of grass with a peculiar flavor that some liken to a favorite snacking combo: salt and vinegar chips.

One of the world's most famous — and flashy — billionaires is being detained by the Saudi government in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was swept up in early November, along with more than 200 other Saudi businessmen and princes, in a massive anti-corruption campaign spearheaded by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Many analysts saw it as a power grab by the young prince.

The U.S. economy added 228,000 jobs in November, according to the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1 percent, unchanged from October.

"Employment growth has averaged 174,000 per month thus far this year, compared with an average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016," the agency's acting Commissioner William J. Wiatrowski said of the report.

Wealthy Americans may get a new conduit for political money in the tax overhaul bill now being reconciled on Capitol Hill.

A small provision in the House version of the bill would let big donors secretly give unlimited amounts to independent political groups — and write off the contributions as charitable gifts.

Britain and the European Union have struck a last-minute agreement to stave off a breakdown in negotiations over Brexit, agreeing there will be no "hard border" between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

As NPR's Frank Langfitt reports from London, "the fear [had been] that when the U.K. leaves the European Union, customs posts would go up dividing Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland."

Adults Can Get Type 1 Diabetes, Too

Dec 8, 2017

David Lazarus had just moved to Los Angeles to start a new job as a business and consumer columnist for the Los Angeles Times when he suddenly developed some of the classic signs of diabetes: extreme thirst, fatigue and weight loss. He dropped close to 15 pounds in two weeks.

Lazarus was in his early 40s. "The weight loss was the first big red flag. It happened really fast," he says. He consulted a physician, who diagnosed him with Type 2 diabetes and recommended a "monastic" low-carb, macrobiotic diet.

For some Alabama voters, supporting abortion rights may be a sin worse than some of the sexual misdeeds Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore has been accused of — allegations Moore has denied.

That's the conundrum facing the state's conservative, deeply religious electorate: Embrace Democrat Doug Jones despite his liberal stance on abortion and other social issues or vote for Moore anyway even if they believe there is some truth to the sexual assault allegations against him.

Updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

A 70-year old woman found dead in her car Wednesday night along a fire evacuation route in Ventura County is the first human fatality caused by wildfires that have scorched Southern California this week.

The Ventura County medical examiner said Virginia Pesola of Santa Paula, Calif., died due to blunt force trauma with terminal smoke inhalation and thermal injuries.

An apparent murder-suicide involving a samurai sword at a Tokyo religious shrine has left the head priestess dead, along with her assailant brother and his girlfriend.

Thursday night's attack at the Tomioka Hachimangu shrine, established in 1627, was captured by nearby security cameras.

Bryan Singer, the director best known for the X-Men series of films, is being sued over an allegation that he raped 17-year-old boy during a party 14 years ago.

Singer has denied the accusation.

On a melancholy Saturday this past February, Shalon Irving's "village" — the friends and family she had assembled to support her as a single mother — gathered at a funeral home in a prosperous black neighborhood in southwest Atlanta to say goodbye.

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