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The pot lobby hits Capitol Hill

May 24, 2018

Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia. But when it comes to federal law, marijuana is illegal. This legal-illegal thing makes it complicated and expensive to operate a pot business. That's why a couple hundred business owners and members of the National Cannabis Industry Association hit Capitol Hill this week to press lawmakers to legalize marijuana, or at least ease certain banking and tax laws. 

The White House has nominated Navy Adm. Harry Harris to be the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, filling a key post that's been vacant for the first 16 months of the Trump presidency.

The asteroid impact that ended the age of the dinosaurs also released so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that the planet warmed up by about 5 degrees Celsius — and the hot spell persisted for roughly 100,000 years.

That's according to a new study in the journal Science that offers a cautionary tale about how Earth's climate will react to the carbon dioxide that's being pumped into the atmosphere now by the burning of fossil fuels.

Updated 11:22 p.m. ET

President Trump's abrupt announcement he was calling off a June 12 summit with North Korea's leader was met Friday with an open invitation from North Korea to meet "at any time."

Trump's decision, which officials said Thursday was delivered in a letter directed to Kim Jong Un, prompted questions and dismay from world leaders.

Novelist Philip Roth "discovered" his own books as he wrote them. "I don't know anything in the beginning, which makes it great fun to write ..." he told Fresh Air in 2006. "You begin every book as an amateur. ... Gradually, by writing sentence after sentence, the book, as it were, reveals itself to you. ... Each and every sentence is a revelation."

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Ballistic blocks, earthquakes and ocean plumes: In the three weeks since Hawaii's Kilauea began erupting, it has produced some awe-inspiring — and dangerous — phenomena.

(Markets Edition) The Trump team is looking into penalties on imported cars and trucks, which may be an attempt to target Mexico since they're one of our largest exporters. We'll explore why this might hurt hurt the auto industry, particularly in areas like the Midwest, and how the U.S. is pushing Mexico to create alliances with the European Union.

Up to four major hurricanes could form in the Atlantic this hurricane season, according to the annual forecast from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. Overall, the season will likely be normal or somewhat more intense than normal, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says, with a 25 percent chance that hurricane activity will be below normal.

Sidney Jones (@sidneyIPAC) is director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Indonesia is still in a state of shock after a horrifying series of terrorist attacks across the country last week. In East Java, members of three pro-ISIS families tried to carry out separate but coordinated suicide bombings.

One family of six split up and attacked three churches. All of the bombers — mother, father, two teenage sons and two daughters, ages 9 and 12 — were killed, together with 12 churchgoers.

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The U.S. takes credit for creating the Internet, and the European Union seems determined to govern it. On Friday, a sweeping new directive goes into effect called the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. Taken together, its 99 articles represent the biggest ever change to data privacy laws. The new rules have implications for U.S. Internet users too.

Here are answers to three questions you might have about the new law and its potential impacts.

What is GDPR?

Inventory shortage driving existing home sales market

May 24, 2018

There’s a shortage of existing homes for sale in some parts of the country and prices are going up steadily. Part of the problem is that people aren’t moving and there aren’t enough new homes being built.  

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Plastic straws could be banned in New York City if a new bill introduced in the city council this week goes through. Similar restrictions are being considered for California. Several cities there have already banned the plastic straw. And both the U.K. and Taiwan have announced plans to eliminate them. Today McDonald’s shareholders are scheduled to meet and consider a proposal to get rid of the company’s red and yellow striped plastic straws. What would it take for McDonald’s to change?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

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Well, it looks like the summit is now off. President Trump has canceled his proposed meeting with the leader of North Korea. This announcement came on the same morning that North Korea made a very public showing destroying a very important nuclear test site.

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More than a dozen U.S. Air Force airmen were linked to a drug ring at a base that controls America's nuclear missiles and have faced disciplinary actions – including courts martial, according to an investigation by The Associated Press.

Military investigators cracked the ring in 2016, after one of the service members made the mistake of posting drug-related material to social media.

(U.S. Edition) The Trump administration is looking into applying import tariffs on foreign cars and trucks, which may go as high as 25 percent for vehicles from Toyota or Honda. But could this actually help the American auto industry? We'll look at the unintended consequences of a decision like this. Afterwards, we'll talk to the CEO of the Mayo Clinic, Dr. John Noseworthy, about his goal of reducing the amount of wasteful visits you have to take to the doctor's. (05/24/2018)

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On a bright afternoon outside the elegant facade of Trinity College Dublin, students hand out flyers to passers-by urging them to vote in Friday's referendum to lift Ireland's constitutional ban on abortion in most circumstances.

"Please vote yes on Friday! Thank you! Please vote yes," chirp the students, who have big smiles and colored sweaters with "REPEAL" emblazoned across the front.

Updated at 8 a.m. ET Friday

The Netherlands and Australia are formally blaming Russia's government for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014, one day after international investigators said the missile that struck the jet originated from the Russian military.

The passenger jet crashed in July 2014 in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard.

When Michigan State University announced a $500 million settlement last week with victims of convicted sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar, officials didn’t say how they would pay for it. Interim President John Engler told Michigan Radio that insurance will cover some of the cost. The university may have to borrow some money or dip into reserves.

Can Colombia turn peace into economic prosperity?

May 24, 2018

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service ... Shares in European and Asian car companies have stalled after the U.S. raised the prospect of applying import tariffs on national security grounds. We ask economist David Bailey what's next. Then, Deutsche Bank is cutting 7,000 jobs as the bank's new chief executive vows to go back to basics. And, after half a century of civil war, Colombians are still struggling with the country's slow economic recovery. We explore the region's issues ahead of this weekend's election.

Updated: 10:45 a.m. ET

North Korea closed its nuclear test site in spectacular fashion Thursday, blasting the site in what one observer described as a "huge explosion."

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President Trump praised the NFL's decision to mandate that players either stand for the national anthem or stay in the locker room in a TV interview that aired Thursday.

And he questioned whether players who choose not to stand "proudly" should be in the country at all.

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