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North Carolina televangelist Todd Coontz – author of numerous books on faith and finances – has been indicted on charges of tax fraud spanning more than a decade.

"As a minister, Coontz preached about receiving and managing wealth, yet he failed to keep his own finances in order," Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, said as she announced the charges. "Coontz will now receive a first-hand lesson in 'rendering unto Caesar' that which is due."

A Catholic bishop has instructed priests in his central Illinois diocese to deny communion, last rites and funeral rites to people in same-sex marriages – unless they repent.

In the decree he sent to priests, deacons, seminarians and staff in his Springfield diocese last week, Bishop Thomas Paprocki sets forth a set of norms on same-sex marriage and related pastoral issues that he says are the policy of the diocese.

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Dado Ruvic/Reuters

There’s a running joke in the cybersecurity industry that squirrels pose a greater threat to the power grid than hackers. 

But that’s changing. 

Russia has been able to shut off parts of the power grid to cause massive blackouts in Ukraine on two separate occasions. 

And the technology they’ve developed is highly sophisticated and adaptable, which means that any country could be the next target of Russian hackers.

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Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The gruesome killing of a 17-year-old girl in Virginia this week has become fuel for political narratives on either side of the US spectrum.

Nabra Hassanen was with friends outside her mosque, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center, when a driver rode over the curb and scattered the crowd of teens. He then took Hassanen in his car and beat her to death with a bat.

A week after opening to a tepid critical response and accusations of historical inaccuracies from actress Jada Pinkett Smith — as well as a misinterpreted Internet joke that had many searching in vain for the appearance of an iPhone in the film — the Tupac Shakur biopic All

Arkansas's pesticide regulators have stepped into the middle of an epic battle between weeds and chemicals, which has now morphed into a battle between farmers. Hundreds of farmers say their crops have been damaged by a weedkiller that was sprayed on neighboring fields. Today, the Arkansas Plant Board voted to impose an unprecedented ban on that chemical.

A top US ally runs secret torture prisons in Yemen

23 hours ago

The list of abuses being faced by people in secret prisons across Yemen is long — electric shocks, beatings with metal objects, forced nudity, sexual harassment, threats, sleep deprivation and sensory deprivation.

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Courtesy of Family Reunions Project

It’s a typical country wedding in Mexico, this one taking place in the town of Poza Redonda, in the state of San Luis Potosí. The bride and groom exchange vows and then things get rowdy with a traditional dance, clapping and flashing lights.

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Kyodo via Reuters

The latest edition of Politico Magazine asks the question: "Who Killed Otto Warmbier?" Warmbier was the American student who died shortly after being released from imprisonment by North Korea, where he'd fallen into a coma after being sentenced to 17 months on allegations he tried to steal a propaganda poster during a December 2015 trip to the authoritarian nation.

Venezuela's ongoing political and economic crisis has taken a toll on daily life there.

A crash in oil prices and political instability under President Nicolas Maduro have led to food shortages, and that has prompted almost daily street protests by thousands of Venezuelans.

A 35-year-old protester named Carlos tells NPR's Audie Cornish the food situation is "pretty extreme." NPR is using only his first name for his safety.

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Oh sure, you could argue there are other, more important things happening in the world. And frankly, you'd be right. (For those things, by the way — which some people, in somber tones, might call newsplease see here.)

But sometimes, you just need to watch a big gorilla dance in a small pool.

Andy Slavitt understands the inner workings of the U.S. health care system better than most. From 2015 to 2017, he ran the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare, as head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Since leaving that post in January, he's been an outspoken critic of the Republican proposals to dismantle it.

Yesterday, shortly after the release of the Senate bill, he tweeted, "It's the ugly step-sibling of the House bill." And this morning his message was, "We must start over. It's too important."

While college campuses struggle with consent, and when and how "no means no," a nearly 40-year-old court case in North Carolina says a person can't be charged with rape if their partner revokes consent during sex.

Planet Earth is a vast place, with humans scattered all over it.

The U.S. took in more than 96,000 refugees last year, and many were children. Some of those children are finishing their first year in American schools.

Diane Orson from Here & Now contributor WNPR reports on an after-school arts program that’s partnered with a local resettlement agency to create a special violin class for some of the 270 young refugees living in New Haven, Connecticut.

A judge has declared a mistrial in the murder and manslaughter case against former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing over his fatal shooting of black motorist Sam DuBose.

This is the second time the case has ended in a mistrial — the jury was deadlocked in the first trial, which ended last November.

A live Asian carp — an invasive fish so threatening to local U.S. ecosystems that officials have struggled to keep it out of the Great Lakes — has been caught 9 miles from Lake Michigan, beyond a system of underwater electric barriers.

A former coal miner's take on the declining industry

Jun 23, 2017
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Lizzie O'Leary and Paulina Velasco

It's been hard to escape the narrative of the coal miner over the last year. President Trump talks a lot about putting coal miners back to work, and he's rolled back Obama-era regulations aimed at doing just that.

But setting narratives aside, the numbers show coal is declining. Natural gas is cheaper to use to make electricity. And many of the people who have done this work don't see much of a future for themselves in coal.

The family of legendary reggae artist Peter Tosh is filing a civil rights lawsuit and seeking a U.S. Department of Justice investigation after Tosh's son, 37-year-old Jawara McIntosh — himself a musician and marijuana legalization activist — was left in a coma after being beaten while in the custody of the Bergen County Jail in New Jersey four months ago.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF NELS CLINE SONG, "GLAD TO BE UNHAPPY")

South Korean President Moon Jae-in watched his military test-fire a ballistic missile on Friday, after a string of North Korean missile tests were blamed for raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The military said the missile, a Hyunmoo-2 with a range of up to 800 kilometers (nearly 500 miles), hit its target accurately.

Princeton economist Atif Mian only tweets a few times a month, and most if it is the kind of dry policy stuff you'd expect from a man whose area of specialization is finance and debt, mixed with the occasional foray into politics.

It's smart, but not necessarily viral material.

He hit Twitter gold this week, though, when he made a simple observation about the recent Nobel Laureates that resonated far and wide: Six people living in the US have won the prize in the sciences this year, and all six are immigrants.

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Kai Ryssdal

Rachel Abrams from The New York Times and Sheelah Kolhatkar from The New Yorker join us to discuss the week's business and economic news. Now that Senate Republicans have unveiled their health care plan, a bill drafted in secret, we look at the potential impact it will have on low-income earners and how it could redistribute wealth to the rich.

There are some 320 million people in the US. Forty-three million of them were born abroad. More than 20 million immigrants are US citizens. About 11 million people are undocumented and more than 5.1 million children have one or more undocumented parents. Roughly 860,000 people have applied for temporary legal status because they were brought to the US as children without proper documentation. More than 500,000 people are waiting for their cases to be heard in immigration courts. Some 270,000 people in the US came as refugees.

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Tiziana Rinaldi/PRI

Ravi Ragbir spent a big part of his morning one day last week asking people who were filing into a New York City federal building a simple question.

“What’s going on? Do you need help?”

He stood near the Worth Street entrance of the Jacob K. Javits federal office building, in lower Manhattan, where the New York field office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is located. It’s the same building that may swallow Ragbir up on March 9.

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