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Have you heard the theory that low air pressure during a hurricane can cause a surge in births?

Supposedly a steep drop in barometric pressure makes it easier for a baby to pop out.

As Hurricane Florence ripped through the Carolinas, we wondered if that was really true.

"It's one of those old wives' tales," said Dr. Hal Lawrence, executive vice president and CEO of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

When patients come to Dr. Molly Quinn for infertility treatments, they usually aren't too interested in hearing about the possible downsides, she says. They just want to get pregnant.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions' future was cast further into doubt on Wednesday after President Trump made clear how broad his displeasure is with the man he tapped to lead the Department of Justice.

"I don't have an attorney general," Trump told Hill.TV in an interview on Tuesday.

Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister of Pakistan, has been released from prison on bail as he challenges his conviction and 10-year prison sentence.

Sharif, who served three non-consecutive terms as prime minister, was in London during his trial earlier this year. He was found guilty of corruption in absentia and returned to Pakistan to appeal his conviction two months ago — and was promptly arrested and imprisoned.

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President Trump says he hopes the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her will appear at a hearing next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Speaking to reporters as he left the White House for a trip to visit flood damages in North Carolina, Trump said he "really wants to see" Christine Blasey Ford testify on Monday. "If she shows up and makes a credible showing," Trump said, referring to Ford, "that'll be very interesting, and we'll have to make a decision."

Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET

President Trump has arrived in flood-soaked North Carolina, where under sunny skies, he's getting a firsthand look at the devastation that has killed dozens of people and displaced many thousands from their homes across the Southeast.

"We're ready ... to do whatever we have to do to make this perfect," Trump said Wednesday. "Nearly 20,000 federal and military personnel are supporting response efforts," he said. "More than 1.6 million meals have been delivered."

The ongoing trade war with China is feeling close to home these days. Mounting tariffs on outdoor recreation gear may hit the wallets of folks in the Mountain West who love going outside.

On Monday, the Trump administration announced $200 billion dollars worth of new tariffs on products from China.

“This is going to include backpacks, sport bags, leather ski gloves, bikes and some camping equipment,” Rich Harper, a trade analyst with the lobbying group Outdoor Industry Association, said.

Our region has attracted the attention of the Terminator.

“I’m right now on a campaign to terminate gerrymandering,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger in a video from Budapest, where he’s shooting his latest film.  

Schwarzenegger is raising money for efforts in four states, including two in the Mountain West, to end the political practice.

We hear about gerrymandering a lot these days, but not necessarily an explanation for what it is. It’s complicated, but not impossible to explain.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he will visit Seoul "in the near future," amid an ongoing summit with South Korea's Moon Jae-in in which he also renewed pledges to shut down a primary missile launch site and a key nuclear weapons complex if the U.S. takes "corresponding" measures.

Kim's remarks about traveling to Seoul were made during a news conference in Pyongyang with the South Korean president. It would be the first-ever visit to the South Korean capital by a North Korean head of state.

Fires, like all natural disasters, disproportionately affect those who are low income. They often lack insurance and resources to rebuild or move elsewhere. The effects on families and communities can be long-lasting.

Josh Gordon Joins New England Patriots

7 hours ago

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Spock's Fictional Home Planet Discovered

7 hours ago

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Bicyclist Breaks Speed Record

7 hours ago

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After a high-profile campaign to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016, a number of states moved to make it harder to protest oil and gas projects. Now in Louisiana, the first felony arrests of protesters could be a test case of these tougher laws as opponents vow a legal challenge.

Maria Butina, the Russian woman accused of working as an unregistered foreign agent, encouraged pro-gun demonstrations in the U.S. as early as 2014, according to messages provided to NPR.

Butina's work has been linked to Russia's attack on the 2016 election, but people who know her say she began trying to make her mark inside America years before.

NPR examined thousands of people who make up Butina's Facebook network, and reached out to a sample of more than two hundred individuals.

In 2016, photographer Joy Sharon Yi began taking the Metro to Barry Farm, a large public housing complex in Southeast Washington, D.C., built in 1943 on the first city settlement where African-Americans could buy property and build homes after the Civil War.

County Jails Struggle To Treat Mentally Ill Inmates

7 hours ago

DeVonte Jones began to show signs of schizophrenia as a teenager. His first public episode was nine years ago at a ball game at Wavering Park, in Quincy, Ill.

"He snapped out and just went around and started kicking people," says Jones' mother Linda Colon, who now lives in a Chicago suburb.

The police were called. Jones was arrested, charged with aggravated battery and placed in Adams County Jail. Colon says Jones had no recollection of what happened.

New life was breathed into a perennial debate this week, when a former Sesame Street writer revealed that not only did he consider beloved characters Bert and Ernie to be a gay couple, but he used his own relationship as creative inspiration.

On Sunday, Queerty published an interview with Mark Saltzman, who worked on the show in the 1980s and 90s, asking him if he thought of Bert and Ernie as a gay couple.

Updated at 11:00 p.m. ET

The Senate Judiciary Committee will move forward with a hearing scheduled for Monday on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, despite a request for further investigation from his accuser.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday insisted that many donations to predominantly conservative political nonprofit groups — what's often called dark money — be disclosed, seven weeks ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

The ruling closes, at least for now, a loophole that has allowed wealthy donors to finance aggressive ads while staying anonymous. Crafted by the Federal Election Commission nearly 40 years ago, the loophole flourished after the 2010 Citizens United ruling.

Floodwaters keep rising in the Carolinas as post-Tropical Storm Florence continues to dump rain on the region. The dangerous storm has already left more than 30 dead and displaced thousands of others, leaving them without electricity or shelter.

In the aftermath of Florence, North and South Carolina officials are encouraging people to volunteer or donate if they can. Here's a guide to how to help.

Why give cash

Facebook became embroiled in another controversy Tuesday, after the American Civil Liberties Union accused the company of giving employers a powerful tool to discriminate against women seeking work.

The complaint alleges that Facebook allowed employers to target job ads exclusively to men — that "they're profiting from thousands of ads that are being hidden from women," civil rights lawyer Peter Romer-Friedman of Outten & Golden told NPR.

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At last night's Emmys, the pool of nominees was so diverse the opening number made fun of it, proclaiming that Hollywood had solved the problem of underrepresentation in the TV business.

Updated at 6:05 p.m. ET

President Trump issued his most forceful defense yet of his embattled Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters during a press conference with Poland's president, Trump called Kavanaugh "a great man" and said that he feels "terribly" for the federal appeals court judge and his family.

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