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A federal civil rights investigation of the Ferguson, Mo., police force has concluded that the department violated the Constitution with discriminatory policing practices against African Americans, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the report.

The investigation, the source says, concluded that blacks were disproportionately targeted by the police and the justice system, which has led to a lack of trust in police and courts and to few partnerships for public safety.

Since first becoming prime minister in 1996, Benjamin Netanyahu has hammered away at Iran's nuclear program, calling it the greatest threat to Israel. Yet Tuesday's speech to Congress, like many before it, sharply criticized the international response to Iran while offering relatively little as an alternative.

This is the canary in the coal mine.

Several big states have seen alarming drops in enrollment at teacher training programs. The numbers are grim among some of the nation's largest producers of new teachers: In California, enrollment is down 53 percent over the past five years. It's down sharply in New York and Texas as well.

In North Carolina, enrollment is down nearly 20 percent in three years.

A lot of parents start worrying about paying for college education soon after their child is born. After that, there's the stressful process of applying to colleges, and then, for those lucky enough to get admitted into a good college, there's college debt.

Here's only a partial list of great American writers whose names came to mind as I was reading T. Geronimo Johnson's new novel, Welcome to Braggsville: Tom Wolfe, Mark Twain, Toni Morrison, H.L. Mencken, Don DeLillo, David Foster Wallace, Norman Mailer and Ralph Ellison, Ralph Ellison, Ralph Ellison. Johnson's timely novel is a tipsy social satire about race and the oh-so-fragile ties that bind disparate parts of this country into an imperfect and restless union.

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Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted Tuesday to fund the Department of Homeland Security through the end of the budget year — without any restrictions on immigration. The vote is a victory for President Obama as Republicans had wanted to strip funding for the president's executive actions on immigration from the bill.

The measure, which passed 257-167, now heads to President Obama, who is expected to sign it.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

President Obama said "there was nothing new" in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech on Iran to a joint meeting of Congress.

Speaking at the White House, Obama said, "the prime minister didn't offer any viable alternatives" to the possible deal being worked out with Iran on its nuclear program.

Sara Creech has grown dependent on farming. She started out planting an orchard of fruit trees: apples, peaches, cherries and pears. She added berry bushes and rows of vegetables.

And then she bought her first chickens.

"A lot of people call chickens the gateway animal," says Creech, who lives in rural North Salem, Ind. "Like once you have a chicken on the farm, then you end up getting sheep on the farm, and then you end up getting horses, and cows. And then it just explodes from there."

Former CIA Director and retired Gen. David Petraeus, whose military career has been overshadowed by charges that he provided classified data to his mistress, has made a deal with the Justice Department in which he will plead guilty to one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.

The deal will allow Petraeus, who rose to the rank of a four-star general before becoming director of the CIA, to avoid a trial and plead guilty to a misdemeanor. He'll also avoid a prison sentence, if a federal court agrees with the plea deal's terms.

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Joe King.

Joe King who?

Joking like this used to be considered a sickness by some people.

The knock-knock joke has been a staple of American humor since the early 20th century. With its repetitive set-up and wordplay punchline, the form has been invoked — and understood — by people of all ages and sensibilities.

The eruption of the Villarrica volcano in southern Chile has prompted the evacuation of thousands of people, as it spewed heavy smoke into the air and lava down its slopes.

The 9,000 foot volcano hovers over the city of Pucon, home to about 22,000 people.

"It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen," Travis Armstrong, a 29-year-old Australian tourist, told The Associated Press. "I've never seen a volcano erupt and it was spewing lava and ash hundreds of meters into the air. Lightning was striking down at the volcano from the ash cloud that formed from the eruption."

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This morning, members of Congress gathered on Capitol Hill for a major speech.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister of Israel...

(APPLAUSE)

During her four years as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton did not use a State Department email account, opting instead to conduct official business through a personal email account that wasn't then and is not now under the government's control.

The arrangement circumvented a federal process that could have automatically preserved Clinton's email communications in government archives.

House Republicans are questioning why the Obama administration transferred money last year from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to pay for the operation of the federal health insurance marketplace.

"Now it appears that we are robbing Peter to pay Paul in order to finance the disaster that is HealthCare.Gov," said Rep. Jody Hice, a Republican congressman from suburban Atlanta.

Updated at 2:09 p.m. ET

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a deal the U.S. and its allies are pursuing with Iran over its nuclear program is "very bad" because, according to him, it doesn't take away the Islamic republic's ability to ultimately obtain nuclear weapons.

"This is a bad deal — a very bad deal," Netanyahu told a joint meeting of Congress today. "We're better off without it."

Dr. Chuck Denham, once a leading voice for patient safety, will pay $1 million to settle civil allegations that he took kickbacks to promote a drug company's product in national health quality guidelines, the Justice Department announced Monday.

The new Iraqi effort to retake Tikrit from the self-styled Islamic State, or ISIS, brought fierce fighting to areas around the city Tuesday. A local source says that Iran, which has already been aiding Iraq with artillery and intelligence support, has sent fighters to help seize Tikrit.

NPR's Alice Fordham reports:

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck are calling for calm and patience as three investigations are underway into the police killing of a homeless man Sunday. Police say the man "forcibly grabbed" an officer's gun before he was shot to death.

Beck called the incident a tragedy that followed a "brutal, brutal fight."

The police confrontation with a man known as Afrika was filmed by at least two eyewitnesses. A dramatic video sparked criticism of the police, as it showed several officers attempting to hold him down before shots rang out.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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And now news of the longest-serving woman in the history of Congress who will not be running for re-election next year. Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski made that surprise announcement yesterday in her hometown of Baltimore.

Israel's Prime Minister is expected to deliver a stern warning when he speaks to a joint meeting of Congress Tuesday morning. Benjamin Netanyahu says the nuclear deal that the U.S. and other countries are pursuing with Iran could threaten Israel's survival.

That's not a new message from Netanyahu, but it's drawing extra attention because of the way the speech came about: Republican congressional leaders invited the prime minister with no involvement from the White House.

Netanyahu Speech: The View From Israel

Mar 3, 2015
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Health is more than the sum of its parts. Sometimes in surprising ways, factors such as childhood experiences, housing conditions, poor diets and health care access drive who ends up sick — and who does not.

Inayat Omarji vividly remembers the worried reaction when he first looked into renovating the abandoned church in his neighborhood: "There's a bearded young Muslim chap involved in a church! Whoops! He's gonna turn it into a mosque!"

At the time, Omarji was head of the local council of mosques, but there already were three or four in his neighborhood in Bolton, England.

"What it needed is a place where people could meet, people can come to, people can socialize," he says.

More than 1.3 million people are incarcerated in state prisons in this country, and keeping those prisons running requires tens of thousands of corrections officers. But right now, some states are facing major staffing shortages.

Much of this shortfall is because of the strong economy, but recruiters also are struggling with the job's cultural stigma.

Cadets at Wyoming's Department of Corrections Training Academy are practicing how they'll handcuff prisoners. In a few weeks this scenario will be very real, but right now everyone is pretty relaxed.

In recent weeks, the price of gasoline has ticked up but regular unleaded still costs about a dollar less than it did a year ago. That's good for consumers, who have more money to spend. But in Houston, one way or another, the paychecks consumers depend on come from the oil business.

The world's three biggest oilfield service firms — Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes — have announced a combined 22,000 layoffs in recent months. Those job cuts are worldwide, but many are falling in Houston, where all three companies have headquarters.

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