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This week, the governor of Connecticut proposed a state-wide tax on sugar-sweetened drinks. Several cities have already enacted such soda taxes in order to raise money and fight obesity. And there's new evidence suggesting that these taxes do work — although sometimes not as well as hoped.

Two new accusers have come forward against R. Kelly, claiming that the embattled singer sought to have sex with them when they were minors, more than two decades ago. At a news conference Thursday in New York City, Rochelle Washington and Latresa Scaff related the story of a traumatic encounter that allegedly occurred after one of Kelly's performances in the mid-1990s.

Updated at 6:34 p.m. ET

A federal judge on Thursday barred Roger Stone from talking publicly about his case after an inflammatory photo was posted on his Instagram account of the judge that included what appeared to be a crosshairs.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson rejected apologies offered by Stone, both in writing and in person at a hearing in Washington, D.C. If Stone violates the order, Jackson warned him, she would be "compelled to adjust your environment."

Israel Set To Launch Spacecraft To The Moon

2 hours ago

An Israeli spacecraft is set to take off this evening, aiming to land on the moon. And if the mission is successful, it would make Israel the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the lunar surface – after the U.S., the former Soviet Union and China.

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with ProPublica's Sebastian Rotella on his reporting that the Trump administration shifted resources away from border smuggling investigations and toward more deportations.

Ross Gay spent a year writing daily essays about things that delight him. NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Gay about some of the essays included in his new book, The Book of Delights.

Human rights violations and abuses that have grown routine against civilians and children in the world's youngest country, may constitute war crimes, according to a new report by the U.N.'s Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan outlining acts of brutality committed in 2018.

After the deadliest wildfire in California's history last year, one family that fled has received a little joy. The family was reunited with its dog, Kingston, who disappeared shortly after the Camp Fire started.

The Ballejos family told Sacramento's KXTV that Kingston, an Akita, jumped out of the truck as they were evacuating the wildfire area in Paradise, Calif.

"When I found out, [it] just about brought me to tears," Gabriel Ballejos, Kingston's owner, told the station. "I'm so proud of him. I can't believe it. He's a true survivor."

Hiccup and Toothless will return to theaters this weekend when the conclusion of the animated How To Train Your Dragon trilogy takes viewers to a hidden world.

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Actor and musician Jussie Smollett turned himself in to Chicago Police Thursday after being charged with filing a false police report in connection with an alleged assault.

When Sheriffs Won't Enforce The Law

3 hours ago

Last fall, voters in Washington state approved a package of firearms restrictions, generally called I-1639. It raises the minimum age for buying semi-automatic rifles, tightens background checks and makes it a crime to fail to store a gun safely, if the gun ends up in the wrong hands.

The restrictions have raised the ire of some county sheriffs.

Apple will reportedly have a different kind of product launch later this year: a credit card, jointly operated by Goldman Sachs.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the card will be integrated with the iPhone and offer features to track spending and points. The card would represent a move into new, highly competitive terrain for both companies.

Scouring ingredient lists. Carrying an EpiPen. Sitting at the special lunch table at school. These anxiety-ridden measures have become routine for families with severe food allergies, who know it takes only one wrong bite to end up in the emergency room.

Nearly 6 million U.S. children and teens — about 8 percent, or two per classroom — have food allergies. In children, allergy to peanuts, which can be life-threatening, has gone up more than 21 percent since 2010.

A makeup ad campaign featuring a freckled Chinese model has sparked a debate about beauty standards in China.

In a lipstick advertisement from the Spanish fashion brand Zara, launched on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, on Feb. 15, a 25-year-old Chinese model named Li Jingwen shows her unretouched face with minimal makeup and red lips. But it's not the striking shades of her lipstick that caught people's attention.

It was her freckles.

You might think the world's biggest bee would be easy to find. But that's not the case: Until recently, the last time anyone had reported seeing a Wallace's giant bee living in the wild was in 1981. That changed in January, when the rare bee was spotted on an island of Indonesia.

The Wallace's giant bee Megachile pluto towers over European honeybees. The female's size has been recorded as at least an inch and a half long, with a tongue that's nearly an inch long. Add to that a pair of gigantic mandibles, and it's a bee like no other.

A German court says gunmaker Heckler & Koch skirted the law when it exported thousands of military-grade assault rifles to Mexican states struggling to cope with violent drug cartels, hitting the large company with a fine of 3.7 million euros ($4.2 million).

As part of the ruling, two former H&K employees were given suspended prison sentences of 17 and 22 months. Prosecutors had initially put five former employees on trial and sought prison sentences for three of them.

When it comes to making changes in health care, CVS Health isn't settling for tinkering around the edges. The company is looking to strike at the heart of how health care is delivered in the U.S.

In November, the drugstore chain completed a $70 billion acquisition of health insurance giant Aetna that CVS has said will change the company and in the process alter the way consumers experience health care.

In September, public health officials in South Africa finally declared victory over the world's

It was the most highly anticipated college basketball game of the season: Duke was facing archrival North Carolina, with the spectacular talents of Duke's freshman sensation Zion Williamson on display.

Former President Barack Obama was there. Tickets for the game were reselling for more than $3,000 — Super Bowl prices. Duke's exuberant student section, known as the Cameron Crazies, was extra hyped.

In 1982, Igor Yerin was working in a Moscow car plant when he was drafted into the Soviet army at age 20 and sent to Afghanistan to fight U.S.-backed guerrillas known as the mujahedeen. He ended up serving as a platoon sergeant with the 149th Motorized Rifle Regiment based in the northern city of Kunduz.

Updated at 5:40 p.m. ET

Just weeks after Jussie Smollett reported being assaulted in a potential hate crime, the Empire actor is in police custody for allegedly orchestrating the attack. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollett faked the incident, paying two brothers about $3,500 to join a "publicity stunt" staged by Smollett because he "was dissatisfied with his salary."

"Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career," Johnson said at a news conference Thursday after Smollett's arrest.

An Alabama woman who traveled to Syria and became the bride of an Islamic State fighter wants to be allowed back into the United States, but President Trump won't allow it.

"I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!" Trump wrote Wednesday on Twitter.

~~~~~https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2FrealDonaldTrump%2Fstatus%2F1098327855145062411~~~~~~

New Election Called In North Carolina House Race

8 hours ago

Updated at 5:16 p.m. ET

After months of insisting he knew of no illegal activity being done on behalf of his campaign, Republican Mark Harris, who leads the race for North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, called Thursday for the State Board of Elections to hold a new election.

Shortly afterwards, the bipartisan state board voted unanimously to redo the only congressional race left from the 2018 midterms that remains undecided.

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Updated at 11:52 a.m. ET

In 2011, Glynnis Bohannon gave her 12-year-old son permission to charge $20 on her credit card to play a game on Facebook called Ninja Saga. Neither of them saw any signs that the credit card information had been stored and was racking up charges as her son played and made additional in-game purchases. Bohannon says her son didn't realize it would end up costing nearly $1,000.

Saudi Crown Prince's Visit To India Signals Pivot Eastward For Riyadh

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When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke with protocol to greet the Saudi crown prince on the airport tarmac this week in New Delhi – with a big bear hug and a bouquet of flowers – it stirred a range of emotions across India.

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