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Editor's Note: This story was originally published on December 1 and has been updated.

World AIDS Day was December 1. The White House hung a red ribbon. Hundreds of red balloons were released in the air in Brazil. And Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their first appearance as a royal couple at an AIDS charity event in Nottingham, U.K.

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Opioids In The Family

Dec 1, 2017

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The Empire State building, pizza and Broadway are just a few things synonymous with New York City — and then there's the rats.

Like many other major metropolitan areas, New York City has a rat problem. But that doesn't mean that all the rats are the same.

A new government report says the number of children in the U.S. foster care system has increased for the fourth year in a row, due largely to an uptick in substance abuse by parents.

The report, issued annually by the Administration for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services, shows that 437,500 children were in foster care by the end of fiscal year 2016. A year earlier the number was 427,400.

For 17 years, Chalfonte LeNee Queen suffered periodic episodes of violent retching and abdominal pain that would knock her off her feet for days, sometimes leaving her writhing on the floor in pain.

"I've screamed out for death," says Queen, 48, who lives in San Diego. "I've cried out for my mom, who's been dead for 20 years, mentally not realizing she can't come to me."

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President Trump has said over and over again that the tax overhaul now being debated by Congress would actually hurt him and other wealthy people, not help them.

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States Sound Warning That Kids' Health Insurance Is At Risk

Nov 30, 2017

This week, Colorado became the first state to notify families that children who receive health insurance through the Children's Health Insurance Program are in danger of losing their coverage.

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The ice bucket challenge became a viral sensation a few years ago.

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The Afghan girls robotics team has taken home a top prize at Robotex, Europe's largest robotics festival.

The team previously made headlines because their visas were temporarily denied in the run-up to a robotics contest in the U.S. — but they always wanted to be recognized for their work, not for the politics over their travel. Ultimately, they were allowed into the U.S, placed 114th overall (higher than the teams from the U.S. and U.K.) and received a medal for "courageous achievement."

A cache of hundreds of eggs discovered in China sheds new light on the development and nesting behavior of prehistoric, winged reptiles called pterosaurs.

Pterosaurs were fearsome-looking creatures that flew during the Lower Cretaceous period alongside dinosaurs. This particular species was believed to have a massive wingspan of up to 13 feet, and likely ate fish with their large teeth-filled jaws.

Researchers working in the Turpan-Hami Basin in northwestern China collected the eggs over a 10-year span from 2006 to 2016.

A severe shortage of inpatient care for people with mental illness is amounting to a public health crisis, as the number of individuals struggling with a range of psychiatric problems continues to rise.

Drug prices are too high, and we had better do something about it. That is the nutshell conclusion of a 201-page report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

The intercontinental ballistic missile that North Korea launched on Wednesday appears to be significantly larger and more powerful than previous versions, according to independent analysts.

Silence

Nov 30, 2017

It’s a noisy world, inside and out.

Whether it’s the barrage of sounds that surrounds us or the constant droning of our own thoughts, finding peace and quiet can be difficult, and some people go to great lengths to get a break from the noise.

A coming wave of job automation could force between 400 million and 800 million people worldwide out of a job in the next 13 years, according to a new study.

A report released this week from the research arm of the consulting firm McKinsey & Company forecasts scenarios in which 3 percent to 14 percent of workers around the world — in 75 million to 375 million jobs — will have to acquire new skills and switch occupations by 2030.

Jonathan Bethony admits the breads he'll be churning out at Seylou Bakery & Mill, which just opened this month in Washington, D.C., might not appeal to everyone.

The dark crusts of his pain au levain have a charred appearance and complex flavors to match their hue. Inside the loaves, a toothsome chewiness gives way to the tang of sourdough and a taste that can only be described as distinctly wheat-y.

When you think of Polynesia, what images first come to mind?

Well, it looks like women have been balancing a full-time job and motherhood for thousands of years. All the while, they haven't gotten much credit for it.

By studying the bones of ancient women in Europe, archaeologists at the University of Cambridge have uncovered a hidden history of women's manual labor, from the early days of farming about 7,500 years ago up until about 2,000 years ago.

It has been nearly a decade since Congress passed the Mental Health Parity And Addiction Equity Act, with its promise to make mental health and substance abuse treatment just as easy to get as care for any other condition. Yet today, amid an opioid epidemic and a spike in the suicide rate, patients are still struggling to get access to treatment.

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In 2008, Patrick Quade ducked out of his office at Morgan Stanley in Manhattan and stopped at a corner deli for a BLT wrap. The next day he suffered explosive diarrhea and was vomiting so violently, "it was like some force was just wringing my stomach out." When he called the deli to report the incident, they said they were not to blame and hung up on him.

"Food poisoning kills 3,000 people a year," says Quade. "I thought to myself, I don't know for sure it was the deli. But what if 30 or 40 people in the neighborhood went to that deli and also got sick? Who would know?"

Remember the story about the Twitter employee who (briefly) managed to delete President Trump's account?

At the time, we speculated that it might be "an act of civil disobedience, or maybe just a 'take this job and shove it' moment." But apparently the 11-minute outage of @realDonaldTrump was just a mistake.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist Dan Katz has two cellos. The better one — the one he prefers to play with the orchestra — is 200 years old and has rosewood tuning pegs. When the orchestra went on an 11-concert European tour in January, he purposefully left it home.

"I worry with that instrument about international travel now, because of those pegs," Katz said after rehearsing for a performance of Schubert's Ninth Symphony earlier this month.

Arkansas prosecutors have dropped their case against James Bates, whom they had charged with first-degree murder partly with the help of evidence collected by an Amazon Echo smart speaker. On Wednesday, a circuit court judge granted their request to have the charges of murder and tampering with evidence dismissed.

The prosecutors declared nolle prosequi, stating that the evidence could support more than one reasonable explanation.

Puerto Rico's hot winter days and warm nights have played a key role in the global seed business for more than 30 years. So, the devastation wrought on the U.S. territory by Hurricane Maria in September stretches to the croplands of the Midwest and Great Plains.

Fields in Puerto Rico are used for research and development of up to 85 percent of the commercial corn, soybean and other hybrid seeds grown in the U.S., according to the Puerto Rico Agricultural Biotechnology Industry Association.

Fake birth control pills. Cough syrup for children that contained a powerful opioid. Antimalarial pills that were actually just made of potato and cornstarch.

These are, according to the World Health Organization, just a few examples of poor-quality or fake medicines identified in recent years.

Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

A glitch in American Airlines' pilot scheduling system means that thousands of flights during the holiday season currently do not have pilots assigned to fly them.

The shortage was caused by an error in the system pilots use to bid for time off, the Allied Pilots Association told NPR. The union represents the airline's 15,000 pilots.

As President Trump talked tax overhaul on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Arkansas patient advocate Andrea Taylor was also meeting with lawmakers and asking them to save a corporate tax credit for companies that develop drugs for rare diseases.

Taking the credit away, Taylor said, "eliminates the possibility for my child to have a bright and happy future."

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