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La Niña will most likely be joining us for the winter again, according to federal forecasters.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center announced on Thursday that La Niña conditions have developed and are expected to continue, with an 87% chance that they will be in place from December to February.

BEIJING — In 1961, Muhammad's then-teenage parents loaded as many belongings as they could onto yaks and horses, then set off walking toward the snow-tipped Pamir mountains. Their destination: Afghanistan.

They were among hundreds of Uyghurs who have fled northwest China's Xinjiang region to Afghanistan since the 1950s. The Uyghurs, a mostly Muslim Turkic ethnic minority, made the arduous trek along ancient pilgrimage and trade routes to the neighboring country to escape religious and political persecution under the Chinese government.

Updated October 15, 2021 at 3:20 PM ET

A British bakery has been forced to pull its top-selling cookies from the market, after regulators informed the owner that the sprinkles are illegal. The U.S.-made sprinkles contain a coloring that's legal for some uses — but not for sprinkling.

A Texas school district has once again become the center of controversy after an administrator reportedly instructed teachers to provide students with "opposing" views of the Holocaust.

A panel of experts voted unanimously to recommend that the Food and Drug Administration authorize a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

In a 19-0 vote, the panel recommended that the booster dose come at least two months after initial immunization with one shot of the J&J vaccine. It applies to people 18 years and older.

During the meeting, J&J presented data that showed the protection of the single shot remained largely stable over time but that a second dose pushed protection to a higher level.

Updated October 15, 2021 at 2:46 PM ET

Apple has fired a lead organizer of the #AppleToo movement, as the company investigates multiple employees suspected of leaking internal documents to the media.

Janneke Parrish, a program manager who had been with the company for more than five years, told NPR that she was fired on Thursday. Apple claimed she had deleted files and apps from her company phone amid an investigation into how details of a company meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook leaked to the press, Parrish said.

The U.S. Justice Department will ask the Supreme Court to put on hold Texas' restrictive abortion law as legal challenges against the law proceed.

"The Justice Department intends to ask the Supreme Court to vacate the Fifth Circuit's stay of the preliminary injunction against Texas Senate Bill 8," Anthony Coley, a DOJ spokesman, said in a statement.

Nikolas Cruz will plead guilty next Wednesday to killing 14 students and three staff members at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., his defense team says.

With the admission of guilt in the 2018 mass shooting, Cruz's legal team will focus on the penalty phase of the trial, hoping to secure a punishment of 17 consecutive life sentences for their client, rather than the death penalty that prosecutors are seeking.

As Tamu Shatallah walked past the inauguration stage draped in gold, his thoughts were on the deadly civil war that has plagued Ethiopia for nearly a year.

It's a war "between brothers, between sisters," Tamu said. A war that, as far as he can tell, has done nothing for his country.

That stage in Ethiopia's capital city Addis Ababa was where Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sat last week as he watched a procession of military bands, having just been elected to a second five-year term last week. Behind him, written in large letters was a message: "A new beginning."

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A lawmaker from the U.K.'s ruling Conservative Party has died after being attacked today. He was stabbed during a public meeting with his constituents in Southend-on-Sea in the southeast of England. And NPR's London correspondent Frank Langfitt is on this story. Frank, hi.

Updated October 15, 2021 at 12:51 PM ET

China's Tiangong space station will have its first female astronaut after a trio of spacefarers blasted off for a six-month stay aboard the orbital outpost.

Wang Yaping, 41, will be the first female "taikonaut" — the term China uses for its astronauts — to board the station. She and two male colleagues, commander Zhai Zhigang, 55, and Ye Guangfu, 41, are expected to set a new space endurance record for China.

As health care workers face increased pandemic burnout, some states — particularly in underserved areas — have had challenges retaining existing staff and recruiting new clinicians.

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TB patients have become collateral damage in the train wreck that is COVID-19.

Until the emergence of COVID, tuberculosis was the deadliest infectious disease in the world. But health care workers were making slow, steady progress to contain it. Now for the first time in more than a decade the death toll from TB is rising.

Tuberculosis killed roughly 1.5 million people in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, up from 1.4 million in 2019. And researchers say COVID is to blame.

Each week, we answer frequently asked questions about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions." See an archive of our FAQs here.

Updated October 15, 2021 at 11:44 AM ET

A group of suicide bombers attacked a Shiite mosque in southern Afghanistan, triggering explosions that killed dozens of people during crowded Friday prayers.

According to The Associated Press, Hafiz Sayeed, the Taliban's chief for Kandahar's department of culture and information, said 47 people had been killed and at least 70 wounded in the attack.

However, officials have been giving slightly different casualty figures throughout the day.

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Good morning. I'm A Martinez.

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Now, the members of the House Select Committee include Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland, who's on the line. Congressman, welcome back.

JAMIE RASKIN: Hey. Good morning, Steve.

INSKEEP: What makes Steve Bannon specifically of interest to you?

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KONGSBERG, Norway — The suspect in a bow-and-arrow attack that killed five people and wounded three in a quiet Norwegian town this week is facing a custody hearing Friday. He won't appear in court because he has confessed to the killings and has agreed to being held in custody.

Espen Andersen Braathen, a 37-year-old Danish citizen was arrested Wednesday night, 30 minutes after he began his deadly rampage targeting random people. Police have described the attack as an act of terror.

Grete Bergman had long wanted to get traditional facial markings, a practice for Indigenous women in Alaska that European settlers tried to extinguish.

But in 2016, Bergman became one of the first among the Gwich'in Nation — First Nations peoples whose homelands stretch from northeast Alaska to northwest Canada — to get tattooed, in a return to a centuries-old tradition.

"My dad would have hated it," Bergman said. "He would have looked at me and he would have said, 'What the hell you do that for?' "

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KOLKATA, India — When Sharmistha Chaudhuri decided to get married in her native India, she faced a dilemma.

Chaudhuri, 35, is a PR professional in Austin, Texas. She's independent, educated and has traveled the world. She wanted her wedding to reflect her liberal values and the equal partnership she has with her American fiancé.

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