National & World News from NPR

A jittery group of middle-schoolers is about to start the first day of classes since September, when Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico and totally disrupted the island's school system.

The vast majority of the island's public schools — more than 98 percent — are open for at least part of the day, according to Puerto Rico's Department of Education.

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New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo stood this morning outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. In an underground passageway somewhere beneath Cuomo's feet, a man had set off a homemade suicide vest earlier in the morning.

The nominees for the 2018 Golden Globe Awards were announced early Monday morning in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Two pills to wipe out hookworm could cost you 4 cents. Or $400.

It just depends where you live.

The 4 cents is in Tanzania. That'll cover the two pills it takes to knock out the intestinal parasite. But in the United States, where hookworm has re-emerged, the price for two 200 mg tablets of albendazole can cost as much as $400.

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Lyft is unveiling a new education program for drivers, offering access to discounted GED and college courses online. The move is an interesting experiment in the gig economy, where a growing class of workers receive zero benefits from a boss and yet competition for their time is fierce.

Many Lyft drivers see their work for the company as a stopgap measure, a flexible way to make money while they try to build a career.

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Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

New York City police say the suspect in Monday morning's explosion in a subway station tunnel near Times Square was wearing an improvised explosive device and that he suffered burns after it was detonated. Three other people sustained minor injuries.

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More than two weeks after Hondurans went to the polls to elect a new president, there is still no official winner. The current president holds a slight lead, but officials have yet to declare him the winner amid allegations of widespread fraud. Here's NPR's Carrie Kahn.

Evangelical Voters And Roy Moore

Dec 11, 2017

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Alabama Senator Richard Shelby made a statement yesterday.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

RICHARD SHELBY: I couldn't vote for Roy Moore. The state of Alabama deserves better.

Saudi Arabia has announced that it will allow cinemas to open in the kingdom for the first time in decades as part of social and economic reforms undertaken by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"Commercial cinemas will be allowed to operate in the kingdom as of early 2018, for the first time in more than 35 years," the culture and information ministry announced in a statement on Monday.

It said that the government would begin issuing cinema licenses immediately and that the first movie houses would be open by March.

The ruling party of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has won more than 90 percent of the country's mayoral races, after the opposition boycotted the election. Maduro said parties that sat out Sunday's vote will be barred from next year's presidential election.

Maduro's United Socialist Party of Venezuela won more than 300 of the 335 mayoral offices.

"We have obtained a big victory!" Maduro said in a speech in the capital's Bolívar Plaza late Sunday. "A popular, democratic, free, sovereign victory of an independent country!"

It's a typical hectic morning at Michele Comisky's house in Vienna, Va., when she gets a knock on her front door.

"Hi, how are you?" Comisky says as she greets Keisha Herbin Smith, a research assistant at Georgetown University. "Come on in."

Comisky, 39, leads Herbin Smith into her kitchen.

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Here's a question that Alabama voters answer this week. Can a Democrat really win a Senate seat in such a red state?

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The View From Birmingham

Dec 11, 2017

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How Dollar General Is Transforming Rural America

Dec 11, 2017

The retail economy in rural America has been rough for decades. But where thousands of stores have closed in recent years, Dollar General is thriving, sometimes at the expense of local shops. Dollar Generals are discount stores that sell goods from hand tools to hot dogs. They're reshaping the retail landscape in small towns. And making lots of friends — and enemies — in the process.

The last time China pressured Hong Kong to scrap its curriculum in favor of one developed by China's Communist Party-led government, tens of thousands marched through the city chanting, "Down with national education!"

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The Tax Bill And The Military

Dec 11, 2017

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(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT")

ROLLING STONES: (Singing) You can't always get what you want.

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Work Harder As Batman

Dec 11, 2017

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"Unprecedented" is a term that was thrown around a lot to describe the crazy 2016 presidential election. Now, the Alabama Senate race may be giving that campaign a run for its money.

Once upon a time, there was a group of conservative intellectuals who were agnostic about Donald Trump.

They were not "Never Trumpers," but they weren't Trump superfans either.

They thought Trumpism might offer something new for the GOP. Since Trump wasn't tied to the orthodoxies of either party he could, theoretically, offer a more populist path toward the future for Republicans.

Conservative writer Henry Olsen, at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, looked to the tax plan to reflect this new vision, but it wasn't there.

On their first day of trading, bitcoin futures surged past $18,000, adding to a streak for the digital currency that began the year at just $1,000 and has nearly tripled in value over the past month alone.

Reuters reports that bitcoin futures, traded through the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), saw January contracts, which opened at $15,460 in New York on Sunday evening, leap to a high of $17,170 during Asian hours.

Updated 10:40 p.m. ET

Firefighters in California's Ventura and Santa Barbara counties find themselves still locked in a desperate struggle with what has become the fifth-largest wildfire in modern state history. The Thomas Fire, which for a time Sunday was ratcheted down just 10 percent contained, has ticked back upward to 20 percent containment.

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