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If you're a regular Shots reader or Morning Edition listener, you may remember a recent story about Justin McCowan, a man with Down syndrome who wanted to help researchers find a treatment for Alzheimer's disease. McCowan died in his sleep on Thursday at his home in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 40.

A number of high-profile police shootings, including that of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., last month, have led to increased scrutiny of police interactions with civilians.

One group that is disproportionately subject to police uses of force is people with mental illness. Many local departments hold special sessions to train officers about mental illness and how to help the people they interact with.

Germany is the world's third-largest arms exporter and Sigmar Gabriel, the country's minister for economic affairs, is determined to move his country farther down that list.

Three times in one week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo returned to the emergency room of the Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Southern California, seeking relief from intense back pain. Each time, Granillo waited a little while and then left the ER without ever being seen by a doctor.

"I was in so much pain, I wanted to be taken care of 'now,' " says Granillo. "I didn't want to sit and wait."

The United States and its allies expanded their assault against the Islamic State on Monday, striking targets inside Syria for the first time, the Pentagon said.

In a statement, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the U.S. had used "a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles."

Kirby said that because these strikes are ongoing, he could not go into details about where in Syria the allies were attacking. But a Pentagon official tells NPR's Tom Bowman that the strikes occurred near Raqqah, an Islamic State stronghold.

A Frenchman was kidnapped by an armed group in Algeria on Sunday, the French government said.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports the man was captured just hours after the Islamic State called on its followers to launch attacks against French citizens.

Eleanor filed this report for our Newscast Unit:

"A video released by a little known Islamist splinter group called the Caliphate Soldiers, shows the Frenchman sitting between two armed men with covered faces. He gives his name and age. He says he's a mountain guide who was taken hostage on Sunday.

Anticipation is building in India over its rendezvous with Mars.

NASA erupted into cheers after confirmation Sunday night that its space probe MAVEN injected into the Martian orbit. NASA's success came two days ahead of a critical engine burn designed to place an Indian spacecraft around the Red Planet, in a project dubbed MOM, Mars Orbiter Mission.

The U.S. Treasury announced steps on Monday to reduce the number of American companies who are dodging taxes by moving their parent companies overseas.

"These transactions erode the U.S. tax base, unfairly placing a larger burden on all other taxpayers, including small businesses and hardworking Americans," Treasury said in a statement.

President Obama now has the approval he sought from Congress to train and arm trusted Syrian rebel forces.

What he didn't get from Congress was the money to pay for the mission.

Lawmakers — who've skipped town for the campaign trail — also didn't approve any new money to pay for the broader air campaign against the group that calls itself the Islamic State.

So where will the money come from?

For a while, at least, combat in Iraq and Syria will probably be paid for from a special account meant to wind down the war in Afghanistan.

As the National Football League scrambles to defend its actions in amid a series of domestic abuse allegations against players, some of its harshest critics have been women. Female fans are a key part of the league's business strategy — the NFL says that women make up 45 percent of its fan base — but they haven't reacted to the scandal with one voice.

Editor's note: This story was originally published on September 22, 2014, but is newly relevant after Donald Trump's remark yesterday that if abortion is made illegal, women who have the procedure should be punished. He subsequently retracted the comment. But the idea of punishing women who've had an illegal abortion isn't so far-fetched in some parts of the world.

You know those foods and pills that promise to supply your body with "good bacteria?"

They may or may not make you healthier, but some of these "probiotics" do, in fact, appear to be effective in chickens. Poultry companies are turning to probiotics as an alternative to antibiotics, which have become increasingly controversial.

The man who jumped a fence and made it past the White House's North Portico on Friday had 800 rounds of ammunition inside his vehicle, a prosecutor said on Monday.

Fox News reports:

California's historic drought is partly to blame for the recent rise in West Nile virus infections, public health officials say. There have been 311 cases reported so far, double the number of the same time last year, and the most of any state in the country.

West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes. They contract the virus when they feed on infected birds, then spread it to the birds they bite next. A shortage of water can accelerate this cycle.

The tiny, island nation of Iceland is in the middle of a growth spurt. For the past month, the country's Bardarbunga volcano has been churning out lava at a prodigious rate. And the eruption shows no signs of abating.

Update at 2:49 p.m. ET. Officers Found At Canadian Border:

After going missing over the weekend, three Afghan officers, who were being trained in the United States, were detained at the Canadian border, a Pentagon official tells NPR's Tom Bowman.

The news was first reported by WCVB-TV's Karen Anderson. She reported that the men told customs agents at the Niagara Falls Rainbow Bridge that they were refugees.

The men, Anderson reports, will be sent back to the United States.

The Ebola crisis in West Africa has been a "very personal outbreak for me," says Dr. Daniel Bausch. The virologist spent "quite a few years" working on hemorrhagic fevers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Ebola as well as Marburg and Lassa fever. He knows the Ebola virus all too well, and he knows many of the people who've been deeply involved in fighting the current outbreak, including Dr.

The so-called King Fire, one of several sweeping through parts of California, has destroyed 10 homes and 22 other buildings, fire officials say.

As of early Monday morning, crews had been able to contain about 18 percent of the fire, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire):

Sacramento's Capital Public Radio reports that more than 5,500 firefighters are battling the blaze.

Question young, first-time voters about whom they will be supporting in the 2016 presidential election — via a callout on NPR's Facebook page — and you will receive more than 700 all-over-the-map responses.

Some thoughtful, some insightful. And a heck of a lot filled with what can only be called Hillary Exhilaration.

Especially among the young women of Generation Z — cultural shorthand for the cohort born in the mid-'90s or later.

Thousands of students in Hong Kong flooded a university campus in stifling heat today, starting a weeklong boycott of classes to protest Beijing's stance on electoral reform in the territory.

The Associated Press reports: "Dressed in white and wearing yellow ribbons, students from more than 20 universities and colleges packed into the grounds of picturesque, bay-side Chinese University where they were greeted by banners that said: 'The boycott must happen. Disobey and grasp your destiny.' "

NASA's MAVEN spacecraft conducted a 33-minute burn of its six main engines to ease into an orbit around Mars after a nearly yearlong, 442 million-mile voyage from Earth. The probe's mission is to study the red planet's atmosphere.

Updated at 7:35 a.m. ET

Kurdish fighters claim to have halted an advance by self-described Islamic State militants in an area of the Turkish-Syria border region that has seen masses of refugees fleeing the fighting in recent days.

On Friday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell broke a week of silence following the release of a video that showed former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice assaulting his then-fiancee.

Goodell apologized for his role in the NFL's handling of the matter.

Four years ago, Angela Stimpson agreed to donate a kidney to a complete stranger.

"The only thing I knew about my recipient was that she was a female and she lived in Bakersfield, Calif.," Stimpson says.

It was a true act of altruism — Stimpson risked pain and suffering to help another. So why did she do it? It involved major surgery, her donation was anonymous, and she wasn't paid.

"At that time in my life, I was 42 years old. I was single, I had no children," Stimpson says. "I loved my life, but I would often question what my purpose is."

Last week in Gaza, half a million children went back to school after a summer of war. The academic year started late; among other things, authorities had to check buildings for unexploded ordnance and scrub schools that had been used to shelter hundreds of thousands of displaced families.

Among the students returning to class was 16-year-old Wala'a Abdelkas, a sophomore from Gaza's al-Bureij refugee camp.

Chronic stress is hazardous to health and can lead to early death from heart disease, cancer and of other health problems. But it turns out it doesn't matter whether the stress comes from major events in life or from minor problems. Both can be deadly.

And it may be that it's not the stress from major life events like divorce, illness and job loss trickled down to everyday life that gets you; it's how you react to the smaller, everyday stress.

The most stressed-out people have the highest risk of premature death, according to one study that followed 1,293 men for years.

Judy and Harry Gaylor live in the mountains of Evergreen, west of Denver. The 70-acre stretch of land is covered with aspen and lodgepole pines and has been in Harry's family for close to a century. But, last year, a wildfire came dangerously close to burning his family house to the ground.

Harry credits volunteer firefighters from Evergreen Fire Rescue for containing the wildfire as it raged toward their neighbor's house.

Why Jewelry Stores Hide The Price Tags

Sep 22, 2014

When Tara Silberberg was a little girl, she helped out at her parents' jewelry store and wrote the prices on the tiny price tags.

"I had such good handwriting, too," said Silberberg. "Just teeny tiny, minuscule little handwriting."

Not that customers would see it: The price tags were turned upside down or tucked away. Even now, when Silberberg runs the store, she still hides the prices.

Customers have to ask Silberberg what the price is, or guess it. It's like playing a jewelry store version of The Price Is Right.

The forecast calls for picture-perfect weather Tuesday in New York City as world leaders gather to discuss the challenge of a changing climate.

More than 120 leaders, including President Obama, are expected to attend the one-day climate summit, sponsored by the United Nations. They've been instructed to arrive with "bold ideas" to slow the rise in global temperatures.

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