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The United States is trying again to persuade North Korea to end its nuclear weapons program.

A senior U.S. official tells NPR that U.S. diplomats are communicating with the reclusive regime. They are passing messages through North Korea's mission to the United Nations in New York.

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With climate activists cheering on the Green New Deal, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke is borrowing a different allusion from American history.

"We've called for ... an investment commensurate with John F. Kennedy's moonshot," O'Rourke told NPR. "We're going to invest in the technologies that will allow us to lead the world on this. It should be happening right here in the United States."

China and the United States are locked in a trade fight, a technology race and competing world military strategies. Leaders of these countries seem to be pulling the world's two largest economies apart.

These tensions are especially felt by those living with a foot in each country. The NPR special series A Foot In Two Worlds reveals the stories of people affected because of their ties to both nations. Reports from both the U.S. and China show how deeply and broadly the two nations are connected and what's at stake as they reshape their relations.

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Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro has a plan to change immigration policy in the U.S. The former Housing and Urban Development secretary wants to address immigrant detention, family reunification and the immigration court system.

In stark contrast to current policy, he also wants to decriminalize crossing the border illegally, a plan he outlined in a Medium post in April.

Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks juggle the chaotic life of raising a family while also fronting the Grammy Award-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band. The band's latest album, Signs, released on Feb. 15, explores that balancing act while also transforming grief and confusion into art.

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China's ambassador to the United States says his country is "ready to make a deal" to end a trade war with the United States — if they could find a trustworthy partner in Washington.

Cui Tiankai accused the United States of shifting positions and passing up opportunities for agreement. The United States has been escalating tariffs on imports from China, and China he responded with taxes on U.S. goods.

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President Trump is celebrating a new North American Free Trade Agreement. Canada last night joined the United States and Mexico in this new trade deal. And the president spoke about it in the White House Rose Garden today.

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Just how much further is the Federal Bureau of Investigation supposed to look into the life of Brett Kavanaugh?

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(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD: (Reading) I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.

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Christine Blasey Ford has just begun to speak to the Senate Judiciary Committee, offering testimony today against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Let's just bring the sound of that as we hear a bit of her opening statement.

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Writer Anand Giridharadas has a dark view of American philanthropy.

He has been writing about people who say they're changing the world for the better — except that despite their best efforts, it's not working.

Morning News Brief

Aug 15, 2018

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It was another primary day yesterday. And in Vermont, voters made history.

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The contradictions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are always on display, but rarely as starkly as this week, when the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem and the militant group Hamas and others planned a protest at the same time that turned deadly.

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As the U.S. Embassy to Israel officially moves from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Monday, "I think the move is going to permit the parties to focus on issues that are, first of all, important. And second of all, solvable," U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman tells NPR's Morning Edition. "What the president did when he made this decision was to remove from the Palestinians the right to veto the recognition by the United States and other countries of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel."

The Trump administration is making plans to "prod" and "cajole" U.S. allies to stop doing business with Iran, a senior State Department official told NPR on Wednesday.

Andrew Peek, who oversees State Department affairs relating to Iran, spoke the morning after President Trump announced that he was withdrawing the United States from its 2015 agreement with Iran limiting its nuclear program and that he was reviving sanctions on Iran.

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When Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif walked into a roomful of reporters in New York on Saturday, he remarked on how his U.S. visit was going.

"Good," he said. "Not as good as the guy who spent $250 million on the trip."

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As people try to flee the war in Yemen — which U.N. agencies have labeled the "world's worst humanitarian crisis" — some Yemeni-Americans living in the United States have been able to get family members out of Yemen and to temporary safety in countries in East Africa. But the next step, to the U.S., is blocked.

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