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Arts and Culture

Walt Willey web site

Western legend Wild Bill Hickock was born in Troy Grove, Illinois about an hour and twenty minutes north of Bloomington-Normal. Actor Walt Willey grew up in nearby Ottawa, Illinois before making his career on the soap opera All My Children. Willey learned of the central Illinois connection to Hickok only later in life, and was entranced by James Butler Hickok when he was looking for a one man show to do.

Comedian Steve Rannazzisi has admitted to lying for years about being in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.

In interviews, Rannazzisi said he escaped the south tower when terrorists crashed two airplanes into the buildings in 2001. Wednesday, he tweeted that he was in New York City that day, but in a building in Midtown.

Rannazzisi is a popular stand-up comic and one of the stars of the FX sitcom The League, about a fantasy football league.

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Over the past few years, NBC has tried a few times to revive the prime-time variety show, a TV format that once was as popular and ubiquitous as reality TV is today. NBC even has tried to inject the variety television genre with the excitement of live television, in hopes of luring viewers back to their television sets in real time.

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A New Hampshire public library has voted to continue supporting the controversial Tor network.

The Kilton Public Library in West Lebanon had decided to use its spare bandwidth to serve as a relay for the network. New Hampshire Public Radio reports the library had turned off the relay node after police and Homeland Security warned the library that, among other bad things, the network could allow criminals to move child pornography anonymously.

Juan Felipe Herrera is at the top of his game. A writer who is engaged with the most pressing political and social issues of our moment, he believes (judging from his poems) in all kinds of expression, not just the kind that comes most naturally to him. That's a major qualification for his new job, which, after all, is about encouraging literacy and expression amongst Americans. (Plus, check out this video of him from 1973 looking really cool and playing a mean guitar.)

Fifteen Republican presidential candidates debated Wednesday night in California — the second Republican debate this season.

NPR's live debate chat is now closed, but you can see the archived chat below and post in the comments at the bottom of the page.

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Donald Trump went and gave a speech Tuesday night on the deck of a battleship, the appropriately named USS Iowa. Reporters were expecting a policy speech. What followed was not that at all.

But that's really not the point.

Toward the end of the 13-minute speech, Trump said 178 words that might explain his appeal to conservatives better than almost anything else. (More on that below.)

First, to the policy ...

With Hungary's southern border now sealed, many refugees and other migrants are looking for other ways to reach refuge in northern Europe — and they hope to find an answer in a tricky route through Croatia.

Update at 1 p.m. ET: Tear Gas And Water Cannons At Hungary's Border

With thousands of migrants now bottled up in Serbia after Hungary sealed its border, a tense scene played out after frustrations boiled over Wednesday.

From the border, Lauren Frayer reports for our Newscast unit:

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It happens all the time: We see someone walking down the street, sitting on a train, or standing in line, maybe make eye contact for a split second — and then go on with our day. Normally, we don't give those interactions much thought. But for Nicole Schneit, the New York songwriter behind Air Waves, momentary connections provoke wonder: "We encounter each other in the thick of our complex lives by simply looking at each other all the time," Schneit says.

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If you haven't experienced it yourself, you've no doubt heard about the outrageous — and rapidly growing — prices of certain prescription medications.

The average price for about one year of cancer-drug therapy has skyrocketed from $10,000 or less before 2000 to more than $100,000 by 2012, according to a recent Mayo Clinic study.

United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reached a tentative four-year agreement Tuesday night. The deal affects 36,000 Fiat Chrysler workers nationwide and lays the groundwork for upcoming UAW negotiations with General Motors and Ford.

The UAW and the three automakers have been in talks since July.

Sarah Cwiek from Michigan Radio reports:

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People looking out the windows of a Washington, D.C., school saw a group of men outside.


AnneMarie Zagari found her teenage son unresponsive on the couch after he took too many opioid painkillers in 2011. She began pounding his chest and slapping his face, and finally succeeded in reviving him by giving him CPR. It was a terrifying moment. And that panic wouldn't have been necessary if she'd had access to the drug naloxone (also known as Narcan), which can instantly reverse an overdose.

"It would have been instant revival," Zagari says.

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Richard Cabral's neck, chest and arms are covered with tattoos. They depict Mexican gang culture, his friends, uncles, even his daughter Bella. Cabral's intense look and his powerful acting have landed him a lot of TV roles, but his path to Hollywood wasn't easy. Not long ago, Cabral was a gang member in prison, facing a possible 35-year sentence; this Sunday, he's up for an Emmy.

Jawaharlal Nehru towered over 20th century India — a thinker, a statesman, the heir to Mahatma Gandhi. As one of the founding fathers of modern India, Nehru oversaw his country's transition from a British colony to a democracy, and announced the birth in 1947 of a free India.

In the capital, the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library honors the man's legacy. Depending on where you stand, new plans by the government to modernize the museum fall somewhere between an apostasy that dilutes the great struggle for Indian independence and a facelift of a faded but once glorious building.

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Expect Wednesday night's second GOP presidential debate to be open season on front-runner Donald Trump. The 11 top Republican contenders will take the stage at 8 p.m. ET at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., and their unified goal appears to be to get something to stick to the billionaire real-estate mogul. Trump has so far proved to be made of something akin to Teflon.

Last Saturday, two-time Pulitzer prize winner Amy Harmon published a fascinating article in The New York Times about a young dying woman who chose to have her brain preserved in case neuroscience could one day restore her mind back to life.

NASA astronauts Cady Coleman and Serena Auñón, European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan came to NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., Tuesday to talk with NPR's Adam Cole about space exploration, women in STEM, and common misconceptions. They also discussed what it was like to dream in space, the difficulties of coming back down to Earth, their favorite space movies and the most exciting planets in the solar system. Oh, and which foods they wished they had in space.

You've probably seen it when a friend has posted sad news on Facebook — someone will click the "like" button, then comment to explain that he is not, in fact, pleased with the friend's misfortune.

Soon, there may be a better option, CNBC reported Tuesday:

"The company's co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg revealed the ongoing tests during a question and answer session on Tuesday.