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When you step outside after a big rainstorm and take a deep whiff of that fresh, earthy smell, you're mostly smelling a chemical called geosmin.

It's a byproduct of bacteria and fungi. And something about rain lofts the chemical — and sometimes the organisms themselves — into the air, a process that not only helps release that earthy smell but may, in very rare conditions, spread diseases.

Somehow raindrops launch tiny living things off the ground.

It took a lot to get to this point, but Republicans have released their long-awaited health care bill. (For more on the policy, check out the NPR health team's reporting over at Shots.)

The version that was released is likely to change as the bill goes through committees, but now that it's released, here are four potential challenges President Trump and Republicans face:

1. Health care is complicated

Having lived outside my native Britain for nearly 16 years, I recently lost my right to vote there. But I was still entitled to do so last June in the U.K.'s referendum on European Union membership.

When I awoke on June 24 to hear that my country had voted in favor of a Brexit, I felt bereft. So, like many other British citizens living in Germany, I decided to apply for German citizenship. I was determined to remain a member of the EU, even if the narrow majority of British voters were not.

An influential advisory panel says there's not enough evidence to determine whether annual pelvic exams should be routine for women who aren't pregnant and have no symptoms of disease.

North Korea announced Tuesday that Malaysian citizens in the country would not be allowed to leave, and Malaysia retaliated by broadening a previous travel ban on North Korean Embassy officials to cover all North Korean citizens in the country.

So, more than three weeks after the half-brother of North Korea's leader was murdered in a Kuala Lumpur airport terminal, the two countries are in a full-blown diplomatic standoff.

According to two new World Health Organization reports, about 1.7 million children under the age of 5 die each year because of environmental hazards. It's the first such estimate of the child death toll from environmental causes.

With two House committees set to take up the Republican replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, party leaders have begun trying to sell the proposal to the American public.

Leading the effort is President Trump, who met with Republican House leaders at the White House, saying he is "proud to support the replacement plan released by the House of Representatives."

Statues of Confederate leaders Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis are targeted for removal in New Orleans, after a federal appeals court approved the city's plan to change how it treats symbols of its history. Opponents of the move vow to keep fighting it in court.

Building on weeks of mounting pressure to address high prescription drug prices, three influential U.S. senators have asked the government's accountability arm to investigate potential abuses of the Orphan Drug Act.

Citing the threat posed by North Korean missiles, the U.S. military has sent the first elements of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system to South Korea. China has opposed the move, which has also drawn mixed reactions in South Korea.

The shipment landed Monday night, with a C-17 cargo aircraft unloading two large mobile launchers on the tarmac at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul. The plan to install a THAAD system on the Korean peninsula was laid out by the U.S. and South Korea last summer.

President Trump has indicated several times now that his education agenda may feature a school choice program known as tax credit scholarships.

A new company is doing more than just monitoring electricity use.

It's making tracking your electrical data fun.

Steve Reed of San Diego says he signed up for free with OhmConnect. He was eager to see how much his family could cut back on electricity at times when there is a high demand for it in the area.

Soon, he got a text prompting him to lower use for an hour — from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. the next day.

The way environmentalist Craig Cox sees it, streams and rivers across much of the country are suffering from the side effects of growing our food. Yet the people responsible for that pollution, America's farmers, are fighting any hint of regulation to prevent it.

"The leading problems are driven by fertilizer and manure runoff from farm operations," says Cox, who is the Environmental Working Group's top expert on agriculture.

Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner opened their first Waffle House in Avondale Estates, Ga., on Labor Day in 1955.

Rogers died on Friday at the age of 97. Forkner is 98 years old.

When the two met, Rogers worked for the Toddle House restaurant chain and Forkner worked in real estate.

Forkner was the businessman in the partnership that produced the all-night diner chain, and Rogers was the people person — a champion for customers and employees.

The yellow Waffle House sign has become a familiar landmark along roadways in the Southeast.

Over the weekend, President Trump accused his predecessor of "wire tapping" communications from Trump Tower in New York, where then-candidate and President-elect Trump lived and worked during the campaign and in the lead-up to the inauguration.

Former President Obama has denied the allegations, as has the former director of national intelligence. A spokesperson for Trump called on Congress to investigate the claim.

Back in the olden days – maybe five years ago in Moscow time – the Russian word for barbershop was rather quaint: parikmakherskaya, or literally, "wig shop."

While women could tend to their coiffures in ubiquitous salony krasoty, beauty salons, men had to content themselves with surly babushkas delivering awkward, cookie-cutter haircuts in spartan halls.

Bonuses paid to executives and administrators in the University of Missouri System "may violate the Missouri Constitution," the state auditor says in a new report that details hidden bonuses, "excessive" luxury vehicle allowances — and $100,000 in retention payments to a chancellor who resigned amid a furor, only to be rehired in a new post months later.

After Germany canceled a political rally featuring a Turkish minister, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan likened the German government to the Nazis.

The comments mark a "new low in German-Turkish relations," NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Berlin. German officials condemned the inflammatory remarks but "stopped short of punitive actions against Ankara over the matter," Soraya says. "That's because Germany desperately needs Turkey's help to keep asylum seekers from flooding into Europe."

When you pick up a newspaper and read a story about the latest results on breast cancer, autism, depression or other ailments, what are the odds that finding will stand the test of time?

The answer, according to a study in the journal PLOS One is: flip a coin.

President Trump signed a new executive order on Monday, after his first action temporarily barring refugees and travel from specific majority-Muslim countries faced a slew of criticism and lawsuits. The revised order has a number of changes, including dropping Iraq from the list of countries with restrictions. It also explicitly does not apply to lawful permanent residents (green card holders) or existing visa holders.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed a new executive order that temporarily blocks visas from being issued to citizens of six majority-Muslim countries, revoking and replacing a controversial, now-suspended executive order known as the travel ban.

All The Answers From A To A

Mar 6, 2017

This final round is inspired by our very own acronym: AMA! The answer to every clue begins and ends with the letter A.

Heard on Tim Daly: Mr. Madam Secretary

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Mystery Guest

Mar 6, 2017

This week's mystery guest is Harvey Burgett, an accomplished music composer, conductor and organist. In 2015, Harvey won a national title for something he only started doing four years ago! Ophira Eisenberg and Jonathan Coulton ask "yes" or "no" questions to figure it out what it was for.

Heard on Tim Daly: Mr. Madam Secretary

Magazines Other Than Vogue

Mar 6, 2017

Let your body move to the music as you guess the names of the magazines Jonathan Coulton is singing about, in this parody of Madonna's "Vogue."

Heard on Tim Daly: Mr. Madam Secretary

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In a reversal, the Supreme Court will not decide Gavin Grimm's lawsuit over a school policy that requires students to use the bathroom corresponding to their biological sex. The court was scheduled to hear the case this month.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

Unscrambling The Nutrition Science On Eggs

Mar 6, 2017

Historically, when humans have sought a reliable source of calories — particularly one that can be readily nabbed from an unsuspecting animal with minimal exertion and zero horticulture skills — we have often turned to eggs.

We've pilfered the ova of countless creatures since Neolithic times. But it is the nutritive and symbolic capacities of the humble bird egg, primarily that of the chicken, that we have most consistently championed: reliable nourishment, a hangover cure, an emblem of rebirth — when necessary, a supreme projectile.

Hundreds of Marines are reportedly under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, after a trove of photographs were shared online that show female service members and veterans in the nude. The images were spread via a closed Facebook group with thousands of members.

President Trump, who still has hundreds of senior level positions to fill at nearly every federal agency, told interviewers last week that "you don't need all those jobs."

But even if that's the case, simply leaving posts vacant may not be the best way to accomplish what adviser Stephen Bannon referred to as "deconstructing the administrative state."

Some 1,100 political positions require Senate confirmation, and so far Trump has nominated just a handful. None of the deputy secretaries or undersecretaries at the Department of State have been named, for instance.

For young adults, social media may not be so social after all.

Among people in that age group, heavy use of platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram was associated with feelings of social isolation, a study finds.

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