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Amir Cohen/Reuters

A major air-land battle took place across a swath of the northern Sinai peninsula in Egypt on Wednesday when insurgents affiliated with ISIS launched a wave of attacks against Egyptian military and police targets in multiple locations.

The attacks involved vehicle-born suicide bombs, as well as conventional attacks with guns and rocket propelled grenades.

Some government posts were overrun and their defenders butchered. But elsewhere, the insurgents suffered serious casualties. The Egyptian military called in airstrikes from F-16s and Apache helicopters.

A group of 12 U.S. senators is calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs to help World War II veterans who were exposed to mustard gas, after an NPR Investigation found the VA broke a decades-old promise to provide them compensation.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Crime in America may be on the rise again. It's too early to talk about a national trend, but there have been troubling spikes in shootings and murders in big cities such as New York, Baltimore and Los Angeles.

Until recently, crime decreased steadily for two decades, and the national murder rate is half what it was in the early 1990s — so police departments are under pressure to crack down. But at the same time, their tactics are under more scrutiny from the public, and they have to be careful not to appear too heavy-handed.

Stephen Nessen

At the cozy Cafe Boulis in Queens, a song by Greek singer Giorgos Sampanis blasts through the stereo. He sings, "If you don't have the strength, the relationship does not live. In all things together, otherwise get out now."

The song could be about a beautiful woman — or today, the European Union.

But Neokls Melis is too busy to ponder the lyrics. He's hustling — pouring coffee and frying small donuts, called loukoumades. Melis, who's 40, was living in Athens with his family until just last week. But his autoparts company was going bust and he got fed up.

The Justice Department says it is investigating "possible unlawful coordination" by several major airline carriers. American, Delta, Southwest and United Airlines have all confirmed receiving letters from the Justice Department.

In a statement, American said the department "seeks documents and information from the last two years that are related to statements and decisions about airline capacity."

A United spokesman said the company is complying fully in regard to the probe.

Who has fired Donald Trump so far?

18 hours ago
Dominick Reuter/Reuters

Will the last person to fire Donald Trump please turn off the lights?

I guess that kind of thing happens when a presidential contender and real estate mogul says Mexican immigrants are "bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they’re telling us what we’re getting.”

Since those comments last week, more and more people are jumping off the Trump train. We figured that it was a good time to put a face to the (many) names.

Militants launched a number of deadly attacks on checkpoints in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula early Wednesday. A group linked to the so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility.

Merrit Kennedy filed this report from Cairo for Newscast:

"In Egypt, militants launched a coordinated series of assaults in the restive north Sinai peninsula. The military says 17 soldiers were killed, though local security officials earlier in the day said more than 50 soldiers were killed.

Oleg Konstantinov, the editor of a news website called Dumskaya in Ukraine's port city of Odessa, pulls up a map on a computer screen in his small, crowded newsroom. It's dotted with red, yellow, orange and green fire-burst icons, indicating where 34 bombings have taken place in the city over the past year or so.

Recreational marijuana is legal in Oregon as of today.

People 21 and older can now possess up to an ounce of pot when away from home and up to 8 ounces at home. It's also legal to grow up to four plants per household.

Few days went by last year when New Hampshire nephrologist Ana Stankovic didn't receive a payment from a drug company.

If you run into an old friend at the train station, your brain will probably form a memory of the experience. And that memory will forever link the person you saw with the place where you saw them.

This calico cat stationmaster was loved all over Japan

18 hours ago

It’s goodbye kitty.

This week, more than 3,000 people attended the funeral for one of Japan’s most beloved felines, Stationmaster Tama.

Tama was a stray calico cat that found herself at the Kishi train station in rural Wakayama prefecture in western Japan. She hung about the station and was officially appointed stationmaster in 2007. She had her uniform, complete with a stationmaster’s hat. Her salary was paid in cat food.

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