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Updated at 12:08 p.m. ET

Along with Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, London may soon be home to a Smithsonian outpost.

The institution's Board of Regents has authorized museum officials to explore the Smithsonian's first international gallery outpost. Its home: near the site of London's Olympic Park.

Pope Francis over the weekend became the first pontiff to hold a private meeting with a transgender person. It’s one of many firsts for Pope Francis that have been seen as promoting greater inclusiveness in the church.

But what about women in the church? According to a Georgetown University study, 72 percent of nuns in the U.S. have left the church in the last five decades, compared with 35 percent of priests.

Just six years ago, the Vatican’s launch of an investigation into American nuns sparked outrage, but the release of the report in December was more warmly received.

Kurds Claim Kobani, Syria

22 hours ago

Kurds are celebrating what they say is a victory over the Islamic State in the Syrian town of Kobani. Aided by intense U.S. airstrikes, they claim they’ve lifted a four-month siege by ISIS.

Fighters raised a Kurdish flag on a hill in the border town near the Turkish border that once flew the black banner of ISIS. Mitchell Prothero joins Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins with details.

It’s a Cinderella story, or in Russian, a Zolushka story. A young female tiger name Zolushka has been rehabilitated and released back into the wild, after she was found alone, starving and frostbitten in 2012.

She is in the Far East region of Russia, which is formally tiger territory, and it looks like she may have found her mate.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson gets details from Vicki Croke, of WBUR’s The Wild Life blog.

Solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, geothermal and waste-to-energy electricity production could account for 98 percent of Oregon’s and Washington’s electricity needs in just 15 years, according to two new reports.

The reports from the Wind Energy Foundation's Renewable America project, which promotes wind development, say developing renewables would create hundreds of thousands of jobs for the region.

Jordan says it is prepared to meet the demands of Islamic State militants in order to save the life of a Jordanian hostage.

On Tuesday, the Sunni extremists released a video in which they demanded that Jordan release a woman who was sentenced to death over an attack in Amman that killed 60 people. If the release didn't happen in 24 hours, the militants said, they would kill a Jordanian pilot and a Japanese journalist.

The AP reports:

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

A day after a monstrous winter storm spun its way across the Northeast, life is slowly getting back to normal.

Some residents of Massachusetts are digging out of almost 3 feet of snow. The AP reports that a travel ban has been lifted and Boston's highways are filling up with traffic.

Still, the AP adds:

Nearly 54 years after their arrest, some of the first civil rights protesters to serve prison time for sitting at an all-white lunch counter were back in court Wednesday. A judge in Rock Hill, South Carolina cleared them of their convictions for trespassing.

In 1961, a group of nine college students from Friendship College walked into McCrory's Five and Dime Drugstore and sat down in protest to legal segregation in restaurants. Blacks were forbidden from sitting at the lunch counter so they were quickly taken to jail.

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

First Listen: Israeli Singer Asaf Avidan

Jan 28, 2015
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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

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

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

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