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Federal prosecutors allege indicted Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley paid his defense attorney out of a pot of money that’s central to his tax evasion case.

Washington lawmakers will have to return for a second 30-day special session. The first overtime session ends Thursday and the House and Senate still don’t have a budget deal.

Photo from Sons of Liberty Facebook page 

Volunteers from dozens of countries around the world have flocked to join the ranks of ISIS in Syria and Iraq. The United Nations says more than 25,000 of these so-called foreign fighters have answered the extremists’ call. But other foreigners — though far fewer in number — have also traveled to the front lines to do battle with ISIS. And that includes an American named Matthew VanDyke.

VanDyke says he has founded a group called the Sons of Liberty in order to, in his words, “provide free consulting and training to Iraqi Christians who are fighting against ISIS.”

photo courtesy of Sumaiya Mahee

(Reader's Note: Sumaiya Mahee wrote this essay "You're Not Who You Say You Are: Beyond the Single Story" for her 8th grade English class in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was part of a course that taught all students that they each have been stereotyped — and how those stories are generally all wrong.)

With new businesses sprouting up left and right, there's a lot of talk these days about Detroit being on the comeback trail.

A great thing about the city is that it's easy to become a real estate mogul. But some entrepreneurs might have reason to pause.

A new study released Tuesday shows that Detroit's commercial property taxes are the highest of any city in the nation.

When Oscar Paz Suaznabar plays the piano, he does so with feeling.

The Alexandria, Va., resident has played at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and on the NPR show From the Top. He is 9 years old.

Oscar started playing his older sister's keyboard by ear when he was just 2. The sorrow he conveys when he plays "The Lark" by Russian composer Mikhail Glinka is drawn from the kind of loss any 9-year-old can understand.

The Nebraska state Legislature voted Wednesday to repeal the death penalty in the state. The 30-19 vote overrides Gov. Pete Ricketts' veto of a law the Legislature passed last week getting rid of the policy.

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Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Nebraska's Legislature voted Wednesday to abolish the death penalty, overturning Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts' veto. The state's unicameral legislature overwhelmingly approved the measure in a series of three previous votes.

The repeal comes as other states have experienced complications with new lethal-injection cocktails. But Americans overall still support the practice.

Support for the death penalty has slowly fallen over the past couple of decades, from a high of 80 percent in favor in the mid-1990s to just over 60 percent currently, according to Gallup.

In the last couple of years, we've detected a faint buzz about crispy crickets and crunchy mealworms. Companies pedaling scorpion lollipops and peanut butter-and-jelly protein bars made with cricket flour have thrust their wares into our hands and mailboxes.

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

Republican Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, announced Wednesday that he is running for president.

"Working families don't need another president tied to big government or big money," he said in Cabot, Pa.. "And today is the day we're going to begin to fight back."

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

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

As candidates hit the campaign trail, NPR looks at four major issues the next president will face from Day 1 in office.

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

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