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The Standard Gauge Railway station in Nairobi is easily the most impressive public building in Kenya.

While a lot of Kenyan government buildings are drab and functional and date back to colonial days, this station is adventurous. It's all gray and modern. Geometric shapes form an abstract locomotive, and red neon announces the "Nairobi Terminus."

Columbus, Ohio, is open for business on Columbus Day, as the city is not observing the day that honors its controversial namesake. The move will let it do more to observe Veterans Day, the city says.

Ohio's capital city announced the move late last week, issuing a short news release to note that its offices are open on Monday, and that trash collection and parking laws will be handled as usual.

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With Meghna Chakrabarti

Top reporters help us look ahead to the week’s news.

With Meghna Chakrabarti

Reporting from WHYY in Philadelphia, Meghna and her guests will discuss redistricting in Pennsylvania ahead of the midterms.

Guests

Lindsay Lazarksi, multimedia journalist for WHYY and Keystone Crossroads. (@llazarski)

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

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Midterm elections have often been seen as a referendum on the president and his party. Many presidents try to shy away from that idea. But not Donald Trump. He has a lot on the line next month, and he knows it, as NPR's Mara Liasson reports.

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

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Just two days before saxophonist and composer Miguel Zenon went into the studio to record his new album, Hurricane Maria hit his native island of Puerto Rico.

(SOUNDBITE OF MIGUEL ZENON'S "ROSARIO")

The Hate U Give tells the story of a 16-year-old girl named Starr Carter. She lives in a mostly black, lower-income neighborhood called Garden Heights. Williamson Prep, her high school, is in a mostly white, affluent part of town.

But Starr can't keep her two worlds separate after she witnesses a white police officer shoot and kill her childhood friend, Khalil.

Unlabeled stimulants in soft drinks. Formaldehyde in meat and milk. Borax — the stuff used to kill ants! — used as a common food preservative. The American food industry was once a wild and dangerous place for the consumer.

Deborah Blum's new book, The Poison Squad, is a true story about how Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley, named chief chemist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1883, conducted a rather grisly experiment on human volunteers to help make food safer for consumers — and his work still echoes on today.

Like many churchgoers in Romania, retired engineer Marius Tufis opposes same-sex marriage.

"I don't like man with man and woman with woman," he said, frowning in the sun after Sunday's service. "Our religion does not accept this."

Same-sex marriage is already banned in Romanian civil code, but that's not enough for Tufis. He worries that the European Union, which he sees as divided between the liberal West and the conservative East, will force Romania to change the law.

Trumpbach

President Donald Trump came to Topeka Saturday and did what he usually does: Told a thrilled room of supporters how well he’s doing as president.

He also stumped for fellow Republican Kris Kobach in the governor’s race and for Steve Watkins in an eastern Kansas congressional race.

Kobach has said before, and repeated Saturday in Topeka, that he wants to do for Kansas what the president has done for Washington. That, essentially, is the choice in the race between him and Democrat Laura Kelly.

Updated at 11:55 p.m. ET

Hurricane Michael is expected to strengthen rapidly over the next 24 to 36 hours and will be "a dangerous major hurricane when it reaches the northeastern Gulf Coast on Wednesday," the National Hurricane Center says.

The storm achieved hurricane status with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph Monday morning, triggering warnings of a life-threatening storm surge that could hit the Florida Gulf Coast. Later in the day, its sustained winds topped 90 mph, with stronger gusts.

Interpol President Meng Hongwei has resigned, after being detained by Chinese authorities who accuse him of corruption. The shocking turnabout comes days after Meng's wife said the career police officer had disappeared; one week ago, he left France to visit his native China.

In her new album, "Dirty Computer," Janelle Monáe reveals more of herself than ever before. And, in recent weeks, she has been sharing more of her story, from her background in Kansas City, Kansas, to her sexuality. A look at the music, life and persona of Janelle Monáe ... and what her story means to Kansas Citians.

 

Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, is a fatal sickness that deteriorates the brains and nervous systems of white-tailed deer.  And now, it’s affecting deer hunting in Missouri. 

This week on Making Democracy Work, Lisa Langley speaks with Crista Hogan, executive director for the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association.

The discussion explores the difference in voting for retention of judges, as with Greene County, compared to partisan elections in surrounding counties.

Before he was governor, Sam Brownback had been state agriculture secretary, congressman, and U.S. senator. But when he captured the state’s top office in 2010 he had even bigger plans: to transform Kansas into a red-state model for the nation.

That’s not the way things panned out.

As clerical sex abuse scandals buffet the Catholic Church, a three-week assembly of bishops is under way in Rome on how to make the Church relevant for young people. But the assembly, known as a synod, will likely be dominated by what many analysts call Catholicism's worst crisis since the reformation.

Roughly 250 priests, bishops, cardinals and some younger laypersons are participating in the synod.

In the opening mass, pope Francis urged them "to dream and to hope."

Some of the world's top climate scientists have concluded that global warming is likely to reach dangerous levels unless new technologies are developed to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says pledges from the world's governments to reduce greenhouse gases, made in Paris in 2015, aren't enough to keep global warming from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees F) above pre-industrial temperatures.

In St. Louis and St. Louis County, officials are seeing people register to vote at roughly the same rate as other midterm elections, but in St. Charles County, the head election official is seeing a surge in applications — and absentee ballots.

Potential voters in Missouri have through Wednesday to register for the Nov. 6. election. There are several ways that people can apply — including going online or filling out an application at a county election authority.

As Mary Elizabeth Coleman drives her kids to school, her SUV is a cacophony of chatter. At a stoplight she pulls up behind a car with a "Jesus loves feminists" bumper sticker.

Coleman says to nobody in particular, “Yesterday was the day that women earned the right to vote! 98 years ago … ” She trails off as her footnote to the bumper sticker is drowned out by the shrieking of her baby and a barrage of school drop-off questions from her other kids.

The federal government recently tore up Debbie and Tony Morrison’s front yard in the small southeast Kansas town of Caney.

And the two are happy about it.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency came in, scraped away contaminated dirt, replaced it with clean soil and spread sod on top.

“It actually looks very good,” Morrison said. “After they put the new grass in, they came down and they faithfully watered and cared for it continually until they felt like it had taken hold.”

Brett Kavanaugh is a Supreme Court justice. That much is certain after senators narrowly approved his controversial nomination Saturday, putting an end to his bitter confirmation battle with a slim vote in his favor.

But even as one phase of Kavanaugh's story ends, another is beginning: His lifetime tenure on the highest court in the U.S. And this story promises to last much longer.

New laws in Europe and California are forcing tech companies to protect users' privacy or risk big fines.

Now, the industry is fearing that more states will enact tough restrictions. So it's moving to craft federal legislation that would pre-empt state laws and might put the Federal Trade Commission in charge of enforcement.

Europe enacted a tough law in May which requires, among other things, that companies make data breaches public within 72 hours of discovering them.

President Trump has prayed with evangelicals in the White House. He's nominated judges they like to federal courts, and granted their wish of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. For the president's evangelical supporters, he has been a godsend.

And now he has a request for them: Get out the vote in November's midterm elections.

But religious leaders on the left are also inspired to get their people to go the polls.

The new trade deal with Canada and Mexico has been warmly welcomed by farmers, manufacturers and business groups across the country, but not always for the reasons President Trump anticipated.

While the president has touted improvements and changes as compared to North American Free Trade Agreement, many people are focusing on what didn't change and expressing relief that there's a deal at all.

Paige Thesing has struggled with insomnia since high school. "It takes me a really long time to fall asleep — about four hours," she says. For years, her mornings were groggy and involved a "lot of coffee."

After a year of trying sleep medication prescribed by her doctor, she turned to the internet for alternate solutions. About four months ago, she settled on a mobile phone meditation app called INSCAPE.

As a specialist in Alzheimer's prevention, Jessica Langbaum knows that exercising her mental muscles can help keep her brain sharp.

But Langbaum, who holds a doctorate in psychiatric epidemiology, has no formal mental fitness program. She doesn't do crossword puzzles or play computer brain games.

"Just sitting down and doing Sudoku isn't probably going to be the one key thing that's going to prevent you from developing Alzheimer's disease," she says.

StoryCorps' MobileBooth came to Kansas City to collect the stories and memories of residents. This is one in a series of stories KCUR has chosen to highlight.

For muralists Phil Shafer, aka Sike Style, and JT Daniels, making bold, colorful murals throughout Kansas City is more than just painting outdoors.

The Nature Conservancy is rebuilding eroded streambanks in Missouri to reduce sediment pollution, which is one of the largest sources of water contamination in the state.

Since the summer of 2017, conservationists have been working with environmental engineers to stabilize streambanks at LaBarque Creek near Pacific. They're also doing so along the Elk River in southwest Missouri, where sediments have polluted the watershed. Through bioengineering techniques, they repair the streams by using deep-rooted native plants, biodegradable coconut fibers and other natural materials, such as wood, to keep the banks from depositing sediments into the water.

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