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Colin Dwyer

Just over a month since Iraq's Kurdish north voted to declare independence, setting in motion a disastrous series of events for the region, Kurdish President Masoud Barzani has told local lawmakers he intends to step down.

On the same day President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, the co-founder of a prominent opioid medication manufacturer has been arrested on fraud and racketeering charges. John Kapoor, former CEO of Insys Therapeutics, has been charged with conspiring to push the company's signature drug for unacceptable uses through a series of bribes and kickbacks.

Less than 12 hours after sexual harassment allegations surfaced against Mark Halperin, the veteran political journalist has been put on leave by MSNBC, where he had been serving as a contributor. In a statement released Thursday morning, the news network said it finds the allegations first reported by CNN "very troubling."

"Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood," the network said.

One Ukrainian lawmaker has been hospitalized, two people killed and two others injured after an apparent bomb tore through downtown Kiev on Wednesday night. The blast appears to have been an attempt to assassinate Ihor Mosiychuk, a member of the strongly nationalist Radical Party.

The explosion, which investigators have traced to a suspected explosive device strapped to a parked motorcycle, killed Mosiychuk's bodyguard and a passerby as the lawmaker and several other people were leaving a TV studio. Authorities are already calling the violence a terrorist attack.

By early 1503, most of Vasco da Gama's armada was returning home to Portugal after his second voyage to the Indian coast. The explorer, now roughly five years removed from discovering a direct sea route from Europe to India, left behind several ships to patrol (and pillage) the waters near modern-day Oman — but the winds eventually rose and smashed several of the remaining ships in raging storms.

When NPR's David Greene spoke with Tom Hanks on Monday night in Los Angeles, the actor offered a blunt take on the recent scandals engulfing Hollywood.

In an act befitting "our long shared history and the closeness of our current bilateral relationship," the U.K. has announced it will give Canada the recovered shipwrecks of John Franklin, a British explorer who sought to chart an unnavigated section of the Northwest Passage in the Arctic in the 1840s — and died in the attempt, along with all of his crew.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

It's fair to say things were not supposed to go this way at the Venice Marathon.

Typically, when law enforcement pursues a suspect who has failed to turn himself in on several outstanding warrants, it takes the dedicated effort of officers and some tips from the community to finally bring the person in.

It's fair to say what happened in Redford Township, Mich., this month was not typical: A suspect turned himself in after making — and losing — a pretty inadvisable bet with police ... involving doughnuts.

Olly olly oxen free!

All you young readers in New York City, hide no more: For one day and one day only, the city's three major public library systems are offering unconditional amnesty to everyone age 17 and under who has been charged with late fees. The libraries will also clear the fines of those who are still in high school and 18 or over, if they show up in person by Nov. 2. All money owed for overdue or lost books and DVDs is officially wiped clean for these kids and teens.

Not long after journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia pulled out of her home in northern Malta on Monday, her car erupted in a blast that sent her flying across a nearby field. The victim of an apparent car bombing, Caruana Galizia died immediately.

But the hard questions stirred by her murder — and by the journalism she left behind — are unlikely to fade as quickly as those flames.

Updated at 11:40 p.m. ET

Hurricane season isn't through with us yet.

Kim Davis has taken her fight against same-sex marriage far beyond the borders of her native Kentucky lately — far beyond even U.S. shores. The Rowan County clerk, who was jailed briefly in 2015 for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, headed to Romania this week to push for a change to the country's constitution.

Updated at 12 p.m. ET

Bruce Arena, two-time coach of the U.S. men's national soccer team, announced Friday that he is resigning from his position. The decision comes mere days after the program hit a historic low on the field, losing to Trinidad and Tobago in a shocking upset — and at the same time, losing its chance to play in the World Cup for the first time in decades.

Visitors to the Equifax website might have encountered something a little odd Thursday afternoon. For some consumers seeking a credit report from the agency, the page that loaded was likely to disappoint them.

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

The Trump administration has announced that the U.S. will withdraw from UNESCO, the United Nations' chief cultural and educational agency. In a statement released Thursday, the State Department said the move won't take effect for more than a year, noting the withdrawal will be as of Dec. 31, 2018.

In just over four decades, obesity levels in children and teenagers have risen dramatically worldwide, though that rise has been far from uniform. In a new study published online Tuesday, British researchers and the World Health Organization say those levels have plateaued lately in high-income countries, "albeit at high levels," while the rise in obesity rates has only accelerated in regions such as East Asia and Latin America.

It's not often you'll find these 24 names in the same place. They are historians and musicians, computer scientists and social activists, writers and architects. But whatever it may read on their business cards (if they've even got business cards), they now all have a single title in common: 2017 MacArthur Fellow.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday

More than a week after a gunman opened fire on a concert in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and leaving hundreds of others injured, authorities say those chaotic minutes around the Mandalay Bay hotel are still coming into focus — and some of their findings have apparently been disputed by hotel officials.

It began with more than 1,500 books.

With all the works submitted by publishers, the judges for this year's National Book Awards have had their hands (and bookshelves) full the past few months. But that daunting number of contenders winnowed further Wednesday, as the National Book Foundation announced the finalists for its literary prize — just five works each in four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's literature.

It took just over an hour.

At about 10:08 p.m. local time Sunday, the first reports of gunfire surfaced on dispatch radio for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. By about 11:20 p.m., law enforcement had used explosives to bust down the door of a hotel room in Mandalay Bay, where they would soon report their suspect dead, surrounded by firearms.

At first, it just sounded like fireworks.

The Sunday headliner, Jason Aldean, had taken the stage not 30 minutes before, and it seemed natural that on the final night of Las Vegas' three-day Route 91 Harvest music festival there would be some pyrotechnics. Even Aldean stayed on stage as the first loud bursts rang out above the crowd of some 22,000 people.

The rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea cooled for a day — and just a day only, it appears.

Roughly 24 hours after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters the U.S. has been engaged in diplomatic talks with Pyongyang, President Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to deride the effort — as well as Kim Jong Un.

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