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Republicans have been selling their tax overhaul plan as a major booster for the U.S. economy. In fact, they have argued that it would grow the economy so much that cuts would largely pay for themselves.

But on both counts, top economists are doubtful.

In a new poll from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, 38 economists from schools including Yale, MIT and the University of California-Berkeley weighed in on contentious points about the GOP tax plans.

This year, even more than last year, people are dreading talking politics over Thanksgiving dinner. A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds that 58 percent of people celebrating the holiday are not excited about the prospect — and Democrats are less excited than Republicans.

We'll have a total of just 10 at our Thanksgiving this year, with the biggest absence being that of my mother, who died in March at the age of 92. Our 2-year-old granddaughter and her parents won't be there, either, nor will my nephew and his 6-month-old son, so we'll have no children around to temper the loss. Instead, we'll have to get our yuks from the antics of our daughter's 90-pound dog, Huxley.

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Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with one more benefit of joining the navy. Sailors no longer have to be pepper sprayed every three years.

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Wait a minute, you mean they have been pepper sprayed?

D.R.E.A.M.: Dogs Rule Everything Around Me

Nov 23, 2017

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The way Brenda Bracey tells the story, it's just short of a miracle.

"Twenty-three years," she says. "This is the first Thanksgiving in 23 years that I have not worked at least an eight-hour shift."

For almost a quarter-century, Bracey has been working at grocery stores in the town of Largo, on Florida's west coast. She's done all different jobs, she says, her voice bubbly over the phone line.

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China Grows Bolder On The World Stage

Nov 23, 2017

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China is claiming a larger role for itself in world affairs. China's president, Xi Jinping, talked last month of making his country a powerful nation that could lead the world.

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The Navy says it has notified the next of kin of three missing sailors who disappeared after the crash of a transport plane on Wednesday in the Philippine Sea as the search for them continues. Eight others were rescued shortly after the crash.

The closed-circuit television footage is silent, but that makes it no less dramatic.

A jeep speeds through the North Korean countryside, crossing what is known as the 72-Hour Bridge.

Inside the vehicle is a North Korean soldier, making a desperate escape. All but the headlights disappear behind tree cover.

Updated at 6:38 p.m. ET

For a span of some four months earlier this year, demonstrators swarmed Venezuela's city streets in protest of ballooning inflation, diminishing food and President Nicolas Maduro's tightening grasp on power — until, that is, Maduro's efforts to derail the opposition bore fruit. By August the protests ebbed from view, as a new lawmaking body packed with Maduro's preferred politicians took the country's reins.

Still, while the protests have all but disappeared, the economic woes that helped inspire them remain as obstinate as ever.

The Trump Organization is severing ties with the controversial Trump SoHo building in New York City.

The development, which is a hybrid hotel-condominium building where owners of units can only live in their properties for a certain amount of time each year, has the potential to be a thorn in the side of President Trump — linking him to murky financing arrangements, allegations of fraud and a Russian-born developer with a criminal past.

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While the word "audit" all by itself doesn't sound very fun, for the Colorado Secretary of State it's absolutely celebratory. Following the 2017 off-year election, the state is performing a first-in-the-nation risk-limiting audit of the statewide results.

"We're here to celebrate the fact that we've finally reached this milestone in our nation," Secretary of State Wayne Williams said.

Remembering The 'Monstrous' Legacy Of Ratko Mladic

Nov 22, 2017

I have covered many wars during my years at NPR, but never did I encounter such a monstrous man as Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb army commander likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.

I first heard his name when I was staying in Sarajevo in June 1992. It was a time of constant and brutal shelling carried out on the explicit orders of Mladic, who was intent on terrorizing and dividing the city and killing or expelling all non-Serbs.

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Trump Administration Has More Than 250 Unfilled Jobs

Nov 22, 2017

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Zimbabwe Has A New Leader After President Robert Mugabe Resigned

Nov 22, 2017

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The man who is poised to be the new leader of Zimbabwe returned to the country today.

(CHEERING)

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Our next guest says there's no question about what Michigan Democratic Congressman John Conyers should do as he faces sexual harassment charges.

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A former U.S. Olympic gymnastics team doctor pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse in Michigan state court today. Larry Nassar admitted he assaulted young girls under the guise of medical treatment.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Black Friday has historically been the busiest shopping day of the year. Lately more people are going online to find deals. And so this year, NPR's Alina Selyukh reports some stores are saving their best deals for those who show up in person.

On Saturday, a limousine driver plans to launch himself on a mile-long flight over the Mojave Desert in a rocket of his own making.

His name is "Mad" Mike Hughes, his steam-powered rocket is built of salvaged metals, his launch pad is repurposed from a used mobile home — and he is confident this will mark the first step toward proving the Earth is flat, after all.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former vice president of Zimbabwe who is poised to take the helm of the country, was met with cheers in the capital city Harare when he returned to the country on Wednesday.

Mnangagwa fled the country earlier this month, citing fears for his life after Zimbabwe's authoritarian president Robert Mugabe fired him. That firing helped trigger a massive political upheaval.

Now Mugabe — the only leader Zimbabwe has ever known — has resigned under immense pressure, and Mnangagwa is set to be sworn in as president on Friday.

Earth Is Lit, And That's A Problem

Nov 22, 2017

The ever-widening use of artificial lights is making the nighttime Earth glow increasingly brighter, with the amount of global light growing about 2 percent each year.

That worries advocates for the protection of dark skies, who say that artificial night glow can affect wildlife like migrating birds and keeps people from connecting to the stars. What's more, they say, all that wasted light sent out into space is effectively wasted money.

Dr. Larry Nassar, the former Michigan State University sports doctor and USA Gymnastics team doctor accused of molesting or assaulting more than 100 girls and women, has pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and faces decades in prison.

This state criminal case involved seven of his accusers. There are other criminal charges pending, and many more girls and women have sued Nassar in civil cases.

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