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The White House has blocked an emergency effort to finish major U.S.-funded school, water and sewage projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to documents reviewed by NPR.

It is the latest of a series of moves by the Trump administration to shut down U.S. aid to Palestinians, which is scheduled to end Feb 1.

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Freshman Democrats won back control of the House for their party campaigning to break the gridlock in Washington, but the ongoing government shutdown is testing how they can deliver on that promise.

At least nine people were killed and dozens injured in a car bomb blast at a police academy in Colombia's capital Bogota on Thursday morning, according to officials.

They called it a terrorist act. No group immediately claimed responsibility, but the attack stoked anxiety about a return to the decades when innocent Colombians got caught up in conflicts with rebel groups and drug cartels.

It turned out to be the little sprout that couldn't.

The vaunted cotton seeds that on Tuesday China said had defied the odds to sprout on the moon — albeit inside a controlled environment — have died.

China's state-run Xinhua News Agency announced the news, simply stating: "The experiment has ended."

The Islamic State has jumped back into the headlines by claiming responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed four Americans and more than a dozen civilians at a restaurant in northern Syria.

A federal judge has struck down controversial restrictions on early voting in Wisconsin that were passed during the state legislature's lame-duck session last month.

The restrictions limited early voting in Wisconsin to the two weeks before an election. In recent years, cities including the Democratic strongholds of Milwaukee and Madison have offered several weeks of early voting.

A diver in California has stumbled on an unexpected source of plastic waste in the ocean: golf balls.

As the balls degrade, they can emit toxic chemicals. And there appear to be lots of them in certain places underwater — right next to coastal golf courses.

Updated at 5:47 p.m. ET

President Trump unveiled a sweeping plan Thursday to defend the U.S. and its allies from missile attack.

The plan is the first update to the nation's missile defense strategy in nearly a decade, but in many ways it is reminiscent of President Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, a pie-in-the-sky program that was later dubbed "Star Wars."

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