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Separatists in Catalonia are going ahead with an unofficial referendum on independence from Spain. They go to the polls today despite a high court order forbidding the vote.

Two Americans jailed in North Korea have arrived home. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with former U.S. Ambassador Bill Richardson, who has previously negotiated hostage releases with Pyongyang.

In 2012, 56,337 people were murdered in Brazil. But that figure hides a color-coded truth: Homicide rates are actually way down — if you're white. If you're black? Murder rates are up 40 percent.

In many cities it is now illegal to feed the homeless. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Robert Marbut, the man behind the push to make handing out food a crime, who favors getting people into programs.

Across Africa, hospitals are struggling to provide surgery. Doctors, nurses, and even basics like electricity are in short supply. Now Johns Hopkins Medical Center is testing a creative solution.

Airstrikes against ISIS have had some success. But James Jeffrey, Obama's former ambassador to Iraq, says Americans on the ground are necessary to win the war.

A 65 percent increase in a woman's weight is associated with a 9 percent drop in earnings. A recent study investigated what's behind that "obesity penalty," and why it hits women harder than men.

The Republican Party made striking gains during the midterm elections. Among their victories were three wins by black Republicans, who seem to be building momentum for diversifying the GOP ranks.

Colorado is one of the battleground states where Republicans made big gains this week, but the state is becoming more urban and more diverse — two factors that work in Democrats' favor.

Baltimore Ravens' Ray Rice has made his appeal in court, and now a federal judge will decide whether to overturn his NFL suspension. NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks to Howard Bryant of ESPN.

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