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It's pumpkin-selling season, and crowds are flocking to farms to pick out their own jack-o'-lanterns. But this year, challenging weather conditions have cut the supply of pumpkins — both for carving and canning.

Heavy summer rains in parts of the Midwest and elsewhere have left many farmers short on pumpkins. And in California, drought has squeezed the crop.

In Tokyo, workers have started tearing down a Japanese landmark — the Hotel Okura. The Okura is a treasure of 1960s modernist design and has hosted every American president since Richard Nixon, Hollywood royalty and actual royalty.

"The service there is something very special. The lobby attendants, the women in their kimonos, the men in their tuxes," says former U.S. ambassador John Roos, who served in Japan during President Obama's first term. "It's a place that people from all over the world have come to stay and to admire."

The heart beats rhythmically, and so does a metronome.

So it makes sense that a metronome, typically used by musicians to help keep a steady beat, could help medical professionals restart a heart.

I'm a member of Generation Y, or the millennial generation. People like me were born in the '80s and early '90s. But I don't like to broadcast that fact. Millennials tend to get a bad rap.

Journalists and commentators love ragging on us. They say we're ill-prepared to deal with life's challenges. And that, as a result, we have higher rates of mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

Israeli security forces are struggling to contain a recent wave of violence between Israelis and Palestinians that has erupted across Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, killing more than two dozen people in less than two weeks.

The government is deploying more security forces to areas of conflict, including Arab towns in Israel.

But shortly before this recent escalation began, city leaders in Jerusalem decided to try a new way to fight the separation and mistrust between Jews and Arabs, who constitute about 20 percent of all Israeli citizens.

When Vanessa talks about home, she doesn't mean San Miguel.

Vanessa isn't from here. The town, just a few hours from El Salvador's capital, is only the latest stop on the 17-year-old's desperate flight from criminal gangs, known as maras.

"They would often come to our home looking for us," says Vanessa, who, like all the people in this story, is referred to here by her middle name for safety reasons.

She says that a few years back, maras targeted her 15-year-old cousin the same way.

Rev. Jim Wallis leads the Christian social justice group Sojourners. He is known for merging faith with public life, urging candidates for office to discuss moral issues in a way that transcends ideological divisions. Michel Martin talks with Wallis about his book America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America.

Ever since the Obama administration announced last week it had agreed to a massive trade deal, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, lawmakers have been saying they must review the agreement's specific language before passing judgment.

"Without having read it ... I'm going to reserve my time to read it," Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, told NPR when asked whether TPP would win support in Congress.

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I was thinking about the word "comfortable" today.

Comfortable — or just as likely, its good friend uncomfortable — has become the preferred way for many people to talk about something they don't like. Instead of saying, "I don't like something," "I don't want to do something" or even, heaven forbid, "I don't like you," they say, "I am not comfortable with that."

In a move lawmakers hope will drive more Californians to the polls, Gov. Jerry Brown approved legislation that automatically registers citizens to vote when they obtain or renew driver's licenses or state identification cards.

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Iran showed off a new, precision-guided ballistic missile on state television Sunday.

When is a conviction not a conviction?

That's one of the questions raised by California Gov. Jerry Brown as he vetoed a bill Thursday that would have protected immigrants—legal or not—with low level drug offenses from deportation.

In California, anyone who gets popped for a minor drug offense, like smoking a joint, can plead guilty and volunteer for drug treatment—usually about a year. Upon successful completion of drug counseling, that charge and conviction is wiped off one's record like it never happened.

The family of a 12-year-old boy who was killed by a Cleveland police officer say that the prosecutor on the case "has been on an 11-month quest to avoid providing that accountability."

The family of Tamir Rice issued a statement after Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty released two independent reports that found that Officer Timothy Loehmann was justified in opening fire.