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Civil rights advocates and Democrats are celebrating after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Republican-controlled North Carolina Legislature had drawn two congressional districts that amount to unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. Election experts say the decision is likely to boost the prospects for success in similar challenges across the South.

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Would the House Republican health care bill impact insurance provided by employers? And why don't people without insurance just go to an emergency room for regular care? Here are answers to those and other recent questions from readers.

Will employer-based health care be affected by the new Republican plan?

Dina Merrill was born Nedenia Marjorie Hutton on Dec. 9, 1923, into a life of high society.

Her father was Wall Street broker E.F. Hutton and her mother was cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. Her parents divorced when she was 10 years old.

A 2010 exhibit at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco showcased precious pieces that the French jeweler Cartier made for America's mega-rich.

In 1983, an explosive story appeared in an Indian newspaper, The Patriot: the AIDS virus was the result of American biological weapons research.

Two years later a Soviet newspaper picked up the thread: The U.S. Army had developed AIDS as a bioweapon at Fort Detrick, Md. Other publications followed suit and by 1986, an East German biology professor was publishing "research" in which he explained that the virus had been tested on service members used as human guinea pigs — who then began spreading it among vulnerable populations.

A rare outbreak of botulism has hospitalized nine people and killed one man in northern California, health officials say.

The outbreak began early last month when several people fell ill after eating nacho cheese sauce bought at a gas station in Walnut Grove, Calif., just outside Sacramento.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the man who invented recorded sound — Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville. He beat the more well-known inventor Thomas Edison by 20 years, though his accomplishments were only recognized over the last decade.

While the uses of recorded sound seem obvious now — music, news, voice messages — none of it was obvious to Scott or Edison when they made the first recordings. It's a story that has some lessons for today's aspiring inventors.

A diplomatic dispute deepened when Turkey summoned the American ambassador in Ankara to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Monday, to protest "the aggressive and unprofessional actions taken" by American security personnel against Turkish security officers.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is narrowing the scope of an executive order on so-called sanctuary cities.

A federal judge in California last month blocked a key part of that order, reasoning that the Trump administration had overstepped by threatening to yank federal money from those places.

Updated at 10:08 p.m. ET.

The Office of Government Ethics has rejected a White House attempt to block the agency's compilation of federal ethics rules waivers granted to officials hired into the Trump administration from corporations and lobbying firms.

A Mississippi lawmaker apologized Monday for saying the Louisiana leaders who supported the recent removal of four Confederate monuments "should be LYNCHED!" Karl Oliver, a GOP state representative, had made the comment in a Facebook post this weekend.

Here is the original statement:

Giving new moms face-to-face education about safe sleep practices — and providing them with a cardboard "baby box" where their newborns can sleep right when they get home — reduces the incidence of bed sharing, a significant risk factor for SIDS and other unexpected sleep-related deaths, a study from Temple University in Philadelphia has found.

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