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Updated at 9:32 p.m. ET

Three U.S. firefighters helping fight Australia's bushfires were killed Thursday when the C-130 tanker aircraft they were operating crashed south of the capital, Canberra.

"Tragically, there appears to be no survivors as a result of the crash down in the Snowy Monaro area," Shane Fitzsimmons, the Rural Fire Services Commissioner for New South Wales state, said at a news conference.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is considering tightening the rules for taking service animals on planes after increased customer complaints and lobbying from the airlines who think current regulations are too lenient.

In a case with potentially profound implications, the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority seemed ready to invalidate a provision of the Montana state constitution that bars aid to religious schools. A decision like that would work a sea change in constitutional law, significantly removing the longstanding high wall of separation between church and state.

Vladimir Munk remembers the day he walked free from Blechhammer, a sub-camp of Auschwitz in eastern Germany.

"I was happy," Munk says. He was sick and starving, but he had survived.

The Soviet Army liberated Auschwitz on Jan. 27, 1945. The concentration camp in Poland is where more than a million people, mostly Jews, were murdered during the Holocaust. This Monday, on the 75th anniversary of the liberation, Munk is traveling back to Auschwitz for the first time since he was imprisoned there.

Amtrak Reverses Course On $25,000 Bill

Jan 22, 2020

Amtrak will dump a policy that led to two people who use wheelchairs being told they'd have to pay $25,000 for a train ticket that usually costs just $16, the rail service announced Wednesday.

"After further review, Amtrak has determined to suspend the policy in question," said Amtrak spokesperson Marc Magliari. "It was never meant to be applied to this situation. And we apologize for the mistake."

He spoke shortly after a group of people with disabilities demonstrated outside an Amtrak station in Illinois, chanting: "We will ride."

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We're going to talk now about one project where the U.S. got on board. It's an initiative to plant a trillion trees over the next decade. Here's what Trump said at Davos.

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As the U.S. Senate solemnly considers the fate of a president, Twitter has been somewhat less solemn, considering another question. Can you drink milk on the Senate floor?

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On 'Seeking Thrills,' Georgia Channels A Lifetime On The Dance Floor

Jan 22, 2020

Music is a kind of family inheritance for Georgia Barnes. The stories she tells of her relatives usually come back to music or dancing some way or another. Her dad used to play in an electronic group called Leftfield.

"My bedroom was actually Leftfield's studio," she says. "It was keyboards, drum machines, wires, bits of percussion, microphones."

Two offensive stars of a generation ago were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame Tuesday. One was nearly unanimous, while the other squeaked by in his last year of eligibility.

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Updated at 10:51 p.m. ET

House Democrats concluded on Wednesday the first of three days of opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump, arguing that the president must be removed from office for abusing his office and obstructing Congress.

Updated Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 12:50 p.m. ET

In the latest round of chaotic volleys around the Grammy Awards, the Recording Academy's short-lived president and CEO, Deborah Dugan — the organization's first female chief executive — announced Tuesday afternoon that she has filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against the Academy, the organization that gives out the Grammys.

A new Gallup poll finds a record number of Americans are unhappy with the nation's abortion laws — a shift mostly caused by growing dissatisfaction among Democrats.

"This is almost entirely driven by Democrats and Independents who lean Democratic," said Lydia Saad, Gallup's director of U.S Social Research. "So that underlying trend is very clear, and it's showing up in the attitudes among all Americans."

In more than 30 states, it is illegal for someone with HIV to have sex without first disclosing their status. Some are now pushing to change that, arguing that the laws are actually endangering public health.

More than 1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, and their HIV status could conceivably put them behind bars. That's what happened to Michael Holder.

"I served 8 1/2 years in prison and three years after on parole," Holder says.

Supreme Court Considers Religious Schools Case

Jan 22, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a major case that could dramatically alter the line separating church and state.

At issue is a Montana state constitutional amendment that bars direct and indirect taxpayer aid to religious institutions. Conservative religious groups and advocates of school choice are challenging the "no-aid" provision.

A district encompassing Greater Seattle is set to become the first in which every voter can cast a ballot using a smartphone — a historic moment for American democracy.

A psychologist named James Mitchell walked into a military courtroom in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, today. On the other side of the room sat Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or KSM, the self-declared mastermind behind the 9/11 plot. 

Related: Remembering how America experienced 9/11

What Day 1 Of Impeachment Sounded Like

Jan 21, 2020

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Shortly after noon on this cold and bright Tuesday in Washington, President Trump's impeachment trial began. First, some tradition and ceremony - Senate Chaplain Barry Black opened the trial with a prayer.

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The Senate impeachment trial kicked off today with arguments about the rules for the hours of arguments and debate to come in the days ahead. Today we got our first preview of President Trump's defense from White House counsel Pat Cipollone.

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Twenty-four hours over three days - that's how long each side gets to make its case in the Senate impeachment trial.

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Updated at 1:50 a.m. ET Wednesday

After a long day and night of dueling between the House managers calling for impeachment and attorneys for President Trump declaring the articles of impeachment "ridiculous," the Senate adopted a set of rules that will govern its impeachment trial, in which opening arguments will get underway Wednesday.

The resolution, put forward by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, calls for each side to receive up to 24 hours to argue their case, spread over three days.

Angry residents took to the streets of Puerto Rico on Monday.

Fury over the government's mishandling of disaster aid following a spate of devastating earthquakes earlier this month, coupled with the recent discovery of unused supplies — some dating back to Hurricane Maria — is driving frustrated demonstrators to the gates of the governor's mansion.

President Trump's fate is now in the hands of the Senate. The House of Representatives has impeached the president, and it is up to senators to determine whether he will be removed from office.

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Jan. 22 marks the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark court case that legalized abortion nationwide. People on both sides of the furious debate say this could be the year when everything changes.

In March, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear its first abortion case since Justice Brett Kavanaugh replaced Anthony Kennedy, who had been the swing vote on abortion cases. A decision is expected by summer.

Updated Jan. 22 at 3:41 p.m. ET

Near the iced-over Bering Sea, parka-clad workers for the U.S. Census Bureau are gathering in a remote fishing village along the southwestern rim of Alaska to resume a U.S. tradition seen only once a decade — a count of every person living in the country.

Weeks before the first votes of the 2020 presidential election, Americans report a high level of concern about how secure that election will be and worry about the perils of disinformation, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll.

Forty-one percent of those surveyed said they believed the U.S. is not very prepared or not prepared at all to keep November's election safe and secure.

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