State and National News

The wildfires in Northern California have hit Sonoma County hard, with an estimated $3 billion in damage for that county alone. About one-third of the local economy there is related to agriculture. Some wineries and vineyards are damaged, while others have suspended operations.

You might say George W. Bush wants to make America great again.

In remarks Thursday, he criticized the kind of politics, sentiment and populism that led to President Trump's rise and election — though he never named Trump explicitly.

Kwame Alexander has had great success with his poetry books for children, but his latest book is for teens. “Solo” tells the story of a high school senior trying to figure out love, life’s purpose and his place in his family.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Alexander (@kwamealexander) about the book, his first young adult fiction novel, co-authored by Mary Rand Hess.

The NFL says it wants its players to stand for the national anthem, but so far there hasn’t been any move that forces them to do so. President Trump continues to vent his anger at both the players and the league on Twitter.

Senate Republicans will take up a $4.1 trillion nonbinding budget on Thursday that sets the stage for GOP tax cut legislation later this year. This morning President Trump tweeted, “Republicans are going for the big Budget approval today, first step toward massive tax cuts. I think we have the votes, but who knows?”

NPR’s Ron Elving (@NPRrelving) joins Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the latest.

The New York Times released new guidelines which call for its reporters to avoid editorializing on social media. This comes as the paper defends itself from charges of bias from right-wing activists and President Trump.

On a sunny Tuesday afternoon in September, Liang Xiaojun received a knock on the door. "There were 15 of them: national security police, regular police, justice bureau folks," he remembers.

Liang is a human rights lawyer in Beijing, an endangered species since 2015, when China's government questioned or detained more than 200 of his colleagues. Now he wonders if they're coming for him.

"They told me this was just a preliminary check. Next week, they'll send more police. It's possible they'll arrest me, but I mustn't live in fear."

Olly olly oxen free!

All you young readers in New York City, hide no more: For one day and one day only, the city's three major public library systems are offering unconditional amnesty to everyone age 17 and under who has been charged with late fees. The libraries will also clear the fines of those who are still in high school and 18 or over, if they show up in person by Nov. 2. All money owed for overdue or lost books and DVDs is officially wiped clean for these kids and teens.

The state of Vermont has one year to prepare for something it has never had: a Target store. After years of pleading from some residents and anti-big-box sentiment from others, the retail giant says it will finally open a store in South Burlington in 2018.

The news prompted a "Breaking News" banner on the local paper's website. As they're saying over at Vermont Public Radio: "This is not a drill."

In response, Adam Maxwell wrote on the VPR Facebook page: "Welcome to 1995, Vermont!"

A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked a judge's ruling that would have allowed a detained teenager who is in the U.S. illegally to have an abortion, in the latest twist in a legal battle between the ACLU and the Trump administration.

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