Kelly McEvers

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President Trump offered a show of support this evening for pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong. The president signed a pro-Hong Kong bill that the Chinese government had warned would be seen as meddling in its domestic affairs. Even as he signed the bill, though, Trump offered a conciliatory message to Chinese President Xi Jinping. Trump is trying to avoid upsetting trade talks with Beijing right now, which have reached a delicate stage. NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now.

Hey, Scott.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Hi, Ailsa.

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Even from the beginning, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump had a complicated relationship.

In 1989, McConnell was running for reelection to the Senate. As he once told a Senate committee, the reason he and other lawmakers spent much of their time fundraising was because "we like to win."

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Nageeb Alomari has lived the Trump Administration's travel ban.

Alomari is from Yemen, and he moved to the U.S. in the 1990s. He worked at gas stations in Alabama, then California.

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Twenty-five years ago, all eyes were on Waco, Texas — where the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was attempting to raid a compound owned by a fringe Christian group called the Branch Davidians, just outside of the city. ATF agents suspected the group was illegally stockpiling weapons.

Four agents and six Branch Davidians died in the initial raid, and for the next 51 days, we watched a siege play out on TV. But eventually, it all ended with tanks, tear gas, and flames.

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Welcome to the ice box of the nation. These words are on three different wooden signs around the United States, and they're referring to towns.

PHILIP VANDERNAIL: The image of the ice box and pretty iconic.

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For Hollywood, 2017 was not a great year for the box office. But there was one interesting thing - in 2017, movies led by women took the top three spots for the highest-grossing movies in the U.S. and Canada. No. 1, "Star Wars."

(SOUNDBITE OF LIGHTSABER)

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If New Year's Day is a time for hope then this next story is perfect because for the first time in 19 years, there is actually a chance for the Buffalo Bills.

(CHEERING)

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In 1963, Alfred Hitchcock had a huge amount of power in Hollywood. That's when he plucked actress Tippi Hedren from relative obscurity to star in his new movie, The Birds. It was a big break for Hedren.

The Country Music Association Awards ceremony was Wednesday, but people are still talking about the show because of what wasn't said that night. The CMA tried to create a politics-free zone for hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, and for reporters covering the event.

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Once upon a time — about 40 years ago — there were few things as terrifyingly pulpy as the books at the supermarket checkout: fat paperbacks with crazy covers and titles like Eat Them Alive, The Face That Must Die and Crabs: The Human Sacrifice. This was lowbrow stuff, and Grady Hendrix, the author of Paperbacks from Hell, has read a lot of it.

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I'm Kelly McEvers, and this is EMBEDDED.

Hello, hello. Can you hear me?

DANIEL GOLDEN: Hi. How are you?

MCEVERS: Hey, I'm good. This is Kelly.

This is Daniel Golden.

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Donald Trump's reality TV show "The Apprentice" first aired in 2004.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE APPRENTICE")

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: My name's Donald Trump, and I'm the largest real estate developer in New York.

The film First They Killed My Father begins in 1975 Cambodia, during the rise of the Khmer Rouge. The hard-line communist regime aimed to deport an entire nation into the countryside and form an agrarian utopia — but their experiment failed. People were forced to work, and they were also tortured, starved and executed. In the end, around a quarter of the country's population — roughly 2 million people — died.

The past few years have been all over the map for Josh Homme.

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You may have read that Bigfoot was found dead on a lake shore in New Mexico this summer. He wasn't. You can learn about that hoax here from the myth-busting and fact-checking site Snopes.

You may have heard NASA predicted the Earth will endure 15 straight days of darkness this fall. It didn't. Snopes has that covered too — debunking the claim when it first appeared in 2015 and again in May when it resurfaced.

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