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The elections office of Florida's third-most populous county was breached by a crippling cyberattack in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election, NPR confirmed on Thursday.

There is no indication that the ransomware attack was connected to Russian interference efforts leading up to the last presidential race, but the revelation about it now shows how election officials are preparing for this year's election without knowing all the details of what happened before.

WARSAW — Growing up under Soviet rule, Małgorzata Gersdorf says she yearned for a day when Poland would have freedom and justice. As a young lawyer, she took part in the Solidarity labor movement that sparked the transformation from communism to democracy in her country.

A draft executive order is reportedly circulating inside the White House, titled “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again.”

The order, if adopted, would require most new federal buildings to be built in classical style, and it has been roundly criticized by architects and designers.

McClatchy, the country’s second-largest newspaper publisher, announced it’s filing for bankruptcy.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Ali Velshi (@AliVelshi), MSNBC anchor and economics correspondent.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is now the richest man in the world, with an empire that stretches from Hollywood to Whole Foods — and even into outer space.

Shin Lim is the Canadian-born, American-raised magician who stunned viewers on “America’s Got Talent,” then the international competition, where his sleight of hand beat out 50 other winners from around the world.

Lim tells host Robin Young that up-close magic is all about skill. He says his training as a classical pianist greatly influenced his magic.

Host Jeremy Hobson speaks with Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst about her new book, co-authored with Katherine Alford, “Rage Baking: The Transformative Power of Flour, Fury, and Women’s Voices.

Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies From Kathy Gunst

Makes about 24 cookies

Ingredients

Attorney General William Barr agreed to testify in the House late next month after furor over the sentencing of Trump ally Roger Stone. The Justice Department intervened in the case, reversing a 9-year sentence recommendation and prompting all four federal prosecutors in the case to resign.

Democrats in Congress accused Barr of using the Justice Department to do the president’s bidding, citing a Trump tweet calling Stone’s sentencing “very unfair.”

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

Houston Astros players and coaches offered an apology Thursday in the wake of a sign-stealing scandal that sent shock waves throughout Major League Baseball. But the apology seemed to further inflame critics of the league's and team's response to the sweeping cheating scheme during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

Fire officials in Australia are celebrating a landmark moment, saying that for the first time in what has been a horrendous wildfire season, every fire in hard-hit New South Wales is now under control. Bushfires have destroyed more than 2,400 homes and burned 5.4 million hectares of land – or about 13.3 million acres — in the country's most populous state.

There has been a lot of reaction to Attorney General William Barr’s intervention in the Roger Stone case — when he called for a shorter sentence than the seven to nine years prosecutors recommended.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Charles Fried, who served as solicitor general under former President Reagan. Now he’s a professor of law at Harvard Law School.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Americans are divided on lots of issues. But a new national survey finds that people across the political spectrum agree on at least one thing: Our health care system needs fixing.

The "Hidden Common Ground" survey from Public Agenda, USA Today and Ipsos found that 92% of Americans say changes are needed.

And a majority of Americans want "either major changes or a complete overhaul of the system," says Chris Jackson, vice president of market research firm Ipsos.

KCRW’s Anne Litt (@anne_litt) joins Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson to discuss some of her latest music picks. Litt is program director of music at KCRW.

Music From The Segment

Franc Moody, ‘Skin on Skin”

Watch on YouTube.

Steve Spacek, “Rawl Aredo”

Congress is stepping into the debate over compensating college athletes.

The Senate held its first-ever hearing on the issue this week, and lawmakers pressed the NCAA to move quickly on rules to allow college athletes to benefit from the use of their names, images and likenesses in marketing and merchandise.

Top Senate Democrats warn that the Trump administration is deliberately undermining the independence of immigration courts.

In a bluntly worded letter to the Justice Department, which oversees the immigration courts, the senators accuse the administration of waging an "ongoing campaign to erode the independence of immigration courts," including changing court rules to allow more political influence over decisions and promoting partisan judges to the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine removed from her post under orders from President Trump, says the State Department "is in trouble."

"Senior leaders lack policy vision, moral clarity and leadership skills ...," Yovanovitch said Wednesday at Georgetown University. "Foreign service officers are wondering if it is safe to express concerns about policy, even behind closed doors."

Updated at 10:12 a.m. ET

The long slide in the U.S. newspaper industry took another dramatic turn Thursday.

Sudan says it has signed a deal to settle claims related to the bombing of the USS Cole 20 years ago — a move that could end lawsuits filed by victims and their families and also improve Sudan's chances of getting off the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Sudan's transitional government has made it a priority to get off that punitive list since it took charge last spring.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is the third of these poetry previews that I've written in the growing darkness of America. I've maintained that while poets alone can't save us, they can remind us of the necessary virtues that seem to be vanishing from our public conversation — nuance, the ability to hold opposing views at the same time, plain old compassion and understanding. But I won't pretend to feel much optimism. Things are bad, hatred is rampant, and fear mostly seems to be winning.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Years ago, when artist John Sonsini began approaching Spanish-speaking day laborers in Los Angeles to ask if he could paint their portraits, he had some communication problems. "My Spanish was so poor," Sonsini admits.

First, he was introducing himself as an artista, a word that many Spanish speakers associate with a singer or dancer. But when he switched to pintor that didn't necessarily clear up the confusion — the men thought this professorial-looking, Italian-American with a salt-and-pepper beard was offering them a job painting houses.

The head of the Iowa Democratic party filed his resignation Wednesday, as the organization is still picking up the pieces from last week's caucus debacle.

Troy Price had been head of the state party since 2017, but after his role in overseeing a process widely panned as disorganized and opaque, it became an open question whether he would stay on in his job.

A Utah bill that would reduce polygamy among consenting adults from a felony to an infraction — on par with a traffic ticket — was unanimously endorsed by a state Senate committee earlier this week, despite opposition from critics who argue the law could potentially protect abusers.

The move advances Senate Bill 102 to the full chamber for a vote.

"Vigorous enforcement of the law during the mid-twentieth century did not deter the practice of plural marriage," Sen. Deidre Henderson told NPR.

Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET

Jared Kushner has been quietly trying to resurrect discussions to overhaul the U.S. immigration system, multiple people familiar with the conversations have told NPR.

President Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law has been meeting with business leaders, immigration hard-liners and other interest groups important to Republicans with the goal of rolling out a new immigration plan once Trump's impeachment trial ended.

Updated at 6:03 p.m. ET

Editor's note: This report includes descriptions of alleged sexual assault.

Two Ohio State University football players were arrested on rape and kidnapping charges Wednesday after what local police describe as a violent sexual encounter with a woman last week. The men are scheduled to be arraigned on first-degree felony charges Thursday.

Police charged 21-year-olds Amir Riep and Jahsen Wint, both of whom played on the Buckeyes' Big Ten Championship team this past season.

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