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Following a federal court ruling, the Pentagon has confirmed it will allow openly transgender individuals to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1. The Trump administration had resisted that deadline in court, seeking to have its ban on new transgender troops reinstated — but on Monday, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly upheld an earlier decision to temporarily block President Trump's ban.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (@JohnHMerrill) talks with Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson about his support for Roy Moore, who is running for a seat in the U.S. Senate and battling accusations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls when he was in his 30s.

Interview Highlights

On what kind of turnout he’s expecting

It takes courage to confront a bully, to talk openly about the pain they can inflict. Maybe that's why star athletes, celebrities and thousands of other people are embracing Keaton Jones, a student in Tennessee who talks about bullies that persecute him at school, in a video that went viral over the weekend.

Screenwriter Scott Frank has written movies in a all kinds of genres, including crime noir (Get Shorty), thriller (Malice) and action/adventure (The Wolverine). But despite his extensive list of credits, he always felt there was one genre missing.

"I wanted to write a Western at some point in my career," he says. "I kept putting it off and putting it off, because they were very difficult economically to make in Hollywood."

One of the things we do at the Indicator is steal stuff we like from other podcasts. Today, we're stealing from Tyler Cowen. He's an economist and public intellectual who has his own podcast (of course).

It's an interview show, and in the middle of every episode Tyler does this thing we love: He goes through a list of subjects and asks the guest to say whether each subject is overrated or underrated, and to explain why.

President Trump has formally told NASA to send U.S. astronauts back to the moon.

"The directive I'm signing today will refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery," he said.

Standing at the president's side as he signed "Space Policy Directive 1" on Monday was Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt, one of the last two humans to ever walk on the moon, in a mission that took place 45 years ago this week.

California Fires Continue To Spread

6 hours ago

Firefighters made progress over the weekend in their effort to contain most of the fires in Southern California, but the Thomas Fire continues to grow. Now the fifth-largest in modern California history, the Thomas Fire began in Ventura County and has since crossed into Santa Barbara County, where it threatens the coast.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Lance Orozco (@KCLUNEWS), news director at KCLU, about the latest.

The off-Broadway hit “Spamilton,” which spoofs Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton,” is closing in New York, but there is a U.S. tour in the works, and plans for a possible run in London.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks backstage, with the show’s creator, Gerard Alessandrini (@ForbiddenGerard).

Tax Prep Advice For The End Of 2017

6 hours ago

With the end of the year coming, tax experts are advising clients how to maximize their deductions — and there could be big changes coming with the pending tax law.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young discusses the report with CBS News’ Jill Schlesinger (@jillonmoney), host of “Jill on Money” and the podcast “Better Off.”

People across the country move to the desert because of the warm winter weather. Desert conditions also bring major auto companies looking to test out brand new cars.

KJZZ’s Casey Kuhn (@CaseyAtTheDesk) reports how Arizona’s test tracks are a major part of the car business.

Throughout history, being on the receiving end of anything involving cavitation, a miniscule underwater implosion, has been bad news. Millions of years before humans discovered cavitation — and promptly began avoiding it, given its tendency to chew up machinery — the phenomenon has provided the shockwave and awe behind a punch so ridiculously violent that it's made the mantis shrimp a honey badger-esque Internet mascot.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali is stepping aside from directing his restaurants and taking leave from his TV cooking show following reports of sexual misconduct over a 20-year period.

The move was apparently spurred by a report published Monday morning on the dining and food website Eater, in which four women allege that Batali touched them inappropriately:

What We Know So Far In NYC Subway Blast

8 hours ago

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New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo stood outside a New York City bus terminal and said today's rush-hour attack could've been worse.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

A jittery group of middle-schoolers is about to start the first day of classes since September, when Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico and totally disrupted the island's school system.

The vast majority of the island's public schools — more than 98 percent — are open for at least part of the day, according to Puerto Rico's Department of Education.

The nominees for the 2018 Golden Globe Awards were announced early Monday morning in Beverly Hills, Calif.

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New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo stood this morning outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. In an underground passageway somewhere beneath Cuomo's feet, a man had set off a homemade suicide vest earlier in the morning.

Two pills to wipe out hookworm could cost you 4 cents. Or $400.

It just depends where you live.

The 4 cents is in Tanzania. That'll cover the two pills it takes to knock out the intestinal parasite. But in the United States, where hookworm has re-emerged, the price for two 200 mg tablets of albendazole can cost as much as $400.

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Lyft is unveiling a new education program for drivers, offering access to discounted GED and college courses online. The move is an interesting experiment in the gig economy, where a growing class of workers receive zero benefits from a boss and yet competition for their time is fierce.

Many Lyft drivers see their work for the company as a stopgap measure, a flexible way to make money while they try to build a career.

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