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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.

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Actress Greta Gerwig has made a career starring in movies about quirky women. She played a driftless dancer in Frances Ha and a punk photographer in 20th Century Women. Now she's written and directed her first film, an exploration of mother-daughter relationships called Lady Bird.

"I don't know any woman who has a simple relationship with their mother or with their daughter," Gerwig says. "It has a tremendous amount of love — and a tremendous amount of angst."

Scientists believe they may have new insights into why passenger pigeons went extinct, after analyzing DNA from the toes of birds that have been carefully preserved in museums for over a century.

Internet freedom is on the decline for the seventh consecutive year as governments around the world take to distorting information on social media in order to influence elections, a new report says.

The nongovernmental organization Freedom House released its annual Freedom on the Net report this week, which found that online "manipulation and disinformation tactics played an important role" in elections in 18 countries, including the U.S.

The House has narrowly approved a $1.4 trillion tax overhaul, clearing the first major hurdle in Republican attempts to cut taxes and rewrite the tax code.

The vote was almost along party lines, with no Democrats voting in support of the bill and some GOP defections over provisions in the measure that would eliminate important tax deductions taken by constituents in some high tax states.

A federal judge in New Jersey has declared a mistrial in the corruption trial of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez.

It came after the 12-person jury told the judge for a second time that it was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on any of the bribery, conspiracy, fraud or false statements charges facing the Democrat and his co-defendant, Salomon Melgen.

Around 1 p.m., after emerging from chambers, Menendez hugged and kissed his daughter and son. Defense attorneys shook hands and patted each other on the back, as prosecutors huddled at their table.

Updated at 4:05 p.m. ET

Another prominent public figure has been accused of making unwanted sexual advances. Los Angeles radio host Leeann Tweeden said now-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., forced himself on her and groped her while the two were on a USO tour in 2006.

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These days, Puerto Rico's monumental power restoration effort involves helicopters dropping 100-foot towers into the mountains and a "big dance" of crews, equipment and expertise from several agencies and companies. But progress has been slow and that dance has been a complicated and tedious one on the island, which is experiencing the largest outage in U.S. history.

And sometimes it's one light forward, two lights back.

Passengers on a morning train on the Tokyo region's Tsukuba Express line might not have noticed anything was amiss Tuesday. But when their train left Minami-Nagareyama station, it did so 20 seconds ahead of schedule — and when the company noticed, it issued an apology to customers.

The train was traveling northbound on the line that connects Tokyo's Akihabara station with Tsukuba to the northeast — a trip that takes less than an hour. After passengers had boarded, the crew didn't check the time, resulting in the slightly early departure "around" 9:44 a.m., the company said.

This week, another big name in tech was toppled by accusations of sexual harassment — venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, an investor in Tesla and SpaceX who left his prominent Silicon Valley company.

The big-money world of Silicon Valley remains dominated by men and remains a hard place for women to speak out if they want to join the ranks of its richest. And some women think the best way to fight harassment is to tread carefully and get to the top.

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In the east-Bohemian city of Havlíčkův Brod, two hours by train from Prague, the Potato Research Institute is caught in the crosshairs of time.

The World Anti-Doping Agency says that Russia's official sports drug-testing lab, which was suspended in 2015 following evidence of state-sponsored doping, remains "non-compliant."

Updated at 11:22 a.m. ET

French President Emmanuel Macron's office says that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who abruptly resigned earlier this month while on a visit to Saudi Arabia, has accepted an invitation to come to France. Macron's office notes that the president spoke with Hariri and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before extending the invitation.

It's time for another Ask Code Switch. This week, we're getting into the gray area between yellow and brown.

Amy Tran, from Minneapolis, asks:

When campaigning for the presidency, Donald Trump touted his business experience, saying he would be able to relate to other executives and negotiate with them.

But then three months ago, he abruptly disbanded his business advisory councils — via Twitter — after several CEOs resigned in the aftermath of his comments on race-related violence in Charlottesville, Va.

So as Trump considers big changes in trade and tax policy now, how is he getting input from CEOs?

The administration told NPR it gets guidance on an informal "issue by issue basis" from CEOs.

The news did not improve this week for Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat who is facing sexual assault allegations. While new accusers came forward, several of Moore's previous, prominent supporters took a step back.

Nonetheless, Moore's prospects of a Senate career remain remarkably good. And the realization is setting in on official Washington that senators may have no good options for keeping Moore out if he wins at the ballot box next month.

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Tucked into a small side street in the Changping District just north of Beijing, a school stands out in bright, childlike colors — orange and green. Cheerful music plays between classes as students stream into the courtyard to play.

Governments are wrapping up a meeting in Bonn, Germany, to figure out how to implement a global climate agreement.

The conference has focused on the pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which nations made two years ago in Paris. But even as negotiators debate the details, scientists are warning that carbon dioxide levels are again on the rise, and the efforts in Paris may not be enough.

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Now here's a story of saving lives. It was part of Tuesday's mass shooting in northern California. Teachers, a janitor and others at a school kept it from being worse. Here's NPR's Eric Westervelt.

Updated at 10:14 a.m. ET

A bipartisan measure aimed at improving background checks for gun sales has been introduced in the Senate, following a mass shooting in Texas that officials say might have been prevented if the gunman's conviction on assault charges had been flagged in a national database.

A portrait of Christ by Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci has shattered all previous records for artworks sold at auction or privately, fetching a whopping $450.3 million on Wednesday at Christie's in New York.

Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World) is one of only a score of Leonardo's works still in existence and the only one held privately.

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