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When Oregon Republican state senators walked away from the job for the second time in late June, Democratic leaders were adamant: They would pay for it.

But punishment, if it comes at all, will not be financial.

Senate Democrats announced Friday that they were abandoning a plan to fine Republicans $500 a day for the walkout, amid concerns over a protracted lawsuit and questions about how such unprecedented fines would work.

Updated at 7:17 p.m. ET

Seven major publishing houses say that Audible, the audiobook company owned by Amazon, is violating copyright law with a planned speech-to-text feature that's set to launch next month. In a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court, the publishers allege that the feature, Audible Captions, repurposes copyrighted work for its own benefit by transcribing audiobooks' narration for subscribers to read along as they listen.

NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Doug Morton of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center about what satellite imagery can tell us about the cause and extent of the fires in Brazil.

The site of this month's mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas did more than just kill 22 people, it also hit a public gathering space that united cultures in the cross-border community.

President Trump has ordered higher tariffs on Chinese imports, in another escalation of the trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Nature correspondent Jeff Tollefson about the Amazon Fund and the web of diplomacy aiming to prevent deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

Raphael Saadiq's new album, Jimmy Lee, is his first in eight years. It was inspired by his brother's struggles with addiction and, ultimately, his death.

Updated at 4:42 p.m. ET

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has just completed three weeks of radiation treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the U.S. Supreme Court disclosed Friday.

The radiation therapy, conducted on an outpatient basis, began Aug. 5, shortly after a localized cancerous tumor was discovered on Ginsburg's pancreas. The treatment included the insertion of a stent in Ginsburg's bile duct, according to a statement issued by the court.

Tanya Tucker has always been a hellraiser. The 60-year-old country singer who shot to fame with Delta Dawn in 1972 at 13 has made a career out of charismatic sass, an outlaw image and a signature vocal performance to back it up. Throughout Tucker's career, there have been bestselling albums, awards and recognition including an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame. There have also been bouts with drug addiction and rehabilitation.

Updated at 4:34 p.m. ET

Editor's note: This story includes accounts of self-harm.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the state of Idaho must provide gender confirmation surgery to inmate Adree Edmo.

The panel of judges agreed with U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill's ruling in Edmo's favor last December, writing that his findings were "logical and well-supported" and that "responsible prison officials were deliberately indifferent to Edmo's gender dysphoria, in violation of the Eighth Amendment."

A Japanese woman met a person online in March 2016 who said he was a U.S. Army captain based in Syria.

They quickly became close, exchanging messages over email. She thought she was in a romantic relationship with the man, who called himself Terry Garcia.

Over the course of 10 months, the Japanese woman lost more than $200,000, sending money to accounts in Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.

California's cannabis excise tax generated only $74.2 million in the second quarter of 2019, the state says, announcing numbers that are short of projections that were set months ago. It's the latest sign that the country's largest marijuana market has struggled to take off since sales of recreational pot became legal last year.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it recently made an unusual seizure at a port in California.

Agents in Long Beach intercepted three shipments containing nearly 53,000 sights, stocks and other gun parts that came illegally from China.

"There was no attempt to hide the importation," Jaime Ruiz told NPR on Friday. He said the gun parts were correctly labeled and still had their original trademarks. And all three shipments were headed to a legitimate seller and distributor.

"It's kind of an unusual situation," Ruiz said.

The company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline has won a major victory in Nebraska, where environmental activists, two Native American tribes and some local landowners had sought to derail its construction. The state's Supreme Court on Friday ruled unanimously in favor of an alternate route proposed by TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada.

Updated at 8:05 p.m. ET

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has responded to growing international condemnation over the fires sweeping through vast swaths of the Amazon rainforest by announcing that the army may be sent in to tackle them.

He said Friday that protecting the rainforest is "our duty" and he is acting to combat "criminal activities."

This week, the Trump administration announced a new regulation that would allow it to detain migrant families who have crossed the U.S. border illegally for an indefinite period of time.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. Actor Peter Fonda died last Friday in Los Angeles. He was 79. Fonda was part of an intergenerational Hollywood family - the son of Henry Fonda, the sister of Jane Fonda and father of Bridget Fonda.

In the 1960s, there was a terrific comedy in which a teenage Maoist scrawls a bit of graffiti that would become famous: "CHINA IS NEAR." Half a century on, China is here. It's here on our screens, where Hong Kong protests domination by the Communist mainland.

The prolific and celebrated Mexican accordion player Celso Piña died Wednesday of a heart attack in his hometown of Monterrey, Mexico. He was 66 years old.

His record label, La Tuna Records, announced Piña's death on Thursday.

Piña contributed greatly to the evolution of cumbia. The Colombian folk genre has had an interesting life span since its 17th century origins and very few musicians have added to that colorful history more than Celso Piña.

PHOTOS: The Amazon Rainforest, Ablaze In Brazil

8 hours ago

International concern is growing over the rapidly spreading fires that are destroying large swaths of the Amazon rainforest.

Lost in all the brouhaha about President Trump's scuttled plan to buy Greenland from Denmark has been this: What do the Greenlandic people think about the whole thing?

In the small capital city of Nuuk, "everybody is talking about it," says Alexander Montgomery-Andersen, a 30-year-old Greenlandic dancer and choreographer. "It's a little comical."

Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET

Signaling the possibility of more interest-rate cuts, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank will "act as appropriate" to sustain the economic expansion as the trade war with China takes a toll on global growth and the U.S. economy.

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to reduce the public's role in shaping the way it applies federal environmental laws to projects on public lands.

The agency says the changes would help land managers “make timelier decisions based on high quality, science-based analysis.”

Environmental groups are calling the proposed changes a giveaway to the timber industry that will allow projects on national forests to be approved with far less involvement from the public.

David Koch, who built one of the nation's largest private businesses with his brother Charles and pumped money into conservative groups to help reshape American politics, has died.

Charles Koch confirmed the news in a statement on Friday that referenced David's long-running ailment.

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Wyoming, which is among the reddest of Republican states and a bastion of free enterprise, thinks it may have found a way to end crippling air ambulance bills that sometimes top $100,000 per flight.

The state's unexpected solution: Undercut the free market, by using Medicaid to treat air ambulances like a public utility.

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Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Believers and Doubters.

About Julia Sweeney's TEDTalk

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"I felt so lucky to be Catholic and I loved the Catholic school and I loved the nuns ... then when it came to the belief part of it I was always a little bit skeptical" — Julia Sweeney

James Duncan Davidson/TED

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