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In these days of polarized politics, there was a small sign of a coalition this week.

Voices that range — and it's quite a range — on the left from the newly-elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, a democratic socialist, to labor unions and local Democratic Queens leaders to The Wall Street Journal's conservative editorial page and Tucker Carlson of Fox News denounced the deal New York City and state struck with Amazon to locate one of its headquarters in the borough of Queens.

On an afternoon last September, a string of explosions suddenly hit Merrimack Valley, Mass. At least five homes were destroyed and a person was killed. More than 20 others were injured.

Federal investigators say they have now pinpointed what caused the sudden explosions on Sept. 13 — a natural gas company field engineer made a major mistake in the plans he developed for construction work that happened earlier that day, resulting in a disastrous chain reaction.

Jennie-O Turkey is recalling over 91,000 pounds of ground turkey in connection to one illness from salmonella.

The strain involved has been linked to a yearlong outbreak of 164 cases of illness, including one death, in 35 states. The USDA has said more product recalls from different companies could follow.

The first illnesses related to the strain began in November of last year, according to a CDC investigation.

We've been pulling out of a recession for so long now that a lot of people are wondering whether we're on the brink of going back in.

There's no easy way to tell, but there's an Indicator the Conference Board uses, called the Leading Economic Index. It's kind of like the dashboard on a car, with ten dials and gauges flickering away that the Conference Board economists use to tell how the economy is doing overall, and whether we're running into trouble (it is the dismal science, after all).

The new film Widows is an action-packed heist thriller — with a major twist.

Masked men break into a Chicago vault. Very quickly, it goes very wrong. Within the first few minutes of the movie, the men are dead. Their wives — now widows — are left to finish the job.

Novelist and screenwriter William Goldman, who wrote the beloved cult classic The Princess Bride and won Oscars for writing All the President's Men and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, has died at 87.

Goldman's son-in-law, Mike Pavol, tells NPR that Goldman died Friday morning in New York City.

His legend was cemented in Hollywood, but Goldman himself was an avowed New Yorker. He was born in Chicago, went to Oberlin College in Ohio, served briefly in the military and got a master's in English from Columbia University in New York.

A big car company is going small. Ford is buying electric scooter company Spin.

Ford and Spin won't confirm the price tag, but reports put the purchase price at $100 million and an overall investment from Ford of $200 million.

Discussions of diversity in Hollywood may seem trendy, but for audiences who don't normally see actors who look like them, or stories told about their communities, such conversations are vital, and action necessary.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The Lucky Country

Nov 15, 2018

It seems like every decade or so, in pretty much every part of the world, there's a recession — like it's just part of the bargain. The economy grows as we get better at making stuff, people spend and companies expand. But at some point the growth slows down, unemployment rises. People don't spend as much money because they're starting to pay down their debt. And there's a downturn.

Not in Australia. The Australians haven't seen a recession in 27 years. Today on The Indicator, we find out what makes them so different.

Young Lara is asleep as Girl, Belgium's official submission for this year's Academy Award for best foreign-language film, begins. Her mane of straight blonde hair falls across her cheek as her five-year-old brother Milo (Oliver Bodart) climbs onto her bed, whispering her name.

It's clearly a ritual: As she wakes, she stays motionless — then, suddenly, hoists him in the air. The boy giggles.

Hands up, everyone who liked the Harry Potter series — books and/or movies — at least well enough.

OK, well, that's a lot of you.

Keep them up if you made it all the way through 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them — a prequel to the canonical Potter stories, in which Eddie Redmayne played magizoologist Newt Scamander, who came to New York City in 1926 with a magical valise and an annoying, squirrelly affect.

Hunh. Thought that would eliminate more of you than it did.

The short, brilliant, tragic life of Vincent Van Gogh has long been a source of inspiration for creatives of all types. Something about the mystique of the artist with severe mental illness, whose greatness was only recognized years after his death, resonates with frustrated souls the world over. But it can be distressingly easy for a story as nuanced and contradictory as Van Gogh's, with all its bright colors and violent strokes, to become flattened into easy answers under the harsh light of the camera, an artist's implement that so rarely matches the delicacy of the paintbrush.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that it will seek a ban on the sale of menthol-flavored cigarettes.

The announcement came as the agency officially released a detailed plan to also restrict the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes. It also wants to ban flavored cigars.

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