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Each year for the past six years, Bill and Melinda Gates have written a letter about how their foundation is trying to make the world a better place, how they're trying to improve health and education and end poverty. Their 2015 letter was published Wednesday on the foundation's blog. (Note: The Gates Foundation is a supporter of NPR.)

The Transportation Security Administration found more than 2,000 firearms at the nation's airports last year — the overwhelming majority of them loaded, the Department of Homeland Security said today.

TSA agents discovered 2,212 firearms — or a little more than six a day — in carry-on bags; 83 percent of them were loaded, the department said.

Breathtakingly broad as its jurisdiction may be, the U.S. Senate does not usually vote on the validity of scientific theories.

This week, it did. And science won. The Senate voted that climate change is real, and not a hoax. The vote was 98-1.

The vote was about an amendment to the bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline. The near-unanimity of the climate change judgment was notable, because so many senators have cast doubt on ideas of "global warming."

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

Yemen's Houthi rebels, who have controlled the capital, Sanaa, for months, are staging mass rallies there today in the wake of the resignation of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his Cabinet.

Hadi on Thursday "succumbed to an apparent coup attempt" by the rebels, The Washington Post says.

Thai legislators installed by the country's military junta have voted to impeach ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on charges of criminal negligence related to her government's failed effort to prop up the price of rice.

The fate of two Japanese hostages threatened with death by the self-styled Islamic State is unclear after the expiration of a 72-hour deadline imposed by the militants for Japan to pay $200 million to secure its citizens' release.

The Associated Press and Japanese news organizations are reporting that the militants posted a video today with a warning that "the countdown has begun." The AP adds: "The posting which appeared Friday shows a clock counting down to zero along with gruesome images of other hostages who have been beheaded by the Islamic State group."

Saudis are mourning the passing of King Abdullah, who died early Friday at the age of 90 after a long illness.

As NPR's Kelly McEvers reported, he is being remembered as a man who laid the foundation for reform in the conservative Arab country. Dignitaries from around the world, including Vice President Joe Biden, will gather today in Saudi Arabia for Abdullah's funeral. Several Arab countries have declared a day of mourning.

For someone who is blind, a simple click can be the sound of sight.

Like it or not, our seafood increasingly originates not in the deep ocean but on fish farms hugging the coasts. Aquaculture already supplies about half of the world's seafood, and global production is going to have to more than double by 2050 to meet demand, according to the World Resources Institute.

The business opportunity here is tremendous. Thousands of operations around the world now produce huge numbers of salmon, shrimp, mussels, tilapia and catfish, to name a few fish species that thrive on farms.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has died. The health of Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud had previously been the subject of rumors; word emerged earlier this month that he was indeed ill with a lung infection.

Abdullah was 90 years old. He ruled Saudi Arabia for nearly 10 years, having assumed the throne after his brother King Fahd died in 2005.

The kingdom's new ruler is King Salman, Abdullah's half-brother, according to state TV. Salman is reportedly 79.

The news has just emerged. We'll update this post as we learn new details.

"Making aliyah," or returning to Israel, is usually a cause for celebration among Jews. But recently fear has pushed many Jews to leave France — a record 7,000 departed last year.

And that was before the recent Paris attacks that included the killing of four Jews at a kosher grocery store.

Jean Marc Illouz, a former senior correspondent for French television, who is also Jewish, says he's been pushing back against what he calls ridiculous comments on the Internet about anti-Semitism in France. He says Americans seem to think it's a resurgence of Nazism.

Among the sweeping changes France is proposing in the aftermath of this month's terrorist attacks in Paris are new measures to fight Islamic radicalization in its prisons. It is an enormous problem brought into starker relief because two of the suspects in the attacks earlier this month were products of the French penal system.

The Great Recession hobbled the U.S. economy and crushed many businesses, but some companies thrived, including the so-called "dollar" stores.

Shoppers flocked to them because you could buy a lot with not much money. And as the economy rebounds, people are still going to some. But one chain, Family Dollar, hasn't kept pace with its competitors.

Seven years ago, Carmen Guadalupe Vasquez Aldana went to jail in El Salvador. She was initially charged with abortion but prosecutors elevated the charge to aggravated homicide, arguing that the fetus was viable. Vasquez always contended that she did not have an abortion but had lost her unborn son due to medical complications late in the pregnancy.

Audie Cornish talks to Kiev-based journalist David Stern about the ongoing fighting in Ukraine. Ukrainian officials acknowledged on Thursday that rebel fighters had taken control of its airport in Donetsk. A trolley bus had also been shelled by artillery, killing at least eight people.

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