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Keeping It Civil: How To Talk Politics Without Letting Things Turn Ugly

In a deeply divided America, a casual political debate can easily spiral into a shouting match — even if both parties set out to keep things civil. So how can we talk about thorny issues with people who fundamentally disagree with us? Over the past two months, NPR has been traveling the country for our series Civility Wars to see how Americans are grappling with the idea of civility in polarizing times. During that time, we heard from the new mayor of Charlottesville, Va., on why she's wary...

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Emily Dennis has spent hours, if not days, watching mosquitoes buzz around her bare, outstretched arm. Carefully, she's observed the insects land, stab their mouthparts through her skin and feed.

But if her arm is slathered with DEET — shorthand for the chemical N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, the active ingredient in many insect repellents — mosquitoes stay away.

The doctors and nurses who work in the heart of the Ebola outbreak zone in Democratic Republic of the Congo say they've had enough. For weeks they've been subjected to threats of violence and even actual assaults. On Wednesday they gave the government an ultimatum: Improve security within one week or they'll go on strike.

At 80, Syed Ikhlaq Latifi's face is lined and leathery, with a stark white beard. But he's still able to scramble up three flights of stairs to his roof to describe what he watched from there, in horror, nearly 30 years ago.

On Dec. 6, 1992, a mob broke through barricades around the Babri Masjid, a 16th-century mosque in Latifi's hometown of Ayodhya in northern India. He points to where the mosque's three massive stone domes used to be. It's now an open, dusty lot, as wide as a football field, lined with barbed wire.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

Federal agents raided Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh's home, part of city hall and another location Thursday. Pugh is under investigation for alleged "self-dealing" in connection with hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments for a self-published children's book from private companies that were subject to her influence.

If North Korea is given security guarantees, Kim Jong Un would be willing to denuclearize, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after talks with Kim on Thursday. Their first face-to-face meeting took place on Russky Island in eastern Russia.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Updated at 10:03 a.m. ET

After months of oscillating speculation, followed by a long ramp up that drew out uncomfortable reassessments of his long public career, former Vice President Joe Biden has announced that he will run for president in 2020.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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