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As President Trump approaches his first anniversary of taking office, he and others are taking stock.

"2017 was a year of tremendous achievement, monumental achievement, actually," Trump told members of his Cabinet last week. "I don't think any administration has ever done what we've done and what we've accomplished in its first year."

The president has delivered on some of his major campaign promises. Other pledges are still works in progress, while some commitments have been quietly discarded.

Abdullah Shrim's phone almost never stops ringing. Most of the calls and messages are from other Yazidis asking for help to find their relatives. Others are from people threatening to kill him.

Shrim, a gregarious man with a ready smile, so far has rescued 338 members of the Yazidi religious group held captive by ISIS — almost all of them from Syria. It's a long way from his background as a beekeeper and businessman.

Hugh Wilson — the creator of the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati, who was also a director and an Emmy Award-winning writerhas died at 74.

Wilson died Jan. 14 at his home in Charlottesville, Va. His wife, Charters Smith Wilson, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he had been battling lung cancer and emphysema.

Wilson began in television by writing scripts for The Bob Newhart Show and The Tony Randall Show.

As President Trump approaches the one-year anniversary of his inauguration, a majority of Americans think that his first year in office has been a failure and that he has divided the nation.

NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll data released Thursday finds that Americans deemed Trump's first year a failure, 53 percent to 40 percent. And by an almost 2-to-1 ratio (61 percent to 32 percent), Americans said they believe Trump has divided the country since his election.

China is reporting its fastest economic growth in seven years, saying its gross domestic product grew by 6.9 percent in 2017. It's the first time since 2010 that the speed of China's economic growth went up rather than edging down.

In releasing the number Thursday, the National Bureau of Statistics of China said, "The economy has achieved stable and healthy development."

Apple Plans To Create 20,000 Jobs And Build New Campus

Jan 18, 2018

Apple announced in a statement on Wednesday that it plans to accelerate U.S. investment and create thousands of new jobs.

For years Apple Inc. has been criticized for outsourcing manufacturing to China.

Apple says it plans to bring back billions of dollars it has kept in tax havens overseas, and that it will pay a one-time tax of $38 billion on its overseas cash holdings.

More than 30 Russian athletes participating in Siberian Indoor Championships last weekend abruptly withdrew from competition when drug testers arrived at the event.

According to the Russian sports website Championat, as many as 36 athletes cited various illnesses for withdrawing from the competition at the city of Irkutsk.

Like many lawmakers, Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., supports reviving earmarks, but he mused at a House Rules Committee hearing Wednesday that the debate is futile if House Speaker Paul Ryan does not.

"When the speaker ain't inclined, ain't much going to happen," Hastings quipped, noting the speaker reiterated as recently as last Friday that he opposes ending an earmark ban put in place by former House Speaker John Boehner.

No other genre is more invested in the preservation of musical tradition or more suffused with nostalgic pining for the old home place than bluegrass. But that doesn't mean that bluegrass lifers like North Carolina's Steep Canyon Rangers find the genre's tried-and-true conventions to be artistically limiting or inevitably hew to a single career model.

Americana singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile was our first live performer of 2018. She got us off to a great start, bringing a string ensemble and, of course, her long-time collaborators the Hanseroth twins for a preview of tracks from her forthcoming album By The Way, I Forgive You.

SET LIST

  • "Every Time I Hear That Song"

Photos: Steven Dewall/KCRW.

Geography has a way of seeping into music, and Calexico has never shied away from that fact. Throughout the group's 22-year existence, co-founders and multi-instrumentalist Joey Burns and John Convertino have drawn on the arid clime and vibrant culture of the American Southwest — and its sister territory across the border — to inform their sprawling, cross-cultural indie rock.

"This song's about my dog, Fanny." So says Ty Segall with a boyish grin at the start of his recent appearance on Conan. As promised, the song he performs, "Fanny Dog," is about his beloved pet. "Fanny knows what her name is," Segall sings with ragged glee as his band grinds and squeals its way through an eruption of heavy, solo-smeared garage rock.

First Listen: Dream Wife, 'Dream Wife'

Jan 18, 2018

The London-based punk band Dream Wife began as an elaborate lark. In 2014, a trio of Brighton University students formed the troupe as an art school performance project that was "meditating on dreaming big and being a woman," Somerset, U.K.-raised bassist Bella Podpadec once explained.

A former Department of Energy photographer has filed a federal whistleblower suit alleging he lost his job after leaking photos of a private meeting between Energy Secretary Rick Perry and a major Trump donor who heads one of the country's largest mining companies.

The photographer, Simon Edelman, took photos of the March 29, 2017, meeting between Perry and Robert "Bob" Murray, the CEO of Ohio-based Murray Energy, who gave $300,000 to the Trump campaign.

Aetna settled a lawsuit for $17 million Wednesday over a data breach that happened in the summer of 2017. The privacy of as many as 12,000 people insured by Aetna was compromised in a very low-tech way: the fact that they had been taking HIV drugs was revealed through the clear window of the envelope.

Walmart is the latest national company joining in the fight to try to help curb America's harrowing opioid epidemic, which now kills more people than breast cancer.

Lawmakers in the United Kingdom are debating a new tax on disposable cups in an effort to cut down on waste.

While the so-called "latte levy" is controversial, the goal is to replicate the success of Britain's tax on plastic bags; their use has declined by 80 percent since the tax was introduced in 2015. Proponents of the tax say it would encourage people to carry around their own reusable cups rather than use disposable ones, which in their current form are difficult to recycle.

The U.K. has appointed a minister of loneliness to tackle what Prime Minister Theresa May calls a "sad reality of modern life" for many U.K. citizens.

May announced the position Wednesday, appointing current Minister for Sport and Civil Society Tracey Crouch.

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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In Michigan last night just after 8 o'clock, something strange happened.

KELSEY WILCOX: It shook my entire house. I thought that a large piece of furniture fell.

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

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

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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A 'Fraught Time' For Press Freedom In The Philippines

Jan 17, 2018

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte does not like the press. Stung by critical media reporting, he has in the past months called some of the country's largest media organizations "bullshit," "garbage," "son of a bitch." Journalists, he said, have no shame.

Brace your abs for an emotional gut-punch. Brandi Carlile is here with bandmates and co-writers Tim and Phil Hanseroth. Together, they have a new album called By the Way, I Forgive You. It was recorded at Nashville's legendary RCA Studio A, produced by Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings. And it's filled with emotionally stirring songs — some that are massive and some that are stripped bare.

When The Decemberists release I'll Be Your Girl on March 16, it'll be the band's eighth album — part of a 17-year career that's taken listeners through everything from wry folk to ambitious rock opera. If I'll Be Your Girl's first single is any indication, Colin Meloy and his band have used their new record as an opportunity to try new things and hit a few reset buttons along the way.

The Thistle & Shamrock: New Year, New Music

Jan 17, 2018

Lift your winter spirits and warm your heart with the New Year's brand new releases, with artists including Anna & Elizabeth, Open the Door for Three, and Matthew Byrne.

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

The State Department is withholding $65 million it planned to send to the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, calling for reforms and for other nations to step up their support — especially those that criticize the Trump administration's positions regarding Palestinians and Israel.

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