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Breaking news and in-depth reporting from the National Desk of The New York Times. Header: Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times. More: http://nyti.ms/2ezDk6X

Latest Scoops

The new criminal justice reform law gave Steve Cheatham, who was terminally ill, a chance to die at home instead of in prison. It came just a little too late. https://t.co/3BBe7QOlAi
Do rivers really have a legal right to flow, forests a right to thrive and lakes a right to be clean? Voters in an unlikely place — Toledo, Ohio — will soon decide. https://t.co/qE46qCegyI
What happens to the frozen embryos that couples going through IVF can't use? A growing number people are "adopting" them. https://t.co/f1vO1gWBCj
Monica Witt, a former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer, is accused of espionage on behalf of Iran. The defection appears to have been part of a radicalization that began in military service and accelerated in graduate school. https://t.co/aWzKwaOEe5
Pope Francis defrocked Theodore McCarrick, an ex-cardinal accused of sexually abusing minors and adult seminarians over decades. It appears to be the first such penalty for a U.S. cardinal. https://t.co/wpKlcQ4DmW
Data from Mexican officials suggests that Trump administration policies are dissuading asylum seekers from crossing into the U.S. But immigrant advocates say they could also drive vulnerable migrants into the arms of traffickers. https://t.co/Mmkz0Bcn9N
Seeking adventure, following ideals or settling scores, hundreds of civilians from the U.S. and other Western countries have joined Kurdish militias to fight ISIS. But now, as the U.S. weighs a pullout from Syria, "it's anyone's guess what happens." https://t.co/AWJ1jvgH4O
Do rivers really have a legal right to flow, forests a right to thrive and lakes a right to be clean? Voters in an unlikely place — Toledo, Ohio — will soon decide. https://t.co/Q4nkkNqXfk
A Minnesota man was at a hockey game when he wiped his mouth with a napkin, then threw it away, the authorities said. Investigators used it to tie him to an unsolved murder from 1993. https://t.co/S6IwTy6YkN
Fewer than about 10 priests in the U.S. have come out publicly. But gay men likely comprise at least 30-40% of the American Catholic clergy, according to dozens of estimates from gay priests themselves and researchers. Some say the number is closer to 75%. https://t.co/4OEYZfXNlz

The Most Relevant

When she was in sixth grade, Sandra Parks wrote an award-winning essay about gun violence and crime in her hometown, Milwaukee. On Monday, she was fatally shot when someone outside fired a gun at her home and a stray bullet went into her bedroom. https://t.co/oNWW6umg1A
In the 5 years since Noah Pozner was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, death threats and online harassment have forced his parents to relocate 7 times. “I would love to go see my son’s grave and I don’t get to do that," his mom said. https://t.co/P7273oZuyG
Cyntoia Brown, 30, is serving a life sentence in Nashville for murdering a man who had hired her for sex when she was a teenager. Her supporters say she deserves clemency as a child trafficking victim. https://t.co/JitleNxg9B
Protesters march up Seventh Avenue in New York City, following the grand jury decision in Ferguson. http://t.co/ZOtGC3TU3A
President Trump’s inauguration fund collected $500,000 from two private prison companies that house detained migrant families https://t.co/m45j9hdp6o
“It’s inhuman to take a baby from its parents,” says the mother of a detained 1-year-old who has not seen his parents in days. Separating parents from children could become a regular policy under an administration proposal meant to deter border crossings. https://t.co/fT882Lzk0M
The police in Phoenix have opened an investigation into allegations that a woman in a vegetative state at a private nursing facility was sexually assaulted and gave birth to a child last month, the authorities said. https://t.co/gI6Q92xfE7
Stung by midterm losses, Republicans in some states are pushing legislative action to shore up strength before Democrats move in https://t.co/u3pXADCMjL
The discovery offers a window into little-remembered period in which blacks in certain Southern states were essentially treated like slaves post-emancipation. https://t.co/9fdl0FsC4b
This SEAL sniper was repeatedly decorated for valor over eight deployments. But after the last tour, he was arrested for war crimes. https://t.co/fGrMdRAL03
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