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Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats on Monday directly challenged comments by President Trump, saying the U.S. intelligence community has been "clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election."

Coats has maintained an extremely low profile, rarely making public comments, since President Trump appointed him last year.

Half a million roses have been placed in the shape of a flat-topped pyramid in Tabacundo, Ecuador, in an attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records.

Currently, the world record for largest flower arrangement is held by the Dubai Miracle Garden in United Arab Emirates, which created a life-size sculpture of a Airbus A380 in 2016.

Many Republicans harshly criticized President Trump's performance in his news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which Trump said Putin's denial that Moscow interfered with the 2016 election is "strong and powerful" — despite U.S. intelligence findings to the contrary.

Meanwhile, Democratic leaders started to openly question whether the Russians have damaging information on the president after his joint appearance in which he deferred to Putin on the question of election interference and entertained joint cybersecurity efforts.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who rushed into Syria three years ago in an effort to save his ally President Bashar Assad, now says he can work with the U.S. to bring peace and reconciliation to the war-torn country.

"As far as Syria is concerned," Putin said, standing next to President Trump at the Helsinki summit, "the task of establishing peace and reconciliation in this country could be the first showcase example of this successful joint work."

Nicaragua saw another weekend of deadly violence, as forces in support of President Daniel Ortega besieged student protesters in a church and attempted to assert control over several areas outside the capital.

Updated at 5:01 p.m. ET

Just hours after President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and held a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart that stunned many political observers in the U.S., federal prosecutors have unsealed a criminal complaint alleging that a Russian graduate student living in the D.C. area conspired to act as an agent of Russia without registering, as required, under U.S. law.

Sinclair Broadcast Group's push to buy Tribune Media hit a new snag on Monday, as Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said he has "serious concerns" about the $3.9 billion deal. Pai said a plan to divest some stations might not satisfy federal laws because it wouldn't go far enough.

"The evidence we've received suggests that certain station divestitures that have been proposed to the FCC would allow Sinclair to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law," Pai said in a statement.

Growing up in North London in the 1960s and '70s, Viv Albertine never dreamed that one day she'd be a rock star. For one thing, she says, "There [were] just no role models ... I never heard of anyone, any female playing guitar."

Eventually she did learn of female rockers, including Suzi Quatro and The Runaways. But Albertine says she "was aware of how constructed they were by male managers."

The dense network of cables that make up the Internet is likely to be inundated with saltwater as sea levels rise, a new analysis suggests, putting thousands of miles of critical infrastructure along U.S. coastlines underwater in the next 15 years.

Updated at 5:04 p.m. ET

Just after the second half of yesterday's World Cup final between France and Croatia had begun, four people dressed in Russian police uniforms briefly disrupted the game. On social media, Pussy Riot took responsibility for the protest.

PUTIN: Thank you so much. Shall we start working, I guess? Distinguished Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen. Negotiations with the President of the United States Donald Trump took place in a frank and businesslike atmosphere. I think we can call it a success and a very fruitful round of negotiations.

We carefully analyzed the current status – the present and the future of the Russia/United States' relationship – key issues of the global agenda.

More than three years after a white supremacist opened fire in Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., killing nine worshippers, an architect has revealed a design for a memorial at the church.

The design by Michael Arad features two large and curving stone benches, a gentle fountain and a garden space "dedicated to life and resiliency."

Arad, along with landscape architect Peter Walker, designed the Sept. 11 memorial in New York City after he won an international design competition.

Birdtalker's music arises at the point where intimate exchange connects with community. Zack and Dani Green were a newly married couple when, one afternoon, the guitarist and singer asked his spouse for input on a song he was writing. Within hours, they realized that Dani's background as a student of literature and inherent talent as a harmonizer brought Zack's music to another level.

Copyright 2018 KCRW. To see more, visit KCRW.

Grossed out by that maggot squirming in your apple?

Your ancestors weren't. In fact, they probably would have popped the offending creature into their mouths and relished its savory flavor.

At least, that's what Julie Lesnik thinks. Lesnik is an assistant professor of anthropology at Wayne State University. She studies how people (and their prehistoric relatives) have gathered, farmed, and cooked insects for food.

China has filed a case with the World Trade Organization against the U.S. to protest the Trump administration's plan to put new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. China says the tariffs are illegal attempts at protectionism.

China's Ministry of Commerce announced it is pursuing legal remedy against the U.S. in a brief statement on its website — the latest in an escalating trade conflict between the world's two largest economies.

On a summer evening, a soft breeze rustles quietly through the trees. The hum of cicadas fills the air. Bumblebees buzz through flower gardens. Grasshoppers bounce while crickets chirp from the lush grass.

Fewer Homeless Veterans On LA's Streets

9 hours ago

The lack of affordable housing is at the forefront of the homeless crisis in Los Angeles County. But the city's annual point-in-time homeless count, released on June 1, showed that the veteran homeless population had declined 18 percent.

A mob in Indonesia has slaughtered nearly 300 crocodiles at a wildlife sanctuary in retaliation for a local man who was reportedly killed by one of the reptiles.

The incident occurred in Sorong, on the far western tip of West Papua province.

Two years after China officially ended its one-child policy in order to counter the country's aging society and shrinking workforce, Chinese couples are not having babies fast enough.

In 2017, there were 17.6 million births in China, representing 12.43 births per thousand people. However, that was a drop from 2016, when the one-child policy was first relaxed – a year that saw 12.95 births per 1,000 people.

Do you remember the day you decided you were no good at math?

Or maybe you had the less common, opposite experience: a moment of math excitement that hooked you for good?

Thousands of studies have been published that touch on the topic of "math anxiety." Overwhelming fear of math, regardless of one's actual aptitude, affects students of all ages, from kindergarten to grad school.

Many of President Trump's immigration policies are deeply unpopular, including recent efforts to deter illegal immigration by separating migrant families at the border, according to a new NPR-Ipsos poll.

But Americans are polarized in their attitudes about immigrants and the U.S. system for admitting them, the polls shows, with Republicans much more likely to support the president's policies, including the travel ban, the border wall, and changes to legal immigration.

When it comes to immigration policy, American opinions often break down along party lines, with most Republicans supporting President Trump's views and Democrats vigorously opposed.

But according to a new NPR-Ipsos poll, there is an even better predictor of how you feel about immigration: where you get your TV news.

Can't cool off this summer? Heat waves can slow us down in ways we may not realize.

New research suggests heat stress can muddle our thinking, making simple math a little harder to do.

Every day, Dr. Walter Koroshetz, 65, takes a pill as part of his effort to help keep his brain healthy and sharp.

The pill is his blood pressure medication. And Koroshetz, who directs the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, says controlling high blood pressure helps him reduce his risk of dementia.

He also keeps his blood pressure down by exercising and paying attention to his weight and diet. "I'm a believer," he says.

Updated at 3:49 p.m. ET

President Trump's effort to reset relations with Russia backfired at home after he failed to side with the U.S. intelligence community over Moscow's interference in the 2016 election. The president's equivocation drew bipartisan condemnation, capping a week in which Trump alienated allies and cozied up to adversaries.

Trump himself declared his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki a success, in what he called the "proud tradition of bold American diplomacy."

A new film about Robin Williams begins with his appearance on Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton. Lipton says: "How do you explain the mental reflexes that you deploy with such awesome speed? Are you thinking faster than the rest of us? What the hell is going on?" Williams first makes a goggle-eyed face, but then he falls over sideways, like an embarrassed kid, curling up and cackling. And then, of course, he does precisely the thing Lipton is asking about: a flurry of movements, voices, bits, fragments of thoughts flying by — fragments riffing on his own thinking.

Entrepreneur Elon Musk and a British diver who helped rescue a dozen boys and their soccer coach from a cave in Thailand last week are engaged in a public spat over the specially designed minisubmarine that Musk offered to rescuers but was never used.

Sacha Baron Cohen has two basic shticks that he uses in his new Showtime show Who Is America?, which premiered Sunday night. One of them works well, and the other one doesn't. Unfortunately, of the four segments in the premiere, he uses the effective strategy once and the ineffective one three times.

Those unfamiliar with Cohen's past work in films like Borat and Bruno need only to know that what he does, in short, is interview (and interact with) people while inhabiting various absurd alter egos. It's a prank show, for all intents and purposes.

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