The Senate has taken another step toward approving a sweeping immigration overhaul, as the legislation passed an essential test Monday evening. By a vote of 67-27, the chamber voted to include an amendment on border security to the final bill, and to avoid a filibuster.

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Donation after cardiac death involves removing organs minutes after life-support has been stopped for patients who still have at least some brain activity. Is that enough time to make sure a person won’t recover?

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For some, it’s a symbol of America’s might. For others, it’s a frightening weapon of warfare. For many target-shooting hobbyists, it’s “the Mr. Potato Head of firearms” — customizable to fit each individual. And it’s all part of what is now a nearly billion-dollar business in military-style weapons.

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It was widely reported that he would fly from Moscow to Havana on Monday. But he apparently did not board that flight. Just where Snowden is headed isn’t known for sure, but it’s thought that his final destination will be Ecuador.

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From savoring a morning coffee to lighting a candle each night, people employ rituals all over the world. NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam speaks with behavior scientist Francesca Gino and Slate columnist William Saletan about the role of rituals in human life.

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A growing number of cities are using surveillance cameras in the hope of fighting crime, but all that video is almost useless without powerful search tools to sort the material. The municipal camera trend is proving to be big business for companies that design video analytics software.

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The U.S. military said in January that it will end its front-line combat exclusion for women; the shift means that women could join elite forces such as the Army Rangers and Navy SEALs in the next three years.

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Mary Louise Kelly used to cover national security for NPR, but lately she’s turned her attention to fiction. Her new novel, Anonymous Sources, draws on Kelly’s own reporting experiences, including things she couldn’t say when she was a journalist.

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President Obama says federal judges have been “overseeing” the recently exposed government surveillance programs. But few, if any, experts in the Bush or Obama administrations believe that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has the enforcement teeth it once had.

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An enterprising carpenter and a creative puppeteer teamed up on a do-it-yourself project to build a mechanical hand for a little boy. They created an inexpensive prosthetic and published their designs on the Internet. So far, over 100 children have been outfitted.

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In Latin America, it’s said the only part of a prison the guards control is the gate, leaving convicts to fend for themselves. The inmate boss of one prison takes NPR’s Steve Inskeep on a tour.

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On June 11, 1963, Gov. George Wallace stood at the University of Alabama to block two black students attempting to cross the color line and register for classes. That event forever associated him with segregation. His daughter is trying to shake that association, and is using her voice to promote healing.

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Nearly one in four African Americans tell pollsters they’re having a hard time paying for needed prescription medicine. One in three say they struggled to pay bills from hospitals or doctors last year.

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A self-described mediocre student, Snowden says his computer skills landed him a job with the CIA. It was there, he says, that he became convinced that surveillance programs are violating Americans’ rights to privacy. Now, he’s stepped forward to say he leaked secrets about those programs.

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With its upcoming decisions on same-sex marriage, the U.S. Supreme Court faces the same question that Margaret Marshall faced a decade ago as Massachusetts’ chief justice. Marshall says she had little idea that the decision she wrote legalizing gay marriage would be groundbreaking.

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The news that the nation’s spy agencies have been collecting phone records has been followed by word that they’re also gathering up reams of information from the servers of major Internet and tech companies.

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The Affordable Care Act, which has become known as Obamacare, will require small businesses with 50 or more employees to offer health care coverage to their workers. Some have suggested that could be discouraging hiring by small businesses.

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President Obama has named a former journalist and activist to represent him at the United Nations. If confirmed, Samantha Power will replace Ambassador Susan Rice, who is returning to the White House to become national security adviser. Power’s supporters see her as a voice of conscience in the Obama administration, an advocate for humanitarian interventions.

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Latin American cities rank as the most violent in the world. The region suffers from sky-high homicide rates, drug wars and gang violence. NPR is examining the region’s turmoil in a series of reports, beginning with a look at the rampant kidnapping problem in Venezuela.

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A court order has allowed the National Security Agency to collect data on millions of Verizon customers’ phone calls. Some lawmakers and privacy advocates have expressed concern about government overreach. The White House is defending the practice.

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Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will be in military court Wednesday. Bales is pleading guilty to murder charges in exchange for avoiding the death penalty. He is expected to give his account of the nighttime killing of 16 Afghan civilians last year.

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Some financial experts say the fees charged by actively managed mutual funds are not worth it. Over the long haul, they could cost a retirement account tens of thousands of dollars. So NPR’s Uri Berliner explores funds that have minimal expenses.

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The assassination of the NAACP field secretary galvanized a growing civil rights movement, the effects of which are still being felt across the South today.

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