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Seeing Wildflowers Blooming Early on Texas Roadsides? Blame La Niña & Global Warming

In much of Texas the sun is out, flowers are in bloom and you might be getting that springtime feeling. However, it’s still mid-February and it’s not your imagination: This has been another very warm winter.

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In his second month in office, President Donald Trump is getting overwhelmingly good grades on his job performance from the state’s Republicans, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin, a veteran diplomat who represented the former Soviet Union and Russian Federation for more than 40 years, died Monday while at work in the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations. He would have been 65 today.

The Russian U.N. mission said Churkin's death was a "shock," but offered no cause. The New York Police Department said there were no indications of foul play.

Welcome to the bat cave. No, we're not talking about the secret headquarters of a superhero.

This is Gomantong — an ancient cave carved out of 20 million-year-old limestone in the middle of the Borneo rain forest in Malaysia. It's part of a vast network of tunnels and caverns. And it's the perfect hideout for bats.

Up at the top are millions of bats. Literally millions. They hang upside down all day long from the cave's ceiling, sleeping and pooping.

Thomas Jefferson wrote the famous words "all men are created equal," but he also owned more than 600 slaves over the course of his life.

His Virginia plantation called Monticello is being renovated to shed more light on the enslaved people who lived and worked there.

One of the most notable of those slaves was Sally Hemings. Jefferson is widely believed to have fathered her six children. The museum is working to restore a restroom believed to be Hemings' living quarters.

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

In June 2010, 15-year-old Sergio Hernandez and his friends were playing chicken at the U.S.-Mexico border, daring each other to run up and touch the tall border fence separating Juarez, Mexico, from El Paso, Texas.

At some point during their game, U.S. border patrol agent Jesus Mesa arrived on a bicycle. He detained one of the kids on the U.S. side while the others ran away. Hernandez hid behind a pillar beneath a bridge on the Mexican side of the border. A cellphone video shows the boy peeking out from behind the column, before Mesa shoots and kills him.

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET

President Trump has announced that Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster will be his new national security adviser. McMaster will replace retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign after revelations that he had misled top White House officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

President Robert Mugabe turns 93 on Tuesday, making him the oldest president in Africa — and the world. He's the only leader most Zimbabweans have ever known, spending nearly 37 years at the helm since independence from Britain and the end of white minority rule in Rhodesia in April 1980.

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