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Mars By 2018? SpaceX And NASA Announce A New Space Project

Its name will be "Red Dragon." And if the latest partnership between SpaceX and NASA works out, the privately funded craft will land on Mars to collect scientific data — possibly within the next two years. The plan is to use the Dragon capsule, but without a human crew."SpaceX is planning to send Dragons to Mars as early as 2018," the company said via Facebook Wednesday. "These missions will help demonstrate the technologies needed to land large payloads propulsively on Mars."A propulsive...
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Watching Disney's remake of The Jungle Book, based on Rudyard Kipling's stories, took me straight back to my childhood in India, and to Sunday mornings spent watching an animated series of The Jungle Book in Hindi, on India's national television channel. (It was originally a Japanese series, dubbed in Hindi for an Indian audience.)

A strict new law governing foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in China may have some groups packing up and heading home if they can't meet the law's requirements or fall afoul of police who will have increased powers to monitor and control them.

The controversial measure was passed into law on Thursday and will take effect on Jan. 1, 2017, affecting thousands of foreign NGOs.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In the southeastern Chinese city of Quanzhou, a well-known Buddhist monk named Fu Hou has been mummified and encased in gold leaf.

According to The Associated Press, it's "a practice reserved for holy men in some areas with strong Buddhist traditions" and was done to honor Fu Hou's dedication to the religion.

Li Ren, the Chongfu Temple's abbot, said that after the 94-year-old's death in 2012, "the monk's body was washed, treated by two mummification experts, and sealed inside a large pottery jar in a sitting position," according to the wire service.

A bipartisan group of senators has unveiled a new compromise plan to overhaul the way drug criminals are punished, making one last push for legislative reform before the presidential election all but forecloses action on Capitol Hill.

At a news conference Thursday, one of the plan's biggest supporters, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., proclaimed, "This is the best chance in a generation to reform our federal drug sentencing law."

As summer approaches, anxiety about Zika is growing in Gulf Coast states like Florida and Texas. The virus hasn't spread to mosquitoes in the region, and it may not, but experts are preparing nonetheless.

It might not have been a drone that struck a British Airways plane on April 17 after all.

British Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin told Parliament on Thursday that it was probably "not a drone incident," according to The Register, an online tech publication.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

As America's population ages, we're going to be seeing a lot more of these kinds of books: I'm talking about memoirs, written by adult children, about the extreme adventures of caring for and reconnecting with their elderly parents.

When comic Jerrod Carmichael moved from his hometown of Winston-Salem, N.C., to Los Angeles in 2008, he was 20 years old and without any stand-up experience. Still, that didn't stop him from jumping into the city's comedy scene.

"What I believe in more than anything is my ability to figure something out," Carmichael tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "So I moved to LA with the intention of figuring out stand-up comedy. ... I wanted to work on stand-up; I wanted to be great at stand-up."

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Weekend Features

Events: April 29 - May 5

It's Friday and there's plenty to do in Wacotown during the week ahead. Ashley Bean Thorton of Act Locally Waco is back to help us sift through what's happening, from a trio of races and several screenings at the Waco Hippodrome to the local production of Sister Act and the Stars Over Jamboree concert.
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