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Review: The New Pornographers, 'Whiteout Conditions'

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page. It's hard to imagine a band that abhors a long, throat-clearing windup more than The New Pornographers . Listen to any of the group's seven albums, and each bursts out from the jump with a blast of pure, blissfully irresistible power pop. Take the title track from 2015's Brill Bruisers , which opens the record by racing from...

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The Ebola epidemic has entered a new phase. And it's a good one.

For the first time since the virus hit Sierra Leone, the country hasn't had a single new case in a week, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

And over in Guinea and Liberia, the situation is also looking up. This week Guinea reported only three new cases, while Liberia hasn't had a case in more than a month.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

Thai officials are downplaying the possibility that a foreign terrorist group is behind the bombing in central Bangkok this week that killed at least 20 people, including foreign tourists, and wounded dozens of others.

Police also appear to have ruled out a man in a yellow T-shirt seen on a CCTV video leaving behind a backpack moments before the blast at the Erawan shrine as well as another man suspected of being an accomplice.

Updated at 10:40 a.m. ET

South Korea and North Korea traded artillery and rocket fire on Thursday.

No one was hurt, but it was the first time tensions had escalated into an armed clash between the neighbors in five years, the New York Times reports.

Reporting for NPR from Seoul, Haeryun Kang tells Newscast that:

Police used tear gas and arrested nine people during protests in St. Louis on Wednesday.

Demonstrators gathered after police shot and killed an 18-year-old they say pointed a gun at them. Police said protesters threw bottles and bricks at them, so they deployed armored vehicles and teams of officers in riot gear.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:

Donald Trump's immigration plan is — like the candidate — flashy, strident and headline-grabbing. Fox News called it "an early Christmas gift" for immigration hawks. Conservative commentator Ann Coulter pronounced it "the greatest political document since the Magna Carta."

But some of those in the trenches of immigration reform say it's unrealistic and unworkable.

Donald Trump could write "Immigration Reform for Dummies." He makes a complex issue simple and sexy.

The natural world is abuzz with the sound of animals communicating — crickets, birds, even grunting fish. But scientists learning to decode these sounds say the secret signals of African elephants — their deepest rumblings — are among the most intriguing calls any animal makes.

An unprecedented, class action lawsuit brought against one Southern California school district and its top officials could have a big impact on schools across the country.

On Thursday in Los Angeles, a U.S. District Court judge will preside over the first hearing in the suit against the Compton Unified School District. To understand the complaint, you need to understand Compton.

What if there were a way to take the waste heat that spews from car tailpipes or power plant chimneys and turn it into electricity? Matt Scullin thinks there is, and he's formed a company to turn that idea into a reality.

The key to Scullin's plans is something called thermoelectrics. "A thermoelectric is a material that turns heat into electricity," he says.

Robie's Country Store, in Hooksett, N.H., has become an almost ritual stop on the presidential campaign trail — one of those places where anyone who is running is pretty much guaranteed to make an appearance. The business isn't what it once was, but presidential hopefuls keep showing up.

The store has stood on the bank of the Merrimack River, between Concord and Manchester, since 1887. When the candidates get there, most know what's expected.

There's a battle brewing between Facebook and the people who make professional videos on YouTube. Facebook has made video a priority over the past year and many of the most popular videos turn out to have originated on YouTube.

A lot of YouTube stars say Facebook is taking money right out of their pockets — and many of them are talking about big money.

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Here's a fun fact about Noname's Tiny Desk Concert: It almost didn't happen. Around the time of their D.C. stop, she (born Fatimah Warner) and her bandmates got their first dose of tour sickness. Thanks to rest, medicine and our mutual excitement, she made her way into the NPR offices the following day. If there ever was a 'Noname' way of doing things, this is definitely her signature method. It's in the way she's able to muster a smile while performing a heartbreaking tale of abortion. It's those sometimes bleak, melancholy lyrics over brilliant, colorful production.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Shortly after his 82nd birthday, Leonard Cohen sat down with KCRW's Chris Douridas for an interview. The two talked about Cohen's health, the role of religion in his life, his 14th and final album, You Want It Darker, and much more.

The conversation took place at the Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles on Oct. 13 as part of a special listening session for You Want It Darker. It's the last interview Cohen gave before his death on November 7.

Influential singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82, according to a publicist for his U.S. record label.

Cohen died Monday, but news of his death came out late Thursday. His Facebook page had this announcement:

"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away.
We have lost one of music's most revered and prolific visionaries.

Hi, World Cafe fans! I just moved to the U.S. from Toronto, Canada, to become World Cafe's new contributing host and producer. Yes, I'm from Drake's hometown. And yes, that's the most frequently asked question since I've been here. But if your musical knowledge north of the 49th parallel doesn't extend past Drizzy and The Six, you're in luck. I brought a pile of musical gifts across the border with me.