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North Charleston, S.C., has reached a settlement with the family of an unarmed black man shot in the back and killed by a white police officer in April

An iconic luxury ocean liner, originally designed and built in 1952 to be the fastest ship on the seas and a symbol of America's post-war strength and pride, may soon be reduced to scraps of metal.

It probably won't surprise you that there's a growing polarization among Americans over how to deal with several immigration policy proposals.

Whether it's Donald Trump's idea for a massive border fence or the proposal to change the Constitution so that babies of unauthorized residents aren't automatically made citizens, Republicans and Democrats are hardening their views, according to a new national survey issued by the Washington, D.C.-based Pew Research Center.

"Man, in New Orleans we really are fortunate — we got some of the best things in the world," Chef Paul Prudhomme once said. "And one of those things is the mufaletta sandwich."

And one of the best things about New Orleans was Prudhomme himself.

He was known for introducing blackened redfish to the rest of us, for his cooking demos and for his line of magic spices. Needless to say, Prudhomme changed the way the world saw Louisiana cooking.

He has died at the age of 75.

"We are biocultural ex-apes trying to understand ourselves," declares biological anthropologist Jonathan Marks in his new book Tales of the Ex-Apes:How We Think About Human Evolution.

Paul Prudhomme, the internationally renowned Louisiana chef who popularized Cajun and Creole cuisine around the world, died Thursday morning. He was 75.

It's hard to overstate Prudhomme's influence on Cajun and Creole food. JoAnn Clevenger, owner of Upperline restaurant in New Orleans, says Prudhomme modernized it but kept the distinctive flavors.

Efforts to protect children in foster care from being inappropriately medicated with powerful antipsychotic drugs got a big boost forward on Tuesday, when California Gov. Jerry Brown signed three bills into law designed to reform prescribing.

Overprescribing of psychiatric meds for foster youth is a persistent problem nationwide, with children given the drugs at double or triple the rate of those not in foster care.

Mars is cold and dry, but billions of years ago, it was cold and wet. That's according to new evidence from NASA's Curiosity rover, which is currently exploring a large crater on Mars.

Russian cruise missiles that were fired from warships in the Caspian sea and were intended to hit Syrian targets crashed in Iran, instead, a U.S. official tells NPR's Tom Bowman.

Tom reports that the missiles landed in a rural area of Iran. Local television, Tom reports, said "that something crashed and exploded near the northern city of Tekab, shattering windows and leaving a large crater."

Public health advocates have argued that one of the best ways to fight obesity would be to tax the sugary drinks that science has implicated as a big part of the problem.

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

A new analysis of data from Fukushima suggests children exposed to the March 2011 nuclear accident may be developing thyroid cancer at an elevated rate.

But independent experts say that the study, published in the journal Epidemiology, has numerous shortcomings and does not prove a link between the accident and cancer.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is suing the manufacturers of an exercise band that he says failed and caused him to lose vision in his right eye in January.

There's a lot of worry about nearsightedness in children, with rates soaring in Southeast Asia as populations become more urban and educated. But maybe it also has something to do about how much Mom and Dad make you hit the books.

Firstborn children are 10 percent more likely to be nearsighted than latter-borns, according to a study published Thursday in JAMA Ophthalmology. And they're 20 percent more likely to be severely myopic.

Spencer Stone, one of three Americans who thwarted a terror attack on a Paris-bound train this summer, was stabbed early Thursday morning in Sacramento, Calif., according to an Air Force spokesman.

In a stunning turn of events, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has withdrawn from the race to become the next speaker of the House.

McCarthy was the favorite ahead of Thursday's closed-door vote by House Republicans. He was in a three-way race for the top spot in the House with Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Daniel Webster, R-Fla.

A bill proposed Wednesday by two U.S. senators would require drugmakers and medical device manufacturers to publicly disclose their payments to nurse practitioners and physician assistants for promotional talks, consulting, meals and other interactions.

Michael Horn, the CEO of Volkswagen's U.S. business, appeared before members of Congress on Thursday to answer questions about the German automaker's use of software in its diesel vehicles to fool emissions tests. VW has said some 11 million vehicles worldwide have the software.

Horn testified on the same day German prosecutors raided offices at Volkswagen's headquarters in Wolfsburg and elsewhere, seizing documents and records as they investigate the emissions scandal.

Updated at 1:57 p.m. ET.

Corrections officials in Oklahoma used the wrong drug to execute Charles Warner back in January.

A day after the Russian navy fired cruise missiles at targets in Syria — and two days after Russia's warplanes veered into Turkey's airspace — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance "is able and ready to defend all allies, including Turkey, against any threat."

Updated 6:02 p.m. ET

On Thursday morning, the ethics committee of soccer's world governing body banned the group's president and other leaders for 90 days, citing ongoing investigations into allegations against FIFA President Sepp Blatter, UEFA President and FIFA Vice President Michel Platini and FIFA Secretary-General Jérôme Valcke.

The suspensions go into effect immediately and could be extended by 45 days, FIFA says.

Updated at 8:09 a.m. ET

Investigative journalist Svetlana Alexievich has been awarded this year's Nobel Prize for Literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday. Alexievich is the first writer from Belarus to win the prize.

Alexievich won "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time," according to the citation for the award.

It's a relatively controversy-free list of potential inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, although die-hards always find a reason for outrage at inclusions or omissions. Sorry again, fans of Bon Jovi, The Cure. And apparently someone was even rooting for Moby.

Avoiding a possible strike, the United Autoworkers Union and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.

According to a statement from UAW:

"After a lengthy bargaining process, your UAW FCA National Bargaining Committee has secured significant gains in a proposed Tentative Agreement with FCA announced today.

Behind a complete-game shutout thrown by right-hander Jake Arrieta, the Chicago Cubs advanced to the Divisional Series on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, beating the Pirates 4-0.

Kyle Schwarber had a home run and three runs batted in for the Cubs and Dexter Fowler had three hits and scored three times. Chicago will open its series against St. Louis at 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday. The Cardinals won 11 of the 19 games the divisional rivals played this season.

Three members of one of the wealthiest and most politically well-connected families in Honduras have been indicted by the U.S. on money laundering charges.

According to the court document, three members of the Rosenthal family, along with their lawyer, are accused of laundering money for drug traffickers.

NPR's Carrie Kahn reports on the indictment that was unsealed after one of the men was arrested Tuesday in Miami:

After years of drug addiction, Jayne Fuentes feels she's close to getting her life back on track, as long as she doesn't get arrested again — but not for using drugs. She fears it will be because she still owes court fines and fees, including hundreds of dollars for her public defender.

Fuentes hopes to change that. She's one of three plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed this week by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, charging that Benton County, Wash., where she lives, "operates a modern-day debtors' prison."

The rain has stopped in South Carolina, but for people living along the coast, the worst of the flooding could still be ahead.

The floodwaters have not receded and as the water in the swollen rivers flow toward the ocean, more damaging high waters are expected.

As Laura Hunsberger reports for NPR, Gov. Nikki Haley says the state is ready:

Six days after communication was lost with the El Faro cargo ship as it drifted into the path of Hurricane Joaquin, the U.S. Coast Guard ended the search for survivors.

Of the 33 people aboard the ship, rescuers found one body on Monday:

"Several 'survival suits' were spotted floating in the water, one of which contained the body. In addition, an empty, heavily damaged lifeboat was found."

Updated 3:57 p.m. ET

The turmoil surrounding beleaguered FIFA President Sepp Blatter continues to churn.

On Wednesday, Blatter reportedy was told he is facing a provisional 90-day suspension, with a final decision from the FIFA ethics committee expected later this week.

The BBC quotes Blatter's adviser Klauss Stohlker as saying, "The news was communicated to the president this afternoon. He is calm. Remember he is the father of the ethics committee."

Paper or plastic? If you're at a restaurant in the coastal city of Fort Bragg, Calif., that's what your food is likely to be served on these days.

The drought-stricken city, located about 170 miles north of San Francisco, recently declared a "stage 3" water emergency, which makes it mandatory for businesses and residents to reduce water usage.