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The Justice Department is trying to make it easier for Native American tribes to gain access to national crime databases. Federal authorities say the program could prevent criminals from buying guns and help keep battered women and foster children safe.

The issue of who can see information in federal criminal databases might sound boring, until one considers a deadly shooting at a high school in Washington state last year.

This post was updated at 2:30 p.m. ET with comment from Sen. Menendez's spokesperson.

The Justice Department forcefully defended its prosecutors Monday against allegations of misconduct and perjury lodged by lawyers for Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and an eye doctor who served as one of his longtime donors.

Stocks opened Monday with a swan dive: The Dow Jones industrial average plunged about 1,000 points, or 5 percent, in just minutes.

By midday, enough brave buyers had waded back in to push up prices — up to where losses were only around 1 percent or so.

But that didn't last. Around 3 p.m., the Dow dropped again, sliding nearly 700 points.

Stress-filled minutes ticked down until 4 p.m.: CLANG, CLANG, CLANG.

The closing bell rang. Brows were wiped, and commentators scrambled to explain why investors had seen both panic selling and panic buying.

Five months after the U.S. Justice Department said the city of Ferguson, Mo., unfairly used its courts to raise money, a new municipal judge ordered that all arrest warrants made before Dec. 31, 2014, be withdrawn.

At the end of this month, containers of Blue Bell ice cream, a staple in Texas and other states, will finally return to store shelves. The company's ice cream has been absent from stores for four months after a wide recall over listeria concerns.

The big price drops on Wall Street in recent days have had many people worried. We asked people on social media to send us some questions about the stock market volatility and we turned to economist Austan Goolsbee for answers.

A Japanese man who is missing nine fingers will be the first person to attempt to climb Mount Everest since a deadly earthquake rocked Nepal earlier this year. More than 9,000 people were killed, including at least 17 on the mountain.

Many chefs dream of opening their own restaurant. But Laura Martinez faced an obstacle that many people thought would make that dream impossible to fulfill: The 31-year-old chef is blind.

It took two years for Martinez to open La Diosa, her tiny restaurant in Chicago, this past January. In addition to her white chef's jacket, Martinez wears dark sunglasses when she works.

Last in a three-part report on solitary confinement in U.S. prisons.

Prison officials in New York last year reached a tentative settlement with the state's civil liberties union, agreeing to shelve a pending legal battle and instead collaborate on new rules that could sharply limit the time inmates spend in solitary confinement. And that could mean downsizing New York's network of isolation cells known as SHU units.

A lot of people praised the deal, but it angered Mike Powers.

"Our SHUs are not the dungeons that people portray them to be," Powers says.

Here's an experience some of us have had. The phone rings. You pick it up and say "Hello. Hello. Helloooo." But nobody answers.

It turns out there could be someone on the other end of the line: an automated computer system that's calling your number — and tens of thousands of others — to build a list of humans to target for theft.

Build A List

Vijay Balasubramaniyan, CEO of Pindrop Security, a company in Atlanta that detects phone fraud, says that in any number of ways, the criminal ring gets your 10 digits and loads them into an automated system.

In Washington, Turkey is seen as an important ally in the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS, in Syria and Iraq. But Ankara is also struggling to quell a resurgent conflict with its own Kurdish minority.

Toronto police want hackers' help to find out who released the data of more than 30 million users of the affair-enabling website Ashley Madison. One month after the intrusion, the website is offering a bounty of $500,000 (Canadian), and police are also looking into two deaths to determine whether they are related to the breach.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET with more quotes from the White House briefing.

The White House did nothing to tamp down speculation Monday that Vice President Biden might mount a presidential bid in 2016. Press Secretary Josh Earnest heaped praise on the vice president and said President Obama could endorse — even in a race between Biden and his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The sun is beating down on the rocky shore of Lebanon's capital, Beirut, and architect Mona Hallak is taking her son and his friends to see their heritage.

"Who knows how to swim?" asks Hallak, an advocate for public beaches in Lebanon.

The kids say they can, but they learned in private beach clubs. Hallak tells them of the past, when Beirutis learned to swim in the sea because the shore was all public. She shows them a nearby area that was open and has been fenced off. She fears it, too, will be built on as many other places have been.

One evening last July, Nat Bradford walked along rows of White Bolita Mexican corn at his Sumter, S.C., farm, and nearly wept. All 1,400 of the corn plants had been overtaken almost overnight by corn smut, recalls Bradford, who's also a landscape architect. The smut, from a fungus called Ustilago maydis, literally transforms each corn kernel into a bulbous, bulging bluish-grey gall. It is naturally present in the soil and can be lofted easily into the air and onto plants.

Princesses have first days of school, too.

In one of those so-normal-it's-newsworthy moments, Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands posed for a first day of school picture in her driveway, wearing jeans and pink sneakers.

Sierra Leone's last known Ebola patient, Adama Sankoh, has left the hospital, dancing down a red carpet, with the president of the country cheering her on.

"It was like she was a rock star. There were at least 100 people there — politicians, press — everyone wanting a photograph of her," said a spokesman for the International Medical Corps (IMC) in Makeni.

Lots of magazines do big lists, but few rely on them as heavily as Rolling Stone does. The magazine cranks out a list for just about every aspect of popular music. All promise authoritative, canonical overviews of various elements of the art; at their best, these offer context and critical insight, helping readers fill gaps in their knowledge.

Women who walk around Times Square in New York City wearing nothing but paint over their breasts have been at the center of controversy the past few weeks.

Mayor Bill de Blasio wants the women — known as "desnudas" or the naked ones — to go. He even threatened to dismantle the pedestrian plazas built in Times Square to make it so.

But de Blasio is facing a complicated legal landscape that is underpinned by a state court decision in 1992.

Five years ago, New Orleans attorney Ermence Parent was struggling to find out what was wrong with her leg. She was 58 years old, and her right leg hurt so much that she needed a cane. That was not only painful, but frustrating for a woman who routinely exercised and enjoyed it. Parent sought advice from several doctors and a chiropractor, but got no diagnosis.

It's one of the greatest, and most disturbing, questions of the Fukushima disaster: What happened to the nuclear fuel inside the plant? Now physicists are trying to shed some light on the problem using particles from the edge of space.

The Fukushima accident was broadcast around the world. On March 11, 2011, an earthquake and tsunami struck the plant, knocking out cooling in three working reactors. The uranium fuel inside melted down.

But nobody's quite sure where it went.

The brutal death of Emmett Till — an African-American teenager — in Mississippi in August of 1955, and the subsequent acquittal of his white murderers by an all-white jury, was a pivotal moment in the surge for civil rights in America.

Till, 14, was kidnapped, beaten and shot — after allegedly flirting with a white grocery store cashier — on Aug. 28, 1955. Civil rights activists saw Till's tragic death and open-casket funeral as a call to action.

Led by an 8.5 percent drop in China's Shanghai composite index, U.S. and global stock markets took a dive Monday. Shortly after opening, the Dow Jones index fell by more than 1,000 points, or 5 percent. The Dow then zigzagged to close at 15,871, losing about 3.6 percent of its value.

Lem Turner made the shot during a freshman pep rally at Ball State University in Indiana. With the half-court shot, he won free tuition for a semester.

Three young Americans, who are credited with thwarting a terrorist attack on a French train, were given France's highest honor Monday morning.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley tells our Newscast unit that French President Francois Hollande welcomed Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos to Elysee Palace in Paris and made them Knights of the Legion of Honor.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Chester E. Finn Jr. has three very bright granddaughters. He thinks they "have considerable academic potential and are not always being challenged by their schools." Finn is not just a proud grandpa; he's a long-established expert on education policy with the Fordham Institute and Hoover Institution.

So it's not surprising that his grandkids got him wondering about — and researching — a big question: How well is the U.S. educating its top performers?

The Little League World Series is in full swing. Perennial teams like Japan are still alive, but so is a country making just its second-ever appearance: Uganda.

The team has experienced highs and lows so far. Sunday night it lost 7-0 to Venezuela, but the squad is still alive thanks to a win over the Dominican Republic in its first game.

It will have to beat Taiwan Monday night to stay in contention. The game airs on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. EDT.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It was known as the "Swankiest Night Spot in the South" and considered one of the most famous clubs in the network of black cabarets known as the "Chitlin' Circuit." During the era of segregation, it was the cultural mecca of black New Orleans — what the Savoy Ballroom was to Harlem. Little Richard, a frequent performer there, even composed a song about the place.

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