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Merrit Kennedy

The survival of life of Earth (and elsewhere) may rest on the shoulders of NASA's next planetary protection officer – and they're taking applications.

The job posting has elicited headlines about how the space agency is seeking a person to defend our planet from aliens. But it's more concerned with microorganisms than little green men.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has penned a scathing Facebook post in response to new U.S. sanctions, decrying what he described as the Trump administration's "total weakness" and saying that the package "ends hopes for improving our relations with the new administration."

More than a million malnourished children are living in areas of Yemen hit hardest by a cholera outbreak, according to a new analysis by Save the Children.

Former FBI Director James Comey's first book will be published next spring and feature "yet-unheard anecdotes from his long and distinguished career," according to publisher Flatiron Books.

Comey was suddenly fired by President Trump in May, setting off a political firestorm over why it happened and whether the decision was linked to the FBI's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

A federal judge in Alabama has struck down portions of a state abortion law, saying they are unconstitutional. Under the law, unique to Alabama, a minor who didn't have parental consent for an abortion could have faced a legal proceeding involving her parents, the district attorney and a person representing the fetus.

Nearly 500 people are standing trial in Turkey's capital, Ankara, for their alleged roles in a failed coup attempt last July.

"They're charged with murder, violating the constitution and attempting to kill the president," NPR's Lauren Frayer reports from Turkey. "Most are military officers who were stationed at an airbase where fighter jets took off and bombed Parliament on the night of the attempted coup last summer."

Japanese scientists have genetically engineered a chrysanthemum flower that is "true blue" — a color that has long eluded flower breeders and researchers.

Blue has proved a challenge to produce in many other popular flowers, including roses, carnations and lilies.

Luxury fashion brand Michael Kors says it has reached a nearly $1.2 billion deal to acquire footwear and accessories brand Jimmy Choo.

The boards of both companies have approved the deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Michael Kors is "trying to shore up declining demand for expensive handbags," NPR's Yuki Noguchi tells our Newscast unit. Here is more from Yuki:

Updated 10:05 p.m. ET

Israel has removed controversial metal detectors at the entrance to a holy site in Jerusalem, aiming to ease tension after days of protests.

But it remains to be seen whether Muslim worshippers will accept the security measures that Israel plans to implement in their place. The metal detectors were installed at the Muslim-administered site after several Israeli Arabs shot dead two Israeli police officers there.

The parents of terminally ill British baby Charlie Gard have ended their legal fight to transport him to the U.S. for experimental treatment, concluding a months-long saga that has raised nearly $1.75 million and elicited support from Pope Francis and President Trump.

The couple's lawyer, Grant Armstrong, told the London High Court that new medical tests have shown that the experimental treatment would not help at this point, according to The Associated Press. "It's too late for Charlie," Armstrong said. "The damage has been done."

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