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Along with champagne and confetti, the new year also means a suite of brand-new laws going into effect in states across the country. And we're going to take a couple of minutes to hear from some of the people who will be affected by those laws.

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2017 Music Wrap

Dec 30, 2017

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On a Monday afternoon in October, a panel of Iowa state legislators gathered in the Statehouse to discuss the opioid epidemic.

Doctors, law enforcement officials and health insurers took turns at the lectern.

One of the witnesses was Deborah Thompson.

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Last January, I took a road trip in the week leading up to President Trump's inauguration. One of the places I visited was Yadkin County, N.C., which had the highest percentage of Trump voters in the state, people like Chuck Wooten.

A tree known as the Jackson Magnolia has stood on the grounds of the White House for nearly 200 years and stood witness to 39 presidencies.

But Wednesday, it got a significant cutback.

Harvard Student Cracks Incan Code

Dec 28, 2017

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This week we've been taking a moment each day to appreciate the work of someone who died this year. At least one of them had her own theme song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LOVE IS ALL AROUND")

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Tom Petty wrote a lot of hits during his more than 40 years making music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AMERICAN GIRL")

TOM PETTY: (Singing) Well, she was an American girl.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "REFUGEE")

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The city of Erie, Pa., got snow for Christmas. That's not unusual for Erie, so Lora Ormsbee didn't think much of it.

LORA ORMSBEE: I had left yesterday morning to go to my aunt's around 9:30 and the roads were clear. Everything was fine.

But what do these constant teases mean for the presidency?

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There's a race on. The way to win is to eradicate a human disease. That's only been done once before - smallpox. This year, two diseases got tantalizingly close, but unexpected roadblocks have popped up. NPR's Michaeleen Doucleff reports.

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In East Africa, cities are filled with the sounds of motorcycles, buses and shouts from street vendors. But as NPR's Eyder Peralta reports, in Tanzania's largest city, the soundscape is dominated by something unexpected.

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