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A woman who had returned to Scotland after vacationing in Australia didn't know she had hauled home a serpentine stowaway, until she reached into her suitcase to unpack and encountered a snake coiled within a shoe, according to her family.

The Scottish SPCA, an animal welfare charity, confirmed to NPR in an email that one of its rescue officers recovered the snake at a property in Bridge of Allan, a town located about 30 miles northeast of Glasgow.

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Targeting someone because of their dreadlocks, cornrows or other hairstyle can now lead to steep fines in New York City. Among other things, employers there can no longer force workers to straighten their hair to promote a certain corporate image.

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The Monday after the Oscars is full of red carpet recaps, Twitter threads and think pieces and occasionally some big snub or snafu that has everybody talking. Last night, it was a surprise win in the final category, Best Picture.

The foreign minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, resigned Monday without explanation in a brief message on Instagram.

NPR's Michele Kelemen reports that Zarif was a central player in the nuclear negotiations with the Obama administration.

"In a post on Instagram, Mohammad Javad Zarif apologizes for what he calls his shortcomings and his 'inability to continue to serve' as foreign minister. An official at Iran's mission to the U.N. confirms that Zarif has resigned," said Kelemen.

The publisher of a small local newspaper in Alabama penned an editorial calling for the Ku Klux Klan to "ride again." After massive outcry, he's stepped down, and a black woman has taken the job.

The new publisher and editor of The Democrat-Reporter, Elecia R. Dexter, took the reins on Thursday, after Goodloe Sutton doubled down on his incendiary comments.

Nearly six months after a cartoon mocking Serena Williams unleashed immediate international rebuke, with critics calling it a racist Jim-Crow-era-like rendering of the sports star, the Australian Press Council weighed in on Monday, defending the image.

The House is slated to vote Wednesday on a bill that would require background checks on all gun sales — including those that occur online or at gun shows. On Monday, a group of four CEOs sent a letter urging Congress to pass the proposal.

Michel Yao says his job is a lot like being a detective.

Yao is leading the World Health Organization's on-the-ground response to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And as each new person falls sick, his team must race to figure out how the person got infected.

So, Yao says, "we ask the person a series of questions."

First up: Were you in contact with any sick person who had some symptoms like bleeding or like fever? Perhaps a relative you were taking care of?

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Back in October, Hurricane Michael flattened parts of the Florida Panhandle and southern Georgia. Communities there are still recovering. And when Congress passed a major spending bill this month, it left out money for hurricane relief.

Greener Childhood Associated With Happier Adulthood

Feb 25, 2019

The experience of natural spaces, brimming with greenish light, the smells of soil and the quiet fluttering of leaves in the breeze can calm our frenetic modern lives. It's as though our very cells can exhale when surrounded by nature, relaxing our bodies and minds.

Vice President Pence traveled to Bogotá, Colombia, on Monday and urged regional leaders to support Juan Guaidó, the self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela, vowing that the U.S. will stand with the opposition leader "until your libertad is restored."

Pence also announced U.S. sanctions against several border-state governors aligned with embattled Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro who are said to be involved in blocking shipments of humanitarian aid from reaching Venezuelans.

When copywriter Kelli Johnson moved to Los Angeles, she didn't tell her parents that she'd be living with her boyfriend. Johnson, 27, grew up in Bakersfield, a couple of hours' drive north.

"It's very conservative, very religious — my parents as well," she says.

In Los Angeles, she pays the rent, and her boyfriend chips in his half on Venmo.

"And when he did it, he put it in the memo line," Johnson says. "The month plus the little house emoji, and that's how my mom saw."

Her mom uses Venmo too. Johnson was busted.

Updated at 5:46 p.m. ET

The Florida state attorney's office in Palm Beach says New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution, days after police alleged surveillance video had caught Kraft during two visits to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla.

State Attorney Dave Aronberg said at a news conference Monday that Kraft, a resident of Massachusetts who also has a home in Palm Beach, is among 25 people facing first-degree misdemeanor charges of soliciting another to commit prostitution.

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About halfway through John le Carré's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, its wise old hero George Smiley is discussing the inherent paradox of the cover stories that spies adopt. "The more identities a man has," Smiley says, "the more they express the person they conceal."

This fan-dance of identity — with its many concealments and revelations — is central to American Spy, an excitingly sharp debut novel by the talented newcomer Lauren Wilkinson.

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Laura Lucero Y Ruiz De Gutierrez has a heart condition and fibromyalgia and is at high risk of developing diabetes. She has health insurance through her husband's job. But between the $800 monthly premium for the couple's coverage and the $2,100 deductible she has to pay down before insurance starts picking up the tab, she doesn't feel she can afford to go to the doctor when she needs to.

Updated at 6:32 p.m. ET

R&B star R. Kelly has been released from jail after posting the required bail of $100,000 — 10 percent of the bond. He entered a not-guilty plea Monday in response to being charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

The singer was indicted last Friday in Cook County, Ill. Three of the alleged victims were under age 17 at the time of the alleged incidents, which prosecutors say span 1998 to 2010.

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North Korea's main nuclear reactor for making weapons-grade plutonium may be operating, just days before this week's summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

A county judge in Kansas has dismissed murder and other criminal charges against the designers and operators of a 17-story waterslide that killed a 10-year-old boy, saying that a grand jury was shown evidence that was prejudicial.

Caleb Schwab was decapitated in 2016, when the raft he was riding on the Verruckt waterslide went airborne and hit a metal pole supporting a safety net at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kan. Two women who were in the raft with the boy were injured.

New security measures at the Department of Defense that limit the release of military records about U.S. troops deployed abroad could put the accuracy of the 2020 census "at risk," according to a newly released internal Census Bureau document.

Requiring only men to register for the draft is unconstitutional, a federal judge has ruled.

The Military Selective Service Act states that men in the U.S. ages 18 through 25 must register in case the country needs a military draft. Women face no such requirement. On Friday, a federal judge in Texas ruled that a males-only draft violates the equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

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Kelly O'Brien graduated from college six years ago with a political science degree and $28,000 in student loan debt.

"It was stressful, because coming out and having to have a payment of about $217 a month, it just seemed like a lot of money to pay back when you don't really know where you were going to be working, how much you're going to be making," she says.

So when O'Brien got a job at Fidelity Investments a year and a half ago, she was happy to learn she would be eligible to have the company contribute to her student loan payments.

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