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Wednesday's Democratic presidential debate in Atlanta took place in the middle of a flurry of impeachment hearings and less than three months away from the first primary votes.

On the outskirts of Istanbul, a recently opened boarding school cares for dozens of Uighur children whose parents are imprisoned in China’s northwestern Xinjiang province. 

In the dormitory, they sleep four boys to a room on bunk beds. A list of chores is taped to the wall. But heavy on the students’ minds is the fate of their parents, who are caught in China’s widespread system of forced labor and "reeducation" camps that have detained more than a million members of a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority. 

Battling criticism over his association with Jeffrey Epstein, Britain's Prince Andrew said Wednesday that he is stepping away from his public duties "for the foreseeable future."

The announcement comes amid public scrutiny that has been building for months around the prince's ties to Epstein, who killed himself in a jail cell this summer.

When we hear a sentence, or a line of poetry, our brains automatically transform the stream of sound into a sequence of syllables.

But scientists haven't been sure exactly how the brain does this.

Now, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, think they've figured it out. The key is detecting a rapid increase in volume that occurs at the beginning of a vowel sound, they report Wednesday in Science Advances.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The public phase of the House impeachment inquiry has pushed Republican Jim Jordan to center stage.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JIM JORDAN: You use clear language, clear understanding and commitment. And those two things didn't happen, so you had to be wrong.

Archie Williams likes his odds. He's made it through two rounds in the legendary Amateur Night competition at New York's Apollo Theater, where he'll perform Wednesday evening. "I'mma win," he says, chuckling. "That's how I feel."

Willams, 58, says it's always been his dream to sing on that vaunted stage. But his backstory is different from the average contestant's: His Apollo debut comes after 36 years in prison for a 1982 crime he didn't commit.

Israel is set to continue without a government and may be heading to new elections after Benny Gantz, rival of longtime Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Wednesday that he missed a deadline to form a government.

Netanyahu, who is facing the possibility of imminent indictment on corruption charges, also failed to form a coalition following the hotly contested election in September.

The author of a sweeping new U.N. study on the detaining and jailing of children worldwide acknowledges that he erred in saying the U.S. is holding more than 100,000 children in migration-related detention. The author, human rights lawyer Manfred Nowak, says he wasn't aware at the time that the number was from 2015. He adds that it reflected the number of children detained during the entire year.

The Grammy Awards' category for new artists has always been the Hufflepuff house of the event, a mishmash of eccentrics, high achievers and hard-working young music industry favorites. (Notorious category winners Milli Vanilli did work hard, just not at singing.) Rarely has the field clearly pointed toward an exciting new musical era. But this year, that's exactly what it suggests.

President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and much of officialdom was "in the loop" throughout the Ukraine affair, a key witness told Congress on Wednesday in watershed testimony.

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, rejected the idea that he was part of any back channel or shadow effort.

He said he conferred with the State Department and the National Security Council all this year as he and other envoys worked to try to get concessions for Trump from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

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