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It was tense even before they started. Reporters tweeted out that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump entered the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner from separate sides of the room, and didn't even shake hands (which at this point, really isn't a surprise).

But there was hope that the event could serve as a comedic salve for the nation following three decidedly nasty presidential debates. The fundraising event for Catholic charities — now in its 71st year — traditionally is a time for the candidates to offer jokes about themselves and their opponent.

While political Washington is in a tizzy about the election and what it portends for the Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is prepping for her operatic debut in Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti's "The Daughter of the Regiment."

For one night in November, the diminutive legal diva will play the non-singing role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp, a character akin to the dowagers in Marx Brothers movies.

Mexico City's Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera is handing out plastic whistles. A half-million of them. At three bucks a pop, he's hoping that women will use the whistles to scare off harassers on the packed public transportation system.

When the plan was announced this summer, it received a flurry of scathing criticism and mocking memes on social media. But city officials are moving forward and have been handing out the whistles by the thousands at subway and bus stops.

To find Mosul's cops, you drive to a gray dot of a village in an endless desert. The village, Mahana, was retaken from the Islamic State a few months ago and for now it's the police base for cops who left Mosul when ISIS took over more than two years ago.

Iraq's army and its allies are now battling their way through rural areas toward the larger prize of retaking Mosul. Helicopters buzz back and forth from the frontlines. Every breath is bitter with smoke from oil wells set alight by ISIS.

Make no mistake. Gloria Steinem, noted feminist and author, does not see that a woman elected to the White House automatically means a win for feminists or women.

"This is not all about biology, and I think we have to be careful to always say that, because if Sarah Palin were the president it wouldn't signify change," she tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "If President Obama did not represent the majority views of Americans and of African-Americans, he would not represent change as he does. So it isn't about simple biology. It's about what we represent."

When Rosley Espinoza's daughter was very young, in preschool, she started acting differently. She seemed distracted and would get in trouble at school.

"Lack of interest, teachers' notes coming home with behavior notes," Espinoza says, speaking in Spanish.

She says she asked school officials to evaluate her daughter, Citlali, for special education, but they didn't.

It's the land of pop-up protests.

Using hashtags and spur-of-the-moment public demonstrations, Zimbabweans are demanding reforms — and the departure of 92-year-old president Robert Mugabe, who has led the country since its independence from Britain in 1980.

If there's one rule that most parents cling to in the confusing, fast-changing world of kids and media, it's this one: No screens before age 2.

As of today, that rule is out the window.

Whether your kid is 3 and obsessed with Daniel Tiger videos or 15 and spending half her conscious hours on Snapchat, you are probably somewhat conflicted about how to think about their media habits.

How much time? What kind of media? What should our family's rules be?

Beneath Gothic arches and metal walkways, a place of torment has been reclaimed as a place of creative ferment. In 1895, celebrated writer Oscar Wilde — author of The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray -- was convicted of homosexual activity and sentenced to two years in the infamous Reading Gaol.