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As clerical sex abuse scandals buffet the Catholic Church, a three-week assembly of bishops is under way in Rome on how to make the Church relevant for young people. But the assembly, known as a synod, will likely be dominated by what many analysts call Catholicism's worst crisis since the reformation.

Roughly 250 priests, bishops, cardinals and some younger laypersons are participating in the synod.

In the opening mass, pope Francis urged them "to dream and to hope."

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This morning, the winners of the Nobel Prize in economics were announced. The prize will be split by two economists, William Nordhaus and Paul Romer. Nick Fountain from our Planet Money podcast is with me now. Good morning, Nick.

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We're going to go now to a tragic story from upstate New York. Twenty people are dead after a limousine crash this weekend. Lucas Willard of member station WAMC has this story.

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The three-month confirmation fight is over, and Brett Kavanaugh is the newest associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Yesterday he was in his chambers preparing for oral arguments before this newly constituted court.

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More than two months since an Ebola outbreak was declared in an eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, health officials are still struggling to end it.

So far at least 130 people have been infected. Last week the World Health Organization declared that the risk has gone from "high" to "very high" that the disease will spread to other parts of the country and to neighboring countries.

Yet some key health officials remain optimistic that it won't actually come to that.

How is that possible?

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And NPR's Tim Mak is covering this story and has been listening along with us. What did you hear there, Tim?

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