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The United Nations has confirmed that two of its employees, who were looking into violence and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, have been killed.

An American, Michael Sharp, and a Swede, Zaida Catalan, had gone missing earlier this month while traveling in the region. Tuesday, Congolese officials said their bodies, along with that of their interpreter, had been found in Central Kasai province.

Russians are still trying to understand exactly what happened over the weekend, when thousands of people — many of them teenagers — turned out for anti-government rallies in dozens of cities across the country.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

And now to the Iraqi city of Mosul. That is where Iraqi forces along with the U.S. coalition are in a battle to retake the city from ISIS.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

These are divisive times in the United Kingdom. Today, the Scottish Parliament voted to seek an independence referendum that could split the country apart. Tomorrow, the U.K. triggers Brexit, the process for breaking away from the European Union.

India's Cities Have A Honking Big Noise Problem

9 hours ago

America has some noisy neighborhoods — and Los Angeles is number one. That's what you can learn from a new noise map from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

I sympathize with the beleaguered ears of Los Angelenos — up to a point. That's because I live in India.

Ahmed Kathrada, a former political prisoner, politician, anti-apartheid activist and lifelong friend to Nelson Mandela, died Tuesday at a Johannesburg hospital at age 87. In recent years, he had expressed concerns about his country's direction, and called last year for the resignation of President Jacob Zuma.

One day before the U.K. is widely expected to formally begin its departure from the European Union, Scottish lawmakers took another crucial step toward voting on a departure of their own.

Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET

Just hours after South Korean officials announced they had found human bones and possessions in the corroded wreck of the Sewol, those same officials withdrew the claim Tuesday.

What appeared to be the "bones of a dead person on the deck" of the long-sunken ferry are actually from "an animal" instead, authorities said in a statement. The BBC reports the country's National Forensic Service conducted tests on the bones and found them to be animal bone fragments.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Ahmed Kathrada spent decades in jail with Nelson Mandela, then spent the first years of democracy helping to shape the country's government after the fall of apartheid. Kathrada, 87, died in Johannesburg on Tuesday morning.

According to a statement posted by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, he "passed away peacefully after a short period of illness, following surgery to the brain."

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