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Governor Robert Bentley proposed lottery seems to be moving toward final passage in the Alabama Legislature.  But not without some push back, Senator Quinton Ross from Montgomery says at issue are some of the gaps in the proposed bill.  Among issues with the bill, Democrats are pushing for protection for existing gaming centers.  Legislators could give final approval to the bill Friday.  

The Alabama House of Representatives has narrowly approved Governor Robert Bentley's proposed state lottery.  Thursday night, Representatives voted 64-35 for the bill after 10 hours of contentious debate.  Bentley is seeking the first statewide vote on a lottery since 1999.  He proposed a lottery as a method of providing funds to the state's Medicaid program. Senator Vivian Figures said earlier this week, aside from the lottery issue, her bill would have generated funds for the state's Medicaid program.

The lottery legislation is being debated in the Alabama House of Representatives Thursday. A number of lawmakers are voicing their concern about the measure. The vote could determine if a proposed state lottery goes before voters later this year or if the bill dies in the special session. Alabama would become the 45th state with a lottery if lawmakers and voters approve the idea.

The Montgomery chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers will be hosting its annual Engineering Day also known as "E-Day" this Saturday, August 27th at Oak Park in Montgomery.  The free event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Pavilion number Four south of the Planetarium.  The event is aimed at increasing minority students participation in exploring careers in science, technology, engineering and math.  Students from Kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to a number of activities including making slime, launching water bottle rockets and testing hoop gliders.

Lottery legislation is heading to a critical vote in the Alabama House of Representatives.  Thursday's vote could determine if a proposed state lottery goes before voters later this year or if the bill dies in the special session.  Secretary of State John Merrill held a press conference Wednesday shedding light on the debate over whether there was still time to get the measure on the November ballot.  Merrill said he is seeking the opinion of the state attorney general.  

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As players rose to stand for the national anthem at the 49ers-Packers game on Friday night, 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick pointedly remained seated.

His gesture was to protest the treatment of African Americans and minorities in the United States, as he told NFL.com after the game. Kaepernick has remained sitting during the anthem "in at least one other preseason game," according to the site.

Mississippi law enforcement has charged a local man with two counts of capital murder after two nuns were found dead in their home on Thursday.

Sister Paula Merrill and Sister Margaret Held, both 68, worked as nurse practitioners providing medical care at a clinic in Holmes County, one of the poorest in the country.

Their bodies "were discovered after they failed to show up for work at a clinic in Lexington, Mississippi, about 10 miles from where they lived," as The Associated Press reported.

One of America's most distinguished men of letters says he believes that speech, not evolution, has made human beings into the creative, imaginative, deliberate, destructive, and complicated beings who invented the slingshot and the moon shot, and wrote the words of the Bible, Don Quixote, Good Night Moon, the backs of cereal boxes, and Fifty and Shades of Grey.

Remember the toucan in Costa Rica who had its upper beak hacked off by a perpetrator who was never found?

Well, here's an update to a story we first told you about last year. And, spoiler alert — it has a happy ending.

Local residents brought the bird to a nearby animal rescue center. And thanks to its dedicated workers, amazing doctors and engineers, the toucan now has a prosthetic beak.

Italy has started to bury its dead following a devastating earthquake on Wednesday that killed at least 290 people and left whole towns in ruins. The country has declared Saturday a national day of mourning for the quake's victims.

Reporting from a state funeral in the town of Ascoli Piceno, NPR's Eleanor Beardsley described a community overcome with grief. She said the service was held in a gymnasium, where 35 caskets were laid out. "People cried and held each other," Eleanor said.

Bangladeshi police say they have killed the suspected "mastermind" of an armed attack on a café in the capital last month that left at least 22 people dead.

They say two other suspected militants were killed in the standoff. As top counterterrorism official Monirul Islam told The Associated Press, "police sharpshooters raided a two-story house in Narayanganj district near the capital, Dhaka, after receiving a tip that Tamim Chowdhury, a Bangladeshi-born Canadian, and others were hiding there."

Art can enlighten, soothe, challenge and provoke. Sometimes it can transform a community.

Case in point: a 5.5-square-mile island called Naoshima in Japan's Seto Inland Sea.

Once upon a time, the biggest employer on Naoshima was a Mitsubishi metals processing plant. Actually, it's still the biggest employer, just not nearly as big as it once was.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and in The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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