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Chad Dechow, a geneticist at Penn State University who studies dairy cows, is explaining how all of America's cows ended up so similar to each other.

He brings up a website on his computer. "This is the company Select Sires," he says. It's one of just a few companies in the United States that sells semen from bulls for the purpose of artificially inseminating dairy cows.

Dechow chooses the lineup of Holstein bulls. This is the breed that dominates the dairy business. They're the black-and-white animals that give a lot of milk.

Updated at 12:59 p.m. ET

Next year's G-7 gathering of the leaders of the world's biggest economies will take place at President Trump's Doral golf resort outside of Miami, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announced on Thursday.

"We used a lot of the same criteria used by past administrations," Mulvaney said. He later said it was almost as though the resort had been purpose-built for the event.

High rates of childhood obesity are a problem in a rising number of low- and middle-income countries, according to a new global assessment of child malnutrition by UNICEF. It's the agency's most comprehensive nutrition report in two decades.

Updated at 1:06 p.m. ET

White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announced Thursday that the 2020 Group of 7 conference will be held at President Trump's own resort, Trump Doral in Miami.

As NPR's Brett Neely reports, "The Trump administration's decision to host the high-profile international summit at Doral is sure to stoke the ongoing controversy about Trump's decision to maintain his ownership of his businesses while also serving as president."

Our small NPR reporting team arrived in Syria just in time to witness a historic moment in the long-running civil war. But we didn't think we would have to rush out so quickly.

Ambassador Gordon Sondland says he was directed by President Trump to talk to Rudy Giuliani about Trump's concerns over Ukraine, bypassing normal foreign policy channels.

That "disappointed him," he says — but even as he went along, he was kept out of Trump's strategy to pressure Ukraine to investigate the family of former Vice President Joe Biden.

Sondland says that he didn't know about it at the time and that for example, the account he received of Trump's now-famous phone call with Ukraine's president did not mention Trump's request about Biden.

Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, is speaking to Congress behind closed doors on Thursday as part of the House's impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

In his prepared remarks, the former businessman says: "as we go through this process, I understand that some people may have their own specific agendas: some may want me to say things to protect the President at all costs; some may want me to provide damning facts to support the other side. But none of that matters to me. ... Simply put, I am NOT here to push an agenda. I am here to tell the truth."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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