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Vladimir Munk remembers the day he walked free from Blechhammer, a sub-camp of Auschwitz in eastern Germany.

"I was happy," Munk says. He was sick and starving, but he had survived.

The Soviet Army liberated Auschwitz on Jan. 27, 1945. The concentration camp in Poland is where more than a million people, mostly Jews, were murdered during the Holocaust. This Monday, on the 75th anniversary of the liberation, Munk is traveling back to Auschwitz for the first time since he was imprisoned there.

In a case with potentially profound implications, the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority seemed ready to invalidate a provision of the Montana state constitution that bars aid to religious schools. A decision like that would work a sea change in constitutional law, significantly removing the longstanding high wall of separation between church and state.

Three firefighters helping fight Australia's bushfires were killed Thursday when the C-130 tanker aircraft they were operating crashed south of the capital, Canberra.

"Tragically, there appears to be no survivors as a result of the crash down in the Snowy Monaro area," Shane Fitzsimmons, the Rural Fire Services Commissioner for New South Wales state, said at a news conference.

He said the tanker "impacted heavily with the ground and initial reports are that there was a large fireball associated with the impact of the plane as it hit the ground."

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

Wuhan's public health authorities say they are in a "state of war" as they quarantine the Chinese city in an attempt to halt the spread of a never-before-seen strain of coronavirus.

"Strictly implement emergency response requirements, enter into a state of war and implement wartime measures to resolutely curb the spread of this epidemic," urged a committee of Wuhan's top officials. "Homes must be segregated, neighbors must be watched."

Amtrak will dump a policy that led to two people who use wheelchairs being told they'd have to pay $25,000 for a train ticket that usually costs just $16, the rail service announced Wednesday.

"After further review, Amtrak has determined to suspend the policy in question," said Amtrak spokesperson Marc Magliari. "It was never meant to be applied to this situation. And we apologize for the mistake."

He spoke shortly after a group of people with disabilities demonstrated outside an Amtrak station in Illinois, chanting: "We will ride."

Utah has become the 19th — and most conservative — state in the U.S. to ban "conversion therapy" for minors. The widely discredited practice, aimed at changing a patient's sexual orientation or gender identity, is now formally barred in the state after the new rule took effect late Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, who directed licensing regulators to make the change, confirmed the move to NPR on Wednesday.

One of the architects of the CIA's torture program for the accused Sept. 11 terrorists testified Wednesday in a Guantánamo Bay courtroom that he eventually came to believe that those torture techniques had gone too far and verged on breaking the law.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is defending his record on Social Security, amid increased criticism from the campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, which has repeatedly pointed to Biden's willingness as a U.S. senator to back spending freezes for Social Security and other entitlement programs.

The candidates' back-and-forth culminated — as most disputes in modern presidential campaigns do — in dueling Twitter posts Tuesday night.

Music is a kind of family inheritance for Georgia Barnes. The stories she tells of her relatives usually come back to music or dancing some way or another. Her dad used to play in an electronic group called Leftfield.

"My bedroom was actually Leftfield's studio," she says. "It was keyboards, drum machines, wires, bits of percussion, microphones."

More than three months after they began, protests in Iraq have escalated and taken a new turn this week. Anti-government demonstrators are attempting to force drastic change in a country whose government is in turmoil and grappling with a crisis between Iran and the United States.

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