Tom Dreisbach

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

What exactly happened over the weekend with Navy Secretary Richard Spencer and a Navy SEAL war crimes case depends on who you ask. Spencer, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and President Trump have all offered differing accounts. What is not in dispute - Spencer is out after the president personally intervened and ordered the Pentagon not to remove a Navy SEAL from the elite unit, which raises questions about what lines may have been crossed when the commander in chief decided to wade into the military's legal system.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says one of his "highest priorities" is to take on the leading cause of preventable death in the United States: smoking.

McConnell has sponsored a bill, along with Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, that would increase the tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Scott Pruitt, the current head of the Environmental Protection Agency, first came to national prominence back when he was Oklahoma's attorney general. In that role, he sued the agency he now runs 14 times, in a series of court cases alleging overreach by the federal government.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

An advisory panel convened by the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate the health risks of the powerful opioid painkiller Opana ER says that the danger it poses as a drug of abuse outweighs its benefits as a prescription painkiller.

The time-release opioid was reformulated in 2012 to make it harder to crush. The goal was to reduce abuse by snorting it. But users quickly figured out that the new formulation could be dissolved and injected.

When Kevin Polly first started abusing Opana ER, a potent prescription opioid painkiller, he took pills — or fractions of pills — and crushed them into a fine powder, then snorted it.

When Opana pills are swallowed, they release their painkilling ingredient over 12 hours. If the pills were crushed and snorted, though, the drug was released in a single dose.

"Just think about it," Polly says, "12 hours of medicine, and, 'BAM!' you're getting it all at once."

The message from park rangers, amateur metal detectors and regular fisherman at California's Lake Perris is unanimous: The water is lower than they've ever seen it.