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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

The European slug is average in every way: slimy, brownish, shorter than a credit card.

But Arion subfuscus has a minor superpower: When it's scared, it can glue itself to wet surfaces very well, and do so while remaining bendy.

The Trump administration's promise to turbocharge economic growth has yet to be fulfilled, even though forecasters are predicting that the economy has rebounded from a weak 1.4 percent annual growth rate in the first three months to a rate closer to 2.8 percent. That is the number many economists are expecting to see when the government issues its report on second-quarter growth on Friday.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

The nation's highest-ranking military officer said Thursday that the Defense Department was making "no modifications" to current policy regarding transgender service members until President Trump gives more direction.

Speaking at a news conference in Finland on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin derided the sanctions bill now in the U.S. Congress as "illegal under international law" — but he said Russia's response will depend on what ultimately gets passed.

"We haven't seen the final version yet, so we haven't got any kind of definitive view on it," Putin said, "but we can see that over a lengthy period they are trying to provoke us more and more."

This weekend, NPR Music is headed back to one of our favorite summer events: the Newport Folk Festival.

The deaths of 10 migrants in a sweltering 18-wheeler in San Antonio has raised a lot of questions. One of them: Why transport people in the back of a tractor-trailer, especially after they have already crossed the border?

One reason, experts say, is that entering the United States from Mexico illegally involves "two crossings." You must first cross the U.S./Mexico border, then one of the many Border Patrol checkpoints that exist farther into the United States.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is traveling to El Salvador to meet with law enforcement officials and discuss efforts to combat the MS-13 gang.

Hours after President Trump criticized Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski's vote on debating health care legislation, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke reportedly called Murkowski and fellow Alaskan Sen. Dan Sullivan to say their state could run into trouble with the Trump administration.

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