Catholic bishops and other representatives of the world's more than 1 billion Roman Catholics are meeting in Rome on Sunday for the start of the Synod on the Family. This meeting will guide Church teaching on issues like marriage, divorce and contraception.

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This September alone, three high school football players died after injuries sustained on the field. The latest, a 17-year-old quarterback from New Jersey, suffered a ruptured spleen during a game just over a week ago.

In some high schools across the U.S., deaths such as these — and an increased focus on the risk of head injury and concussions — have raised concerns among parents and diminished interest in the sport. At others, like the Maplewood Richmond Heights High School in suburban St. Louis, the football programs have disbanded altogether.

Caron Butler has had a stellar career. The two-time NBA All-Star has contributed his talents on the court to the Miami Heat, the LA Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks, where he was part of a championship team in 2011.

Yet, before he got to the NBA, his life was headed in a very different direction. He had a rough upbringing in Racine, Wis., and took an unusual route to get to the pros, which included numerous drug arrests, a stint in prison and a close call that could have changed his entire life — all before he turned 18.

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The international medical aid group Doctors Without Borders is blaming U.S-allied forces for a deadly attack on one of its hospitals in Afghanistan. NPR's Michel Martin talks with the executive director of Doctors Without Borders, Jason Cone, about the latest developments in the incident.

Many Americans are reassessing Pope Francis' triumphant U.S. tour because of his meeting with Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis. Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee and a lifelong Catholic, shares his perspective and talks more faith and politics with host Michel Martin.

High school football is taking a hit across the U.S. as mounting research shows that the sport is linked to repeated head trauma and a number of deaths in the country. In St. Louis, a school district has disbanded its football team, citing injuries and waning demand for the sport.

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