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Let's pause now to remember a British actor best known for playing a Spanish waiter in a 1970s BBC series that lasted only 12 episodes - Andrew Sachs. He died at age 86. As NPR's Ted Robbins tells us, his relatively small role left a big impression.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

If you're curious about what people really think about some of the hottest of hot-button food controversies, the Pew Research Center has just the thing for you: a survey of attitudes toward genetic modification, organic food and the importance of eating healthfully.

The survey results are published in a 99-page report that can keep you occupied for days. But if you're pressed for time, here are some of the most interesting highlights that caught our eye.

In the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, tens of thousands of people have fled a brutal, Russian-backed regime offensive against rebel-held parts of the city. Many have fled deeper into the tightening siege, which started over the summer. Others have sought safety on the government-held side.

My conversation with a woman who recently fled the siege begins with her asking how I am. She's safe now, but is still afraid to give her name. She fears for her son — still fighting with the rebels — and for other male relatives who've been detained by the regime for questioning.

The Dallas County District Attorney has reached an agreement to drop assault charges against former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, as long he as meets conditions such as attending an anger management course and a substance abuse program.

Each year, a glowing mass of clouds forms over the South Pole, high in the atmosphere, trapped between Earth and space.

From the ground they look wispy and shimmery, like a blue-white aurora borealis. From space, they look like an electric-blue gossamer haze.

Friday afternoon, four candidates for Democratic National Committee chair will gather in Denver to debate the future of the embattled party.

For Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the forum will be a chance to respond to a growing backlash against his bid to run the DNC.

Ellison appeared to be the early favorite when he entered the race. He earned endorsements from two powerful voices – Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

The jury in the murder trial of former North Charleston, S.C., police Officer Michael Slager told the judge on Friday afternoon that it's having trouble coming to a unanimous verdict.

They will resume deliberating Monday.

Slager is accused of murder for shooting Walter Scott multiple times as he ran away from the officer in 2015, after a routine traffic stop.

Retired Gen. James Mattis' nomination to be President-elect Donald Trump's secretary of defense may, well, march through the Senate, but there is one potential obstacle to maneuver around: the retired general part.

The National Security Act of 1947, which established the current national defense structure, had a key stipulation, requiring that the secretary of defense be a civilian well removed from military service. In fact, the law is quite clear:

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