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Tim Mueller has raised corn and soybeans on 530 acres near Columbus, Neb., for decades, but now he is planning to take a huge gamble.

The big-box retailer Costco is building a new chicken-processing plant in Fremont, Neb., about an hour away from Mueller's farm. The company plans to slaughter 2 million birds per week. To raise all those chickens, Costco is recruiting about 120 farmers to sign on as contract poultry farmers.

Mueller wants in. But to do that, he plans to take out a massive $2 million loan to finance the construction of four chicken barns.

Republicans in the Senate on Thursday unveiled their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare. The long-awaited plan marks a big step towards achieving one of the Republican party's major goals.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

Senate Republicans' health care bill may already be on life support, with four key lawmakers announcing their opposition just hours after the GOP's latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was released.

"Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor," Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Mike Lee, R-Utah; and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

A sniper with Canada's elite special forces is being credited with making a world record shot, after the military confirmed Thursday that he hit a target from nearly 2.2 miles away during a recent operation in Iraq.

Military sources tell Canada's The Globe and Mail newspaper that the sniper killed an ISIS insurgent during an attack on Iraqi security forces.

One of nature's most efficient life-support systems is the egg. Eggs evolved over 300 million years ago as vertebrate animals adapted to living on land. And since then, they've taken on numerous shapes, especially among birds.

Biologists have long wondered why there are so many shapes, and what determines each one. Hummingbirds, for example, have eggs like Tic Tacs. Birds called murres produce eggs shaped like big teardrops. Some eggs are more like pingpong balls.

Now, an international team of scientists believes it has solved the mystery of the eggs.

A North Carolina man who fired an AR-15 rifle inside a pizza restaurant in Washington, D.C., last year as he was "investigating" a baseless conspiracy theory has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Edgar Maddison Welch pleaded guilty in March to federal charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and transporting a firearm over state lines. The case is seen as a clear example of the potential real-world consequences of fake news stories.

Updated at 1:59 p.m. ET

President Trump gave a straight answer on Thursday about whether he has recordings of his private conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey — No.

The question of the existence of tapes arose on May 12, when shortly after firing Comey, Trump tweeted that the former FBI director "better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations."

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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