NPR Staff

Sharon Long found her calling later in life. Back in the 1980s, she was a single mom trying to support her two kids, holding down several jobs at once — none of which she liked much.

"I worked at the Dairy Queen, and I cleaned a dentist's office, and I was a secretary," Long recalls, on a recent visit with StoryCorps. "I hated every morning I got up."

But, as she tells her colleague Steve Sutter, everything changed for her at age 40. When she she took her daughter to register for college, a financial aid officer convinced Long to enroll herself.

The NPR Politics team is back with a quick take following Sen. Ted Cruz's announcement that if he wins the nomination, Carly Fiorina will be his running mate. Most candidates wait until they actually get the nomination to pick a VP, so what's with all the fanfare? Cruz's announcement came just a day after he all five states that voted in the Northeast primaries.

On the podcast:

  • Political Editor Domenico Montanaro
  • Campaign Reporter Scott Detrow

Catch up with these interviews from NPR's special election coverage of the primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, hosted by Scott Detrow and Audie Cornish.

Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania and Clinton supporter

On why Sanders has done so well with young voters

To wrap up our series on public health in Baltimore, Audie Cornish met up with Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen in Freddie Gray's neighborhood of Sandtown-Winchester. The health department recently opened a new outpost of its violence prevention program Safe Streets there, employing ex-offenders to mediate conflicts before they erupt in violence.

If you came of age in the 1960s, chances are you think about rock 'n' roll as the music of youth, of rebellion, of fighting the establishment. But in Nigeria, which was in the middle of a civil war, rock was one of the ways in which people expressed their politics.

It's officially prom season. And for girls especially, that means one thing in particular: dresses — lots of dresses.

Because it's been, well, more than a few years since the Weekend Edition staff had been to a prom themselves, NPR's Rachel Martin reached out to the person who would know best what's trending this year: Justina Sharp, a teen fashion writer who's been blogging on the topic at A Bent Piece of Wire since she was 13 years old.

For hundreds of years, Timbuktu has had a place in the world's imagination. Located on the southern edge of the Sahara desert, the city flourished as a center of Islamic culture and scholarship in the 13th through 16th centuries. It was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988, recognized for the University of Sankore, which had as many as 25,000 students who studied the Quran, as well as the historic Djingareyber and Sidi Yahia mosques.

This week, the NPR Politics team discusses Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton's big wins in the New York primary and looks ahead to next Tuesday, when five states hold primaries and more than 500 delegates are at stake.

Also on the podcast, a rant from Elizabeth Warren about Ted Cruz and whether or not 1,237 really is the magic number for winning the Republican nomination.

On the podcast:

  • White House Correspondent Tamara Keith
  • Campaign Reporter Sam Sanders

This story is part of "The View From," an election-year project focused on how voters' needs of government are shaped by where they live. The series started in Illinois and this week, NPR took a road trip across three Appalachian states.

When Owen Husney first met Prince Rogers Nelson, the musician was barely old enough to vote — and still going by his government name. "When you meet someone before they became the unapproachable icon, you tend to have a different relationship with them," he says.

Journalist Michael Kinsley — the founder of Slate and former editor of Harper's and The New Republic — says he's a "scout for his generation." Kinsley was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease when he was in his 40s. Now in his 60s, he writes that he had the opportunity to experience old age before the rest of his fellow baby boomers.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II turns 90 this week, and like many of us do on our birthdays, she'll be celebrating with some cake.

This year the task of coming up with a cake fit for a queen fell to Nadiya Hussain, the winner of the most recent season of the wildly popular TV show The Great British Bake Off.

Earlier this month, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, who came to the U.S. as an Iraqi refugee and is currently a student at the University of California, Berkeley, was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight because another passenger overheard him speaking on his cellphone in Arabic.

Catch up with these interviews from NPR's New York primary night special coverage, hosted by Scott Detrow.

We know that a third party helped FBI crack the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. But many questions remain. Should the FBI reveal the software loopholes, or vulnerabilities, of the iPhone to Apple? If yes, then what's the process? Can the hackers hold onto the technique and re-sell it in the future? And who can own a software vulnerability to begin with?

James Brown always wanted to take the stage last.

Hidden Brain host Shankar Vedantam takes you on vacation with him to Alaska. You'll hike on top of a glacier, drink from a cool stream, and talk with fellow tourists from around the world. But the trip comes with an upsetting observation: Glaciers in Alaska are retreating. The Mendenhall glacier, visited by tens of thousands of tourists each year, has receded more than a mile and a half in the last half century.

"It's sort of just collapsed in on itself," says John Neary, director of the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

When Newbery award-winning author Kate DiCamillo talks to kids about how she became a writer, she sometimes shows them a photo of her own family.

"I would put up this picture of my mother, my brother and me and I would say to them, 'Who's missing?' " she tells NPR's Kelly McEvers. "Clearly it's my father." And kids get that right away.

DiCamillo was always getting sick as a child, and when she was 6 years old, her family moved from Philadelphia to Florida in hopes that it would help her get healthy.

The city of Boston and the friends and family members of the marathon bombing victims will never forget the day when two explosions ripped through the crowd at the race, killing three people and injuring more than 200. Neither will the family of Sunil Tripathi, but for very different reasons. Their story is told in the documentary film Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi.

When they wouldn't hire her because she was a woman, she threatened her superiors. When the media asked her a stupid question, she gave them an earful. And when she thought she had contracted HIV/AIDS, she said, "if that's what happened, that's what happened."

It has been nearly a year since the death of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore man whose death in police custody set off days of street protests that turned violent. Since then, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the city's mayor, decided against a re-election bid, leaving a vacancy that's drawn more than a dozen Democrat candidates.

Among them is DeRay Mckesson, perhaps the most visible member of the Black Lives Matter movement. Since leaving a high-profile education job, Mckesson has amassed hundreds of thousands of loyal Twitter followers attracted to his brand of activism.

In Everybody Wants Some!!, high school baseball star Jake arrives at college for his freshman year. He moves into the team house where there's a lot of sitting around, drinking and Ping-Pong.

For this group of guys, the first couple of days before the school year starts are all about meeting girls and figuring out who they're going to be for the rest of the year ... and maybe the rest of their lives. But, really it's about meeting girls.

Ahead of Tuesday's primary in New York, the presidential candidates have been clocking time upstate, where a lot of small towns have been gutted by the loss of manufacturing jobs in recent years. On this issue, the candidates are united.

Hillary Clinton has vowed to "fight for more help" in upstate New York if she wins the nomination, and Ted Cruz has called to bring manufacturing jobs "back from China and Mexico."

One of those towns is Massena, where big plant closures have meant residents either reinvent themselves, or move.

Pride and Prejudice is Jane Austen's most beloved novel, and now it's getting an update. The new book, Curtis Sittenfeld's Eligible, is the result of a match made by The Austen Project, which pairs popular authors with Austen's books. When the project reached out to Sittenfeld about rewriting Pride and Prejudice, she says she felt like she'd won the lottery.

If Jeopardy!'s Alex Trebek gives the appearance of someone who has been hosting game shows all his life — that's because he has. Trebek's first hosting gig was in 1966 on a show for Canadian high schoolers called Reach for the Top. "We discovered that I was fairly good at that," he tells NPR's Rachel Martin.

Attention, Students: Put Your Laptops Away

Apr 17, 2016

As laptops become smaller and more ubiquitous, and with the advent of tablets, the idea of taking notes by hand just seems old-fashioned to many students today. Typing your notes is faster — which comes in handy when there's a lot of information to take down. But it turns out there are still advantages to doing things the old-fashioned way.

The hit HBO series Game of Thrones, and the book series that it's based on, George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, features a sprawling cast of characters jostling for power. There are so many, in fact, that just who is the protagonist is a source of debate among GoT fans.

This story is part of an election-year project focused on how voters' needs of government are shaped by where they live. NPR will explore parts of the country not on the primary calendar and not crowded with journalists following each twist of campaign season. First up: Illinois, the state that most broadly represents America in terms of race, income, age, religion and education.

In 1991, a political drama mesmerized the nation. A law professor named Anita Hill had made a stunning accusation — that Clarence Thomas, then a Supreme Court nominee, had sexually harassed her when she worked for him at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The events that ensued are now the subject of the HBO film Confirmation, which premieres Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. Kerry Washington, who you probably know best as Olivia Pope on Scandal, plays Hill, who was very reluctant to reveal this decade-old secret.

The farm-to-table trend has exploded recently. Across the country, menus proudly boast chicken raised by local farmers, pork from heritage breed pigs, vegetables grown from heirloom varieties. These restaurants are catering to diners who increasingly want to know where their food comes from — and that it is ethically, sustainably sourced.

But are these eateries just serving up lies?

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