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In this year's election cycle, international trade has emerged as a top campaign issue.

So journalists with NPR and several public-radio member stations set out this week to examine trade matters as part of our special election-year series: A Nation Engaged.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.

Following a national nomination process, the Bank of England has announced the new face of the £20 bill: famed painter Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), known for his landscapes, seascapes and innovative depiction of light.

Turner will replace economist Adam Smith, the influential advocate of free market policies who came up with the notion of the "invisible hand."

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

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

The battle over religious freedom and LGBT rights has moved from Arizona and Mississippi to Missouri. Conservatives there are backing an amendment to the state Constitution that would protect certain people — clergy, for instance — who refuse to take part in same-sex marriages.

But the measure has run into some unexpected — and unexpectedly stiff — opposition, from a longtime ally of the religious right: the business community.

"Junk food? Not at McDonald's!"

At least, that's what the fast-food chain hopes to convince Israel's health minster.

The gutsy slogan appeared at the top of full-page advertisements in Israeli newspapers last weekend after health minister Yakov Litzman called for a boycott of McDonald's in Israel – part of a new push to combat ballooning obesity and unhealthy eating habits in the country.

Some people with cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis have better access to high-cost specialty drugs in marketplace plans this year, yet a significant proportion of these plans still place many expensive drugs in cost-sharing categories that require the highest patient out-of-pocket costs.

The first cruise ship to sail between the U.S. and Cuba in more than 50 years can now carry passengers who were born in Cuba, after the island nation eased its ban against native-born Cubans returning by boat. The cruise ship, operated by Carnival, is set to depart Miami for Cuba on May 1.

It only opened around six months ago — and now comes word that Apple's iTunes Movies store in China is closed at least temporarily, along with its iBooks Store. The company has issued a statement saying that it hopes to reopen the movie and book services soon.

The closure was reportedly ordered by the Chinese government last week; according to local media, it comes just as a controversial Hong Kong film that's been censored in China is being released on Apple's Hong Kong iTunes service.

Do Felons Make Good Employees?

Apr 22, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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

Uber drivers will stay independent contractors, not employees, in California and Massachusetts, just as the ride-booking company had maintained they were. Uber is settling class action lawsuits by drivers in the two states for a maximum of $100 million.

In a statement, the company says it will pay the plaintiffs $84 million, plus another $16 million if Uber goes public and within a year increases in value by one and a half times over its worth in December.

FBI Director James Comey said Thursday that the federal government paid a steep fee for help accessing data on the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino attackers.

Just how steep?

"Let's see, more than I will make in the remainder of this job which is seven years and four months, for sure," Comey said at a talk at the Aspen Institute in London.

Considering the FBI director makes around $185,000 a year, that means the bureau shelled out more than $1 million for help cracking into the terrorist's iPhone, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

In coming weeks, the White House is expected to finalize key new rules on overtime pay that could benefit an estimated 6 million lower-paid salaried workers. Workers' advocates say it's a long-awaited change. Most employer groups vocally oppose the new rules, because they might have to raise their minimum salaries, pay overtime — or limit their workers' hours.

Much of the debate has pitted workers against employers.

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

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

Top executives at the biggest Wall Street firms would have to wait four years to collect most of their bonus pay and could be forced to return the money in the event of wrongdoing, under proposed rules unveiled by federal regulators.

The rules, which were released Thursday by the National Credit Union Administration for public comment, say senior executives at firms worth more than $250 billion must wait to collect 60 percent of their bonus pay.

Executives at firms valued at $50 billion to $250 billion would have to wait three years to receive half their bonuses.

A buyback of emissions-cheating cars was one solution Volkswagen offered in federal court Thursday, outlining an agreement between the carmaker and the Justice Department over hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles that were sold in the U.S. despite not meeting pollution standards.

Car owners would be able to choose between having their vehicle fixed or accepting a buyback; financial details weren't revealed about the plan, which both the government and VW are calling an "agreement in principle."

Look into an infant's eyes, and there you'll find the stirring of a new life. Look into the eyes of that infant's parent, and you may just find something else: financial terror. Having a child can change everything in a family, especially the budget.

Yami Chavarria and Anthony Rivas are navigating this lovely — and frightening — time together. Chavarria was 39 weeks pregnant — in other words, really pregnant — and was cooing over the super-cute, hand-painted onesies her friends made at her baby shower.

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

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

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

Treasury To Give $20 Bill A New Look

Apr 21, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Curt Schilling, the MLB pitcher turned analyst for ESPN, was fired by the network after sharing a post on Facebook that appeared to comment on North Carolina's law that bars transgender people from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

No impurities, no chemicals, no artificial colors, no electricity, no gas, no phone and ... no clothes?

That's the premise of a pop-up restaurant, called The Bunyadi, that's scheduled to open in central London in June.

"We believe people should get the chance to enjoy and experience a night out without any impurities ... and even no clothes if they wish to," said restaurant founder Seb Lyall in a press release.

And, apparently, many people do so wish.

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.

Lowe's home improvement company, like a growing number of large companies nationwide, offers its employees an eye-catching benefit: Certain major surgeries at prestigious hospitals are free.

How do these firms do it? With a way of paying that's gaining steam across the health care industry, and that Medicare is now adopting for hip and knee replacements in 67 metropolitan areas, including New York, Miami and Denver.

Conor McGregor, one of the world's biggest mixed martial arts stars, shocked fans on Tuesday when he said he was retiring.

"I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya's later," he tweeted.

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