Local News

In Baltimore, Rec Centers Provide So Much More Than Just Fun

On a recent day at Baltimore's Lillian S. Jones Recreation Center, adolescent boys play basketball, while a group of girls play Monopoly at a nearby table. There's also air hockey, foosball and a computer room in back.Director Brandi Murphy says there are also swim classes, science lessons, arts and crafts. But the center gives the kids — students age 5 to 12 who come after school and in the summer — far more than fun things to do."We are mom, dad, aunt, cousin. They come here to get what...
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NPR News

More than a week after a deadly attack by an Islamic extremist at a Tunisian beachfront resort that killed 38 foreign tourists, the president of the North African country has declared a state of emergency.

President Beji Caid Essebsi's office says in a statement that he needed the powers that come with the declaration to more effectively deal with the threat from extremists.

Three cheers for Lawrence Herkimer, who did more than anyone to transform cheerleading into an art, a science and a multi-million dollar business.

He died of heart failure on Wednesday in Dallas at age 89, according to his family.

Looking back at the nationwide support for American troops in World Wars I and II, we see Americans of all stripes making patriotic contributions and sacrifices – farmers, factory workers and librarians.

In the dirty, crowded, and impoverished immigrant barrios of Buenos Aires of 1913, a 17-year-old girl arrives with little more than some clothes and her grandfather's violin.

Her name is Leda, and she's the character at the heart of Carolina de Robertis' third novel, The Gods of Tango.

Leda, an Italian girl, was sent for by her cousin-husband, but widowed before her ship even lands in South America. She soon finds comfort and excitement in a new kind of music that's filling the city's courtyards, bars and brothels: the tango.

When Secretary of State John Kerry goes to Havana to raise a flag over the soon to be reopened embassy this summer, it won't be just an important symbolic moment.

The administration says the U.S. will be able to station more American personnel in Cuba, and that should be a big help in practical terms as more Americans travel to and trade with the Cold War-era foe.

Greece's finance minister has accused his nation's creditors of "terrorism" for trying to "instill fear in people" ahead of a referendum on whether to accept the harsh terms of an international bailout designed to keep Athens in the eurozone.

Yanis Varoufakis, in an interview with the Spanish daily El Mundo, said that there was too much at stake for his country to be kicked out of Europe's common currency — "as much for Greece as for Europe, I'm sure."

My mother's family fled communism twice.

The first time was from China. Then, after Saigon fell in 1975, they left Vietnam.

My mother, Kuo Nam Lo, was 24 when she spent her first few months in the U.S. at a refugee camp at a military base along a stretch of the Appalachian Mountains in central Pennsylvania.

"I've always wanted to come back here," my mother told me in Cantonese on a recent drive through Fort Indiantown Gap. "Son, you've made my dream come true."

The Los Angeles Police Department's mental evaluation unit is the largest mental health policing program of its kind in the nation, with 61 sworn officers and 28 mental health workers from the county.

The unit has become a vital resource for the 10,000-person police force in Los Angeles.

Officer Ted Simola and his colleagues in the unit work with county mental health workers to provide crisis intervention when people with mental illness come into contact with police.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

It's Independence Day. Let's take a break from parades, patriotic songs and pyrotechnics to think about the Declaration of Independence, which was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Music News

June CD: Robert Glasper's "Covered"

One of the most important artists in music today returns with a brand new release on the Blue Note Label, and continues to move music forward. Pianist and composer Robert Glasper is hot off the heels of his Grammy-award-winning Black Radio 2 with his Experiment Band. Now he returns to his straight-ahead roots with Covered, recording once again with his original acoustic trio comprised of bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Damion Reid, who recorded Glasper’s first two releases for Blue Note...
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