NPR News

Updated at 1:08 p.m. ET

Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez has been elected president of Cuba, officially ending the Castro family's decades of domination of the country's highest office. The Communist Party formally announced the presidency's transition from Raúl Castro on Thursday, in what might better be described as a coronation than an election.

Depending on who you are and how your heart is built, you might know this modus operandi well: it's easier to be nice to other people than to yourself. If that's an idea you can relate to, you'll find something in common with Erika Wennerstrom. She says each song on her new album Sweet Unknown is a mantra about being kinder to yourself.

Updated at 10:05 p.m. ET

Alabama has executed 83-year-old serial bomber Walter Leroy Moody by lethal injection.

Moody is the oldest inmate executed in the U.S. since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

It's getting easier to find top-notch, handcrafted whiskey, bourbon, vodka, and other spirits made in the U.S. With more than 1,500 craft distillers across the country, the American spirits movement is on the rise, and in Vermont, the industry is booming.

Over the past 15 years, the number of licensed distilleries in the Green Mountain State has increased nearly tenfold: from just three to more than 24, according to Vermont's Distilled Spirits Council.

Incomplete questionnaires for the 2020 census, including those that leave the controversial citizenship question unanswered, will still be included in the upcoming U.S. headcount, the Census Bureau's top official confirmed Wednesday to lawmakers.

Updated at 5:40 p.m. ET

The felony invasion-of-privacy case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens can continue, Circuit Judge Rex Burlison ruled in St. Louis on Thursday. Many of Greitens' fellow Republicans have urged him to resign; he has refused.

Burlison announced he would not dismiss the case in response to a motion from Greitens' defense team, reports St. Louis Public Radio's Jason Rosenbaum.

In the annals of American culture, Kendrick Lamar's unprecedented Pulitzer win in music for DAMN. will stand alongside a recent influx of hip-hop firsts: Jay-Z's 2017 induction into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame, LL Cool J's 2017 Kennedy Center Honors and the entire slew of artists who — to paraphrase a George Clinton classic — helped paint the White House rap during Obama's presidency.

Room 615 in Vladivostok's Hotel Gavan is a cramped, two-room "business suite" with green wallpaper and carpeting. Yet when former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il traveled to Russia's Pacific coast in 2002, the modest digs served as his presidential suite.

Wyatt Cenac knows his aesthetic, and his aesthetic seems to be "PBS in the 1970s."

The logo of his new HBO series Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas looks precisely like the public television of a couple decades ago, with its friendly-looking sans serif lowercase letters in earthy colors. The set is the same way, looking much like one that a host might have wandered around to talk about the beginnings of the world or the ways of the penguin.

Just a year ago, after sifting through almost seven-thousand video entries to the Tiny Desk Contest, we discovered Tank and the Bangas. The band would go on to win the Contest and the response was one of overwhelming joy. The way this New Orleans group blends hip-hop, R&B, poetry, jazz and rock is unlike anything I'd seen before and I wasn't alone.

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