President Obama, at the start of a four-stop trip to Asia, sought to reassure Japan that the U.S. is on its side in a dispute with China over the tiny Senkaku islands chain, which has led to bluster and naval jockeying between the two countries in recent years.

Growing up in West Virginia in the 1960s and '70s, Susan Brown would have a slice of salt rising bread, toasted, for Saturday morning breakfast. Her grandmother baked the bread with the mysterious and misleading name.

There's little or no salt in the recipe. No yeast, either. The bread rises because of bacteria in the potatoes or cornmeal and the flour that goes into the starter.

The taste is as distinctive as the recipe. Salt rising bread is dense and white, with a fine crumb and cheese-like flavor.

Thousands of nonviolent drug offenders serving time in federal prison could be eligible to apply for early release under new clemency guidelines announced Wednesday by the Justice Department.

Details of the initiative, which would give President Obama more options under which he could grant clemency to drug offenders serving long prison sentences, were announced by Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

An American journalist operating in eastern Ukraine has been kidnapped by pro-Russian gunmen, the separatists said Wednesday.

Simon Ostrovsky, working for Vice News, was seized at gunpoint early Tuesday by masked men in the restive eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now we'd like to go back to a story that we've turned to a number of times on this program. We're talking about the move in many countries in Africa to toughen legal penalties and increase the stigma against homosexuality.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, let's hear from a model and actress who also has Nigerian roots, Yaya Alafia. Last year was a breakout year for her with meaty roles in critically acclaimed films including Lee Daniels' "The Butler" and Andrew Dosunmu's "Mother of George." And she had a baby.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we turn to education for the youngest Americans. We're talking preschool here. President Obama has challenged the country to provide what he calls high-quality preschool for all 4-year-olds. He mentioned this in his last two State of the Union addresses. Here he is earlier this year.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

The Joys Of Spoiling

Apr 23, 2014

In the age of the Internet, the act of spoiling is easier than ever before. Through live-tweeting and message boards and comments sections, the information is out there and spreads quickly.

But why do some people enjoy revealing certain information about stories — surprises and finales and more — before others have had the opportunity to experience it?

We could tell you what we think now. But that would spoil the rest of this story.

Spoliation Nation

"A Rio de Janeiro slum erupted in violence late Tuesday following the killing of a popular local figure, with angry residents setting fires and showering homemade explosives and glass bottles onto a busy avenue in the city's main tourist zone," The Associated Press writes.

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NPR Stories

The angst of teenage life can be overwhelming. The angst of being an adult and watching teenagers — some of whom aren't old enough to vote in the U.S. — complete amazing feats of human strength and mental fortitude is ... well, also overwhelming. An impressive number of adolescents are not only competing in the 2018 Winter Games. In some cases, they're winning.

Nathan Chen rewrote the story of his Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, performing an unprecedented six quad jumps in his free skate and launching himself from 17th place and nearly winning a medal in the men's singles competition.

Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu repeated as the Olympic gold medalist in this event, on the strength of two riveting performances. Hanyu's teammate Shoma Uno won silver, and Spain's Javier Fernandez won bronze at the Gangneung Ice Arena in South Korea.

A Kentucky teenager faces two counts of murder and 14 counts of first-degree assault in charges stemming from a January 23 shooting at Marshall County High School, in Benton, Ky.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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Black Restaurant Week: Across U.S., Events Remind Diners, 'We're Here. Support Us'

Oakland is a city that's rapidly gentrifying, shedding much of its African-American population along the way. The California city, which was 47 percent black in 1980, is now divided roughly into a quarter each of black, white, Asian and Hispanic residents. The sense of the city's changing identity has ended up helping Adrian Henderson's business. He's co-owner of Kingston 11 Cuisine, a Caribbean restaurant in a neighborhood that's changed so much lately that it goes by the dual name of...

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DJ Sessions: The Legacy Of The Cello

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Top EPA Science Adviser Has History Of Questioning Pollution Research

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Courtney Barnett Announces New Album With A Collage Video For 'Nameless, Faceless'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZZSYDhx0FI You've no doubt seen this quote, from author Margaret Atwood, invoked whenever its stark truth becomes reality : "Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them." It cuts to the fragility and hegemony of the male ego, and the primal fear of retaliation that women suffer through because of it. (This extends not just to physical spaces, but online, to men cowering behind keyboards. ) Courtney Barnett has always...

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Inspector: 'Serious Derelictions' By VA Secretary Related To Overseas Travel

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This Fake Kim Jong Un Got An Icy Reception From North Korean Cheerleaders

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In One Of Chinatown's Oldest Landmarks, A New Generation Readies For Lunar New Year

On a cold evening in Manhattan's Chinatown, Mei Lum sits at the front counter of her family's century-old store. She's closed the porcelain shop for the night, and is tapping away on her laptop, tying up loose ends for the multi-day Lunar New Year celebrations she's organizing for both her family and the store. Lum, 27, can already picture the scenes that will unfold. Just as they have every year for decades, family and friends will gather in Wing on Wo & Co. tonight for an elaborate dinner....

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ICE Detains More Than 100 In Los Angeles-Area Immigration Raids

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Suspect Allegedly Confessed To Fla. School Shootings That Killed 17

Updated at 7 p.m. ET Court documents say the suspect in the shootings at a South Florida high school has confessed to investigators. Nikolas Cruz, 19, has been booked on 17 charges of premeditated murder at Broward County's Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. According to a court filing, "In a post-Miranda statement, Cruz stated that he was the gunman who entered the school campus armed with a AR-15 and began shooting students he saw in the hallways and on the school grounds. Cruz stated that...

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Is There Any Way For Schools To Prevent Shootings?

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Trump's Military Parade Could Cost As Much As $50 Million

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Trump Administration Sued Over Ending Funding Of Teen Pregnancy Programs

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Deaths From Gun Violence: How The U.S. Compares With The Rest Of The World

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