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The colorful scene melded two time-honored Texas traditions: political protest and the quinceañera.

With skirts flouncing, 15 young women ascended the steps of the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Wednesday morning to a traditional Mexican birthday song played in a mariachi style.

But there was no birthday to celebrate. Instead, the girls had gathered to protest a controversial immigration enforcement law that goes into effect September 1.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And we're going to speak next with two new additions to the NPR family. Pioneering New York City hip-hop radio DJ Stretch Armstrong - hey there, Stretch.

ADRIAN BARTOS, BYLINE: Are we doing this right now?

On Monday morning, the employees of a Louisville, Colo., office arrived to a confusing scene.

Two glass doors of their office were smashed, suggesting a break-in — but nothing was missing.

A review of the security footage shows a goat appearing hell-bent on breaking through the Argonics Inc. office doors.

California's Obamacare exchange scrubbed its annual rate announcement this week, the latest sign of how the ongoing political drama over the Affordable Care Act is roiling insurance markets nationwide.

British journalist and scientist Zeeya Merali isn’t content writing about easy subjects. Merali is a theoretical cosmologist, and her latest book tackles the possibility that scientists are getting closer to the day when they may be able to create a tiny universe in the laboratory. She does a deep dive into the implications — about creation, faith and morality.

The BBC has released salary information for its on-air talent for the first time, igniting simultaneous debates over the size, and the fairness, of the salaries — particularly over a conspicuous gender gap.

The public broadcaster has always included executive salaries in its annual report*. But this year, the government required the public broadcaster to reveal what the highest-paying presenters and actors make, too.

The resulting list includes approximate salary ranges for all 96 radio and TV staff making more than $195,000 a year.

It's hard to believe, but before the 1950s, guitars were rarely heard in British music. Billy Bragg says the first guitars to hit the British pop scene came as a part of skiffle, a musical movement inspired by African-American roots musicians.

The new novel “Less” by Andrew Sean Greer follows hapless hero Arthur Less as he travels the world in a quest to avoid his his ex-lover’s wedding. The Washington Post called the book “thoroughly delightful.”

Why Don't Humans Sleep Like Other Primates?

22 hours ago

Humans sleep differently than other kinds primates, and that’s led researchers to wonder: Why did our branch of the family tree evolve to sleep the way we do? Is there some evolutionary advantage?

Max Green (@MaxRaphaelGreen) from The Pulse at Here & Now contributor WHYY explores the answers to those questions.

Over a span of roughly a half-century, at least 547 boys at a famed Catholic choir school experienced some form of significant abuse, according to an independent investigation released Tuesday. The 440-page report details an environment that some former pupils likened to a "prison, hell and a concentration camp," which persisted for decades under the direction of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's older brother.

Tymia McCullough fidgets in front of a mirror in her hotel room as her mom, Susie Pitts, puts the final touches on her hair and nervously drills her on what she is going to say when she gets to Capitol Hill.

"And this is where you let them know that Medicaid is what?" Pitts asks.

"Health assurance," Tymia responds.

"Health insurance that does what?"

"It pays for the need to see your doctor," Tymia says.

Tymia is just 11 years old. She came to Washington last week to lobby Congress over health care. Her family saw it as a life-or-death fight.

After their bilateral summit at the G-20 meeting in Germany earlier this month, President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had another encounter — one that was previously undisclosed and reportedly went on for an hour. The two leaders were joined only by Putin’s own interpreter, which Ian Bremmer, president of political risk consultancy Eurasia Group, called a “breach of national security protocol.”

A 10-year-old boy from a drug-ridden Miami neighborhood apparently died of a fentanyl overdose last month, becoming one of Florida’s littlest victims of the opioid crisis, authorities say. But how he came into contact with the powerful painkiller is a mystery.

One of the primary reasons the Senate Republicans’ proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act failed to get enough votes is because of how it would have cut Medicaid spending. Children’s hospitals are particularly concerned about the possibility of Medicaid cuts, and the impact on children.

The Cost Of Steel Tariffs

23 hours ago

The Trump administration is talking tough tariffs on imported steel. Will that make America great again?

Homeowners in coastal communities are bracing for an increase in flooding as seas rise due to global warming. Already, the National Flood Insurance Program — which helps homeowners rebound from flood damage — is nearly $25 billion in debt. Much of that was racked up after paying for the damage of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

Republican Senators are having lunch with President Trump at the White House Wednesday, to try to figure out what the next steps are on health care after Senate efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act stalled.

The Supreme Court has upheld parts of a lower court order that had widened the definition of which citizens from the six Muslim-majority countries covered by the Trump administration's travel ban are still eligible to travel to the U.S.

The order issued Wednesday leaves in place the action of a U.S. District Court judge in Hawaii who broadened the definition of close family to include categories such as the grandparents and cousins of a person in the U.S.

A Thai army general and local politicians are among the dozens of people found guilty at a Bangkok court Wednesday in one of Thailand's largest human trafficking trials.

Thailand has faced international criticism for years over human trafficking in the country, and the rights group Fortify Rights called this trial an "unprecedented effort by Thai authorities to hold perpetrators of human trafficking accountable."

Updated at 12:40 p.m. ET

New Hampshire police had to contend with some unlikely fugitives on the lam on Tuesday: a small herd of bison.

As many as 16 of the massive animals fled a farm owned by Armand Bolduc, busting through a fence in the morning. For several hours, the bison were "scared and running" through front lawns, forests and busy roadways, according to the Gilford Police Department.

"It's terrible; it's a bad situation." That is how the creator of that situation, YouTube star Jake Paul, describes what his neighbors in West Hollywood are going through because of his rowdy lifestyle and made-for-video antics.

Job growth seems to be strong in one of Washington's specialized professions: defense attorneys for the White House. Investigations by Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller and several congressional committees are driving the demand.

One question is this: Who is paying for all those lawyers?

Those who have recently lawyered up include President Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Vice President Pence.

Coming to America to record her first official music seems so appropriate when you first hear to 19-year-old British singer Jade Bird. Her phrasing and accent feel as if they'd be as at home in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York as they would on Nashville radio.

It's hard to believe that the announcement that Twin Peaks was returning happened all the way back in October 2014. At that time, the oddball-TV classic from David Lynch and Mark Frost, which originally aired on ABC more than 25 years ago, was supposed to come back in "early 2016." But things happened, as things do, and the revival wound up premiering in May of 2017.

Kids Review Wow in the World

Jul 19, 2017

In May NPR launched Wow in the World, a new podcast for kids ages 5-12 that illuminates the wonders of science, technology, discovery and inventions. Through comedy and conversation, hosts Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas guide curious kids and their grown-ups away from their screens, inside their brains, out into space, and deep into the coolest new stories in science and technology.

A wildfire in the foothills near Yosemite National Park has consumed eight structures — and is threatening 1,500 more in tiny Mariposa, Calif.

The town's 2,000 residents have been ordered to evacuate because of the blaze known as the Detwiler Fire, and Gov. Jerry Brown has issued a state of emergency for Mariposa County.

Why Zika Is Especially Hard On The Women Of Brazil

Jul 19, 2017

Did the Zika virus put a heavier burden on women than it did on men when the virus swept through Brazil?

"Despacito," the Spanish-language summer smash by Puerto Rican stars Luis Fonsi and "king of reggaetón" Daddy Yankee, is now the most-streamed song in history.

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