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Rodney Carmichael and Sidney Madden are the hosts of Louder Than A Riot, a new podcast from NPR Music that investigates the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration in America.

It wasn't your typical crowd in the Rose Theater one afternoon last fall, for a sold-out concert by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. For one thing, every grown-up in the audience seemed to be accompanied by an excited child or two. Then there were the guest artists, whom everybody knew on a first-name basis: Big Bird, Elmo, Rosita, Oscar, Abby. Bert and Ernie.

During the 1990s, in the tiny town of Parma, Mich., Bob VanSumeren lost his way.

He dropped out of high school and started abusing drugs and alcohol. When Bob turned 18, his parents got a divorce and he became essentially homeless, mostly couch-surfing at friends' houses. It was around this time that he and his high school sweetheart, Jillian, broke up. Bob had fallen in with the wrong crowd.

Eventually, Bob robbed a gas station and a bank. He served nearly six years in prison for those crimes.

Back in May, school funding experts predicted a looming financial disaster for the nation's K-12 schools.

"I think we're about to see a school funding crisis unlike anything we have ever seen in modern history," warned Rebecca Sibilia, the founder of EdBuild, a school finance advocacy organization. "We are looking at devastation that we could not have imagined ... a year ago."

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Puppy Born In Italy With Green Fur

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President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden met for their second and final debate as tens of millions of Americans have already voted. A deeply divided country begins its final sprint to Election Day amid the coronavirus pandemic, and it's unclear how many voters have yet to make up their minds.

Here are five takeaways from the debate in Nashville, Tenn., a much different — and far more civil — night than the last encounter.

A record number of voters are expected to cast their ballots by mail this year, and in most states, election officials can begin processing that deluge of ballots in the weeks before Election Day.

But in a handful of states, election workers can't begin the work of opening envelopes, verifying signatures and removing secrecy sleeves, let alone counting, until the day of the election. In swing states where the margins of victory are likely to be close, those rules may mean it takes hours or days after the polls close before a winner is declared.

In the Hulu horror-comedy Bad Hair, a black woman's weave is more than just a weave. It's a status symbol. It's the key to a promotion. It's ... possessed by an evil spirit intent on sowing chaos?

Likewise, Bad Hair itself is more than a social satire. It's a visual and thematic pastiche of movies like The Fly and Rosemary's Baby. It's a loving sendup of black American pop music in the 1980s. It's a workplace comedy.

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President Trump and former Vice President Biden met for their final debate of the election season last night. And, U.S. officials warn Russian hackers have infiltrated state and local governments.

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The presidential candidates had a final chance to persuade Americans to vote for them at last night's debate. What did voters hear?

NPR's Rachel Martin looks back at last night's debate with Democratic strategist Karen Finney and Republican strategist Scott Jennings.

The U.S. Secretary of State is holding separate talks with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Washington on Friday, in an effort to halt the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Rachel Martin speaks with former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Mark McClellan about this week's FDA advisory panel on COVID-19 vaccine research.

A California appeals court says Uber and Lyft must classify their drivers as employees rather than independent contractors, siding with a lower court that found the ride-hailing companies were likely violating state labor law.


We got more news from the federal government tonight about cyberattacks on the U.S. election. Yesterday, the story was about efforts by Iran; tonight, we're learning more about attacks originating from Russia. NPR's Miles Parks covers voting and joins us now.

Hi, Miles.


SHAPIRO: What have you learned about the newest attacks?

Colleges are beginning to reveal their spring plans as the pandemic continues into the cooler months.

Ohio Wesleyan University — a small, private liberal arts school located in Delaware, Ohio — recently outlined its spring strategy to students and staff. President Rock Jones, who has been the university’s leader since 2008, says this year has been full of obstacles — not just for the university, but for the country.


By the time he left the presidency, Theodore Roosevelt had saved an unprecedented 230 million acres of American land.

Nine current or former Goldman Sachs executives, including CEO David Solomon, will have to pay back hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation over a bribery scandal in Malaysia.

Goldman has faced regulatory probes in the United States and Malaysia over allegations that it enabled billions of dollars to be siphoned off from a Malaysian development fund and over bribes paid to government officials. The scandal that ensued led to the resignation of the Asian country's prime minister.

We're nearing the end of a polarizing election season, marked by a global pandemic and nationwide protests against racial injustice. It's been a lot to process, and we want to know how you're feeling. More specifically, we want to know what you wish "the other side" understood.

The ask is simple: write a short note to someone who will vote differently from you. What do you wish they understood about your life these last four years?

Already battling the largest fire in state history, Colorado is now dealing with another blaze that grew by more than 100,000 acres in a day.

The flames traveled east, fueled by beetle-eaten pine trees and dry winds. Hundreds evacuated. The fire jumped the Continental Divide. Conditions forced the closing of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Updated at 8:14 p.m. ET

Active Russian cyberattacks are targeting a wide swath of American government networks, including those involved with the ongoing election, federal authorities revealed Thursday.

The focus of the effort include "U.S. state, local, territorial, and tribal government networks, as well as aviation networks," according to a new bulletin from the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Our records show Bob Dylan songs have been performed over 130 times in Mountain Stage's 36-year history. In this set, we hear four great Dylan interpretations from our archives, all recorded live on Mountain Stage over the years.

The Food and Drug Administration is preparing for the eventual rollout of one or more COVID-19 vaccines — by identifying the concerns that some people have about taking such a vaccine.

At a meeting Thursday of experts advising the FDA on COVID-19 vaccines, the concerns of front-line workers and people of color were read aloud verbatim, highlighting the crucial project of communicating the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine in an environment of deep political distrust.

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James Randi hated tricking people. Sure, as The Amazing Randi, he pulled off amazing escape acts and sleight of hand maneuvers faster than you could see — but it was all in service of proving that he wasn't magical in any sense of the word. He hated tricking people so much he made a career out of debunking so-called psychics, faith healers, and fortune tellers of all sorts.