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Before President Biden declared Juneteenth a federal holiday this week, the day — which memorializes the day in 1865 that enslaved Texans found out they had been freed — was mostly celebrated by Black folks in Texas. So we decided to talk to Christopher Williams, a Houston-based chef. Williams says people who are newly learning about Juneteenth can partake in the food and traditions, but should first and foremost acknowledge what the day represents, "before you throw that hot dog on the grill or whatever you're going to do. Know what this is really about."

Catherine Serou, a U.S. citizen studying in Russia, has been missing since she got into a car with a stranger on Tuesday. The authorities in Nizhny Novgorod, 250 miles east of Moscow, have started a criminal investigation and are searching a forested area outside the city where Serou's cell phone was last picked up.

On the day of her disappearance Serou managed to send a text message to her mother in Vicksburg, Miss. — the last sign of life from the 34-year-old graduate student and former Marine.

Americans are now able to visit the European Union again, vaccinated or not.

NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with activists Candie Hailey, who spent just over three years in solitary confinement, and Scott Paltrowitz about the long-term consequences of solitary confinement.

Germany is reeling under a heatwave. Temperatures are expected to rise to the high 90s — a bigger deal when a country has little to no air conditioning.

American Catholic bishops voted to move forward with a process that may challenge the eligibility of politicians who support abortion rights, such as President Joe Biden, to receive communion.

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NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, who is one of 26 governors ending extra benefits for jobless workers during the pandemic.

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At their summit, Presidents Putin and Biden agreed to send their ambassadors back to Washington and Moscow. There are many issues to be resolved about the basic workings of those diplomatic missions.

Regional elections in France this June will indicate the relative strength of the country's political parties ahead of next year's presidential election. The far right appears to be gaining.

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A large sinkhole has been growing at a farm in Mexico since May. It’s already swallowed a house, and two dogs had to be rescued from the hole last week.

NPR’s Carrie Kahn has the story.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

The new movie musical “In the Heights” was celebrated for its joyous depiction of a Latin American neighborhood in New York City. But it’s also been criticized for failing to represent the Afro-Latinos who actually live there.

NPR TV critic Eric Deggans weighs in on this and other media controversies.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Six years ago, Saudi Arabian authorities arrested Mustafa Hashem al-Darwish and charged him with attending anti-government protests years earlier, when he was 17. According to Reprieve, a U.K. nonprofit that investigates human rights abuses, a court found al-Darwish guilty and sentenced him to death, despite the fact that he was a minor at the time he allegedly attended the protests.

More people will be commemorating Juneteenth this year now that it’s a federal holiday with parades, pageants and celebrations filled with food.

After a contentious debate, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has voted to move forward with a process that could call into question the eligibility of politicians like President Joe Biden to receive Communion.

The bishops voted 168-55 in favor of drafting "a formal statement on the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church," officials announced on Friday afternoon, the final day of their three-day virtual meeting. Six bishops abstained.

Despite the economic devastation caused by the pandemic, millions of Americans are leaving their jobs. In April alone, some 4 million people quit, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Here & Now‘s Callum Borchers speaks with Bloomberg News senior editor Mike Regan about what’s pushing so many people to quit their jobs.

Margaret Talev of Axios and Scott Wong of The Hill join Here & Now‘s Tonya Mosley and Callum Borchers to discuss the latest on infrastructure spending negotiations and voting rights legislation in the Senate.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts” not only tells the stories of women-led revolts but also author Rebecca Hall‘s efforts to uncover that history.

Host Callum Borchers speaks with Hall about her part-graphic novel, part-memoir.

Book Excerpt: ‘Wake’

By Rebecca Hall

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Many tools and strategies learned in the fight against COVID-19 can also work to stop the spread of routine respiratory viruses that kids routinely pick up and pass around.

NPR’s Selena Simmons-Duffin reports.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Beneath the lab leak theory runs a current of debate that has electrified the scientific community for years: Should researchers be allowed to strengthen viruses to study them, as the Wuhan lab is alleged to have done for coronavirus?

In “gain of function” research, scientists manipulate pathogens into deadlier and more transmissible variants — for instance, making an avian influenza virus contractable by humans.

Arizona’s Democratic senator Kyrsten Sinema says her ‘brand’ is bipartisanship. Sinema isn’t an everyday senator. We talk with Arizonans about Sinema’s life story, what she stands for, and what she’s really trying to accomplish.  

David Simon created two of TV's most groundbreaking series about the failure of the war on drugs, set in the neighborhoods of Baltimore: HBO's The Corner and The Wire.

Still, even as he allows that those shows — with their visceral look at the intersection of race, policing, violence and tragedy — may have helped people question five decades of failed drug policy, Simon says he remains a "cockeyed pessimist" on the question of whether the war will ever end.

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