Nation/World

In the 1930s, a Japanese-American teacher in Hawaii came up with an ambitious plan: take kids who had just learned to swim in a re-purposed sugar cane ditch and train them to compete on an international level.

Julie Checkoway tells the story in “The Three Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui’s Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory.” Here & Now revisits Meghna Chakrabarti’s conversation with the author from last October.

If you’ve been out on the roads this holiday weekend, you might notice that it’s getting harder and harder to find a tollbooth with a human being actually taking tolls. Toll plazas all over the country are going automatic. But just at the top of the Florida Keys, there’s a tollbooth with people inside.

Jenny Luna was with the Miami Herald when she reported this story for Here & Now contributor WLRN in Miami.

President Barack Obama marked this Memorial Day by placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. People are visiting the graves of their loved ones killed in action at cemeteries across the country today.

Here & Now’s Alex Ashlock went to the Massachusetts National Cemetery on Cape Cod last week, and has this report.

The lush Whitehall Gardens are just a five-minute walk from Britain's Parliament and 10 Downing Street, where the prime minister lives and works. Behind the gardens, with their grand fountains and flowers, sprawls an ornate stone building, overlooking the River Thames.

This is prime London real estate.

After an unprecedented trial, the former president of Chad has been found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity by a court in Senegal.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports that former President Hissène Habré ruled for eight years until 1990.

Ofeibea filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Former President Hissène Habré's trial on war crimes charges has been a landmark for international justice — the first time in the world the courts of one country have prosecuted a former leader of another on human rights charges.

World Cafe Next: Bonnie Bishop

2 hours ago

Many have discovered Bonnie Bishop through Bonnie Raitt, who recorded Bishop's song "Not Cause I Wanted To" on her latest album, Dig In Deep. But Bishop's own new album, Ain't Who I Was, is a treat in and of itself. Produced by Nashville superproducer Dave Cobb, the album is reminiscent of the sound of Dusty Springfield's classic Dusty In Memphis in the way it straddles the line between soul and country.

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While writing for Rolling Stone in the mid-'90s, Rich Cohen got an enviable assignment: basically, to embed himself with The Rolling Stones during their tour behind Voodoo Lounge. It was the start of a relationship that's given Cohen a unique vantage point to write his new Stones history, The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones. Cohen's perspective is also shaped — favorably — by the fact that he didn't grow up with The Rolling Stones' music in the '60s and '70s.

Acknowledging the American service members who have lost their lives in war, President Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday.

"The Americans who rest here and their families ... ask of us today only one thing in return: that we remember them," Obama said.

Via the White House, here video of the ceremony:

Charles "Lindy" Cavell could never forget what the U.S. military tried to hide. Cavell fought to bring to light the secret mustard gas testing program he had participated in during World War II and for VA compensation for the test subjects. He died at home Wednesday at 89.

A kidnapped Mexican soccer player was rescued overnight after local and federal Mexican authorities launched a huge operation to secure his return.

Alan Pulido, who plays for the Greek soccer club Olympiakos, appeared before cameras in the early hours of Monday wearing a shorts and a tank top and with his right hand bandaged.

"What's most important is that he is here with us," Tamaulipas Gov. Egidio Torre Cantú told reporters.

When asked how he was doing, Pulido said, "Very good. Thank God."

Forces fighting against the Islamic State have launched an offensive to retake the Iraqi city of Fallujah.

NPR's Alison Meuse reports that international aid groups have seen hundreds of civilians fleeing, but they represent only a fraction of those still trapped in the city.

Alison filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Mel Atkins has spent most of his life with Grand Rapids Public Schools in Michigan. He graduated from Ottawa Hills High, where he played baseball. But his real love was bowling. He says he's bowled 22 perfect games.

He's been a teacher and principal in the city's public schools. And now he works for the district, overseeing just about everything related to students.

One more thing you need to know about him: Mel Atkins is a number-cruncher.

Three years ago, the superintendent came to him with a question: Does Grand Rapids have an issue with chronic absenteeism?

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Governors didn't fare too well in the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries this year.

But two former Republican governors will be on top of the Libertarian Party ticket in November.

At the party's convention in Florida this weekend, Libertarians selected former governors Gary Johnson of New Mexico and William Weld of Massachusetts as their presidential and vice presidential standard-bearers. The move could give the little-known party more visibility in a year when many voters say they're open to new options.

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In 2007, Rick Kinder was working for a contractor, building a house in southern Colorado. The workers had just finished putting in all the doors, windows and sealing the house. Kinder and a colleague were working in the crawlspace, hanging insulation.

"And we just heard this big roar and then a big boom, and it threw us against the walls, and it just blew the whole top of the roof off," Kinder says.

The Obama administration is taking steps to name the first national monument dedicated to the struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

A likely location is in New York City, where the Stonewall riots sparked the modern gay-rights movement almost a half-century ago.

"It sounded like screaming and real cries of agony and desperation finally being released," recalls Martin Boyce, 68, who participated in the riots in the early hours of June 28, 1969.

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Tracy Solomon Clark is outgoing and energetic — a former fundraiser for big companies and big causes. As she charged through her 40s she had "no clue," she says, that there might be a problem with her heart.

It was about six years ago — when she was 44 — that she first suffered severe shortness of breath, along with dizziness. She figured she was overweight and overworked, but never considered heart disease.

"That was the furthest thing from my mind," Solomon Clark says. "I was young!"

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