Nation/World

If you were to break apart the ingredients that form the Shreveport, La., band Seratones, many would seem obvious: Singer AJ Haynes got her start training her unamplified voice to hit the rafters of a Baptist church, while other members listened to blues and classic rock. That mix of sounds is all over Get Gone, the group's first album.

It must feel somewhat daunting for serious young music-makers to link themselves to folk traditions in 2016. This is especially true if they're separated from the original sources not just by the passage of time, but also by intervening generations of revivalists and re-interpreters. If the youngbloods really want a thorough grasp of what's come before them, there's that much more music to wrap their heads around. Then again, if they get overly studious about extending a lineage, they may find that their new contributions don't seem that new at all.

Maps and well-traveled routes pop up often in Mary Chapin Carpenter's 14th full-length album. They do all their usual things — trace her memories, map her heart, lead her home — but most importantly they're incomplete.

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

Lately, it's been a political guessing game of which Donald Trump is going to show up.

In the past 24 hours alone, the whiplash between what rival-turned-uneven-surrogate Ben Carson called the "two different Donald Trumps" was on bold display.

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

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

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

Nashville Hot Chicken is showing up everywhere lately, from fast-food marquees to trendy restaurant menus. But to find the real thing, you might start in a nondescript strip mall on the northeast side of Nashville, Tenn.

Here at Prince's Hot Chicken Shack, people line up long before the doors open to get their fix.

"Need my hot chicken," says construction worker Jose Rodriguez as he approaches the kitchen window to place his order. "I'm going to get two hot of the breast quarters."

One recent afternoon, I was walking up Nanjing West Road, Shanghai's traditional shopping street, when I ran into a crowd of protesters being chased off by a plainclothes cop wielding a bullhorn and a line of uniformed police. Demonstrations like this in the heart of the city are rare and sensitive for the government, which fears political unrest as China's economic growth continues to slow.

I asked a fleeing protester what had happened.

"Don't walk alongside me," pleaded the woman, named Zhao, staring straight ahead. "The police will detain me."

Two years ago in Istanbul, I dragged Selcuk Altun, a Turkish author and lover of all things Byzantine, to the Hagia Sophia, a 6th century church that's now a museum. But we couldn't even get close. Altun took one look at the mass of sweating humanity blocking the entrance and decided to do the interview outside. But this year, the change is astonishing.

Eight-year-old Mari Copeny from Flint, Mich., sent President Obama a message last month. She told him about her activism on behalf of those affected by Flint's contaminated water and asked if he would meet with her and others from Flint when they came to Washington, D.C., for testimony by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder at a congressional hearing.

"My mom said chances are you will be too busy with more important things, but there is a lot of people coming on these buses and even just a meeting from you or your wife would really lift people's spirits," she wrote.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has signed legislation that allows mental health counselors and therapists to refuse to treat patients based on religious objections or personal beliefs.

Critics of the law say it could result in discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. As Nashville Public Radio reported earlier this month:

The FBI has officially decided it can't tell Apple how the agency hacked into the locked iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers.

Nearly a week after the bodies of eight family members were discovered in four homes in rural Pike County, Ohio, authorities are remaining tight-lipped about the details of the investigation, saying they don't want to tip off the murderer or murderers.

After Bernie Sanders lost four of the five presidential primaries Tuesday night, the Democratic hopeful's campaign is laying off many staffers.

Noting that 80 percent of the nominating contests have been completed, Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said in a statement that "we no longer require many of the loyal and dedicated state and national support staffers who helped us."

Championing "stability" and protectionism, Donald Trump managed a sendup of the foreign policies of the last three American presidents, as well as the candidate he is likely to face this fall in a general election — Hillary Clinton.

"With President Obama and Secretary Clinton, we've had ... a reckless, rudderless and aimless foreign policy — one that has blazed a path of destruction in its wake," Trump charged in a sober foreign policy address at a hotel in Washington. He added, "[T]he legacy of the Obama-Clinton interventions will be weakness, confusion and disarray."

The NPR Politics team is back with a quick take following Sen. Ted Cruz's announcement that if he wins the nomination, Carly Fiorina will be his running mate. Most candidates wait until they actually get the nomination to pick a VP, so what's with all the fanfare? Cruz's announcement came just a day after he all five states that voted in the Northeast primaries.

On the podcast:

  • Political Editor Domenico Montanaro
  • Campaign Reporter Scott Detrow
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Need knee replacement surgery? It may be worthwhile to head for Tucson.

That's because the average price for a knee replacement in the Arizona city is $21,976, about $38,000 less than it would in Sacramento, Calif. That's according to a report issued Wednesday by the Health Care Cost Institute.

Missouri's so-called religious freedom bill may be dead for this year. The amendment to the state Constitution would have protected people who didn't want to provide services related to same-sex marriages, including clerks, clergy and businesses.

Wednesday's 6-6 vote by a House committee stopped the measure from advancing, The Associated Press reports. Three Republicans joined three Democrats in opposition, the AP says.

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

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

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

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

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

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