Nation/World

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The historic four-year drought in California has been grabbing the headlines lately, but there's a much bigger problem facing the West: the now 14-year drought gripping the Colorado River basin.

One of the most stunning places to see its impact is at the nation's largest reservoir, Lake Mead, near Las Vegas. At about 40 percent of capacity, it's the lowest it's been since it was built in the 1930s.

Twenty years ago this Sunday, a truck bomb exploded next to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. One hundred sixty-eight people were killed in the blast, hundreds were injured.

The bombing prompted heightened security at federal buildings — around the nation, and especially here in Washington.

One of the government's first responses to the bombing was closing a two-block stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.

The opening moments of Good Kill, a new drama starring Ethan Hawke and written and directed by Andrew Niccol (who also directed Hawke in Gattaca), almost eerily resemble the opening moments of American Sniper. A man watches and tries to interpret the movements of a woman and child who don't see him, deciding whether to kill them. This man, however, isn't concealed nearby. The woman and child are in Afghanistan and the man is piloting a drone from an air conditioned trailer on a military base in Nevada.

Glass, puzzle pieces, even a domino sit in piles on a farm on Irene Road in Kirkland, just outside of Fairdale.

Trucks loaded with broken bricks and concrete make trips along a normally busy road, but it’s their turf now going back and forth.

It’s the reality of one week after a storm.

Carissa Brendle’s father-in-law saw the twister coming, so he headed down to the basement of his newly built home and called his son who lived nearby.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of April 16, 2015

Apr 17, 2015
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Caroline Rose On Mountain Stage

Apr 17, 2015

Caroline Rose makes her first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the historic Keith Albee Theater in Huntington, W.Va. With a sound that draws from folk, rockabilly, pop, rock and blues, the keen-eyed singer-songwriter describes her album I Will Not Be Afraid as "postcards I've picked up from along the road."

This post was updated at 12:15 p.m. E.T. Tuesday

When former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee ran for president in 2008, he surprised many political watchers with a big a victory in the Iowa caucus. "What we have seen is a new day in American politics," he said after he was declared the winner. "This election will start a prairie fire of hope and zeal."

Call it Darwinian evolution in action: A troop of wild chimpanzees in Uganda has learned a valuable survival skill — to look before crossing.

It has been a decade in the making, but when completed, it will be a free trade agreement to beat all others — representing 40 percent of the world's economy.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, agreement would bring together the economies of the U.S., Japan, Australia and nine other Pacific Rim nations, allowing the free trade of everything from agriculture to automobiles and textiles to pharmaceuticals.

President Obama said Friday that the deal is critical for the U.S. market.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in the fighting in Yemen, the United Nations says today in a new report, which warns that the figure could rise dramatically unless the conflict is ended.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says the number of displaced persons in Yemen is estimated at between 120,000 and 150,000. (Separately, Oxfam puts the figure at 121,000).

#NPRreads is a new feature we're testing out on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom will share pieces that have kept them reading. They'll share tidbits on Twitter using the #NPRreads hashtag, and on occasion we'll share a longer take here on the blog.

This week, we share with you five reads.

From Ina Jaffe, a correspondent on NPR's National Desk:

2015 Boston Marathon Preview

Apr 17, 2015

The 119th Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest, will be run on Monday. The 26.2-mile race starts in rural Hopkinton, Mass., and takes the runners through several other communities before finishing in downtown Boston.

That’s where two bombs exploded during the 2013 race, killing three people and injuring more than 260. The attack sparked increased security for spectators and runners that will remain in place for the second year.

DJ Sessions: Swing And Vintage Jazz

Apr 17, 2015

Here & Now host Jeremy Hobson is broadcasting from Washington, D.C., and sits down with Rob Bamberger, the longtime host of “Hot Jazz Saturday Night” on WAMU in Washington. Bamberger brings us sounds from Jelly Roll Morton to Artie Shaw and His Orchestra.

In November, President Obama announced executive actions that would allow 5 million undocumented immigrants to stay in the country and obtain work permits. Not long after, a Texas judge ordered a freeze on those actions.

Today the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans will be hearing arguments from federal lawyers and 26 states opposing Obama’s order on whether to lift the freeze and allow his policies to move forward, or to leave the immigration policies in limbo.

The wait is over for Cubs fans.

Well, not the more than 106-year wait for a World Series Championship, but the wait for arguably the most exciting young slugger in baseball to join their club.

What do you call someone who runs a successful business that aims to make the world a better place? A CEO with a conscience? A do-good bottom-liner?

At the Skoll World Forum this week in Oxford, England, the preferred term is social entrepreneur. In fact, the conference is completely devoted to the idea — and promoting its rising stars.

Young entrepreneurs are invited to join veterans for workshops, talks and confabs. Awards are given for "social entrepreneurship."

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Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli sitting in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "COMMUNITY")

Record Store Day is that magical day each spring (this year it's Saturday, April 18) when geeks like us line up outside their favorite music shops to get their hands on a bunch of vinyl exclusives. These are the albums, EPs and singles bands and labels put out just to celebrate the day.

After 53 years, Don Francisco will finally put down the mic. Univision says it will stop making the legendarily unpredictable variety show Sábado Gigante in September, ending a run that began in 1962 when Chile's Mario Kreutzberger started entertaining viewers as Don Francisco.

Violence against immigrants in South Africa has killed at least five people, resulted in attacks on businesses owned by foreigners and sent thousands to take refuge at temporary shelters.

A massive rally against xenophobia was held Thursday in Durban, the coastal city that has been the scene of much of the unrest. Migrants from Africa and South Asia have been the target of the violence, which was condemned by President Jacob Zuma.

The State Of The Cancer Nation

Apr 17, 2015

While a cure for cancer remains elusive, we already know how to keep many cases of the disease from developing in the first place.

People can reduce cancer risks by keeping a healthful weight and avoiding cigarettes.

But smoking, obesity and other major cancer risk factors remain common, and they still vary widely across the country.

Ginny Mancini On Song Travels

Apr 17, 2015

Ginny Mancini performed with Mel Tormé and the Mel-Tones before marrying fellow musician, composer and conductor Henry Mancini, who died in 1994. He would have celebrated his 91st birthday on April 16. This week, Song Travels remembers Henry Mancini, as his wife shares stories of their life together, her career and Henry's remarkable contributions to American film, television and song.

Iraqi forces claim to have killed Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, who served in Saddam Hussein's leadership circle and is believed to have been instrumental in the sudden rise of the self-declared Islamic State.

But an official from Saddam's Baath Party has denied the report.

Douri, 72, is the "king of clubs" in the deck of playing cards U.S. troops used to identify key figures in Saddam's regime following the 2003 invasion that toppled the Baathist regime.

It took seven years for Robotic Empire to finish its tribute to Nirvana's In Utero, featuring covers by Thursday, Jay Reatard, Ceremony and Thou. With a lineup like that, it's no wonder the vinyl sold out quickly on Record Store Day.

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