Nation/World

The fond joke is an underrated art form, especially in this time of hashtag brutalism and Louis C.K.-style existential wandering. In country music, humor with heart has long offered a way for songwriters to consider the foibles of the music's fan base — and to confront deeper issues, too, from alcoholism to bigotry to economic hardship. Stars like Tom T.

If George W. Bush was the decider, consider Donald Trump the un-decider. This week, the current president abandoned a string of his best-known policy positions over a matter of days.

The passenger who was dragged off that United flight on Sunday, David Dao, has been discharged from a hospital and is expected to file a lawsuit over what happened to him. One of his lawyers Thomas Demetrio said that Dao suffered a serious concussion, a broken nose and lost two teeth from what took place on the plane.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson gets the latest news from Curt Nickisch (@CurtNickisch) of the Harvard Business Review.

Canada has taken a major step toward legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government introduced legislation that would allow adults to possess, share and purchase marijuana, while also strengthening penalties for those who give or sell the products to youth.

This law has been hotly anticipated, with pot producers and the medical community watching closely.

That bopping beat, that thick and wobbly synth bass, those voices — it's like I'm back at a middle school dance in the Atlanta suburbs, not knowing what to do with my hands.

Gustavo Falcon's arrest Wednesday was more than a quarter-century in coming.

He was indicted on drug-smuggling charges nearly 26 years ago to the day — along with his brother Augusto "Willie" Falcon, their partner Salvador "Sal" Magluta and several other accomplices. Authorities say that between the late 1970s and early '90s, their drug ring conspired to import and distribute about 75 tons of cocaine.

Though Willie and Sal were eventually caught and convicted, Gustavo Falcon appeared to disappear entirely from South Florida.

As United Airlines continues to grapple with a long-haul public relations disaster, rival airlines are pouncing on the opportunity to poke fun and promote themselves.

Clyde and Gracie Lawrence are not your typical brother-and-sister pair. For one thing, they're in a band together: As Lawrence, they've toured across the country performing soulful pop songs. Though the two have been playing music together since they were toddlers, they say it was their more recent experience on the road that made them appreciate their relationship to home.

Arkansas Rushes Death Penalty For 7 Inmates

Apr 13, 2017

With guest host Jane Clayson.

Arkansas says it will execute seven death row inmates by the end of the month. Why the rush? The lethal injection drugs are set to expire. We’ll look at the controversy.

Big Worries In Vermont’s Dairy Industry

Apr 13, 2017

With guest host Jane Clayson.

Fears on the farm. How President Trump’s immigration crackdown could impact Vermont’s dairy industry.

The U.S. has dropped the most powerful conventional weapon ever used in combat to hit an underground ISIS complex in Afghanistan, Pentagon officials say.

The nearly 22,000-pound "MOAB" — standing for Massive Ordnance Air Blast, or as it's also known, the "Mother of All Bombs" — was designed during the Iraq War but had never before been used on the battlefield.

The U.S. has used the bomb's predecessor, a smaller but still massive weapon known as the "Daisy Cutter," in Afghanistan before.

Syrian President Bashar Assad continues to deny responsibility for a chemical attack in the town of Khan Shaykhun, claiming the attack was "100 percent ... fabrication" and video evidence showing choking victims is "fake."

He told Agence France-Presse this week that he wasn't even confident the dead children shown on video were "dead at all."

Easter is associated with currant-studded hot-cross buns and chocolatey eggs – foods that symbolize rebirth and renewal. But what about Judas cake? Or Judas beer? Or Judas bread?

Judas Iscariot, the archvillain of Christianity who betrayed Jesus with a kiss, has an intriguing range of food and drink named after him – some traditionally consumed in the days leading up to Easter.

Researchers have found that European eels can sense magnetic fields and may use this ability to navigate thousands of miles through the Atlantic Ocean.

Eels have always been mysterious animals. More than 2,000 years ago, Artistotle proposed that they were born spontaneously from mud.

"I think it's fascinating because as humans we've been pondering the life history of eels for a long time," says Lewis Naisbett-Jones, a graduate student in marine biology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

For the last 10 years, on the eve of Passover, the Federman family has loaded a young male goat into their car and driven from their farm in a West Bank Jewish community to the Old City of Jerusalem, where they hoped to slaughter the animal in the ritual sacrifice prescribed in the Bible.

The family is not alone in its mission. The number of Israeli Jews approaching Jerusalem with goats prepared for sacrifice has been growing in recent years, according to the Federmans.

In recent weeks, the stories of missing black and Latina girls sparked an outcry on Twitter and Facebook because there seemed to be a flurry of new cases that were being under-reported by local news in the Washington D.C. area.

Sasheer Zamata clearly remembers the feeling she got when she did stand-up for the first time: "I went to an open mic by myself, didn't tell anybody," Zamata says. "I came offstage and ... was like, 'This is my life forever! I can do this forever now!' "

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Mika Vainio, a pioneer in the world of avant-garde electronic music and founding member of Finnish duo Pan Sonic, has died at 53. His death was confirmed by friends and family to numerous outlets. No cause of death was given.

The trouble started for Lisa when she took a blood pressure pill and one to control seizures, along with methadone, a drug used to help wean patients off heroin.

"I inadvertently did the methadone cocktail and I went to sleep for like 48 hours," Lisa says, rolling her eyes and coughing out a laugh. "It kicked my butt. It really kicked my butt."

"The Art of the Deal" appears to have edged out the "The Art of War" for now, as the presidents of the U.S. and China spoke of agreements reached at their summit at President Trump's resort in Palm Beach, Fla., last week, including an apparent deal to cooperate in grappling with the North Korean nuclear issue.

One reason President Trump gave for signing his order to dismantle climate policies was "to cancel job-killing regulations." But in places like coal country, environmental regulations are creating jobs, too.

David Dao, the 69-year-old Kentucky doctor dragged off a United Express flight on Sunday night, suffered a concussion and broken nose in the incident and lost two teeth, his attorney said Thursday.

Dao will need reconstructive surgery, lawyer Thomas Demetrio announced at a news conference in Chicago.

He said there will "probably" be a lawsuit over the airline's actions.

Josh Tillman, a.k.a. Father John Misty, stopped by our studio the day he released his latest album, Pure Comedy, to play a stripped-down set of songs. With his lyrics pushed to the forefront, Tillman's keen cultural observations were on full display. It was a deeply moving set, including our current favorite, "Ballad Of The Dying Man."

Set List

  • "Ballad Of The Dying Man"

Photo: Dustin Downing/KCRW.

Real quick, here's a list of ingredients you're unlikely to find in your next Burger King Whopper:

  • Chocolate candy
  • Toenail clippings
  • Cyanide
  • Rat
  • Medium-sized child

Boko Haram militants have used 27 children to carry out suicide bombing attacks in the first three months of this year in Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon, according to a new report from UNICEF.

This marks a major increase — 30 children were used in bombings for all of 2016 in those four countries, where Boko Haram is active.

UNICEF says 117 children have been used in suicide attacks since 2014. Eighty percent of them were girls.

This Latin Roots session all started when four guys from Los Angeles showed up at our studio looking like, well, four guys from Los Angeles, in track pants, T-shirts and sneakers. They finished sound check and disappeared for a while — and when they came back, it was like somebody'd hit the 1976 button on the time machine. Those four guys returned sporting matching tuxedos with ruffled collars, their two back-up singers in blinding, sparkly dresses. They had morphed into Chicano Batman.

An airstrike that was meant to target ISIS in Syria instead killed 18 Syrian Democratic Forces personnel because it was "misdirected," U.S. Central Command said Thursday.

The strike Tuesday by an aircraft from the U.S.-led coalition was called in by American allies, the U.S. military says. It adds that the coalition is now studying what went wrong to prevent similar mistakes in the future.

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