Nation/World

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Fifty years ago during the long, hot summer of 1967, black frustrations boiled over and erupted into violence in one American city after another - Newark, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Tampa, Detroit.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Exactly six months ago, Donald Trump was sworn in as president.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Congratulations, Mr. President.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Yeah.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

On a party-line vote, the U.S. Senate voted Thursday to confirm President Trump's most controversial judicial nominee to date.

He is John Bush, a Kentucky lawyer and political blogger whose posts disparaged gay rights and compared the Supreme Court's abortion decision in Roe v. Wade to its pro-slavery 1857 Dred Scott decision.

And he is now a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

Governments have struggled to come up with effective ways to stop people from cutting down trees.

That's because unchecked deforestation can cause soil to erode, worsen flooding and destroy natural habitats for wildlife. It's become a serious problem throughout the globe. Deforestation accounts for roughly 10 percent of worldwide emissions from burning, and loss of trees reduces the amount of carbon being reabsorbed into the ground.

Chester Bennington, one of the lead singers for the band Linkin Park and a former singer for Stone Temple Pilots, has died. His death was confirmed to NPR Thursday afternoon by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office, which said that his body was discovered at a house in the 2800 block of Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles and that investigators are currently on the scene. The death is "being looked at as a possible suicide at this time," according to Brian Elias of the coroner's office. Bennington was 41 years old.

Jim Schott had one goal when he abandoned academic life to start the company called Haystack Mountain: He wanted to make some of the finest goat cheese in the country. With cheese in hand, he visited supermarkets, trying to persuade them to sell his product. Some didn't take him seriously. But Whole Foods did.

"From the very beginning, they wanted to taste it," Schott recalls. "And they wanted to know the story. They wanted to know where the cheese came from; who was making it; where it was made."

1A Movie Club Sees "The Big Sick"

Jul 20, 2017

The romantic comedy “The Big Sick” has been almost universally praised as a heartfelt revival of a once-tired genre.

Based on the true story of its writers, Kumail Nanjiani (who also stars) and Emily V. Gordon, the film sees the star couple navigating an illness (as the title implies) while also dealing with their parents’ cultural differences — Nanjiani’s character’s parents want him to have an arranged marriage, and her parents are uneasy with their daughter dating a Pakistani-American.

A Nevada parole board has granted O.J. Simpson parole from prison after he served nearly nine years following a conviction on armed robbery and other charges.

On Thursday, the four-person panel unanimously voted to grant parole. The parole board said that Oct. 1 is the earliest the former NFL star is eligible for release.

NPR's Ina Jaffe walked us through the incident that led to his conviction:

Black Motherhood In The Spotlight

Jul 20, 2017

Beyoncé’s out front with new twins. A pregnant Serena Williams is nude on the cover of Vanity Fair. We’ll look at American images of black motherhood.

Privatizing The War In Afghanistan

Jul 20, 2017

Talk in the West Wing about using a private army of mercenaries to take over the war in Afghanistan. Blackwater founder Erik Prince is with us.

The Cost Of Steel Tariffs

Jul 20, 2017

The Trump administration is talking tough tariffs on imported steel. Will that make America great again?

The Republican scramble to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has yielded yet another version of a health care overhaul bill, along with yet another score from the Congressional Budget Office — the second analysis from the nonpartisan agency in two days.

Empty streets, makeshift barricades, burning tires, signs scrawled with "No to dictatorship": Protests continue on the streets of Venezuela as a 24-hour general strike takes hold, the latest development in an ongoing political and economic crisis.

Some citizens are trying to go to work despite the shutdown of public transportation; others are taking to blockaded streets in protest. There is widespread fear of more bloodshed after months of conflict and dozens of deaths.

Beth Ditto is a force of nature. Her incredible voice and charming personality earned her dance-punk band Gossip an international following, and those same qualities now drive her solo career. We hosted her for a live KCRW session to celebrate the release of Fake Sugar, her full-length debut under her own name.

SET LIST

  • "Oo La La"

Photo: Mark Leibowitz/KCRW.

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

A year-long getaway to a Greek island; a week by the sea at an arts colony. Fantasies of escape are the common premise of two new comic novels, both smart and sprightly in style, and both informed by a sad wisdom that echoes John Milton's lines in Paradise Lost: that we carry "troubl'd thoughts" and "hell within [us]`" wherever we go.

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

The Justice Department announced Thursday that together with the FBI and international law enforcement agencies, officials had shut down "the largest darknet marketplace in history." AlphaBay, a Web bazaar where users' identities were cloaked and illicit goods and drugs were sold, has officially been seized and shut down.

A plan to build an ultrafast Hyperloop tube train has been given "verbal [government] approval" to connect large cities on the East Coast, tech entrepreneur Elon Musk says. He adds that the system would whisk passengers from New York to Washington, D.C., in 29 minutes.

Who would doubt that Michael McDonald could still sound groovy and relevant while ushering the musical feel of 1978 into 2017? Only a fool.

Washington, D.C., police say six teenagers from Burundi who competed in an international robotics competition were reported missing on Wednesday.

Two of the teens — 16-year-old Don Ingabire and 17-year-old Audrey Mwamikazi — were last seen leaving the U.S. and heading into Canada, the Metropolitan Police Department tells The Two-Way blog, adding that there is "no indication of foul play."

Doctors use words like "aggressive" and "highly malignant" to describe the type of brain cancer discovered in Arizona Sen. John McCain.

The cancer is a glioblastoma, the Mayo Clinic said in a statement Wednesday. It was diagnosed after doctors surgically removed a blood clot from above McCain's left eye.

Doctors who were not involved in his care say the procedure likely removed much of the tumor as well.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

A small, humble-looking bag received its moment in the spotlight today. It traveled to the moon and back, then sat forgotten in a museum basement. It was seized by officials who didn't know its value, sold unceremoniously to a keen-eyed space enthusiast, then battled over in court.

Then the lunar collection bag from the Apollo 11 mission — and the tiny bits of moon dust embedded within it — hit the Sotheby's auction block.

India announced the election of its new president Thursday — but before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP party nominated him last month to be head of state, few saw Ram Nath Kovind coming.

Kovind secured 65 percent of the votes from an electoral college drawn from more than 4,000 members of 31 legislative assemblies across the country and 776 members of Parliament. He will take office as India's14th president next week.

Updated 12:15 p.m. ET

The United States has ended the ban on large electronics in the cabins of airlines that it announced in March.

It has been just a month since the death of Otto Warmbier — an American tourist jailed by North Korean authorities, sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for pulling down a propaganda poster, and eventually released to the U.S. in a coma under mysterious circumstances.

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