Eight endangered black rhinos died after being transported to a new wildlife reserve in Africa. The dead were among 11 black rhinos taken from Nairobi and Lake Nakuru National Parks to Tsavo East National Park. Kenyan wildlife officials said a preliminary investigation showed the rhinos died from the high salinity of the water in their new environment, and described the death toll as unprecedented in their efforts to revive the black rhino population.

A few years ago, an entire beach in a remote area of Jamaica vanished. Thieves dug up hundreds of tons of sand and hauled it away in dump trucks in the middle of the night. The sand--white, powdery, Caribbean sand--was worth about a million dollars.

It was an early sign that the world was facing a growing problem. Sand is a key ingredient in all kinds of things. It's in concrete, in glass, in your cell phone. But there isn't enough sand in the world for everyone, and we're starting to run out. So people are stealing it, smuggling it, and getting killed over it.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

There are Illinois connections in Friday's indictments related to Russian hacking around the 2016 elections.

Madelyn Beck, Illinois Newsroom

Dave Plunk has run Music Makers in Galesburg for more than 15 years, occupying two floors of a three-story building on the town’s main street with rows of guitars, amps and other music equipment.

American tennis player Serena Williams will play in the Wimbledon Ladies singles final for the tenth time on Saturday. She is favored against Germany's Angelique Kerber to win her eighth Wimbledon singles title. And Williams has lost only one set in her six matches so far.

"There's a sense we've seen this movie before," says Sports Illustrated Executive Editor Jon Wertheim.

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois

Illinois has traditionally used a competitive grant process to parcel out money for preschools. In the past, that competition was limited to programs that had a history of getting state funds. But this year, after the legislature appropriated an extra $50 million for preschools, the Illinois State Board of Education threw the competition open to all programs.

Once applications were reviewed and ranked, preschools around the state were shocked to learn they wouldn’t be getting the state funding they expected. Some weren’t funded because their grant applications scored below ISBE’s threshold; others weren’t funded simply because the appropriated amount couldn’t cover the demand.

The world was a demonstrably different place when Kevin Anderson and John Isner first took the court Friday for what would become a marathon Wimbledon semifinal. Tough as it may be to recall that heady era when the world was still young, we assure you it existed.

But boy does it look distant now.

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