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News From NPR

As calls to remove Confederate monuments have increased in recent years across the U.S., the debate over what to do with the biggest one is getting louder.

The fight against climate change may be taking a striking new turn under the Biden administration. The White House is calling climate action a form of environmental justice, part of a campaign to address economic and racial inequity.

John Nephew thought he had a winner with a new, tabletop game called "Dice Miner." Importing the games from China turned out to be its own roll of the dice.

Nephew, founder of Atlas Games in Duluth, Minn., ordered a 40-foot cargo container full of games from Shanghai last December, anticipating delivery in about six weeks.

Organizers for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics announced they will allow some local spectators into each venue, as long as no state of emergency is in effect.

Up to 10,000 domestic fans will be allowed at events, or 50% of the venue's capacity, whichever is less, organizers said Monday.

The coronavirus situation in Japan has improved in recent weeks with increased vaccinations, though critics still believe it would be safer to close the games to all spectators.

When doctors at a primary care clinic in Philadelphia noticed many of its poorest patients were failing to show up for appointments, they hoped giving out free rides would help.

But the one-time complimentary ride didn't reduce these patients' 36% no-show rate at the University of Pennsylvania Health System clinics.

A worrying spike of coronavirus infections in Europe is being driven by the Delta variant, according to global health leaders, even as immunization rates in some countries are on the way up.

Increased cases reported in the U.K. and Portugal have forced officials to reimplement lockdown restrictions or hold off on lifting pandemic mandates. Officials in France, Germany, and Spain say they are closely monitoring clusters of infection tied to the Delta variant.

­­On July 20, Amazon's founder and billionaire magnate Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark will board the New Shepard suborbital rocket system. The Bezos brothers, one auction winner with $28 million to spare, and a fourth person will become the first crew aboard the reusable rocket for its 11-minute voyage to space.

Since Bezos made the announcement about his journey to space earlier this month, tens of thousands of people have come together to petition against his return to the planet.

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's sole nuclear power plant has undergone an unexplained temporary emergency shutdown, the country's state TV reported.

An official from the state electric company Tavanir, Gholamali Rakhshanimehr, said on a talk show that aired on Sunday that the Bushehr plant shutdown began on Saturday and would last "for three to four days." Without elaborating, he said that power outages could result.

Updated June 20, 2021 at 8:19 PM ET

Tropical Storm Claudette was downgraded to a tropical depression after battering the Southeast over the weekend. Heavy rains, high winds and flash flooding contributed to the deaths of 13 people in Alabama Saturday, and while the storm has weakened, it is expected to regain strength as it makes its way toward the East Coast.

ATLANTA — Tropical Depression Claudette claimed 12 lives in Alabama as the storm swept across the southeastern U.S., causing flash flooding and spurring tornadoes that destroyed dozens of homes.

Ten people, including nine children, were killed Saturday in a 15-vehicle crash about 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of Montgomery on Interstate 65, according to Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock.

Let's face it. If you are a mushroom scientist, you are hopelessly outnumbered.

By one estimate, there are between 2.2 million and 3.8 million species of fungi — and more than 90% of them aren't cataloged.

A Juneteenth celebration in Cape May, N.J., yesterday doubled as the grand opening day of the new Harriet Tubman Museum.

About 200 people gathered in Rotary Park for the city's first significant Juneteenth celebration, organized by the museum. The event of African drumming and speeches by town leaders drew some for their first taste of Juneteenth as it becomes a national holiday.

WILTON MANORS, Fla. — A driver slammed into spectators Saturday evening at the start of a Pride parade in South Florida, killing one man and seriously injuring another, authorities said.

Some witnesses said the crash appeared to be an intentional act, but Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Ali Adamson told reporters that authorities were investigating all possibilities.

The collision happened during the Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade. Wilton Manors is just north of Fort Lauderdale.

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's ousted leader, is facing a familiar prospect: years after her release from house arrest, she looks likely to be heading back into a prolonged detention at the hands of a ruling council of generals.

When does a joke become a dad joke? That's easy. When it becomes apparent.

Wait, don't click away.

Are dad jokes tired? Probably. They've been walking all day to get here to this very post. But now that I've got your (perhaps somewhat annoyed) attention, consider this your reminder that it's Father's Day — or depending on the day you're reading this, Oops, you missed Father's Day.

Updated June 20, 2021 at 9:09 AM ET

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Forecasters warned of life-threatening flash flooding in parts of the Deep South, particularly across central Alabama, as Tropical Depression Claudette traveled over coastal states early Sunday.

Heavy rain led to high water late Saturday into early Sunday in the Birmingham and Tuscaloosa metropolitan areas.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his family will leave the country's official prime minister's residence no later than July 10, Netanyahu and Israel's new prime minister said.

Netanyahu was unseated as prime minister earlier this month. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett succeeded in cobbling together a government in the aftermath of Israel's fourth consecutive election in two years.

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Anti-government protesters took to the streets in more than a score of cities across Brazil on Saturday as the nation's confirmed death toll from COVID-19 soared past half a million — a tragedy many critics blame on President Jair Bolsonaro's attempt to minimize the disease.

Thousands gathered in downtown Rio de Janeiro waving flags with slogans such as "Get out Bolsonaro. Government of hunger and unemployment."

SHOW LOW, Ariz. (AP) — A driver in a pickup truck plowed into bicyclists during a community road race in Arizona on Saturday, critically injuring several riders before police chased the driver and shot him outside a nearby hardware store, authorities said.

Juneteenth celebrations are underway across the United States, commemorating the 156th anniversary of the date that is often considered the end of chattel slavery in the country.

Events this year come two days after President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law, which is the latest national holiday to be recognized since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

Your Life Advice For NPR's 50th Birthday

Jun 19, 2021

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Remains of more than 300 children have been found at Indigenous boarding school sites in Canada. Hundreds of schools like these also existed in the U.S. for a century, but much of the country has not acknowledged it. Noelle Evans shares what reparations could look like.

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The U.S. Congress this week established Juneteenth, a commemoration observed in communities and cities across the country for more than 150 years to mark the day slaves in Texas were informed of their freedom, as an officially recognized federal holiday. Celebrations being held all over the country on June 19 likely will assume an added sense of occasion.

Updated June 19, 2021 at 1:05 PM ET

Champ Biden, one of two German shepherds belonging to President Biden and his family has died, the president and first lady Jill Biden announced late Saturday morning. He was 13 years old.

"Our hearts are heavy today," Biden and first lady Jill Biden wrote in a statement, adding that the dog had died at their home.

The Bidens were at their home in Delaware.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

MOSCOW — Catherine Serou, a 34-year-old U.S. citizen studying in Russia, has been found dead after she went missing on Tuesday, Russia's Investigative Committee said in a statement.

A man in his early 40s with past convictions, has been arrested and is cooperating with investigators, the committee said. His name was not released.

When it comes to raising resilient children, Jeff Nelligan knows more than a thing or two.

He has three sons, dripping with hustle and composure. One of them is a senior at West Point, another graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and the third from Williams College, where he played lacrosse. "I've raised three bad*****," Nelligan says bluntly (as he does often). "I hate to say it that way, but these kids have the ability to get over adversity, and that's resilience."

Lucio Arreola is going to have an astounding Father's Day this year. He finds just about every day astounding now.

Arreola has a new heart; or at least, new to him. He is 50 years old, the father of three daughters and a banking executive in Puerto Rico. On April 20, doctors at Houston Methodist Hospital performed a transplant to implant inside him the heart of a deceased 25-year-old man whose identity he may never know, but to whom he and his family will always be grateful.

It might be tempting to shrug at the scorching weather across large swaths of the West. This just in: It gets hot in the summer.

But this record-setting heat wave's remarkable power, size and unusually early appearance is giving meteorologists and climate experts yet more cause for concern about the routinization of extreme weather in an era of climate change.

These sprawling, persistent high-pressure zones popularly called "heat domes" are relatively common in later summer months. This current system is different.

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