National News

A historical marker stands outside Giovanni's Room in Philadelphia. Owner Ed Hermance says he plans to close the doors for good later this month.

Book News: Gay Bookstore Said To Be The Nation's Oldest Is Closing

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

The Air Force's U-2 spy plane first took flight in August 1955. One of the planes confused air traffic control computers in California last week, creating havoc.

U-2 Spy Plane Disrupted Hundreds Of Flights, FAA Acknowledges

A snarl of air traffic over California last week is being blamed on a Cold War-era spy plane whose flight plan did not compute for air traffic control computers. After the altitude of the U-2 plane was misinterpreted, efforts to route airliners around it created havoc.

Pro-Russian gunmen carry their weapons in the center of Slovyansk, Ukraine, Tuesday. Gunbattles were fought around the city Monday in what has proven the most ambitious government effort to regain control of areas taken by separatists.

Ukraine Reports Dozens Killed In Slovyansk Fighting

Ukraine says its military has killed 30 pro-Russian separatists as government forces try to retake Slovyansk and other cities near the border with Russia. At least four Ukrainian soldiers have died, and separatists shot down a helicopter in eastern Ukraine.

The helicopter's "crew escaped because they apparently crashed into a riverbed once it was shot down," NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports.

Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov announced the death toll in Slovyansk on Tuesday.

Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals. According to a recent Gallup poll, only 2 percent of college graduates with $20,000 to $40,000 in undergraduate loans said they were "thriving."

Poll: Prestigious Colleges Won't Make You Happier In Life Or Work

There's plenty of anxiety in the U.S. over getting into a top college. But a new Gallup poll suggests that, later in life, it doesn't matter nearly as much as we think. In fact, when you ask college graduates whether they're "engaged" with their work or "thriving" in all aspects of their lives, their responses don't vary one bit whether they went to a prestigious college or not.

This mural by the football field features Neshaminy's mascot.

Can Student Journalists Ban 'Redskins' From Their School Paper?

"Redskins."

That word sits at the center of a controversy in suburban Philadelphia. It's pitted student journalists against school board members, but has left the school community largely shrugging its shoulders.

Student editors at Neshaminy High School in Bucks County have vowed not to print the word, which is the school's Native American mascot.

The Neshaminy School Board, however, is expected to vote later this month on a policy that would reverse the ban.

Ana Edwards, the chief opponent of the Shockoe Bottom stadium proposal, talks about historical markers at the Lumkin Jail historical site in Richmond, Va.

Richmond, Va., Wrangling Over Future Of Historic Slave Trade Site

On a warm spring night, more than 150 people gathered in Shockoe Bottom, a name taken from the Native American word for a site in Richmond, Va. This part of town, bounded by I-95 and bisected by railroad lines, was central to a city that prospered from the slave trade.

"The best guesstimate is several hundred thousand people were sold out of Shockoe Bottom," says Phil Wilayto, a leader of the grassroots movement to establish a memorial park here. "Probably the majority of African-Americans today could trace some ancestry to this small piece of land."

Noah Shaw, now 5, shows off his Texas roots at a recent birthday party.

Chemist Turns Software Developer After Son's Cancer Diagnosis

A scientist's ambitious plan to create an early detection system for eye cancer using people's home cameras is coming along.

After three years of drought, the water has receded from a dock at Lake Arrowhead State Park near Wichita Falls, Texas.

Drought-Stricken Texas Town Turns To Toilets For Water

The city of Wichita Falls, Texas, may soon become one of the first in the country where half of the drinking water comes directly from wastewater.

Yes, that includes water from toilets.

The plan to recycle the water became necessary after three years of extreme drought, which has also imposed some harsh restrictions on Wichita Falls residents, says Mayor Glenn Barham.

"No outside irrigation whatsoever with potable water," he says. "Car washes are closed, for instance, one day a week. If you drain your pool to do maintenance you're not allowed to fill it."

A Brandt's cormorant flies by the Monterey Harbor breakwater.

Monterey Bay An 'Ocean Buffet Open For Business' This Spring

Monterey Bay on California's central coast rests atop one of the largest underwater canyons in the world. It's deeper than the Grand Canyon, making it possible for lots of ocean life – including humpback whales, orcas, dolphins and sea lions — to be seen extremely close to shore. That is, given the right circumstances. Lately, the right circumstances have converged and there's more marine and wildlife in the bay than anyone's seen in recent memory.

Fleeing War At Home, Syrians Reach State Of Limbo In Greece

At the end of a weathered street lined with sooty apartment blocks and mini-markets, in a smoky budget hotel in central Athens, the refugees wait.

"This lobby is like Syria," says a small, green-eyed man who calls himself Muhammad and says he's from Aleppo. "That guy is from Damascus," he says, pointing. "That one is from Homs, that one from Latakia."

There are about 80 Syrians here, including six neighbors from Yarmouk, the Palestinian neighborhood in Damascus. They sit together at a table in the hotel's breakfast room, sipping sweet, hot Nescafe from tall glasses.

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