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Soldiers with the Kurdish peshmerga man an outpost near Kirkuk, a city they've sought to control during the chaos that has gripped Iraq.

Kurdish Leaders Boycott Iraqi Government Meetings

A dispute between Iraq's Shiite-led central government and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region is boiling over, as Kurdish ministers withdrew from all Cabinet meetings. In response, Baghdad is reportedly halting some cargo flights between Kurdish cities.

The spat is playing out amid the threat posed by the self-proclaimed "Islamic State," an extremist group that has taken over cities and territories in parts of Iraq and Syria.

Julia Macias, a plaintiff and Los Angeles Unified School District middle school student, comments on the <em>Vergara v. California</em> lawsuit verdict in Los Angeles last month.

From Calif. Teachers, More Nuanced Views On Tenure

In the weeks since a California judge overturned the state's rules governing teacher tenure, the political noise has only grown louder. Advocates on both sides of the issues have largely stuck to "give-no-ground," press-release rhetoric that risks drowning out educators in the middle.

I've spoken with educators around the state since the ruling, including many who say they want protections but also real change.

Hackers In China Reportedly Targeted U.S. Federal Workers

Chinese hackers successfully accessed U.S. government computer networks in March apparently hoping to find information about "tens of thousands of employees who have applied for top-secret security clearances," The New York Times reports.

The newspaper says the attack centered on the Office of Personnel Management was reportedly detected and blocked — but not before the hackers had gotten into some of the agency's databases.

Villas in a luxury compound in Wuxi, in China's eastern Jiangsu province, sit empty after year while more apartment blocks rise in the distance.

China's Booming Real Estate Market Finally Begins To Slide

After years of stunning growth, China's go-go real estate market is now in retreat.

Prices fell last month in 79 out of 100 cities, according to the China Real Estate Index run by SouFun Holdings, a real estate website. Land sales dropped nearly 30 percent this spring from a year earlier.

Real estate has been one of the engines driving the world's second-largest economy, which is why economists in China and around the world are watching the market closely these days.

You can find wood pulp in several brands of packaged shredded cheese. It helps keep the cheese from clumping.

From McDonald's To Organic Valley, You're Probably Eating Wood Pulp

Do not be alarmed, but you may be eating wood pulp. Or at least an additive that started out as wood.

If you buy shredded cheeses, including brands such as Organic Valley and Sargento, or hit the drive-through at McDonald's for a breakfast sandwich or a smoothie, or douse some ribs with bottled barbecue sauce, there's likely some cellulose that's been added to your food.

Cellulose is basically plant fiber, and one of the most common sources is wood pulp. Manufacturers grind up the wood and extract the cellulose.

Early days: NASA's International Sun-Earth Explorer C (also known as ISEE-3 and ICE) was undergoing testing and evaluation inside the Goddard Space Flight Center's dynamic test chamber when this photo was snapped in 1976.

The Little Spacecraft That Couldn't

An audacious quest to reconnect with a vintage NASA spacecraft has suffered a serious setback and is now pretty much over.

The satellite launched in 1978 and has been in a long, looping orbit around the sun for about three decades. Earlier this year, NPR told you about an effort to get in touch with this venerable piece of NASA hardware and send it on one more adventure.

But there are no guarantees when you try to recapture the past.

Binging On Bad News Can Fuel Daily Stress

If you're feeling stressed these days, the news media may be partly to blame.

At least that's the suggestion of a national survey conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont speaks during a committee hearing on veterans' health care. Sanders, an Independent, is a possible 2016 presidential candidate.

Could A Socialist Senator Become A National Brand?

As members of Congress continue hammering out a bill to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs' beleaguered health care system, attention has focused on one man leading the charge: Bernie Sanders, Independent senator from Vermont and a self-described socialist.

Obama Turns To Gov. Perry In Seeking A Solution To Border Crisis

After a meeting with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, President Obama addressed the influx of migrant children on the U.S.-Mexico border. He signaled his openness to Perry's solutions, saying he'd consider deploying the National Guard, but also called on Congress to offer solutions of its own.

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President Obama and Texas Gov. Rick Perry meet in Dallas on Wednesday. They later attended a meeting about the border and immigration together.

Congress Has The Ability To Fix Immigration Crisis, Obama Says

President Obama said Wednesday that Congress has the ability to address the problem of thousands of unaccompanied children and teenagers illegally crossing the border from Mexico into the U.S.

"Right now, Congress has the capacity to work with us, work with state officials, local officials and faith-based groups and non-for-profits who are helping to care for these kids," he said in Dallas.

Obama added that it is unlikely the minors will be allowed to stay in the U.S.

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