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Whether they're in a posh London school or in the slums of Kenya, in the midst of war or in a battle against bullies, kids take playtime very seriously.

That's what photographer James Mollison learned after spending five years photographing school playgrounds around the world. The project began in 2009 and took him to more than 50 schools in 17 countries.

Each photo tells a different story.

Editor's note: A version of this story was originally published in May 2012.

If there's one grilling tip to remember this Memorial Day weekend, it should be this: Flame is bad.

"Flame does nasty things to food," food historian and science guy Alton Brown tells NPR's Scott Simon.

The head of the Iona Institute, which ran the No campaign in Ireland's vote to legalize same-sex marriage, has tweeted his congratulations to the yes campaign.

Some are interpreting this as conceding defeat, reports NPR correspondent Ari Shapiro.

Early results certainly suggest as much, Shapiro says. Conservative areas that voted against legalizing divorce in the 1990s have come in with a Yes vote for same-sex marriage, he reports.

On a gusty Friday evening in Manhattan's Union Square Park, Francisco Ramirez is setting up his chairs and a big sign that yells, "FREE ADVICE."

The park is packed with street musicians, chain-smoking chess players and preachers yelling predictions

Ramirez just wants to talk.

The Senate worked late into the night Friday and early Saturday, but still failed to agree on extending government surveillance programs under the USA Patriot Act before the Memorial Day holiday.

Lawmakers blocked votes on both a House-passed bill and a short-term extension of the Patriot Act provisions that allow government surveillance programs.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says lawmakers will try again on May 31, the day before the provisions expire.

There is a joke among Brazilians that a Brazilian passport is the most coveted on the black market because no matter what your background — Asian, African or European — you can fit in here. But the reality is very different.

I'm sitting in café with two women who don't want their names used because of the sensitivity of the topic. One is from the Caribbean; her husband is an expat executive.

"I was expecting to be the average-looking Brazilian; Brazil as you see on the media is not what I experienced when I arrived," she tells me.

Drought Conditions Are Sucking The Fun Out of Northwest Reservoirs

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The marina at Howard Prairie Lake is high and dry. The docks tilt awkwardly this way and that, stranded on the uneven lake bottom.

“Normally, on a year when the lake is full, we’d most likely have 15 to 16 feet of water above our heads. So, yeah, it’s a little pasture right now,” says Steve Lambert, Program Manager of Jackson County Parks.

South Seattle Residents Complain of Industrial Dust

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Kelly Welker knew Seattle’s Georgetown area was an industrial neighborhood when she moved here nine years ago. The air quality isn’t great. But lately, she says, it’s been getting worse.

“I had never experienced going outside of my house and having my eyes burn within a couple of minutes,” Welker said. “Having my sinuses burn within a couple of minutes.”

Governor Declares 8 Additional Counties In Drought Emergencies

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Gov. Kate Brown declared drought emergencies in eight additional counties around Oregon Friday, bringing the total this year to 15.

She also released a public service announcement launching the hashtag #ORdrought.

“It may look green now, but we are going to experience one of the worst droughts in the history of our state," said Brown in a statement. "Snow pack is at historic lows and severe water shortages are nearly a certainty in many areas.”

New FAA Rules For Drones Could Boost Oregon Economy

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The Federal Aviation Administration just made it easier for drone makers to test products. Oregon senators say that could help create more jobs in the state.

People who fly drones for fun face few rules. As soon as money gets involved, like with manufacturers, the FAA has a lot of rules and paperwork. But the FAA says that now with 16 flying ranges around the nation, including three in Oregon, it no longer requires as much paperwork.

Chuck Allen with Oregon Soar says it will save manufactures a month or two in red tape.

The only two women to serve in the state's top office will be honored next month in the Rose Festival's Grand Floral Parade.

Gov. Kate Brown and former Gov. Barbara Roberts will lead the June 6 parade in downtown Portland.

"As the only two women who share the historic role as Oregon Governors, we look forward to celebrating with Portland and with Oregon in our state's equally historic Grand Floral Parade," said Roberts in a statement.

How To Scare A Sea Lion: Bring In The (Fake) Orca

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Astoria officials and locals have been scratching their heads, trying to figure out how to get rid of the ubiquitous barking sea lions that have arrived by the thousands this year on the city's docks. But now, the city may be bringing in the big guns, or should I say, whale.

The Daily Astorian reports that the Port of Astoria is looking into bringing a fake orca near the East End Mooring Basin to hopefully scare away pesky sea lions laying around.

This summer is expected to be dry and hot, and that means increased wildfire risk. Communities near range or forest land are especially vulnerable.

In Oregon, it costs an average of $56,000 to protect a home from an encroaching wildfire. That's according to a study by the Headwaters Economics, a public policy think tank out of Bozeman, Montana.

Officials from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare are asking people to take precautions around ground squirrels after a squirrel south of Boise tested positive for plague.

Opponents of two liquefied natural gas export terminals proposed for Oregon will take their message to the state capitol Tuesday.

TLC has pulled 19 Kids and Counting, the reality show featuring Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's family, from its schedule amid reports of sexual misconduct against John Duggar, their oldest son, when he was 15.

Here's TLC's statement:

The Obama Administration is expected to announce a new clean water rule in the next few days, which has some Northwest farm groups worried what new regulations could mean for their operations.

The rule has also drawn criticism from other property rights groups and praise from environmentalists.

Demand For Super-Sized Clams Keeps Poachers & Cops Busy

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Of all the shellfish that sell on the black market, one clam is above the rest -- the geoduck.

Pronounced "gooey-duck," these hefty clams bury themselves in sand where they stay for 100 years, doing little more than stretching their meter-long, fleshy siphons up into the water column to feed on phytoplankton.

In shallows when tides have retreated, people dig up geoduck clams with shovels. In deeper areas, scuba divers spray high-pressure hoses into the seafloor to unearth them.

Try to order "pork roll" in most of the country and you'll probably get a blank stare. But in New Jersey, pork roll is a staple at diners, restaurants and food trucks from Cape May to the Meadowlands. And this unsung meat product is now the star of not one, but two competing festivals on Saturday in Trenton.

To the untrained eye, pork roll looks like Canadian bacon. But New Jersey residents know better.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

Robert Gates, the president of the Boy Scouts of America, tells NPR his organization will have a decision on its ban on gay adults no later than October. His comments come a day after he told the Boy Scouts that a ban on gay adults was "unsustainable."

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