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Summertime Variations

Jun 19, 2018

To kick off the summer season, American Routes is riding the airwaves to exotic destinations, swinging and surfing to all manner of beachside rhythms from the Beach Boys, Toots and the Maytals, Wilco and the Kinks. We also stay home to bask in the sultry heat of "Summertime," composed by George Gershwin and novelist Dubose Heyward in 1934 for the opera Porgy and Bess. It's one of the most covered tunes in the American songbook with over thirty thousand renditions. We'll hear takes from Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Sam Cooke and the Zombie

If you've heard any of rapper Cardi B's recent string of hits, you know the woman has expensive taste. The Bronx-born star loves Balenciaga, Prada and Gucci. But true fans know that for years she's been one of the most visible spokespeople for a brand that's far more affordable: Fashion Nova, a popular retailer known for being sexy, cheap, and worn by celebrities.

Updated at 4:31 p.m. ET

The U.S. stock market fell sharply Tuesday in response to President Trump's recent threats to add another layer of tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 287 points, or about 1.15 percent, marking its sixth straight daily drop. The broader S&P 500 index lost 11 points, or about 0.4 percent.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

First ladies have a long history of advocating for issues important to them, often issues related to children. But what's unusual is to have all the living former presidents' wives speaking out in one voice.

America's current and former first ladies are pushing back against the Trump administration's practice of separating children from their parents at the border in an effort to curb illegal crossings.

New genetic tools are making it easier and cheaper to engineer viruses and bacteria, and a report commissioned by the Department of Defense has now ranked the top threats posed by the rapidly advancing field of "synthetic biology."

One of the biggest concerns is the ability to recreate known viruses from scratch in the lab. That means a lab could make a deadly virus that is normally kept under lock and key, such as smallpox.

Two South Dakota cattle ranchers, two opinions on NAFTA

Jun 19, 2018

This is a story about two ranchers in western South Dakota — Kenny Fox and Eric Jennings.

The two men have both been busy vaccinating and branding their calves, and preparing to get hay ready for winter. Fox is in his 60s; Jennings is in his 50s. Their lives, jobs and outlooks have a lot of overlap. Where the two men differ sharply, however, is on trade.  

“We have people who have lost jobs because of NAFTA,” says Fox.

On the flip side, Jennings says, “We’re very happy with NAFTA. It has opened up our borders tremendously.”

Kansas cannot require people to prove their U.S. citizenship before they can vote, a federal judge says, ruling that the state's election law is unconstitutional. The judge sharply criticized Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has based much of his political career on worries about voter fraud.

Tell us your thoughts on nuclear security

Jun 19, 2018

This year has been a worrying and, at times, promising one when it comes to nuclear security.

If you've written off women's wrestling, you're missing out.

Updated at 6:29 p.m. ET

Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department's inspector general, returned to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to take questions from lawmakers hoping to put their spin on the report his office released last week.

The nearly 600-page report is a comprehensive look at the Justice Department's handling of its investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server in 2016.

Trump Threatens Tariffs On $200 Billion Of Chinese Goods

Jun 19, 2018

In the latest move in an escalating trade dispute, President Trump announced Monday evening that he was asking U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to suggest $200 billion worth of Chinese goods on which the U.S. could impose a 10 percent tariff.

Backers of a gun control proposal aimed for November’s ballot got some unexpected help from the Oregon Supreme Court on Monday.

The proposal, Initiative Petition 44, has less than three weeks to collect and submit more than 88,000 valid signatures. The petition had been tied up after opponents with the National Rifle Association, Oregon Firearms Federation and other groups challenged its ballot language.

A record number of people have been forcibly displaced by war, violence and persecution, according to a new report from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. 68.5 million people were forcibly displaced in 2017, setting a new record for the fifth straight year. 138,700 unaccompanied and separated children sought refuge and asylum in 2017, according to the agency.

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Two sounds from the debate over border enforcement. Both were heard yesterday afternoon.

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Just outside tiny Sheffield, Iowa, a modern steel and glass office building has sprung up next to a cornfield. Behind it, there's a plant that employs almost 700 workers making Sukup brand steel grain bins. The factory provides an economic anchor for Sheffield, population 1,125.

Charles Sukup, the company's president, says that even though workers can be hard to come by, there are no plans to relocate.

"Our philosophy is you bloom where you're planted," Sukup says with a smile.

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The World Health Organization has added gaming disorders, as in video gaming, to addictive disorders. But this idea of technology addiction is still controversial, as Anya Kamenetz reports.

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