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A Mississippi car accident in 1937 cut short the life of Bessie Smith.

She was just 43 years old. But she'd already established her legacy as "Empress of the Blues" — a pioneering American performer who demanded respect and equal pay in a world dominated by men and controlled by whites.

She'd also achieved a degree of infamy for her boozing, her brawling and her sexual appetites.

NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Mike Sager, who wrote for California Sunday Magazine about the makers of a marijuana concentrate called "hash oil." While using hash oil is legal in some states, making it is not.

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Why would anyone go on a reality game show?

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SURVIVOR: COOK ISLANDS")

JEFFREY PROBST: You must send one person to Exile Island immediately and take the rest of their money for yourself.

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In a West Baltimore classroom, three dozen adults — all African-American, mostly men — are in their first week of "pre-employment training."

"Show me Monday, what does Monday look like," asks the instructor. They all raise one hand high above their head.

"That's where the energy should be every day," she says. "Stay alert!" The class responds in unison: "Stay alive."

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Just a few months ago McDonald's was showing no love for kale.

In a TV ad promoting the beefiness of the Big Mac, the chain poked fun at the leafy green and other vegetarian fare: "You can't get juiciness like this from soy or quinoa," a low voice quips as the camera focuses on a juicy burger. "Nor will it ever be kale."

But the chain is now showing it some affection. McDonald's has announced that it's testing a new breakfast bowl that blends kale and spinach with turkey sausage and egg whites. McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa McComb says the bowls are "freshly prepared."

Lawmakers working on fixes to the justice system say that unrest in places like Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore is pushing them to act.

"The whole idea of a young man dying in police custody, the confrontations with police, the looting and burning of innocent minority owned businesses," Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn said on the Senate floor this month. "The question arises, what can we do?"

Among the faces in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new right-wing government, one is drawing particular attention: Ayelet Shaked, the new justice minister.

Shaked is secular, lives in liberal Tel Aviv, and has a background in the high-tech industry. Ari Soffer, the managing editor of Israel National News, calls her a patriot.

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How Do You Say 'Snafu' In Japanese?

May 13, 2015

The Senate looks ready to move ahead with trade legislation, after a daylong delay that the Obama administration repeatedly described as a "snafu."

"These kinds of procedural snafus are not uncommon," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest after Democrats held up the bill, which would give President Obama authority to expedite passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

In recent years, Twitter has become the go-to destination for news junkies. Now, Facebook is entering a deal with nine news organizations, including The New York Times, NBC News and Buzzfeed, to run some of their in-depth articles, photos and videos inside Facebook. No need to leave the app!

A new study finds that employer-based programs to help people stop smoking would work better if they tapped into highly motivating feelings — such as the fear of losing money.

This conclusion flows from a study involving the employees of CVS/Caremark. Some workers got postcards asking them if they wanted a cash reward to quit smoking. One card ended up in the hands of Camelia Escarcega in Rialto, Calif., whose sister works for CVS.

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Negotiations are underway between the U.S. government and immigration advocates over family detention after a federal judge issued a tentative ruling that detention facilities violate standards for children.

The result of the talks could force the three family detention centers operating in the U.S. — two in Texas and one in Berks County, Pa. — to close.

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