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Twenty-eight years ago, Morning Edition launched what has become an Independence Day tradition: hosts, reporters, newscasters and commentators reading the Declaration of Independence. It was on this date 240 years ago that church bells rang out over Philadelphia, as the Continental Congress adopted Thomas Jefferson's draft of the Declaration of Independence. Below is the original text of the Declaration, alongside photos of the NPR staff members and contributors who performed the reading....

Suki Kim spent 10 years researching and visiting North Korea. In 2011, she spent six months teaching at a university in Pyongyang — and working undercover as a journalist. During that time, Kim secretly documented the lives of 270 of North Korea's elite — young men who were being groomed as the country's future leaders — at the center of the country's regime change. Kim's reporting turned into the book Without You, There Is No Us , which — much to her dismay — was marketed as a memoir. She...

Donald Trump laid out his plan for the economy, criticizing globalization and policies that promote free trade, in a speech in Monessen, Pa., on Tuesday. NPR's politics team has annotated Trump's speech. The portions we commented on are bolded, followed by analysis and fact check in italics . We will update further. The speech follows: Thank you everybody. I'd like to thank the owner of the plant. I'd like to thank Rick Santorum, our great senator. And I have to say all of the amazing workers...

Sorry to disappoint Trekkies who still believe, but the actual USS Enterprise did not really take up much space. That famous starship of Mr. Spock and Capt. James Tiberius Kirk in the original Star Trek TV series — which turns 50 this year — was a model. Quite a large one, to be fair: 11 feet long and about 200 pounds, made out of blow-molded plastic and wood. But not life-sized. And for more than a decade, it hung in the gift shop of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space museum in...

What's your night sky look like? For most of the world, it's not a pretty sight. A new study has found that 80 percent of the world can't see the stars at night because of light pollution. But the other 20 percent can. So last week, we asked folks via Twitter to share their photos from the 20 top countries where city lights aren't blocking the stars. Many of these countries are part of the developing world that we cover in this blog: for example, Madagascar, Tanzania and Uganda. We got more...

When you think of the sound of Houston, you might think of country and western music. Maybe you've heard of bluesmen like Johnny Copeland and Albert Collins or gospel stars like Yolanda Adams . Or, you know, Beyoncé ? But Houston has also produced some of the biggest jazz musicians of today, according to the host of Jazz Night in America , composer and bassist Christian McBride . "It seems to me that over the last 15 to 20 years, there has been an onslaught of these great musicians from...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mirMEsFI07o http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4OD0OfWQ98 Arthur Smith, executive producer for American Ninja Warrior, knows the show's obstacle course is really, really hard. "We want to see extraordinary feats ..." he tells NPR's Audie Cornish. "If it were easy, it wouldn't be interesting." But the course is so tough that no one managed to actually win on the show until the seventh season. And that's OK with Smith. "It's not about winning. ..." he says. "The show...

What do Van Morrison's "Domino," the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar" and Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On?" have in common? All of them were recorded or became hits in 1971 — the year music journalist David Hepworth insists is the best year in rock 'n' roll history. In his new book, Never a Dull Moment, Hepworth makes the case that the music from 1971 was the result of "a huge explosion of creativity in a very short period of time" and lives on in the present like most old music does not. He...

Donald Trump laid out a series of campaign promises and leveled a slew of accusations at rival Hillary Clinton Wednesday. Read more about the speech here . NPR's politics team (with some help from our colleagues on the international desk) has annotated Trump's speech, below. Portions we commented on are bolded , followed by analysis and fact check in italics . We will update further. The speech follows: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much everyone. Today...

Last week marked the end of an era for the historic Chicago-based Johnson Publishing Co. After a 71-year run as an outlet for the expression of both the highest aspirations and deepest frustrations of African-Americans, the family-owned business has sold its iconic lifestyle magazine — Ebony -- and the now digital-only Jet magazine. The magazines were sold to Clear View Group, a private equity firm in Texas that has been described as African-American-owned. Johnson Publishing will retain its...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htDCkjUYNbI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KvXteZkByE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRID6bN71dY In the early morning hours last Sunday, reports of a shooting, resulting in ' multiple casualties' at Pulse nightclub , began to filter out of Orlando. When Mayor Buddy Dyer took the podium to update the press, it was worse than anyone imagined: 49 victims dead and 53 more wounded. But the scene of the massacre didn't just happen in any nightclub. It was a gay club....

When Finding Nemo came out in 2003, it was Dory, the plucky, forgetful blue fish, who taught us all, in the face of adversity, to "just keep swimming." Ellen DeGeneres, who voiced Dory, says she was "flattered and honored and awed" to have her legacy tied to such a determined and positive little fish. Dory came along during a particularly tough time for DeGeneres — "I hadn't worked for three years," she tells NPR's Kelly McEvers. DeGeneres came out publicly as a lesbian in 1997. She had been...

When you look out your window at night, can you see the stars? Or are the heavens just a murky haze? If you're not seeing stars, you're not alone. A new report says that 80 percent of the world lives under light-polluted skies — and the Milky Way is hidden from more than a third of humanity. Blame it on the artificial lights that shine at night. So who gets those pristine, ink-black sky conditions? You can, of course, find a great night sky in any country — as long as you're far from city...

Vigils, marches and rallies were held across the country and the world on Monday evening to remember the victims of the deadly attack in Orlando, Fla. Events were held in New York, Vermont, Florida, California, Alaska, Rhode Island, Colorado, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and in Washington, D.C. Another vigil is scheduled for Tuesday in Atlanta, Ga. In New York, thousands gathered outside the Stonewall Inn, the site of a 1969 police raid that launched the modern...

Former President Jimmy Carter may be on the brink of celebrating the birthday wish he made last year: the global eradication of Guinea worm disease. This year, there are only two confirmed cases, compared to 3.5 million a year in the 1980s. It's a medical milestone that took a nearly 30-year effort by the Carter Center and its partners. Carter spoke to NPR's Robert Siegel about the fight against Guinea worm. An edited version of the interview follows. Interview Highlights You must be...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbRdLttgqGs How do you cover an incomprehensible disaster and make people connect with the real lives behind the headlines? David Gilkey knew how. His photos have helped define our coverage of global health and development at Goats and Soda. They have a tremendous warmth and humanity that reflects his own compassionate heart and soul. Gilkey was killed Sunday , on assignment for NPR in Afghanistan. His interpreter Zabihullah "Zabi" Tamanna died as well during a...

"Broomgate." Yes, that's really what some people are calling it. OK, it may not quite rise to the level of a "-gate" scandal, but it is bringing about some big changes in the sport of curling. But before we get into what exactly the controversy is about, it's necessary to give a little background on curling. Curling involves two opposing teams of four players. The players take turns "throwing rocks," that is, sliding pieces of granite that weigh between 38 and 44 pounds on a sheet of ice...

When it comes to politics, it's voters' life experiences that count, not just the experiences of the candidates they'll vote for. What national events have shaped your political views? And how do those similar events play out within and between generations? NPR's Robert Siegel put those questions to Americans in three different age groups: 25-year-olds, 45-year-olds and 65-year-olds. They are from different parts of the country and across the political spectrum. Among them: a 25-year-old who...

While some of Washington's most prominent Republican leaders are still struggling over whether to endorse Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the call to do so last month — as soon as Trump became the likely nominee. In fact, for all the talk of the GOP's upheaval, the Kentucky Republican says he doesn't think a Trump nomination will redefine the Republican Party in any substantial way. The party is now at "an all-time high," he said. McConnell spoke to Steve Inskeep of...

This election has brought a bitter primary season: candidates at each other's throats; a Democratic Party in crisis. But it's nothing new. Eight years ago, the Democratic Party was recovering after a brutal primary between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Now, the party has found itself in a similar place. This week on For the Record : Lessons learned from the 2008 Democratic primary, with two political operatives who lived through it. Back then, Mo Elleithee and Bill Burton were each...

By the time his first memoir, Fresh Off The Boat, came out in 2013, Eddie Huang was really hitting his stride. His New York restaurant, Baohaus — which serves gua bao , or Taiwanese hamburgers — was doing really well. His TV show, Huang's World , was taking him all over the world. His memoir — a raw, funny and sometimes profane account of growing up as an Asian-American kid reconciling two cultures — was turned into a popular sitcom for ABC. But then he fell in love — with a White, all...

Some people may only remember Vice Adm. James Stockdale as independent presidential candidate Ross Perot's running mate in 1992. His opening statement of a disastrous performance during the vice presidential debate — "Who am I? Why am I here?" — made him a punchline on late night TV. But Stockdale's legacy far surpasses any failed political endeavors. In 1965, his plane was shot down over North Vietnam and he was taken as a prisoner of war at Hoa Lo. He would be a POW for nearly eight years....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJWlBfo5Oj0 In the late 1980s, Moby was drawn to what he calls "the dirty mecca" of New York City. As a DJ and electronic musician, he was a staple of the rave scene: massive crowds dancing until dawn, probably under the influence of a substance or two, all moving as one to his songs. Moby says he never would have predicted his success spilling into the mainstream — but it did with the album Play , a mashup of techno, old blues samples and darkly poetic lyrics....

We often associate climate change with too much water — the melting ice caps triggering a rise in sea levels. Now a new World Bank report says we also need to think about too little water — the potable sort. High and Dry: Climate Change, Water, and the Economy examines the future effects of diminishing water supplies on the world. "Water-related climate risks cascade through food, energy, urban, and environmental systems," researchers write. "Growing populations, rising incomes, and expanding...

A new oil painting has just arrived in what may be the world's most clandestine art gallery — the fine arts collection at the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency. This commissioned work isn't your typical still life; the tableau is a busy clutter of gear — photos, blueprints, weapons and ammunition. CIA museum director Toni Hiley says this painting — the 21st in the collection — is purposely complex. A Contingency for Every Action shows artifacts from major covert actions going...

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