NPR Staff

It's officially prom season. And for girls especially, that means one thing in particular: dresses — lots of dresses.

Because it's been, well, more than a few years since the Weekend Edition staff had been to a prom themselves, NPR's Rachel Martin reached out to the person who would know best what's trending this year: Justina Sharp, a teen fashion writer who's been blogging on the topic at A Bent Piece of Wire since she was 13 years old.

For hundreds of years, Timbuktu has had a place in the world's imagination. Located on the southern edge of the Sahara desert, the city flourished as a center of Islamic culture and scholarship in the 13th through 16th centuries. It was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988, recognized for the University of Sankore, which had as many as 25,000 students who studied the Quran, as well as the historic Djingareyber and Sidi Yahia mosques.

This week, the NPR Politics team discusses Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton's big wins in the New York primary and looks ahead to next Tuesday, when five states hold primaries and more than 500 delegates are at stake.

Also on the podcast, a rant from Elizabeth Warren about Ted Cruz and whether or not 1,237 really is the magic number for winning the Republican nomination.

On the podcast:

  • White House Correspondent Tamara Keith
  • Campaign Reporter Sam Sanders

This story is part of "The View From," an election-year project focused on how voters' needs of government are shaped by where they live. The series started in Illinois and this week, NPR took a road trip across three Appalachian states.

When Owen Husney first met Prince Rogers Nelson, the musician was barely old enough to vote — and still going by his government name. "When you meet someone before they became the unapproachable icon, you tend to have a different relationship with them," he says.

Journalist Michael Kinsley — the founder of Slate and former editor of Harper's and The New Republic — says he's a "scout for his generation." Kinsley was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease when he was in his 40s. Now in his 60s, he writes that he had the opportunity to experience old age before the rest of his fellow baby boomers.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II turns 90 this week, and like many of us do on our birthdays, she'll be celebrating with some cake.

This year the task of coming up with a cake fit for a queen fell to Nadiya Hussain, the winner of the most recent season of the wildly popular TV show The Great British Bake Off.

Earlier this month, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, who came to the U.S. as an Iraqi refugee and is currently a student at the University of California, Berkeley, was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight because another passenger overheard him speaking on his cellphone in Arabic.

Catch up with these interviews from NPR's New York primary night special coverage, hosted by Scott Detrow.

The city of Boston and the friends and family members of the marathon bombing victims will never forget the day when two explosions ripped through the crowd at the race, killing three people and injuring more than 200. Neither will the family of Sunil Tripathi, but for very different reasons. Their story is told in the documentary film Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi.

When Newbery award-winning author Kate DiCamillo talks to kids about how she became a writer, she sometimes shows them a photo of her own family.

"I would put up this picture of my mother, my brother and me and I would say to them, 'Who's missing?' " she tells NPR's Kelly McEvers. "Clearly it's my father." And kids get that right away.

DiCamillo was always getting sick as a child, and when she was 6 years old, her family moved from Philadelphia to Florida in hopes that it would help her get healthy.

As laptops become smaller and more ubiquitous, and with the advent of tablets, the idea of taking notes by hand just seems old-fashioned to many students today. Typing your notes is faster — which comes in handy when there's a lot of information to take down. But it turns out there are still advantages to doing things the old-fashioned way.

Ahead of Tuesday's primary in New York, the presidential candidates have been clocking time upstate, where a lot of small towns have been gutted by the loss of manufacturing jobs in recent years. On this issue, the candidates are united.

Hillary Clinton has vowed to "fight for more help" in upstate New York if she wins the nomination, and Ted Cruz has called to bring manufacturing jobs "back from China and Mexico."

One of those towns is Massena, where big plant closures have meant residents either reinvent themselves, or move.

When they wouldn't hire her because she was a woman, she threatened her superiors. When the media asked her a stupid question, she gave them an earful. And when she thought she had contracted HIV/AIDS, she said, "if that's what happened, that's what happened."

It has been nearly a year since the death of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore man whose death in police custody set off days of street protests that turned violent. Since then, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the city's mayor, decided against a re-election bid, leaving a vacancy that's drawn more than a dozen Democrat candidates.

Among them is DeRay Mckesson, perhaps the most visible member of the Black Lives Matter movement. Since leaving a high-profile education job, Mckesson has amassed hundreds of thousands of loyal Twitter followers attracted to his brand of activism.

If Jeopardy!'s Alex Trebek gives the appearance of someone who has been hosting game shows all his life — that's because he has. Trebek's first hosting gig was in 1966 on a show for Canadian high schoolers called Reach for the Top. "We discovered that I was fairly good at that," he tells NPR's Rachel Martin.

This story is part of an election-year project focused on how voters' needs of government are shaped by where they live. NPR will explore parts of the country not on the primary calendar and not crowded with journalists following each twist of campaign season. First up: Illinois, the state that most broadly represents America in terms of race, income, age, religion and education.

At first glance, a posting for the job of bridgetender might not be the most attractive you've ever seen. For 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the person at the controls of the Ortega River Bridge in Jacksonville, Fla., must sit in a tiny booth, opening and closing the bridge so boats can pass.

Sounds like an awful job, right?

In 1991, a political drama mesmerized the nation. A law professor named Anita Hill had made a stunning accusation — that Clarence Thomas, then a Supreme Court nominee, had sexually harassed her when she worked for him at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The events that ensued are now the subject of the HBO film Confirmation, which premieres Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. Kerry Washington, who you probably know best as Olivia Pope on Scandal, plays Hill, who was very reluctant to reveal this decade-old secret.

The farm-to-table trend has exploded recently. Across the country, menus proudly boast chicken raised by local farmers, pork from heritage breed pigs, vegetables grown from heirloom varieties. These restaurants are catering to diners who increasingly want to know where their food comes from — and that it is ethically, sustainably sourced.

But are these eateries just serving up lies?

HBO's new movie Confirmation chronicles the intense confirmation battle for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas after Anita Hill, a former employee, claimed he sexually harassed her.

NPR's Nina Totenberg broke the story to the world in 1991, and she joins the NPR Politics podcast team to reflect on what happened, how it happened and why it still matters.

If you're a farmer who wants to stay small and independent, you're under an increasing amount of pressure these days. By the Department of Agriculture's count, a startling 97 percent of all the country's farms are family-run — but that's because many small family farms turned into big family farms, or collections of farms, which turned into big businesses.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox is a fierce critic of presidential candidate Donald Trump, repeatedly denouncing what he says are his "racist and ignorant ideas." Trump "says that he'll make America great again," Fox writes this week in The Guardian, "but I believe he's only making it worse."

The NPR Politics team is back with its weekly roundup of political news. The team explains the state of the primary race as it moves to New York, following wins in Wisconsin for Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz.

The team also discusses why the gloves are coming off in the Democratic race and partakes in some taste testing of wine ice cream that was inspired by Hillary Clinton.

On the podcast:

  • Campaign Reporter Sam Sanders
  • White House Correspondent Tamara Keith

The Broadway musical that's set during a revolution may have set off a revolution of its own, too. Right now, Hamilton is the hardest ticket to get on Broadway. It's been called a once-in-a-generation experience. But it's safe to say the unconventional smash wasn't always a sure thing.

The Grammy-winning show portrays the life of Alexander Hamilton, a founder of the United States who was once a poor, orphaned boy "dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot of the Caribbean" — and it does so in the rhymes and music of hip-hop and pop.

The Broadway musical that's set during a revolution may have set off a revolution of its own, too. Right now, Hamilton is the hardest ticket to get on Broadway. It's been called a once-in-a-generation experience. But it's safe to say the unconventional smash wasn't always a sure thing.

The Grammy-winning show portrays the life of Alexander Hamilton, a founder of the United States who was once a poor, orphaned boy "dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot of the Caribbean" — and it does so in the rhymes and music of hip-hop and pop.

Residents in Altamonte Springs, just outside of Orlando, have a new public transportation option — Uber.

The city will be the first in the country to partially subsidize Uber fares. The city will cover 20 percent of any ride beginning or ending in Altamonte Springs — 25 percent for rides to or from the local commuter rail station. An earlier plan to build an on-demand bus system fell through.

Millions of Americans recharge their phones, screens and laptops before they go to bed at night, but do they recharge themselves?

Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post, says we are in the midst of a sleep-deprivation crisis that creates anxiety, as well as exhaustion, depression, a higher risk of motor vehicle accidents — and overall sleep-deprived stupidity. NPR's Scott Simon talked with her about her new book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time.

Millions of Americans recharge their phones, screens and laptops before they go to bed at night, but do they recharge themselves?

Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post, says we are in the midst of a sleep-deprivation crisis that creates anxiety, as well as exhaustion, depression, a higher risk of motor vehicle accidents — and overall sleep-deprived stupidity. NPR's Scott Simon talked with her about her new book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time.

Residents in Altamonte Springs, just outside of Orlando, have a new public transportation option — Uber.

The city will be the first in the country to partially subsidize Uber fares. The city will cover 20 percent of any ride beginning or ending in Altamonte Springs — 25 percent for rides to or from the local commuter rail station. An earlier plan to build an on-demand bus system fell through.

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