Hansi Lo Wang

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The race question is going to get complicated for many people who identify as white on the U.S. census.

Since 1960, when U.S. residents were first allowed to self-report their race on the census, just answering "White" has been enough to complete the race question. But the federal government is now preparing to essentially ask non-Hispanic white people where they and their ancestors are from as part of the Census Bureau's inquiry into their racial identity.

There's been a decades-long push for the U.S. Census Bureau to collect more detailed data on people with roots in the Middle East or North Africa, also known as MENA. Advocates of that campaign hit another roadblock Friday, when the Census Bureau announced it is not planning to add a MENA category to the 2020 census.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET Friday

A Census Bureau announcement about the race and ethnicity questions for the 2020 census suggests the Trump administration will not support Obama-era proposals to change how the U.S. government collects information about race and ethnicity, census experts say.

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In 1968, 1,300 black men from the Memphis Department of Public Works went on strike after a malfunctioning truck crushed two garbage collectors to death.

The strike led to marches with demonstrators carrying signs declaring "I Am A Man." Their organizing efforts drew support from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. before his assassination.

Every decade, the U.S. Census Bureau asks some personal questions for the national head count required by the constitution. But since 1960, one topic that hasn't come up for all U.S. residents is citizenship.

The Trump administration is trying to change that with a Department of Justice request for a question about citizenship on the 2020 census.

Latinos are one of the fastest-growing racial or ethnic groups in the U.S. But a new finding by the Pew Research Center suggests the Hispanic population may not get as big as demographers have predicted.

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A state judge in New York is weighing whether to dismiss a defamation lawsuit that could bring allegations of sexual misconduct against President Trump back into the spotlight amid a national reckoning over sexual harassment.

A major decision on the way the U.S. government collects information about race and ethnicity through the census and other surveys was expected to be announced this week by the Trump administration.

But the White House's Office of Management and Budget, which sets standards for this type of data for all federal agencies, was silent on Friday, which OMB had said was the deadline for an announcement.

A spokesperson for OMB could not provide any information about the delay.

Updated Dec. 6

Some major changes may be coming to how the U.S. government collects data about the country's racial and ethnic makeup.

The Trump administration has been considering proposals to ask about race and ethnicity in a radical new way on the 2020 Census and other surveys that follow standards set by the White House.

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More than two months since Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas and historic flooding damaged tens of thousands of houses in the Houston area, many homeowners who got hit are in a bind. Their now-gutted homes are financial drains.

That's bringing out investors who are eager to pick up damaged houses at low prices.

Call it a post-Harvey frenzy for flooded homes.

Corey Boyer, an investor based in Cypress, Texas, has been putting in more than a handful of offers – many site unseen.

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Prosecutors are starting to lay out their case now against the suspect in that deadly attack along a bike path in New York City on Tuesday.

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Counterterrorism officials seem to worry about the scenario each and every day.

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No one knows exactly what was in the floodwaters in Texas that came after Hurricane Harvey. That's raised some questions about food safety after a flood. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports on the confusion about what to do with crops and farm fields that sat underwater for days.

Water spinach goes by many other names. A staple among some Asian-American families for stir-frys and soups, this stalky vegetable with arrowhead leaves and hollow stems is known as ong choy in Cantonese and rau muống in Vietnamese.

But in a Cambodian-American community tucked down the gravel roads of Rosharon, Texas — about a half-hour south of Houston — most people call it by its Khmer name, trakoun.

The 2020 Census is expected to cost more than $15 billion — an increase of more than 25 percent above the U.S. Census Bureau's original estimate — Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told members of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform during a Thursday hearing.

"There are still many challenges ahead," said Ross, who says additional funding from Congress is "urgently needed" as preparations continue for the once per decade, constitutionally mandated count of every person in the U.S.

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The federal government is gearing up for its big 2020 census count. Today Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Congress the Census Bureau needs more than $15 billion to do the survey.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

More than a month after Hurricane Harvey and historic flooding ravaged south Texas, a new construction training center is opening in Houston — and the timing couldn't be better.

"It was just sort of a matter of weird circumstances," says Linda Head, associate vice chancellor of workforce education at Lone Star College. The public community college system is set to formally open its long-planned Construction and Skilled Trades Technology Center on Oct. 30.

After an outcry from advisers to the U.S. Census Bureau, the federal agency is no longer considering a proposal to remove a question about sexual orientation from a marketing survey for the 2020 Census.

Asian-Americans are an incredibly diverse group.

To help capture that diversity, some states have recently passed laws requiring state agencies to collect more detailed demographic data about the country's fastest-growing racial group.

Those policies have been met with a backlash from within the Asian-American community.

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

Members of the oldest civil rights organization in the U.S., the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, are heading into their annual meeting with no speaker from the White House and a new interim president and CEO. The meeting started Saturday in Baltimore.

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Updated Tuesday, September 5

During the Obama administration, at least four federal agencies, including the Justice Department, asked the Census Bureau to add questions about sexual orientation and gender identity to the American Community Survey, NPR has learned.

Besides the Justice Department, those agencies include the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Environmental Protection Agency.

It's been almost four years since Patrisse Khan-Cullors helped birth the hashtag #blacklivesmatter. Those three words gained national attention for demonstrations against police brutality and grew into a movement.

But progress has been slow, admits Khan-Cullors, a Los Angeles-based activist who co-founded the Black Lives Matter Network.

The U.S. Census Bureau has never asked Americans about sexual orientation and gender identity. Last year, though, requests for that data came from more than 75 members of Congress and multiple federal agencies.

Still, the Census Bureau concluded "there was no federal data need" to collect this information, the bureau's outgoing director, John Thompson, wrote in March.

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