Nation/World

A public school district in Pennsylvania that faced a national outcry after threatening to place children in foster care over unpaid cafeteria debt has received several offers to pay off the entire delinquent meal tab, but school officials do not seem interested.

Updated at 6:43 p.m. ET

The Justice Department says it's launching a wide-ranging antitrust review of big tech companies. The DOJ didn't name specific firms in its announcement Tuesday but said its inquiry will consider concerns raised about "search, social media, and some retail services online."

Midstate College President Meredith Bunch says low and declining enrollment has forced the sudden closure of the 131-year-old private institution in Peoria. 

The 1940s were significant for a number of reasons.

America went off to fight in the second World War. Orson Welles released his masterpiece Citizen Kane. A rocket-powered plane flew faster than the speed of sound.

And also, a great love story was being written.

Joel and Julia Helfman grew up in the West Bronx during the 40s. Joel was 13 when a 12-year-old girl moved in across the street. After an errant stick-ball hit landed near Julia as she read a book, she retrieved it for Joel.

A guitar band from Mali called Tinariwen is famous worldwide. The group's fans and collaborators have included Robert Plant, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Bono of U2 and Nels Cline of Wilco. The band has fought extremism in their home country of Mali, and been victims themselves.

Edith Magnusson, the hard-working heroine in The Lager Queen of Minnesota is actually a composite of some of the women closest to author J. Ryan Stradal — his own mother and grandmothers. Stradal wasn't seeing the strong, Midwestern women who raised him reflected well in contemporary fiction. So he decided to write those characters himself.

"Sometimes when they are represented they can be oversimplified or caricatured ... " he says. "I know these people too well to do that. They contain multitudes just like everyone does — only they don't toot their own horn about it."

The Senate has voted 97-2 to approve a bill that will virtually ensure permanent funding for rescue workers whose work after the Sept. 11 attacks caused health problems.

The House passed the bill last month, and President Trump is expected to approve it, ending a years-long ordeal for the victims after concerns that the fund was on the verge of running out of money.

Felines are usually declawed in an attempt to protect furniture. New York cat owners, however, will have to tolerate ruined property.

New York is the first state in the country to outlaw the practice of declawing cats, a surgery animal-rights advocates deem inhumane and unnecessary. Declawing a cat, also known as onychectomy, has been banned in most European countries, along with some Canadian provinces and U.S. cities including Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

It's a case of animal versus vegetable — and the steaks are high.

A growing number of states have been passing laws saying that only foods made of animal flesh should be allowed to carry labels like "meat," "sausage," "jerky," "burger" or "hot dog."

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Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

In the new novel "The Lager Queen Of Minnesota," it is never quite clear who is the queen of beer. There is nothing royal about any of the characters. Take working-class grandmother Edith Magnusson. We meet her on the first page.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

In the new novel "The Lager Queen Of Minnesota," it is never quite clear who is the queen of beer. There is nothing royal about any of the characters. Take working-class grandmother Edith Magnusson. We meet her on the first page.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

In the new novel "The Lager Queen Of Minnesota," it is never quite clear who is the queen of beer. There is nothing royal about any of the characters. Take working-class grandmother Edith Magnusson. We meet her on the first page.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

In the new novel "The Lager Queen Of Minnesota," it is never quite clear who is the queen of beer. There is nothing royal about any of the characters. Take working-class grandmother Edith Magnusson. We meet her on the first page.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

In the new novel "The Lager Queen Of Minnesota," it is never quite clear who is the queen of beer. There is nothing royal about any of the characters. Take working-class grandmother Edith Magnusson. We meet her on the first page.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

In the new novel "The Lager Queen Of Minnesota," it is never quite clear who is the queen of beer. There is nothing royal about any of the characters. Take working-class grandmother Edith Magnusson. We meet her on the first page.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

In the new novel "The Lager Queen Of Minnesota," it is never quite clear who is the queen of beer. There is nothing royal about any of the characters. Take working-class grandmother Edith Magnusson. We meet her on the first page.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

In the new novel "The Lager Queen Of Minnesota," it is never quite clear who is the queen of beer. There is nothing royal about any of the characters. Take working-class grandmother Edith Magnusson. We meet her on the first page.

Cincinnati Opera has premiered a new opera that chronicles the stories of six people wrongfully convicted in Ohio and in the process, puts America's criminal justice system on trial. The new opera Blind Injustice is based on a book of the same title by Mark Godsey, a former prosecutor and law professor at the University of Cincinnati.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

A federal judge in North Carolina has approved a consent decree that enshrines the right of transgender individuals to use bathrooms that match their gender identities in North Carolina public buildings.

With Meghna Chakrabarti

One-third of Americans over 12 listen to podcasts. But just as the business gets booming, are there already too many podcasts?

The inbox overflowed this past week with passionate (and yes, often angry) listener and reader feedback about NPR's decision to use the word "racist" to describe President Trump's tweets that certain members of Congress should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came." He didn't name the members of Congress, but it was clear he was referring to four Democrats: women of color known as "The Squad," three of whom were born in the U.S.

TERRY GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. We're going to listen back to an interview with Paul Krassner, who was a prominent figure of the 60s counterculture. He died Sunday at the age of 87.

We tend to think of being asleep or awake as an either-or prospect: If you're not asleep, then you must be awake. But sleep disorder specialist and neurologist Guy Leschziner says it's not that simple.

"If one looks at the brain during sleep, we now know that actually sleep is not a static state," Leschziner says. "There are a number of different brain states that occur while we sleep."

A woman in Russia who was known for defending LGBT rights has been killed in St. Petersburg, according to activists and media reports that cite government statements about the death of Yelena Grigoryeva.

After months spent pushing for former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before Congress, Democrats will have the opportunity to question him in two hearings on Wednesday.

California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell is on both committees that will question Mueller. He speaks with Here & Now‘s Robin Young about what he’s expecting from the historic day on Capitol Hill.

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