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The nation's colleges and universities have been on pins and needles waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether race can be a factor in their admissions policies.

And so today's 4-3 ruling upholding the affirmative-action program at the University of Texas at Austin brought a sigh of relief to much of the higher education world.

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?

There's a hot pink suitcase on the floor of Shariah Vroman-Nagy's bedroom. The 18-year-old is packing for a trip to Disneyland, one of several she takes with her family every year.

"Let's see, I need a hairbrush," she says, moving past the collection of Mickey Mouse ears on her dresser and glancing at the inspirational quotes from Marilyn Monroe on the wall.

The lyrics to a song called "Smile" hang in a frame over her bed.

An ancient variety of squash that was all but lost to history is now being rediscovered. Native Americans in the Great Lakes region have cultivated this squash for centuries, and now tribes are sharing the seeds with each other and with small farmers to bring the plant back.

Eighth Day Farm in Holland, Mich., is among those that acquired seeds from this mystery squash. And the farm's Sarah Hofman-Graham says they didn't know what to expect when they planted it last year.

The Shallows, the second-best aquatic adventure now playing at a theater near you, looks at first glance like an attempt to restore a modicum of respectability to the genre Jaws wrought. (I mean shark-flicks specifically, not the predatory, invasive species of the sensation-driven summer blockbuster.)

A powerful tornado, hailstorms and heavy rain hit eastern China's Jiangsu province Thursday, killing at least 78 people, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The news service adds that "nearly 500 people were injured, 200 critically."

In the United States, if a hospital didn't have running water even for one day, it'd be a crisis.

But in some parts of the world, that's business as usual.

A California jury has ruled that the members of Led Zeppelin did not plagiarize the opening bars of their hit "Stairway to Heaven," a seminal song in rock history.

The estate of Randy Wolfe, the deceased guitarist of the band Spirit, had filed the federal copyright infringement lawsuit in 2014. It argued that guitar intro was stolen from the opening notes of Spirit's song "Taurus," – which came out before Stairway. At the time, Wolfe was performing under the pseudonym Randy California.

The great critic Robert Warshaw once pegged the gangster movie as "the no to the great American yes that is stamped so large over our official culture."

Is there anything to be learned from watching the same scenario play out multiple times? Regular viewers of Hong Sang-soo's psychologically acute work have probably been asking themselves that for years, as many of the Korean filmmaker's movies spin variations on a single setup: a middle-aged art-film director dallies, often inconclusively, with a pretty young woman (or two).

A wannabe-gangster foster kid develops an uneasy bond with a reluctant parental figure as they trek through the New Zealand bush in Hunt for the Wilderpeople, a familiar sort of coming-of-age movie made more interesting by the uniqueness of its setting and its off-kilter Kiwi humor. The film has already broken box office records in its native New Zealand. It's a bit too tame to catch fire here in the same way, however, despite writer-director Taika Waititi's growing track record as a cult comedy hero.

In the shimmering Tinseltown gothic of Nicolas Winding Refn's The Neon Demon, beauty is a commodity both precious and volatile, subject to runway trends and the ravages of age, with just a blemish, a wrinkle, or a sliver of fat separating today's "It Girl" from tomorrow's bus back to Indiana.

Mike Marsella was a really competitive guy, a champion cross-country runner in high school. He got a running scholarship to college. Then a car hit him while he was riding a moped. He was left in a coma, with brain damage. And when his mind changed, his running changed, too.

Would he ever be Mike Marsella again? And would he ever run a four-minute mile?

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Navigating airport security lines is a hassle, for most. Among the exceptions: passengers with TSA PreCheck stamped on their boarding pass.

They don't take off their shoes, they don't take out their laptops and they often clear security in just a few minutes. And now, there are a lot more of them.

In the past three months the number of applications for TSA PreCheck has more than doubled. Almost 16,000 people a day are now applying for PreCheck. That's a huge increase from less than 7,000 a day in March.

During his daily bus commute in the bustling Indian city of Hyderabad, there was something that really bothered Narayana Peesapaty.

"Everybody was eating something on their way to work," says Peesapaty, who was working as a sustainable farming researcher for a nonprofit organization at the time. But it wasn't his fellow bus riders' snacking habits that troubled him. It was their plastic cutlery.

Fed up with a collapsing economy, Venezuelans have been turning out in huge numbers this week to support a referendum that could potentially end the rule of President Nicolas Maduro and his Socialist Party.

The opposition has to collect hundreds of thousands of signatures as the first step in a complicated process leading to a recall vote on ousting Maduro. The electoral authority gave the opposition five days to verify the signatures. The deadline is Friday, and it's a race against time for both the opposition and the president.

A campaign putting out a list of big name endorsements isn't particularly remarkable. But what is remarkable about the Clinton campaign's list is that it includes prominent Republican executives — business leaders who say they have never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in their lives.

Take Jim Cicconi, the senior executive vice president at AT&T. He served in both the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and donated $10,000 last year to Jeb Bush's Right to Rise superPAC. But he says he's voting for Hillary Clinton in November.

A ceremony in Havana, Cuba, on Thursday marked a major step toward peace in Colombia, when the country's biggest rebel group and its national government signed a historic cease-fire agreement.

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