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Ladies and gentlemen, light your fuses.

(SOUNDBITE OF FIREWORKS)

Greeks Divided Ahead Of Eurozone Vote

Jul 4, 2015
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Fuel Is Crucial In The Battle Over Syria

Jul 4, 2015
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"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

It's Independence Day. Let's take a break from parades, patriotic songs and pyrotechnics to think about the Declaration of Independence, which was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.

In just over 18 months, Barack Obama will join the ranks of ex-presidents. He'll be 55 when he leaves office, among the youngest to become a former president, alongside Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

President Carter remains a model of what an active, productive life can look like after leaving the White House. He looks back on that life in his new memoir, A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety, beginning with growing up with black friends in the Jim Crow South.

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If you've got any beer left over after your Fourth of July barbecue and picnic, we've got a delicious recipe for you - beer-braised turkey thighs. NPR's Noah Adams tracked down the recipe in Dayton, Ohio.

'Shadowshaper' Paints A Vibrant Picture

Jul 4, 2015

Shadowshaper had me crying at 3 percent of the e-book. Not because it was sad, but because I am one giant button when it comes to stories about family, heritage, language, art, and the magic mixed up in them, and this book knew just where to push.

Independence Day is typically filled with revelry — many people drink American beer, shoot explosives into the sky and rock red, white and blue apparel that may not be appropriate for everyday wear. It's also a day full of interesting, quirky history that people usually don't talk about between filling their mouths with hot dogs and singing The Star Spangled Banner off-key.

But if you're destined to spend your holiday at, say, a company cookout, here are five things you may not have known about Independence Day that you can use as conversation starters:

I finally reached the outskirts of my community after a 5-mile, uphill bike ride from the town where I go to buy groceries.

Hot, exhausted and loaded down with rice, bananas and mangoes, I didn't have the energy to go the final few hundred yards to reach the compound where I live.

Luckily, I didn't have to.

From the distance I heard cries of "n be Wumpini lo lo ni." That means "Welcome home my sister Wumpini." (That's my local name; it means God's gift.)

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Aetna, one of the biggest health insurance companies in the U.S., has announced a $37 billion deal to buy its rival Humana. This is a merger that could impact Medicare patients around the country, as NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports.

In Florida, the official state animal triggers mixed feelings. The Florida panther has been on the endangered species list for nearly 50 years. From a low point in the 1970s when there were only about 20 panthers in the wild, the species has rebounded.

Now, nearly 200 range throughout southwest Florida. And some officials, ranchers and hunters in the state say that may be about enough.

Florida panthers are a subspecies of the cougar or mountain lion. They're slightly smaller than their cousins, but like them, the panthers need lots of room to roam.

For more than a century, the copper spires of St. Laurentius have stood tall over Philadelphia's Fishtown. But the city's oldest Polish church — founded in 1882 — could soon face the wrecking ball.

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As they rapidly run out of cash, Greece's banks could hardly be in a more precarious position.

For months, as this crisis has intensified people have been slowly withdrawing their money. The banks have been able to do business only because of emergency loans from the European Central Bank.

But when Greece missed a payment to the International Monetary Fund this week, the ECB decided not to lend any more money.

It's July Fourth weekend — a time that many Americans dedicate to celebrating democracy and the birth of the United States. But more than two centuries ago, when the Revolutionary War ended with an American victory, not everyone was celebrating.

It's estimated that between 15 and 20 percent of the population back then still remained loyal to the British Crown. Naturally, they weren't so thrilled by the climactic British surrender at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781, which effectively sealed the fate of King George's attempt to keep the colonists in line.

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We are joined now by Euclid Tsakalotos. He is deputy foreign minister for Greece and the head of Greece's negotiating team.

Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us.

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So will 2016 be a very good year for Donald Trump? That's my first question to our regular political commentators, David Brooks of The New York Times and E J Dionne of the Washington Post, here to talk about the week in politics. Welcome to you both.

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Donald Trump is doubling down on his negative comments about Mexicans and illegal immigration. To recap, here's what he said last month when he announced his presidential run.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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I'm Rachel Martin, and I have a confession to make. It's the Fourth of July weekend, and there was a really big movie made in 1975, 40 years ago, pegged to this weekend - "Jaws."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "JAWS")

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#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom share pieces that have kept them reading. They share tidbits using the #NPRreads hashtag — and on Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you five reads.

From Ina Jaffe, NPR's Los Angeles-based correspondent:

Observing the consequences of the Mexican drug trade on both sides of the U.S. border, Cartel Land toggles between Arizona and the state of Michoacan, about 1,000 miles to the south. Only the latter of the twinned storylines really pays off, but that one is riveting.

This story is part of NPR's series Journey Home. We're going to the places presidential candidates call home and finding out what those places tell us about how they see the world.

A sun-powered airplane has landed in Hawaii after a five-day journey from Japan that smashed the previous record of 76 hours for the longest duration nonstop solo flight.

Pilot André Borschberg set the Solar Impulse 2 down on the tarmac at Kalaeloa Airport outside Honolulu after flying for 120 hours from Nagoya, his team reports.

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

An Internet insurrection is taking place on reddit, where moderators have shut down many of the social sharing site's most popular sections in an apparent protest over the dismissal of Victoria Taylor.

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