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This week, NPR reported that the Department of Veterans Affairs failed to live up to a promise to contact 4,000 veterans who were exposed to mustard gas in secret military experiments. In 1993, the VA promised it would reach out to each of those veterans to let them know that they were eligible for disability benefits. Instead, over the past 20 years, the VA reached out to only 610.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A classic of black cinema celebrated its 40th birthday on June 25. Cooley High showed a slice of urban life rarely seen in "blaxploitation" movies of the time. Set in Chicago's Cabrini-Green housing project, it became a touchstone for filmmakers like John Singleton and Spike Lee.

Missouri Food Pantries Help Clients Grow Their Own Produce

Jun 26, 2015

In the U.S., 1 in 6 people struggles with hunger. Food pantries across the country pass out food to help these people put meals on the table. But what if they could help teach the pantry visitors how to grow their own food, too?

Grow Well Missouri, a program that travels to food pantries around central Missouri, is one of several food-aid groups trying to do just that, passing out seeds and starter plants to low-income locals.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5 Challenges Still Facing Obamacare

Jun 26, 2015

In its first five years, the Affordable Care Act has survived technical meltdowns, a presidential election, two Supreme Court challenges — including one resolved Thursday — and dozens of repeal efforts in Congress. But its long-term future still isn't ensured.

Here are five of the biggest hurdles that remain.

Medicaid Expansion

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Fifty-one years before the deadly shootings at a church in Charleston, S.C., there was another infamous attack on a Southern black church. The 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed by the Ku Klux Klan on Sept. 15, 1963.

Four young girls were murdered. Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Addie Mae Collins were each 14 years old. Denise McNair was 11. Gwen Moten was best friends with Denise.

When I set out to interview Helena Hicks, I thought we'd talk history. The soft-spoken, 80-year-old who stands just 4 feet 10 inches tall with a sleek, silver bob, is known for her role in helping to desegregate Read's Drug Store chain. But it turns out she's as active as ever, a force to reckon with at any sense of injustice.

"My father taught me that 'you are somebody,' " she says. "If it's wrong, you do something about it."

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The 2015 NBA Draft took place Thursday night in Brooklyn's Barclay Center. Karl-Anthony Towns from the University of Kentucky was the first pick, drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team that ended last season with a 16-66 record. Nineteen-year-old, 6-foot-11 Towns only played one year at Kentucky, but during that season was named a 2015 Second-Team All-American. He also helped lead Kentucky to the Final Four.

In an interview shortly after his pick, Towns told ESPN, "This is what you live for." He continued, "I'm coming with a winning attitude. I just want to win."

Following comments Donald Trump made about Mexican immigrants during his presidential announcement last week, Univision, the nation's largest Spanish-language TV network, has announced it is cutting ties with Trump and dropping plans to broadcast the Miss Universe Pageant.

Trump, the businessman and now-presidential candidate, co-owns the pageant.

The U.S. Supreme Court handed the Obama administration a sweeping victory on Thursday, upholding the nationwide subsidies that are crucial to the president's health care law. By a 6-3 vote, the high court ruled that Congress meant all three major provisions of the law to apply to all states and to work in tandem.

The ruling was the court's second decision upholding the Affordable Care Act — three years ago, it upheld the law as constitutional.

A proposed resolution to remove state flags containing any portion of the Confederate battle flag from the U.S. Capitol has been put on hold by House Republicans.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Bennie Thompson, the only black member of Mississippi's congressional delegation, would authorize the Speaker of the House to remove any state flag that contained the Confederate symbol on the House side of the Capitol complex. Mississippi is the only state flag that would be affected.

Justice Antonin Scalia called on using old-time language on Thursday to express his contempt for the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of Obamacare. He called the majority opinion "jiggery pokery" and "pure applesauce."

Also Thursday, the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary added 500 entries, mostly of the new-fangled variety.

There were plenty of tasty tidbits packed into the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report that came out back in February.

As we reported, the panel of nutrition experts that wrote the report said it was OK to eat an egg a day. The scientific evidence now shows it won't raise the amount of LDL cholesterol – the bad kind of cholesterol — in your blood or raise the risk of heart disease.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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