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

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

In Detroit, 12 public school principals are accused of taking kickbacks on supplies that were never delivered. The charges, announced late last month, pose another blow to the long-troubled Detroit Public Schools, which needs hundreds of millions of dollars in long-term state aid.

Here's how the alleged kickback scheme worked: 12 principals, all working separately, gave contracts for school supplies to a vendor, who then kicked back some profits to them.

Detroit U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade says the alleged fraud totals $2.5 million. She calls it a "punch in the gut."

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

It's been nearly two years since the Department of Veterans Affairs came under fire for the amount of time veterans had to wait to see a doctor. The agency scrambled to find a fix, including allowing vets the option of seeing a private doctor via a program they call Veterans Choice.

In the '80s and '90s, America's suicide trend was headed in the right direction: down.

"It had been decreasing almost steadily since 1986, and then what happened is there was a turnaround," says Sally Curtin, a statistician with the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

When Owen Husney first met Prince Rogers Nelson, the musician was barely old enough to vote — and still going by his government name. "When you meet someone before they became the unapproachable icon, you tend to have a different relationship with them," he says.

In coming weeks, the White House is expected to finalize key new rules on overtime pay that could benefit an estimated 6 million lower-paid salaried workers. Workers' advocates say it's a long-awaited change. Most employer groups vocally oppose the new rules, because they might have to raise their minimum salaries, pay overtime — or limit their workers' hours.

Much of the debate has pitted workers against employers.

The largest research hospital in the world, the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., needs reform so that patient safety is always the priority — and never subservient to the demands of science.

FBI Director James Comey said Thursday that the federal government paid a steep fee for help accessing data on the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino attackers.

Just how steep?

"Let's see, more than I will make in the remainder of this job which is seven years and four months, for sure," Comey said at a talk at the Aspen Institute in London.

Considering the FBI director makes around $185,000 a year, that means the bureau shelled out more than $1 million for help cracking into the terrorist's iPhone, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

"Who still supports Andrew Jackson?"

An NPR colleague posed that question Thursday morning after news broke that Jackson, or at least his image, will share the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman. Tubman, in fact, would be the one on the front of the bill; Jackson would ride in back. News items described this Treasury Department decision in a way that made Jackson seem impossible to support: A slave-owning president was being shoved aside in favor of a heroic escaped slave.

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/.

When you sleep in unfamiliar surroundings, only half your brain is getting a good night's rest.

"The left side seems to be more awake than the right side," says Yuka Sasaki, an associate professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown University.

In public radio's mythical Lake Wobegon, "all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average."

The first two conditions are merely unlikely. The third one is a mathematical absurdity. However, a new survey suggests that almost all parents believe it to be true.

In a recent survey of public school parents, 90 percent stated that their children were performing on or above grade level in both math and reading. Parents held fast to this sunny belief no matter their own income, education level, race or ethnicity.

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

Does mother always know best? As a mom, I try to create the healthiest environment possible for my kids. I like to think my decisions are based on fact, but emotion plays a role, too. What happens if my choices aren't supported by medical research, and could even put my children at risk?

Curt Schilling, the MLB pitcher turned analyst for ESPN, was fired by the network after sharing a post on Facebook that appeared to comment on North Carolina's law that bars transgender people from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

Earlier this month, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, who came to the U.S. as an Iraqi refugee and is currently a student at the University of California, Berkeley, was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight because another passenger overheard him speaking on his cellphone in Arabic.

Lead seepage into the drinking water in Flint, Mich., has caused a massive public health crisis and prompted President Obama to declare a federal state of emergency there.

The problem began when the city switched its water supply in 2014. Almost immediately, residents of Flint — a majority-black city where 40 percent of people live in poverty — started complaining about the quality of the water. City and state officials denied for months that there was a serious problem.

When Defense Secretary Ashton Carter landed in Iraq for a surprise visit this week, he came armed with this news: More than 200 additional U.S. troops are headed to that country. They'll join the fight to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State.

As that battle unfolds on the ground, a parallel war against ISIS is unfolding in cyberspace.

The U.S. is ranked 41 out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders' World Press Freedom Index, which measures the "level of freedom of information in 180 countries."

According to the organization, the U.S. moved from 49 in 2015 to 41 this year, though it warned that the "relative improvement by comparison hides overall negative trends."

Public opinion on marijuana has risen dramatically over the last couple of decades. In the mid-1990s, only around 25 percent of Americans thought pot should be legal, according to Gallup.

Today, it's around 58 percent.

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/.

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