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Feminine products are having a moment. With some calling for a red wave to take the taboo out of menstruation, politicians across the country are trying to make tampons and sanitary pads as affordable and accessible as possible.

Five states have eliminated sales taxes on pads and tampons: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland and Minnesota. In New York, a bill awaits the governor's signature, and other efforts to improve access to sanitary products are underway.

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It's almost cram time for anyone taking that dreaded law school entrance exam next month: the LSAT. Simon Brick, who just graduated from the University of Arizona and has an interest in international law, says he's been studying for the test for months.

Brick hasn't ruled out the possibility of going to law school at Arizona, where he was in a pre-law fraternity. "I know that it is a very good law program," he says. "Right now I'm keeping my options open."

For Tim Goliver and Luther Glenn, the worst illness of their lives started in the same way — probably after having a stomach bug.

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North Carolina's controversial law that limits civil rights protections for LGBTQ people has cost the state hundreds of jobs, potentially millions of dollars and widespread condemnation.

Amid the backlash, however, nearly half the people in North Carolina say they support parts of House Bill 2, the state's so-called bathroom law.

In the small rural town of Faith, for instance, residents say their point of view is getting lost in the noise.

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/.

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In Florida, homeowners have a propensity for landscaping. They take great pride in the green carpet of grass in front of their homes. But one Florida man is working on a project that's turning his neighbors' lawns into working farms.

Chris Castro has an obsession — turning the perfectly manicured lawns in his Orlando neighborhood into mini-farms.

"The amount of interest in Orlando is incredibly surprising," Castro says.

"Class of 2016, let me be as clear as I can be: In politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue," President Obama told Rutgers University graduates in a commencement address urging broad engagement with the world.

His remarks, which stressed "reason" over "anti-intellectualism," have been widely interpreted as a critique of the de facto Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, though he did not explicitly name him:

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One issue at the center of North Carolina's so-called bathroom bill controversy is safety, but who's at risk? Depends on whom you ask.

Supporters of House Bill 2 tend to focus on people born male who later transition to female. The HB2 supporters say that without the new law, sexual predators could just say they're a transgender person with the right to use a women's bathroom and easily gain access to potential victims.

Sir Harold Walter Kroto died on April 30, and I've been thinking a lot about him ever since.

Harry, as he preferred to called, was one of the most remarkable people I've ever known.

We met in 2013 when I was moderating a panel of Nobel laureates at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix. He was obviously smart, having co-discovered new forms of carbon called buckminsterfullerenes — or buckyballs — and sharing a Nobel prize for that work in 1996.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

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

Ah, the cardigan: your granny's cozy go-to used to be available year-round, but in limited quantities and colors. It was considered the sartorial equivalent of flossing: necessary, but not glamorous.

"The cardigan used to be something to keep you warm in the work place," explains Teri Agins, who covered the fashion industry for the Wall Street Journal for years. "It was not really an accessory you left on—unless you wore it as part of a twin set."

That look, sweater upon sweater, was considered too prim for a lot of young women. It was their mother's look.

Embattled Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he will disband the city's police oversight agency. It is charged with investigating police shootings and misconduct — but it has long been criticized for slow investigations that rarely result in disciplinary action.

NPR's Martin Kaste tells our Newscast unit that scrapping the Independent Police Review Authority is a response to a crisis of confidence in Chicago's police. Here's more from Martin:

An Arizona judge has ruled that Joe Arpaio, who calls himself "America's toughest sheriff," is in civil contempt of court. Judge G. Murray Snow says Arpaio has repeatedly and knowingly disobeyed his orders to cease policing tactics against Latinos that he says amount to systemic racial profiling.

I Love My Parents But I Hate Their Politics

May 14, 2016

Dear Sugar Radio is a weekly podcast from member station WBUR. Hosts Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed offer "radical empathy" and advice on everything from relationships and parenthood to dealing with drug problems or anxiety.

In this week's episode, listeners ask what to do when political differences with family members turn downright hostile. Here, Bleeding Heart says a disagreement with her parents about Donald Trump has hurt the family's ability to communicate.


Dear Sugars,

#NPRreads: 3 Stories To Stake Out This Weekend

May 14, 2016

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

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