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There's nothing like jamming a waxed piece of string between your tightest molars and sliding it back and forth. And who doesn't do that once a day, just as the dentist prescribes?

At The New Republic, Chloe Angyal pens a piece on the role of white womanhood in America's racial dynamics, and why she will "no longer be an excuse for violence."

Toddlers can throw their fair share of tantrums, especially when you don't yield to their will. But by age 3, it turns out, the little rug rats actually have a burgeoning sense of fairness and are inclined to right a wrong.

When they see someone being mistreated, children as young as 3 years old will intervene on behalf of others nearly as often as for themselves, a study published this month in Current Biology suggests. Just don't ask them to punish the perpetrator.

Their lives and deaths are now a part of the public record, their names part of a tragic roll call: Rodney King, Michael Brown, Ezell Ford, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Rekia Boyd and Tanisha Anderson. They are just some of the Americans who've been killed or harmed in encounters with police. But does it have to be that way? How do we get beyond violence and deep-seated animosities in a relationship where conflict is a part of the job?

The Department of Veterans Affairs responded Tuesday to an NPR story that the U.S. military exposed thousands of American troops to mustard gas in secret chemical weapons experiments during World War II.

A judge has declared a mistrial in the case of two former Vanderbilt football players who were found guilty of rape in January.

In Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Brimley is the kind of small town where the students of the month in the elementary school get full-page write-ups in the local newspaper.

There's an Indian reservation just up the road, a couple bars, a gas station, a motel and that's about it.

Brimley Elementary serves two groups that often struggle academically. Of the 300 students, more than half are Native American. Many come from low-income families.

The State Department says it is working around the clock on a computer problem that's having widespread impact on travel into the U.S. The glitch has practically shut down the visa application process.

Of the 50,000 visa applications received every day, only a handful of emergency visas are getting issued.

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On a recent day at Baltimore's Lillian S. Jones Recreation Center, adolescent boys play basketball, while a group of girls play Monopoly at a nearby table. There's also air hockey, foosball and a computer room in back.

Director Brandi Murphy says there are also swim classes, science lessons, arts and crafts. But the center gives the kids — students age 5 to 12 who come after school and in the summer — far more than fun things to do.

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(SOUNDBITE OF JAMES HORNER SONG, "A KALEIDOSCOPE OF MATHEMATICS")

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People who buy medical marijuana products might not be getting what they paid for, a study finds. And evidence remains elusive on benefits for most medical conditions, even though almost half the states have legalized medical marijuana.

For two decades, Texas has treated truancy as a criminal offense. That means most cases were prosecuted in adult courts where children, along with their parents, faced jail and fines of up to $1,500 for missing school — usually 10 or more unexcused absences.

Texas lawmakers now say this policy went too far. So last week, Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed a law that no longer treats truancy as a Class C misdemeanor.

Unlike fanatics, fad-atics move from craze to craze. And America, with its short national attention span, is the perfect place for fadatics to flourish.

But when does a fad begin to fade? When does a fad become a fixture?

"How long does the typical fad last?" asks Adrian Furnham in the 2004 finance book Management and Myths. "It depends on the zeitgeist." In other words, a vat of variables.

A line of severe thunderstorms spawned tornadoes and strong winds across parts of the Midwest on Tuesday.

In Illinois, one of the hardest hit areas was Coal City, a town of 5,000 people just south of Chicago. The Chicago Tribune reports that authorities believe a tornado raked the area overnight, damaging homes and other buildings.

The Tribune reports:

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Fryman Canyon is one of those special places in the city of Los Angeles — a bit of country and canyon nestled just off the crest of Mulholland Drive, with gorgeous views of the valley and mountains.

It's favored by the canine set — my two dogs love it here — and on any given morning I'm sure to run into fellow canyon lovers, like Stacy Maes and her energetic weimaraner, Astrid.

Math teacher Sherry Read's classroom is a total mess. The students are gone for the summer, and light fixtures dangle from the ceiling. The floor has a layer of dust. Down the hallway, workers make a racket while they renovate the school, which dates back to the 1890s. They're working in what has become an archaeological site.

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In secret chemical weapons experiments conducted during World War II, the U.S. military exposed thousands of American troops to mustard gas.

When those experiments were formally declassified in the 1990s, the Department of Veterans Affairs made two promises: to locate about 4,000 men who were used in the most extreme tests, and to compensate those who had permanent injuries.

But the VA didn't uphold those promises, an NPR investigation has found.

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Fraud and abuse continue to dog Medicare's popular prescription drug program, despite a bevy of initiatives launched to prevent them, according to two new reports by the inspector general of Health and Human Services.

Their release follows the arrests of 44 pharmacy owners, doctors and others, who last week were accused of bilking the program, known as Part D.

Taylor Swift is no stranger to positive, even fawning, press coverage. Just this month, there was the story about teenagers using light-up bracelets from a Swift concert to flag down help when they were trapped inside their car after a crash. The headline from MTV read "Taylor Swift Saved Three Teens' Lives — Literally."

If you've wondered whether there's a downside to wearing superskinny jeans, this story's for you.

A 35-year-old Australian woman wound up in the hospital after wearing skinny jeans while helping a family member move.

The move involved "many hours of squatting while emptying cupboards," according to a report published Monday in the journal Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Local food enthusiasts have been trying to make the case that buying food from farmers nearby supports local economies, boosts food security and is better for the environment.

But so far, "local" food still makes up a pretty small fraction of what Americans eat. And given that most agriculture in the U.S. is geared toward producing food crops — from corn to soybeans to almonds — for the global market, it doesn't seem likely that will change.

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