National News

After seven years, Palm Springs, Calif., is about to scratch its Marilyn Monroe itch. A towering sculpture of the screen icon called "Forever Marilyn" that spent almost two years in the city is coming back permanently.

When she was there from 2012 to 2014, she was one of downtown's hottest attractions. But while some like it hot, others have a frostier take on the star's comeback.

Gibert Jeune bookstore has held a prominent place on Paris' Place Saint Michel for decades, its yellow awnings nearly as iconic as the plaza's fountain statue of Saint Michael slaying a dragon.

Here, generations of students, intellectuals, bibliophiles and tourists have perused outdoor book stacks before heading to one of the surrounding cafes in the heart of the Latin Quarter.

But in a blow to the left bank neighborhood, the iconic store shuttered its doors this spring. Teacher Pascale Nédélec says Gibert Jeune meant something to generations of students.

Worship online just isn't the same, even after a year of getting used to it. Yet widespread vaccinations haven't resolved all the questions of how to gather again, despite the eagerness of congregants to see each other again.

Churches have even upped their production quality. In a video produced for Facebook, the choir at the Temple Church in Nashville sings, spaced out, in the parking lot. Members like 73-year-old Rogers Buchanan watch the stream from their couches.

Updated May 16, 2021 at 12:37 PM ET

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City flattened three buildings and killed at least 42 people Sunday, Palestinian medics said. Despite the heavy death toll and international efforts to broker a cease-fire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled the fourth war with Gaza's Hamas rulers would rage on.

Updated May 15, 2021 at 8:45 PM ET

Rombauer fended off two top contenders to win the 146th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in sunny Baltimore on Saturday.

Midnight Bourbon, who took off at 3-1 odds, and an embattled Medina Spirit, 2-1, took turns guiding the pack until Rombauer, at 11-1 odds, lurched ahead for a clear lead in the final stretch. Midnight Bourbon finished second, followed by Medina Spirit.

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Today we want to transport you back to a different time, when a group of pioneering women who called themselves the International Sweethearts of Rhythm broke through barriers and made music history.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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After the murder conviction of Derek Chauvin, Black police officers in America are considering what's changed and what hasn't in the year since George Floyd's death.

Updated May 15, 2021 at 4:20 PM ET

In the latest in a series of attacks, an Israeli airstrike Saturday leveled a high-rise building after the military ordered occupants to evacuate. Inside were the offices of several media outlets — including The Associated Press and Al-Jazeera— and residential apartments.

Limericks

May 15, 2021

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Lightning Fill In The Blank

May 15, 2021

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Now onto our final game, Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill in the blank questions as they can. Each correct answer is worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

Predictions

May 15, 2021

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Now, panel, what will the cicadas see when they wake up 17 years from now? Hari Kondabolu.

HARI KONDABOLU: The president of the United States is now Florida Man.

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JOBRANI: Karen Chee.

It's been well over a year since many people in the U.S. began working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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In France, beekeepers are waking up to find their hives stolen. There's been an increase in thefts across the country, with beekeepers blaming a possible international network of beekeeper thieves.

Last year, 400 hives were stolen. But already in 2021, that number is more than 600, says Frank Alétru, president of the French national beekeeping union.

"It's a very big problem for us in France," Alétru tells Scott Simon on Weekend Edition. He says the thefts are happening in several countries in Western Europe.

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In February 2020, Norm Carson was attending a trade show in Amsterdam, when news about the coronavirus hit.

"We went in that day thinking we'd see some customers, do some training and it'd be a regular day. And then before you knew it, they had announced the name," he says.

When news flashed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated Americans can now safely go without masks, outdoors and in, my eyes fell on the pile in a corner of our apartment.

We have masks with logos and slogans, solid, striped and floral-patterned masks. We have enough Chicago Cubs masks to outfit the team, and a St. Louis Cardinals mask sent by a friend who said, "Cubs masks make errors."

For four decades, David Taylor has relied on a ventilator to breathe, the whoosh, whoosh of the machine part of the background metronome of daily life. Then, on the night of Feb. 14, an Arctic blast began to overwhelm the Texas power grid. The next morning, the electricity flickered out in the Fort Worth home that the 65-year-old shares with his mother.

Complaints about airlines refusing to pay refunds for canceled flights during the pandemic soared more than 5,500% over the previous year. Some customers are still trying to fight airlines for refunds, while others, who got credit or vouchers for future travel instead, are finding that those credits may soon expire.

And that's outraging some consumers who as taxpayers came to the rescue of the industry when airlines lost billions during the pandemic.

President Biden continues to get good marks for his handling of the most pressing issue of the day — the coronavirus pandemic. He also remains on average above 50% for his handling of the economy, which is closely tied to COVID-19.

Editor's note: The fight against disinformation has become a facet of nearly every story NPR international correspondents cover, from vaccine hesitancy to authoritarian governments spreading lies. This and other stories by correspondents around the globe focus on different tactics to combat disinformation, the impacts they've had and what other countries might learn from them.

Updated May 16, 2021 at 8:44 PM ET

As Hamas rockets have rained down on Israeli cities, Israeli airstrikes and artillery have crumbled buildings in the Gaza Strip, and violent mobs have attacked one another in Israel's streets, President Biden has remained mostly muted about the escalating crisis.

BAODING, HEBEI, CHINA — Billionaire Sun Dawu built an agriculture empire just outside Beijing. To accommodate approximately 9,000 employees and their families, he created a self-contained company town replete with free hospitals, schools and a sports stadium, all named after himself.

China landed a spacecraft on Mars for the first time on Saturday, a technically challenging feat more difficult than a moon landing, in the latest step forward for its ambitious goals in space.

Plans call for a rover to stay in the lander for a few days of diagnostic tests before rolling down a ramp to explore an area of Mars known as Utopia Planitia. It will join an American rover that arrived at the red planet in February.

Walmart, the largest private employer in the U.S., announced Friday that customers are no longer required to wear masks in its more than 5,000 stores nationwide.

The retail super store changed the rules one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared it was safe for fully vaccinated adults to resume most activities, indoors or out, in groups or individually, mask free and without social distancing.

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