KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Christopher Intagliata

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Jaimi Butler is a lifelong Utahan. She grew up near the Great Salt Lake.

JAIMI BUTLER: Great Salt Lake is a weird place. And it's smelly, and it is one of the buggiest places on the face of the earth.

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After Sunday's massive protests in Cuba, the government there employed a common authoritarian tactic. It blocked the internet.

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Beneath the pine and birch forest of northern Germany lies Unicorn Cave, named for the bones found by medieval treasure hunters.

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott has declared the state's border with Mexico a disaster and wants to take matters into his own hands. He met with former President Trump last week in front of a stretch of unfinished border wall.

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Dinosaurs are often depicted as large beasts roaming through tropical forests or across hot deserts — and the humid jungle of Jurassic Park may have gone a long way to solidify those images.

But a study out today in the journal Current Biology contradicts those ideas. It suggests that these creatures also lived year-round in what's now northern Alaska, where they endured freezing winters, snow, and months of darkness.

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Giant sequoias live up to their name, soaring hundreds of feet into the sky. They are also some of the longest-living organisms on the planet. Some are more than 3,000 years old.

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On the campaign trail last summer, candidate Joe Biden promised to make his running mate, Kamala Harris, the last voice in the room before he made important decisions. And in March of this year, he joked about what he meant by that.

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Simone Biles, already the most decorated gymnast in history, has surpassed expectations again. On Saturday, she performed a move considered so dangerous that no other woman has ever attempted it in competition.

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A fragile cease-fire is still in place in the Middle East. After 11 days of explosive conflict between Israel and Hamas, President Joe Biden yesterday made his first major remarks about the fighting.

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Twenty years ago, you could tell right away "Shrek" was not your typical animated movie. For instance, how many characters from other childhood favorites have you heard use the toilet?

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SHREK")

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This story is part of an NPR series, We Hold These Truths, on American democracy.

Last summer, DonnaLee Norrington had a dream about owning a home. Not the figurative kind, but a literal dream, as she slept in the rental studio apartment in South Los Angeles that she was sharing with a friend.

At around 2 a.m., Norrington remembers, "God said to me, 'Why don't you get a mortgage that doesn't move?' And in my head I knew that meant a fixed mortgage."

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