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Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

A towering statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee no longer stands over the city of New Orleans.

What does Michael Flynn, President Trump's erstwhile national security adviser, think about Russia?

His statements and actions are so contradictory, they could induce whiplash.

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told members of Congress that he knew President Trump planned to fire FBI Director James Comey before he wrote a memo that the White House has cited to justify the termination.

A Salute To 30 Years Of 'The Simpsons'

May 19, 2017

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

The newly-released details of the Trump administration's version of the "Mexico City policy" are raising many questions about its impact not only on abortion but also on preventing HIV and infectious diseases like malaria.

The policy is named for the place where it was introduced by President Ronald Reagan, at a U.N. conference, in 1984. The aim was to cut off U.S. funding to nongovernmental organizations that "perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning."

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet approved legislation Friday allowing Japan's emperor to abdicate the throne. If the bill passes parliament and if Emperor Akihito steps down, the event will mark Japan's first abdication in 200 years.

More than half of people say they've suffered lower back pain in the past year, according to the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll.

That's not a surprise; low back pain is very common, and one of the biggest reasons that people seek medical care. But people told us that they're making very different choices in how they treat that pain, with some stark differences among age groups and income levels.

 

3 a.m. vote at the state legislature last week resulted in the sudden transfer of $1 million from education, nutrition and cultural programs to pilot programs combating opioid addiction. The money was taken exclusively from districts represented by Democrats.

These days, in-flight meal service often consists of a packet of pretzels and a can of soda. It's a far cry from the days of the Hindenburg, where the sumptuous dining options included multi-course meals served in an opulent dining room.

Before it became a byword for disaster 80 years ago this month, the Hindenburg was the state-of-the-art in ultra-luxury flight: a giant passenger airship composed of durable aluminum alloy filled with highly flammable hydrogen. (That would prove its downfall.)

About six years ago, twin sisters Paris and Amber Strother decided to team up with their friend Anita Bias to form the musical group KING. Little did they know the trio would soon cross paths with Prince and eventually receive a Grammy nomination. 

Phil Cook has become a fixture in the Triangle music scene since moving to North Carolina from Wisconsin more than a decade ago. His love for collaboration means he has lent his writing, production, and multi-instrumental skills to countless projects.

Updated at 12:07 p.m. ET

Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former congressman from New York, pleaded guilty Friday to one charge of transferring obscene material to a minor after he was investigated for sending sexual messages to a 15-year-old girl last year.

Weiner will have to register as a sex offender and could be sentenced to years in prison, The Associated Press reports. As part of his plea deal, he has agreed not to appeal any sentence of 27 months or less, Reuters says.

Weiner cried in court and issued an apology to the teenager, the AP writes.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Justice Department selected Robert Mueller III as special counsel to investigate any links or coordination the Trump campaign had with Russia as part of that country's effort to interfere in last year's presidential election.

"Special Counsel Mueller has agreed to resign from his private law firm in order to avoid any conflicts of interest with firm clients or attorneys," a Justice Department statement noted.

Two Chinese fighter jets conducted an "unprofessional" intercept of a U.S. aircraft in international airspace over the East China Sea on Wednesday, according to the U.S. Air Force.

The American aircraft was conducting a routine mission in accordance with international law when the two Chinese SU-30 jets made the move, Pacific Air Forces spokeswoman Lt. Col. Lori Hodge told NPR.

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