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Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

The Republican chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations committees have endorsed the idea of a short-term spending bill to keep the government open while budget negotiations continue.

The stop-gap spending measure, introduced by House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, would put off the deadline to May 5.

Here's the thing I love about Cory Doctorow: No one is weirder than he is.

And I don't mean run-of-the-mill weird. I don't mean personally weird (though he might be, I don't know him), but as a writer? Super-weird in the best possible way. And he's deep-weird, not gimmicky-weird. Weird in the sense that he has done the math, calculated the forking paths, and is presenting to you a world which isn't just amusing and borderline plausible, but a dispatch from next Tuesday.

Two years ago, when Amanda Gomez could not get financial aid for community college, she decided to enroll part time at El Paso Community College in Texas. This gave her time to work to pay for her courses.

Being a part-time student has its pros — mainly a lighter course load. But Gomez feels like she misses out on some important experiences, like being able to stay back after class to talk to her instructors, or study in libraries on campus.

She says the difference was notable when she took a semester as a full-time student.

President Trump has said over and over that creating jobs is at the top of his agenda. It may seem unfair to judge his progress on this goal in his first 100 days, but Trump has opened the door to scrutiny by making his own assertions on job creation.

Even though President Trump calls the 100-days measure "ridiculous," the White House is still touting what one press release called the president's "historic accomplishments" — including 28 laws he has signed since taking office.

Nearly 100 days into his administration, President Trump has drastically reduced the flow of immigration, both legal and illegal, to the U.S. He's been able to accomplish that without any new legislation — and without many of his signature ideas solidly in place, including executive orders that have been put on hold by the courts and a proposed wall on the Mexican border.

Suing To Sell Baked Goods

Apr 27, 2017

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Arkansas, which has been in a race to execute death-row inmates before a key lethal drug expires, plans to hold its final execution in the series Thursday night.

Attorneys for the condemned men have put forth arguments about their innocence, intellectual abilities, mental states and about the execution procedure.

But what happens to those debates after an execution?

Ledell Lee was the first inmate executed this month in Arkansas. There was scant physical evidence tying him to the murder he was convicted of, and he was never given a DNA test before his execution.

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And let's follow up on a warning about U.S. security. Former CIA Director Jim Woolsey laid it out yesterday on this program talking of one way that North Korea could use a nuclear device.

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There's the problem of drug abuse.

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From the front door of the glass-walled gift shop at the Alnwick Garden in the far northeast of England, the scene looks innocent enough. A sapphire green English lawn slopes gently downward, toward traditional, ornamental gardens of rose and bamboo. Across the small valley, water cascades down a terraced fountain.

But a hundred or so plantings kept behind bars in this castle's garden are more menacing — and have much to tell visitors about poison and the evolutionary roots of medicine.

On Inauguration Day, Donald Trump placed his hand on a Bible and promised to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. At the time, many ethics experts waited to see if Trump would divest himself of his multi-billion dollar business interests.

"And he didn't do it," says Zephyr Teachout, an associate law professor at Fordham University. "So immediately upon becoming president we filed a lawsuit to get him to stop violating the Constitution."

Baltimore erupted in violence two years ago, after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a young black man who died in police custody. The unrest was about more than Gray's death, though — it exposed deep-seated problems facing many of the city's young people: lack of jobs, deep poverty, rampant crime and deteriorating neighborhoods.

Now, Baltimore residents are assessing what, if anything, has changed in the city since Gray's death.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft re-established contact with ground controllers shortly before 3 a.m. ET after passing through the gap between Saturn and the planet's rings. NASA says the probe is now beaming back data gathered during the "dive."

Cassini was out of contact as it began its journey into the gap because the spacecraft's dish antenna was used as a shield to protect it from possible damage from ring particles. The antenna had been oriented away from Earth. Cassini was out of contact for about 22 hours.

Updated at 2:40 p.m. ET

President Trump told reporters Thursday he had been planning to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement within days, but decided to try to renegotiate the agreement instead. The president held out the possibility of killing the trade deal later if the negotiations fail.

Late April is a little late for New Year's resolutions — and we've blown right past Lent — but there's never a wrong time to seek out new ways to improve your life and approach to the world.

Multi-instrumentalist, composer, spiritual leader and the wife of John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda (1937-2007) long stood in her husband's shadow. Some certain number of more casual jazz fans, if they have known her name at all, only know it from sidewoman credits on some of his albums, and not for her own performances and recordings.

It's easy to approach Versus — a long-gestating collaboration between Detroit's electronic-music deity Carl Craig, the Paris-based Les Siècles Orchestra (under the direction of François-Xavier Roth) and techno-loving classical pianist Francesco Tristano — as the latest attempt to bring club music to the rarefied atmosphere of a concert hall.

Will Oldham has broadcast his love of Merle Haggard's music since the beginning of his career: He's sung the man's praises in interviews, performed his songs in concert, and he even interviewed him for a print magazine a few years back. Clearly, something about Haggard — the rugged plain-spokenness, the gift for efficiently distilling ideas to their essence, his prolificacy and contrarian streak and all-around iconoclasm — got its hooks in Oldham early.

How long has it been since you heard something that was unmistakably the blues, and at the same time undeniably new?

The blues is eternal. Though it undergoes modernization every now and then – see the work of Gary Clark Jr., or The Rolling Stones as recently as last year on the torrid Blue and Lonesome – the genre's basic structural outlines and conventions are well set. As music styles go, it's an established "brand," with a distinct sound. We know it instantly.

In 1838, Jesuit priests sold a group of 272 men, women, and children - slaves - to pay off Georgetown University's debts. The slaves were sent from Maryland to Louisiana. In part one of this two part episode, we told the story of how the residents of a small town discovered where they'd come from. Now in part two, we ask what, if anything, Georgetown owes the descendants of those slaves.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Spring Sounds

Apr 26, 2017

The new spring shoots of music from Celtic roots are ready for broadcast. Hear new songs from Eamon Friel, Molly's Revenge, Runa and more.

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With just two days left to stop a partial shutdown of the federal government, the Trump administration on Wednesday removed another major sticking point in the spending bill negotiations.

The White House told lawmakers it will not cut off federal subsidies that help low-income Americans pay for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, at least for now, an administration official and congressional sources confirm to NPR.

Democrats sought to have the federal payment — known as a cost-sharing reduction, or CSR — included in the spending package.

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