NPR Staff

Claudia Lucero has a special power: she can make cheese in one hour. Mozzarella, ricotta, paneer, goat cheese, queso blanco and more.

Those are simple cheeses that are relatively easy to make, says Lucero, who runs Urban Cheesecraft in Portland, Ore. To do it, she says, you just need practice, not superpowers.

The Federal Communications Commission says it's writing rules for the Internet to preserve the status quo.

Young people are being chased out of the labor market. Though the national unemployment rate has fallen steadily in recent months, youth unemployment remains stubbornly high, and the jobless rate is even higher among young minorities. For young people between the ages of 16 and 24, unemployment is more than twice the national rate, at 14.2 percent. For African-Americans, that rate jumps to 21.4 percent.

Tim Bomba is a tall, rangy guy with a quick smile. He's a marathoner, a triathlete (he's done two Ironman races), and every Wednesday morning for the last decade, Bomba has taught a ocean swimming course in Santa Monica, Calif.

The course, called Ocean 101, isn't for accomplished swimmers like Bomba. It's for people who are new to the ocean, and many participants are afraid of the water when they arrive. Bomba knows what they're going through. He himself was terrified of swimming until he was in his 50s.

It is the season of state fairs, when you may have a chance to expand your palate or test your gag reflex at the concession stands. (Once you're stuffed, maybe you'll get to admire a butter sculpture.)

Not long ago, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek traveled through Israel and the West Bank as part of his journey walking from Africa to South America. He was there this spring, before the current violence erupted. Talking recently from Cyprus to Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, he says the long-standing conflict was part of daily life.


Interview Highlights

On coming under fire from Israeli soldiers

Part of losing weight boils down to making tweaks to the simple equation of calories in versus calories out.

Americans spend over $60 billion a year on diet and weight loss products, according to market research, but the weight often comes right back. That may be because it's such a hassle to count calories — tracking everything you order or cook at home.

This story is part of All Things Considered's "Men in America" series.

It's rare that a man makes it through life without being told, at least once, "Be a man." To Joe Ehrmann, a former NFL defensive lineman and now a pastor, those are the three scariest words that a boy can hear.

Hey, remember Hilary Banks from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?

She's back, but in a different light. Actress Karyn Parsons has started a new organization — Sweet Blackberry — that makes short, animated films about influential, yet lesser-known African-Americans.

She still loves acting, she told Kelly McEvers of Weekend All Things Considered, but her priorities have changed since she became a mom.

Parson says being pregnant with her daughter got her thinking about her responsibility, as a parent, to add to her kids' formal education.

Sure, it's tough to earn a living as an artist. But it helps if your materials don't cost a lot. At the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, several of the Kenyan craftspeople work wonders with discarded beer bottles and flip-flops.

Jonathan Lento: He Fashions Flip-Flops Into Funky Fauna

Jonathan Lento grips a slender knife in one hand and a colorful block made of glued-together flip-flops in the other.

It's one of those stories that start in the middle. Midflight from Washington, D.C., to Denver on Monday, pilot Gerhard Brandner hit some bad weather that forced him to land in Wyoming. It was a mundane delay like most others. His Frontier Airlines plane was grounded on a tarmac in Cheyenne.

That's when the pilot made a decision that made him a national hero.

"I figure out, well, I'm getting hungry; I'll bet you the folks be hungry back there, too," Brandner says. "So I called Domino's."

Reporters Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain say, in the online news website Intercept, that based on information provided by Edward Snowden they have evidence that the FBI and NSA used covert surveillance on the email accounts of 202 American Muslims.

Editor's note: The webcast is over, but you can watch the archived video of the event.

For many Americans, stress is a constant and frequently overwhelming fact of daily life.

What are the biggest sources of stress? How does stress affect us? And what do we do in response?

This story is part of All Things Considered's "Men in America" series.

Marvin Ramos found out he was going to be a father when his girlfriend, Stephanie, called him during a basketball game. He says he sat down on a bench and looked up at the sky. He was 16. Stephanie was 19.

Summer is a great time to take a break from some of the stressors in our lives. For many of us, that stress is brought on by too much screen time and the pressure to stay connected.

Five areas across the country have been designated as "Promise Zones" by the federal government. These zones, announced by President Obama in January, are intended to tackle poverty by focusing on individual urban neighborhoods and rural areas.

In the five Promise Zones — located in Philadelphia, San Antonio, southeastern Kentucky, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and Los Angeles — the idea is to basically carpet-bomb the neighborhoods with programs like after-school classes, GED courses and job training to turn those areas around.

What Happens In The Zone?

This story is part of All Things Considered's "Men in America" series.

On Independence Day, ceremonial swearing-in ceremonies of new citizens are traditional — a celebration of the country's past and its evolving future. On Friday, 7,500 people from across the country will take the Oath of Allegiance and become naturalized U.S. citizens.

Most foreign citizens who live in the U.S. are here legally but are not citizens. So on the anniversary of the day when Americans declared themselves no longer subjects of the King of England, what does citizenship means to those who do choose to naturalize?

Just over a year ago, NPR's Emily Harris packed up and moved to Jerusalem, where she covers plenty of politics and everything else related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris dips into those stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

A company specializing in bytes is offering a special flavor for your Fourth of July: IBM's Watson barbecue sauce.

The supercomputer first showed off its intellectual process on Jeopardy, but Watson now seems ready for the Food Channel.

After analyzing massive numbers of recipes, Watson went gourmet. The condiment, called Bengali Butternut BBQ Sauce, contains a dozen ingredients, including butternut squash, white wine, dates, Thai chilies and tamarind. According to IBM, "it's got a slow, warm heat and a kick."

The federal minimum wage for tipped workers has been $2.13 since 1991. That pay rate tends to get lost in the larger debate over whether to raise the national minimum wage for nontipped workers, which is $7.25 an hour.

In theory, the money from tips should make up the difference in pay — and then some. But according to a White House report, tipped workers are more than twice as likely as other workers to experience poverty.

Living On Tips

In Iraq this weekend, government forces launched an offensive against the Sunni militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. On Sunday, the government said it was using Russian-made jets to attack Sunni militants in the northern cities of Tikrit, the hometown of the late dictator Saddam Hussein, and Mosul. Both cities remain under insurgent control.

The video game BioShock Infinite received widespread praise for having a rich narrative packed with philosophy when it debuted last year. The game sold millions of copies.

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