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Ailsa Chang

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Republican lawmakers in Texas released a map first thing Monday morning. Stephanie Gomez was in the middle of an all-staff phone call.

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In Pennsylvania, they are rationing booze.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #1: If you go to a state store, you may only be allowed to buy two bottles of your favorite alcohol.

At the heart of Esperanza Spalding's new album, Songwrights Apothecary Lab (S.A.L.), is a question: "What do you need a song for?" In pursuit of answers, Spalding, a Grammy-winning jazz singer and bassist, assembled a team of more than just other musicians; she created a laboratory of sorts, gathering neuroscientists, psychologists, ethnomusicologists and more. "We are like shipwrights," Spalding says in an interview with NPR's Ailsa Chang. "We build things.

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Updated August 13, 2021 at 6:32 PM ET

As of Friday, the Taliban have captured more than a dozen of Afghanistan's 34 provincial capitals, and are estimated to hold two-thirds of the country.

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Dev Patel can kind of imagine what it was like to sit with the Knights of the Round Table — he felt that way on his first red carpet and, to some extent, he still feels that way now.

"You're surrounded by all these incredible legends, these knights among us," he says.

In the new movie The Green Knight, Dev Patel plays young Gawain, the nephew of the famed King Arthur. It's based on the poem "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," one of the best known stories in the King Arthur legend.

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You've probably heard of the five stages of grief. I mean, they're pretty firmly lodged into American pop culture. There's...

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT")

Soccer player Megan Rapinoe, swimmer Katie Ledecky and gymnast Simone Biles are among the 11,000 athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympics beginning this week on July 23.

More than 600 athletes from across the U.S. are headed to Japan to represent Team USA, and they'll have to navigate the twists and turns of this year's unusual Olympic Games.

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Rodrigo Amarante is full of bird facts.

When we meet him at his home, sitting out on his wooden deck that overlooks northeast LA, his doors and windows are all open, sunshine cascading through them. Amarante sits cross-legged underneath a patio umbrella that he's fashioned wheels on so that it can move easily with the sun. Despite making shade, he wears round, turtle-shell sunglasses as he fiddles with a bottle-top, pondering what inspired the genesis of his second solo album.

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For athletes, this sound can be a source of motivation or dread.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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