Today, nearly two weeks after the catastrophic Memorial Day floods in Texas, search crews are still combing the banks of the Blanco River looking for three people who remain missing. They've already found eight bodies.

Meanwhile, residents of the tourist and retirement town of Wimberley, Texas, hit hardest by the flood, are cleaning up and struggling to reclaim their lives.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Antonio Sanchez is one of the most accomplished and in-demand drummers around, and right now he's experiencing a breakthrough. Jazz heads have known him for years, but he reached a much wider audience last year with his score for the film Birdman.

For half a decade, General Electric has been paying for a massive dredging operation on the upper Hudson River in New York.

The billion-dollar cleanup, designed to remove toxic PCBs, sparked fierce controversy when it was proposed. But as the project enters its final summer, it's been so successful that even some of the cleanup's most vocal critics want it expanded.

A Symbol For Sick Rivers

Hanging out on the front porch on a warm evening, people tend to open up a little more than usual. Which is what happened when I sat with Ruby Corado and two other trans women outside a house Corado runs for homeless transgender adults. I was there to do a profile of Corado, an activist in Washington, D.C.

Dolen Perkins-Valdez wants to change readers' perspective on the Civil War. Her best-selling debut novel, Wench, explored the lives of slave women — not on Southern plantations, but in a resort for slaveowners' mistresses in Ohio. Her new book, Balm, is set in the postwar period, and it's also in an unexpected place: Chicago.

In a windowless classroom, in a tough New Orleans neighborhood, a middle-aged man with piercing eyes is teaching math at top volume.

"I got a SINGLE DOLLAR if someone can tell me what's the RULE to this problem!" he intones.

Today's lesson is about the order of operations, a topic usually taught in elementary school. On average, Rodney Carey's students are working at a fifth-grade level. But they are much older, aged 16 to 24.

Mr. Rodney, as he is known, does whatever he can to motivate them, whether that's ordering in Chinese food or giving out cash prizes.

Renewed fighting in Eastern Ukraine marked an end to a tenuous cease-fire agreed to in February. NPR's Corey Flintoff explains that international observers fear that a surge in violence could plunge the region into another full scale war.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Straight from Russian President Vladimir Putin's mouth: "I would like to say — there's no need to be afraid of Russia."

Putin's comments to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera follow months of fighting in Ukraine between Kiev's forces and Russian-backed separatists that have reminded many of the Cold War, when the Soviet Union seemed perpetually on the verge of invading Western Europe and the forces of NATO were the only thing standing in the way.

A court in Egypt has overturned a ruling that named Hamas a terrorist organization. Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has welcomed the move.

The decision by the Urgent Matters Appeals Court said the lower court had lacked jurisdiction.

The Associated Press quotes Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas in Gaza, as saying the latest court ruling would have "positive consequences on the relationship between Hamas and Egypt."

These remarks were delivered by President Barack Obama at the service for Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, who died last month.

"A man," wrote an Irish poet, "is original when he speaks the truth that has always been known to all good men." Beau Biden was an original. He was a good man. A man of character. A man who loved deeply, and was loved in return.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Saudi Arabia shot down a Scud missile fired by Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen that was targeted at one of the kingdom's largest air bases.

NPR's Deborah Amos, reporting from Riyadh, said the Cold War-era Scud was taken down by the U.S.-supplied Patriot missile defense system.

The thwarted rebel attack comes after three Saudi soldiers and a border guard were killed in an earlier border skirmish, she says.

The Triple Crown is one of the most difficult tests in sports: Three horse races over the course of just five weeks, culminating with the Belmont Stakes Saturday in Elmont, N.Y.

American Pharoah is favored to win, which would make him the first horse to capture the Triple Crown in 37 years. But his rivals have a key advantage: They've had extra time to rest, and that's led to some grumbling inside the sport.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Roy Andersson just might be one of the most interesting oddballs in the world of film. His Hollywood fan base includes high-class auteurs like the Wachowski siblings, Darren Aronofsky and Alejandro González Iñárritu — but he's best known in his native Sweden.

Back in 1970, Andersson's first film, A Swedish Love Story, took Europe by storm. He was only 26. "It was a fantastic time for me," he recalls. "However, I was not very happy after that. I was a little depressed. My second movie was a flop in all senses. A very, very big flop."

The death toll in the capsizing of a cruise ship in China's Yangtze River has risen to just under 400, making it the deadliest maritime disaster in seven decades in the country.

China's state-run Xinhua news agency says hundreds more bodies have been recovered since the overturned Eastern Star was righted on Friday, bringing the total confirmed dead to 396. Among the newly recovered bodies was that of a 3-year-old girl.