NPR

California legalized marijuana in 2016, and on Jan. 1, 2018, eager customers lined up in the darkness outside medical marijuana dispensaries across the state, ready to start shopping at the stroke of midnight.

The effect has gone beyond the cannabis cash register. Everyone has seen the ads or heard the chatter — and that includes minors, though marijuana remains illegal for those under 21.

Updated at 6:31 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told NPR in an interview that he continues to support the Mueller Russia investigation — and that nothing in Thursday's hotly anticipated secret briefing on the Russia probe to congressional leaders changed his mind.

Teachers in Kentucky flexed their newfound political clout in primary elections Tuesday after a series of massive protests at the state Capitol earlier this year.

High school math teacher Travis Brenda ousted one of the Kentucky legislature's top Republican leaders in a primary election. Brenda ran a campaign attacking state Rep. Jonathan Shell for his role in writing bills that weakened retirement benefits for state workers and overhauled Kentucky's tax code.

A Chinese archaeologist who identified a long-lost clay army consisting of 8,000 soldiers died Wednesday, according to China's state media.

Zhao Kangmin first laid eyes on fragments of terra cotta warriors in 1974. Farmers some 20 miles from China's central city of Xi'an were digging a well and struck into the pieces.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

If you are reading this, you are likely one of the more than 14 million people who vehemently believe that this audio clip is saying either the word "yanny" or the word "laurel."

If you haven't heard it yet, take a listen:

BAISHAMPAYAN GHOSE / CREATIVE COMMONS

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a federal law that could allow states to legalize sports betting, potentially paving the way for Kentucky to rake in millions on sports bets.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We all know springtime is a traditional wedding season. But when it comes to the dresses worn by today's blushing brides, we're seeing a much less traditional trend. In fact, other people may be blushing.

When it comes to the bridal bustline, the question these days is ... how low can you go?

"How can I say this kind of politely?" Monte Durham teases. "We have dresses cut to your navel."

Needle exchanges provide people with drug addictions a place to turn in used needles and get new ones while working to prevent outbreaks of hepatitis and HIV. In 2017, Las Vegas installed three vending machines to dispense free, unused needles.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young learns more from Chelsi Cheatom, program manager for Trac-B Exchange, a medical clinic in Clark County, Nevada.

Updated 3:09 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Florida has decided that the National Rifle Association cannot use pseudonyms for teenagers who want to buy guns as part of a legal challenge against new gun laws in Florida.

The judge expressed sympathy for the teenagers, acknowledging that they probably would suffer extreme harassment if their names were public. But, he wrote with evident reluctance, the law was clear that pseudonyms were not allowed.

Not so very long ago, everyone agreed when Summer Movie Season kicked off. There was no subjectivity involved. It was dictated by the calendar: Memorial Day weekend meant the arrival of the big tentpole movies that would proceed to bust blocks over the course of the sultry summer months. Simple.

Stephen Hawking's ashes will be interred at Westminster Abbey this June. He'll take his place among giants — between Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. Applications to attend a Service of Thanksgiving are open to the public, and anyone — including people born in 2038, can apply. A thousand spaces are available.

It's the thick of primary season, and the looming question that hangs over the 2018 midterms is — will Democrats take control of Congress?

Many consider the running back Jim Brown the greatest American football player ever. But he's known as much more than an athlete — he's an activist, an actor, a thinker and a man with an alleged history of violence against women.

Here's how he's described in the opening paragraph of Dave Zirin's new biography, Jim Brown: Last Man Standing.

The Federal Election Commission has ruled that federal candidates can use campaign funds to pay for child care costs that result from time spent running for office.

On Thursday, the FEC ruled unanimously, 4-0, in favor of New York Democratic House candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley.

Public radio podcast lovers, clear your schedules: Spotify users now have the NPR podcast catalogue at their fingertips.

This story is part of a series on coal country by NPR's Embedded podcast. Episode audio is below.

On May 5, 2016, Donald Trump led a campaign rally in Charleston, W.Va.

He put on a hard hat and pretended he was shoveling coal. The crowd loved it.

Emptying your dryer lint with every use, avoiding leather car seats, keeping your phone on low-power mode — all are ways to help protect the environment, according to Michelle Neff, author of “Simple Acts to Save Our Planet.” The book is filled with hundreds of simple — and some not-so-simple — actions that can reduce waste, bolster animal and insect populations and lower energy consumption.

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President Trump and Vice President Pence speak to the National Rifle Association in Dallas Friday. It's the second year in a row Trump has addressed the gun lobby organization, which was a strong backer of his 2016 campaign.

Across the country this weekend, Cinco de Mayo will be celebrated with festivals, music, Mexican food and plenty of bar specials.

But south of the border, the holiday merits little more than a parade in the city of Puebla, east of Mexico City. There, in 1862, outgunned Mexican troops defeated an invading French army.

Anyone who has followed the saga of Sen. John McCain or ever reacted with emotion to his words or actions will recognize the man speaking in this valedictory volume.

The voice and manner are familiar enough that we can almost hear and see him on every page.

It recalls his previous literary efforts (he has written seven books with longtime collaborator Mark Salter), but it also ventures deeper into our collective memories of McCain and his world — as we prepare to part with both.

To the untrained, the evidence looks promising for a new medical device to ease opioid withdrawal. A small study shows that people feel better when the device, an electronic nerve stimulator called the Bridge, is placed behind their ear.

The company that markets the Bridge is using the study results to promote its use to anyone who will listen: policymakers, criminal justice officials and health care providers.

The message is working.

Writing a couplet can be tough,
But when you work with friends, it's not so rough.

On Monday, NPR's Morning Edition asked listeners and readers to share poems about the teams in their lives — both on and off the court.

Science and Christianity often seem at odds in the public imagination. But some churches have made part of their mission to lessen that tension by bringing science into Bible study.

In his first meeting at the White House with a sub-Saharan African leader, President Trump said controversial remarks he reportedly made, in which he referred to some developing nations as "shithole countries," didn't come up.

Trump, however, didn't deny making the comment, and as Nigeria's president, Muhammadu Buhari, chuckled, Trump said at a news conference Monday, "You do have some countries that are in very bad shape — and very tough places to live in."

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Chelsea Beck/NPR

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the second key European leader to visit the White House this week. President Trump and Chancellor Merkel are not thought to have the personal rapport that was in evidence in meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday. But Trump and Merkel are still holding a joint news conference and taking questions from reporters. Watch the press conference live, starting at 1:35 p.m. ET. If the video below does not work, please refresh the page. 

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

The parents of an American college student who died after more than a year in North Korean custody have sued North Korea, accusing the regime of torture and mistreatment.

Otto Warmbier was returned to the U.S. last June in a coma. He died soon afterward. A coroner concluded that his death was "due to an unknown insult more than a year prior to death."

Drew was in his early 30s. His medical history included alcohol abuse, but he had been sober for several months when he became my patient.

His previous doctor had given him a prescription for Ativan, or lorazepam, which is frequently used to allay tremors and seizures from alcohol withdrawal.

Even now, 10 years later, park ranger Andrea Moore remembers the familiar smell in the air that told her it was going to be a good hunt — a damp, sweet smell. It was a mix of rotting bark with an undercurrent of rebirth as trees begin to grow new leaves, while dead ones still litter the terrain.

In Curtis Sittenfeld's short story "Show Don't Tell" — not, sadly, included in her new collection, You Think it, I'll Say It — a young woman at a prestigious writing workshop competes for funding with an annoying guy in her program. Nearly 20 years later, they have both achieved a kind of literary success, but he is the kind of writer "about whom current students in the program have heated opinions; I'm the kind of writer their mothers read while recovering from knee surgery."

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