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Economy
4:45 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

So Far, So Good For The Economy. But What About The Second Half?

A worker welds parts in fans for industrial ventilation systems at the Robinson Fans Inc. plant in Harmony, Pa., in February. Hourly wages in the U.S. remained unchanged last month.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 5:36 pm

Maybe it seems like just yesterday that you were storing away your holiday decorations.

Maybe it actually was yesterday because life gets busy and tasks get put off, and before you know it, half the year is over and you're scrambling to catch up.

So in case you have been too busy to pay close attention, here's what we now know about the just-ended half of this year's economy:

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Television
4:45 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

Sonia Manzano, Who Played Maria On 'Sesame Street,' To Retire

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 6:35 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
4:43 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

In Data Breach, Reluctance To Point The Finger At China

Adm. Michael Rogers, NSA director and head of the U.S. Cyber Command, has avoided singling out China for blame in the OPM hack, which may affect as many as 18 million federal workers.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 6:35 pm

Adm. Michael Rogers is among the American officials most likely to know which country perpetrated the Office of Personnel Management's massive data breach, possibly the biggest hack ever of the U.S. government. He's not only director of the National Security Agency, but also heads the U.S. Cyber Command.

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Code Switch
4:42 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

Coping While Black: A Season Of Traumatic News Takes A Psychological Toll

Raymond Smith of Charleston, S.C., kneels in prayer in front of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston before a worship service on June 21.
Stephen B. Morton AP

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 8:12 pm

Can racism cause post-traumatic stress? That's one big question psychologists are trying to answer, particularly in the aftermath of the shooting at the historically black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., and the recent incidents involving police where race was a factor.

What's clear is that many black Americans experience what psychologists call "race-based trauma," says Monnica Williams, director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities at the University of Louisville.

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It's All Politics
4:42 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

5 Things You Should Know About Jim Webb

Former Sen. Jim Webb speaks at the National Sheriffs' Association annual conference last month in Baltimore.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 6:29 pm

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Environment
4:30 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

BP Settlement To Address Ecosystem Damage Caused By Oil Spill

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 5:52 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
4:30 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

In Secular French Schools, One Group Wants To Talk Religion

A student attends a course on religion at a middle school in Metz, in eastern France, on June 5. French schools teach basics, like the history of religion, but discourage any displays of religious identity.
Jean-Christophe Verhaegen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 5:52 pm

For the past several years, the group Coexister has been going into secular French schools to break down religious stereotypes in the classroom.

Since January's attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket, the demand for their interventions has skyrocketed.

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Book Reviews
4:30 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

Book Review: 'The Uses Of The Body,' Deborah Landau

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 6:35 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
4:24 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

ISIS Reportedly Destroys Ancient Statue In Captured City Of Palmyra

The self-declared Islamic State has released photos purportedly of its fighters destroying an ancient artifact in the Syrian city of Palmyra weeks after the Islamist extremists captured the city.

A "priceless" 2,000-year-old statue of a lion dating from the city's Roman heritage is seen being smashed in what Syrian antiquities director Maamoun Abdelkarim tells Agence-France Press is "the most serious crime [ISIS has] committed against Palmyra's heritage."

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Science
4:13 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

Checking DNA Against Elephants Hints At How Mammoths Got Woolly

Mammoths had a distinctive version of a gene known to play a role in sensing outside temperature, moderating the biology of fat, and regulating hair growth. That bit of DNA likely helped mammoths thrive in cold weather, scientists say.
Courtesy of Giant Screen Films, 2012 D3D Ice Age, LLC/Penn State University

Scientists say they've found a bit of DNA in woolly mammoths that could help explain how these huge beasts were so well-adapted to live in the cold of the last ice age.

Woolly mammoths had long shaggy fur, small tails and ears to minimize frostbite, and a lot of fat to help stay warm as they roamed the tundra over 12,000 years ago.

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