Noel King

If you find yourself a little confused by Ayad Akhtar's latest novel, Homeland Elegies, that's by design.

"I wanted to find a form that would express this confusion between fact and fiction which seems to increasingly become the texture of our reality or unreality," he says.

Katy Perry has had nine No. 1 songs since 2008, including "Teenage Dream," "California Gurls" and "Roar." She has this upbeat, candy-coated, not-quite-real human-with-real-human-problems persona. And then in 2017, she released an album called Witness that was supposed to show a more authentic Katy. Critics didn't love it; more importantly, a lot of her fans didn't either. Her response is her new record, Smile, which is out Aug. 28.

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This was the message on the first night of the Democratic National Convention.

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A lot of summer camps had to close this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including Camp Aranu'tiq in New Hampshire, a camp for transgender and nonbinary children. Julie Be is a music therapist who has helped run the camp since it was founded in 2009 and also one half of the children's musical duo Ants on a Log, alongside Anya Rose. So the stuck-at-home campers would feel connected, Be and Rose put out an open call for songs that reflect the trans and nonbinary experience, use gender neutral pronouns or use humor to talk about gender.

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So you remember how when COVID-19 first emerged, there was a lot of talk about how maybe kids don't get the virus, or they're less likely to get it than adults?

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Millions of Americans are facing the threat of eviction as a federal moratorium that has protected renters during the pandemic is set to expire Friday.

That eviction moratorium, coupled with unemployment assistance established in the CARES Act, has helped some renters stay in their homes.

The Chicks — formerly known as the Dixie Chicks — is back with a new record called Gaslighter after 14 years. Why the long time gone? Martie Maguire, Emily Strayer and Natalie Maines say they wanted a break to raise their kids, among other things, but after a 2016 reunion tour, they felt the hunger again. Their new album is rooted in failed relationships, some good ones, anger and a lotta humor. Maguire says life experience never hurts writing.

Disclosure is a new documentary on Netflix about the history of transgender representation in Hollywood.

"People traversing gender expectations was a part of cinema as early as 1914, there was a film that featured a sex change," says actress Laverne Cox, who is the executive producer and a prominent voice in this eye-opening documentary.

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People in Texas may look a little different on the streets today.

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In the 1970s and '80s, a string of violent, terrifying crimes went unsolved around California. The perpetrators got nicknames: The Visalia Ransacker. The East Area Rapist. The Original Night Stalker.

And then in 2013, true-crime writer Michelle McNamara connected the dots in a remarkable article for Los Angeles Magazine. She suspected they were all the same person, and she gave him a name of her own: the Golden State Killer.

There's something about the video of the George Floyd killing that makes it very specific to the Twin Cities.

The video shows a white police officer and a black male victim — a familiar dynamic in similar videos and killings seen nationwide — but there's a third identifiable person: an Asian American officer seen running interference with the crowd and standing watch. He's now-former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao, a Hmong American — which is how you know this isn't "any" city. It's Minneapolis.

The best thing about being 17, according to Shawn Richardson, is freedom.

"I'm able to go out more with my friends," he says. "I can do things solo."

Shawn is a rising high school senior in Minneapolis. School is fine, but what he really loves is track. His friend timed him running the 100-meter dash in 10.71 seconds.

The track season was canceled because of COVID-19. But if he can run that time officially, he will have the school record. Distance running isn't his thing. Shawn is a sprinter.

"It's like gathering energy and then just letting it go," he says.

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How far will China go to keep its hold on Hong Kong?

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Often, a new monthly jobs report is of interest, you know, mostly to economists and policymakers. The one coming out today could be much more significant.

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Is it time for states to reopen their economies? President Trump really wants it to happen. But the question is whether or not it's safe.

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The White House and congressional leaders say they are getting close to agreeing on a new round of coronavirus relief funding.

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Ray Dalio is known for making lucrative predictions. His hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, is the largest in the world. But Dalio, a billionaire himself and one of the world's most successful investors, says capitalism is broken.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Dalio had warned that the wealth gap represented a "national emergency." The outbreak, he says, is only exacerbating the disparities between the rich and the poor.

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At this point, there are almost half a million cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.

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Some early data suggests that black Americans are dying from COVID-19 at higher rates than other groups.

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Across the United States, more than 20 states have postponed presidential primaries and other elections because of COVID-19.

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Music artist Alicia Keys, a 15-time Grammy winner, has a new self-titled album coming out — her seventh.

She also has written a forthcoming book, More Myself, that she prefers to call a "journey" rather than a memoir.

Keys spoke to NPR in February — an interview being aired for the first time now — about her latest projects.

Her book explores her arrival into adulthood while in the spotlight, and how she learned to be herself — and that it was OK to be herself.

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The U.S. government has charged Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro with drug trafficking. Attorney General Bill Barr announced the charges earlier this morning. Here he is.

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Coronavirus home cooking is now a part of American life.

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Angelica Garcia says she sometimes feels like two people. To understand that sentiment, look at her first two albums. Her first release, 2016's Medicine for Birds, was a bluesy country record: She sang about the South, about Loretta Lynn, about her adopted home of Virginia. Her new album Cha Cha Palace, however, is all about her East Los Angeles upbringing and her Latinx identity.

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