Hansi Lo Wang

Hansi Lo Wang is a national reporter based at NPR's New York bureau. He covers issues and events in the Northeast.

In 2016, his reporting after the church shooting in Charleston, S.C., won a Salute to Excellence National Media Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. He was also part of NPR's award-winning coverage of Pope Francis' tour of the U.S. His profile of a white member of a Boston Chinatown gang won a National Journalism Award from the Asian American Journalists Association in 2014.

Since joining NPR in 2010 as a Kroc Fellow, he's contributed to NPR's breaking news coverage of the Orlando nightclub shooting, protests in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, and the trial of George Zimmerman in Florida.

Wang previously reported on race, ethnicity, and culture for NPR's Code Switch team. He has also reported for Seattle public radio station KUOW and worked behind the scenes of NPR's Weekend Edition as a production assistant.

A Philadelphia native, Wang speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese dialects of Chinese. As a student at Swarthmore College, he hosted, produced, and reported for a weekly podcast on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

One of the groups with the most at stake at this year's presidential election cannot vote.

JUNG RAE JANG: Yes, I cannot vote, you know, go to the polls because if I do then I think it's a felony, right?

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Chun Zheng has lived through a house fire, a flood and an earthquake. None of that, she says, compares to sending her infant daughter and son abroad to live with her extended family.

"It's the worst hardship I've ever had to bear," says the 42-year-old hotel housekeeper, speaking in Mandarin.

When you think of Chinese food in the U.S., fried rice, lo mein or General Tso's chicken may first come to mind.

But a new museum exhibition in New York City is trying to expand visitors' palates. It features stories of celebrity chefs like Martin Yan and home cooks whose food represents 18 different regional cooking styles of China.

African-American women have been wearing fancy hats to church for generations. That tradition is being celebrated at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, which officially opens in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24. Vintage turbans, caps and fascinators that span a half-century are on display — all from the shop of one woman.

Her name is Mae Reeves.

Mules named Sal are hard to find these days along the Erie Canal. But almost two centuries after workers began digging its route across upstate New York, you can still see barges pushed and pulled through what some consider the first superhighway of the U.S.

As the canal prepares to celebrate its bicentennial next July, some are questioning whether the canal is still worth subsidizing.

Before Scott Kopytko joined the New York City Fire Department, he worked as a commodities broker in the South Tower at the World Trade Center. On Sept. 11, he rushed up the stairs of his old office building, trying to save lives with his fellow firefighters before the towers fell.

"He went to work, and he never came back," says his stepfather, Russell Mercer.

Fifteen years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the World Trade Center is still one of the world's most scrutinized construction sites.

Developers have had to balance honoring the dead while reviving some of the most valuable real estate in the world.

Back in 1972, John Lennon hired Leon Wildes, an immigration attorney who had no idea who he was.

Wildes' son, Michael, remembers his father coming home to tell his mother about their first meeting.

"And he said, 'A singer by the name of Jack Lemon and his wife Yoko Moto,' " Michael recalls. "My mom looked at him like he wasn't well. 'Are you talking about the Beatles and John Lennon?' My father said, 'Yeah!' "

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Even if fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad doesn't medal at the Rio Olympics, she is set to make the history books.

Once she hits the fencing strip for her first bout in the women's individual sabre competition on Aug. 8, she will become the first U.S. Olympic athlete to compete while wearing a hijab.

As tens of thousands of politicians, party delegates and protesters swept through the City of Brotherly Love this week for the Democratic National Convention, dozens of homeless Philadelphians and out-of-towners pitched tents on a grassy lot.

They were part of a protest over the four days of the convention organized by Cheri Honkala, a Philadelphia-based activist with the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

If you love your mom, you might not be too happy with a current exhibition at the Queens Museum in New York City. It's a video installation in which "your mama" jokes and other putdowns are projected onto the walls of a dark room, in a constant loop.

How many times last year did police pull a Taser on suspects nationwide?

Just like the total number of people shot by police, no one knows for sure.

Connecticut is the first state to require police to fill out a form for every time they pull a Taser. And it just released the first-ever statewide report on how police use them.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

More than 260,000 Filipino fighters served under the American flag during World War II. Decades after they fought alongside U.S. troops in the Philippines, many were allowed to move to the U.S. and become citizens. But they had to leave their grown children behind. Now, those families could finally be reunited in the U.S.

The Obama administration is taking steps to name the first national monument dedicated to the struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

A likely location is in New York City, where the Stonewall riots sparked the modern gay-rights movement almost a half-century ago.

"It sounded like screaming and real cries of agony and desperation finally being released," recalls Martin Boyce, 68, who participated in the riots in the early hours of June 28, 1969.

In the marshy woods of Secaucus, N.J., a mosquito can make a happy home.

With water and shade under a canopy of maple trees, you could barely ask for more to start your own bloodsucking family.

For Gary Cardini, though, this is a battleground.

"You want to get them in the water before they're flying," explains Cardini, who supervises the field team for Hudson County Mosquito Control. "In the water, they're captive. You know where they are."

A legal battle between refugee students and the school district of Utica, N.Y., may soon come to an end.

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit claiming that refugees in Utica, a Rust Belt city located about four hours north of New York City, have been illegally blocked from attending the local high school.

The next presidential primary battle has arrived in a state with one of the country's largest Asian populations.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

For more than a century, mug shots have helped police catch criminals. Those photos of a person's face and profile trace their roots to Paris in the late 19th century.

Now, some of the earliest mug shots ever taken are on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The black-and-white photos were once on the cutting edge of how police identified suspects.

They were taken by a French criminologist named Alphonse Bertillon, and his techniques set the template that police use today.

Rise Of The Modern Mug Shot

Whether or not you're a citizen in New York state, you have a right to attend a public high school and earn a diploma until you're 21. That was Pawsansoe Bree's plan after she left a refugee camp in Thailand when she was almost 19.

On Thursday nights near the Brooklyn, N.Y., waterfront, an old firehouse turns into a schoolhouse, where the drills are in Chinese.

The students are some of New York's bravest. About a dozen firefighters, EMTs and paramedics are taking the first Mandarin classes funded by the New York City Fire Department Foundation. It's the start of a voluntary program that organizers hope to expand into other Chinese dialects and Asian languages in the future. For now, these first responders spend two hours a week learning Mandarin from Lily Cheung.

In New York City, there's a little-known island where as many as a million people are buried. It's a public cemetery for homeless people, stillborn babies and unclaimed remains. Visiting Hart Island is a challenge — even for families of the deceased, and now, some of those families are trying to change that.

The only way relatives of the deceased can visit the graves on Hart Island is by ferry across the Long Island Sound once a month. They can also travel to the island with the general public one other day each month, but to an area away from the gravesites.

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