All Things Considered Weekend

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Two women who were roommates in Brooklyn, N.Y., have been arrested in a homegrown terrorism plot. Separately, a man thought to be one of the highest-ranking Americans in al-Qaeda will face charges in the U.S.

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Now, time for your letters. Yesterday was April Fools' Day so as usual, we got in the spirit with our own fake news story.

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The horrifying crash last week of the Germanwings flight operated by Lufthansa has put a spotlight on what the airline knew — and what it should, or could have done — about its pilot's mental health.

Lufthansa could face unlimited liability, after the pilot allegedly brought the plane down deliberately. Here in the U.S., employment experts say monitoring employees' mental health status raises a thicket of complicated issues.

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A grand jury has indicted Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey on federal corruption charges. Menendez made a brief statement to reporters after the indictment was announced.

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Nineteen other states have religious freedom laws, and there's even a federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Garrett Epps, professor of law at the University of Baltimore, who wrote about what separates Indiana's legislation from the others for The Atlantic.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told state lawmakers Wednesday they should either amend or recall a bill that's dubbed a "religious freedom" measure. The governor changed his stance after the business community and gay rights activists complained about the measure.

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Even before he became president, Barack Obama was imagining the possibilities of a diplomatic breakthrough with Iran. His willingness to reverse decades of official U.S. hostility was one of the things that set Obama apart on the campaign trail.

"We have to have a clear break with the Bush-Cheney style of diplomacy that has caused so many problems," Obama told NBC's Meet the Press in November 2007.

Remembering Pop Singer Selena, 'The Queen of Tejano'

Mar 31, 2015
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She was and is still the queen of Tejano.

(SOUNDBITE OF SELENA SONG)

Jay Z doesn't do anything small. His album drops feature entire new apps. His tours (with his wife, Beyonce, or collaborator Kanye West) gross hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide. So of course the launch of his recently acquired streaming music service, Tidal, would have to be just as big.

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About 2 billion people on earth have a smartphone with a decent Internet connection, but 5 billion are largely or entirely offline, according to global figures by the ITU.

That gap is (surprise, surprise) a big opportunity for Silicon Valley. Google and Facebook are already on high-profile campaigns to connect the unconnected. And they're betting they can make billions of dollars getting people without electricity or toilets to pay for the Internet.

Mass Tax Foreclosure Threatens Detroit Homeowners

Mar 30, 2015

In Detroit, tens of thousands of people are facing a deadline Tuesday that could cost some of them their homes. That's when homeowners have to make arrangements to either pay delinquent property taxes — or risk losing their home at a county auction.

When Detroit emerged from bankruptcy last year, it did so with a razor-thin financial cushion. It desperately needs every bit of tax revenue it can muster.

NPR's Michel Martin speaks with professors Phillip Atiba Goff of UCLA and Harry Holzer of Georgetown University about how fears of African-American men are manifested in the criminal justice system and the labor market, and what that means for the broader African-American community.

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The votes are coming in for one of the most closely contested presidential elections in Nigeria's history.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Ninety-six, ninety-seven, ninety-eight.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Eighty-three, one-hundred-and-ninety-eight.

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Writer Huan Hsu's great-great-grandfather Liu Feng Shu was a scholar in China's Qing dynasty during the late 1800s and early 1900s. As a patron of the arts, he built up an immense porcelain collection.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Japanese landed near his village on the Yangtze River. As the army approached, Liu and one of his workmen dug a giant hole in their garden, to keep the collection safe.

In a recent piece for Time magazine, Susanna Schrobsdorff presents an unexpected challenge for people starting families later in life. She tells NPR's Arun Rath about the variable she calls the grandparent deficit.

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

David Zayas used to dream of being an actor. And he made it: he played Enrique Morales, the infamous inmate on HBO's Oz, as well as his most notable role, Sergeant Angel Batista on the Showtime drama Dexter.

The federal government is moving to reign in the payday loan industry, which critics say traps consumers in a damaging cycle of debt. A look at the possible effects of proposed regulations and what push back they might face.

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Saudi Arabia shares an 1,100-mile border with Yemen, a country quickly falling into anarchy. The Saudis have led airstrikes against rebel Houthi forces, but analysts say ground forces might not be far behind.

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Questions Remain About Germanwings Co-Pilot's Illness

Mar 29, 2015
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About 25 years ago, John Bovery started a modest football pool out of his home in New Jersey. It had 57 participants, all friends and co-workers.

But thanks to word of mouth — and the multiplying factor of email — Bovery's pool grew to staggering proportions. At one point, it got too large for Bovery to handle himself, so he contacted a software company to custom-build something suited to his needs.

By 2009, it included more than 8,000 entries from people around the globe, with a total payout of more than $800,000.

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