All Things Considered Weekend

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A moment now of reality colliding with politics.

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At an event called Good Living in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke with some schoolchildren.

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Director Antoine Fuqua's films - blockbusters like "Training Day," "Olympus Has Fallen" and last year's hit, "The Equalizer" - feature heroes who are handy with a weapon and not squeamish about revenge.

You can snap up a home for just a few thousand dollars in Detroit these days. But just because a property is cheap, that doesn't necessarily make it a good investment.

Peter Allen with the University of Michigan is equipping local residents with housing investment know-how with the hope that they can go on to revitalize their neighborhoods.

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In Colorado, a jury has returned its verdict on James Holmes, the man on trial for killing 12 people and wounding more than 70 others in a movie theater three years ago.

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Until this spring, California port truck driver Alex Paz was considered an independent contractor. He had paid for fuel and registration of a truck, but the truck itself was owned by the trucking company. Some months, after the company deducted his costs, he ended up owing the company money.

"I didn't feel like I was working for myself," he says.

Under pressure from Paz and the Teamsters Union, the company reclassified him as an employee.

"It's a lot better because now you get paid. You know you're an employee," Paz says.

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The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is holding its annual convention in Philadelphia this week. For much of its 106-year history, it has been the nation's preeminent voice for civil rights and social justice. Among the topics of discussion this week: recent events in Baltimore and Ferguson.

But NAACP leaders have also addressed claims that their organization is losing relevance, especially for young people who are coming of age in an era of online activism and new protest movements like Black Lives Matter.

Whatever comes of the latest bailout plan for Greece, it may not be enough to save the country's economy, a new report from the International Monetary Fund says.

The "E" in Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's newly unveiled presidential logo is a stylized American flag — as it turns out, one that looks remarkably similar to the logo for America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses.

The company's CEO, Reade Fahs, said he doesn't mind but also that it's unlikely the governor hasn't seen the 18-year-old logo. "It's on hundreds of stores across the country. So assuming he's got good vision, he probably would have spotted it in his campaign travels. And we have lots of stores in Wisconsin too."

The iconic forests of the Pacific Northwest — with their towering, moss-covered fir and pine trees — have never been this dry. The grass underneath the ferns has already turned gold.

Of the five large wildfires burning in Washington alone right now, one has scorched more than 1,500 acres of a rainforest on the typically misty Olympic Peninsula.

The wildfire threat in the drought-stricken Pacific Northwest right now is extraordinary, and there are concerns that the region may not be prepared for a long summer.

A Wake-Up Call

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The Iran nuclear deal includes more surveillance at the country's nuclear facilities, something President Obama says will ensure that Iran does not build a bomb.

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Now reaction from a key Democratic senator. Ben Cardin of Maryland is the ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In a statement today, he spoke of Congress's solemn obligation to review this deal.

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We are about to hear from a record-breaker. Scott Jurek's record time was 46 days, eight hours and seven minutes. That's how long it took the ultra-marathoner to hike the 2,189 miles of the Appalachian Trail, which passes through 14 states.

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We've heard a lot about how people get ugly online — abuse others and bully because they don't have to stand behind their words. But there's an upside to anonymity on the Internet, too: Good things can happen when you don't have to say your name.

On the app Yik Yak, for example, college students are asking for help when they're feeling desperate or even suicidal — and the anonymous crowds are responding with kindness.

While reporting on the drama of African migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe, I've been startled by how many of them are pregnant or are traveling with a very young child.

When I'd ask why, they'd say they wanted to give birth in the safety of Europe.

But as I investigated, I learned there could be another, more ominous reason: Some of these pregnant women may be victims of sexual violence on the long route northward to Europe from sub-Saharan Africa — journeys that can take years.

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Florida Sea Turtles Stage Amazing Comeback

Jul 13, 2015
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And more now on Scott Walker's tenure as governor of Wisconsin. Since he took office, unemployment in his state has fallen and growth has resumed. But critics say Wisconsin's rebound is less impressive than it might seem. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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