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Who in the pop world but Janelle Monae could pack dystopian Afro-Futurism, sleek runway style, action sequences, club hotness and tender love into thirty seconds?

Next month, several chain supermarkets in the U.K. will stop selling energy drinks to customers under 16. Anyone looking to buy a soft drink with more than 150 mg of caffeine per liter — a limit targeting drinks like Monster and Red Bull — will need to present an ID.

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OK. We now have the names of all 17 victims who died in the shooting at a Florida high school this week. Here they are.

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Today marks the start of the Year of the Dog. The Lunar New Year is celebrated in China, Vietnam and many other countries and by ethnic Asian communities all around the world. NPR's Anthony Kuhn has this story from the Chinese capital, Beijing.

Careful, Alexa Is Listening

Feb 16, 2018

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Well, the Senate's debate on immigration didn't really go anywhere. Yeah, this was a test of bipartisanship, and it appears to have failed with various proposals falling short of 60 votes. This is how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put it.

Intelligence Infighting

Feb 16, 2018

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Today, at the Winter Olympics, Team USA did not get the results it was hoping for, in skiing or in men's figure skating. We have two reports from our Olympic team in Pyeongchang, beginning with NPR's Tom Goldman.

Watching Betsayda Machado y Parranda El Clavo perform their Tiny Desk concert is like peering back in time. The music's roots extend to the Venezuelan slave trade, and while the vocals are in Spanish and not an African dialect, the instruments the group plays date back more than 500 years.

Cyril Ramaphosa has waited for this moment a long time.

The 65-year-old tycoon was elected president of South Africa by parliament Thursday, an elevation that was guaranteed after Jacob Zuma resigned the presidency the night before.

Following Thursday's vote in the National Assembly, Ramaphosa took words of praise from supporters and overt electoral threats from opposition leaders — then stood at the same podium where, 22 years ago, he shepherded the ratification of South Africa's constitution.

Jeffrey Tambor, Emmy-winning star of Transparent, will not be returning to the cast for the show's upcoming fifth season. Amazon Studios confirmed his firing to NPR on Thursday.

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KT Tunstall On Mountain Stage

Feb 15, 2018

Hailing from St. Andrews, Scotland, singer, songwriter, guitarist and loop-expert KT Tunstall didn't come from a musical family, which is a rarity for Mountain Stage performers. Her family supported her, though, and Tunstall's 2004 album Eye To The Telescope would produce major pop hits "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" and "Suddenly I See." Both are included in this live set from Athens, Ohio, recorded on campus of Ohio University.

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If the whole world's a jungle, Kendrick Lamar and company have a penchant for continuously scaling its upper heights.

Director Andrey Zvyagintsev's Loveless -- Russia's submission to this year's Academy Awards, and one of the five movies up for best foreign language film come Oscar night — begins with two parents screaming at each other about their upcoming divorce.

They're trying to sell their apartment, and it quickly becomes clear that their relationship is so toxic they'd probably sell their kid, too, if they could get away with it. Neither of them wants to take care of 12-year-old Aloysha (Matvey Novikov), who's sobbing quietly in the shower as they argue.

Look closely at a frame from Early Man — or any of the other features and shorts by Nick Park, the stop-motion animator behind Creature Comforts, the Wallace and Gromit series, and Chicken Run — and you can spot the truest and most literal of all auteur stamps: The curvatures of a fingerprint. As computer animation has become the dominant format, Park and his craftspeople at Aardman Animations have remained defiantly analog, using their hands to manipulate the features of plasticine models, frame by painstaking frame.

The heroine of Double Lover suffers chronic abdominal pain, but an exceptionally revealing trip to the gynecologist indicates no physical cause. Perhaps it's all in her head, so Chloe (Marine Vacth) is referred to a psychiatrist. That medical judgment turns out to be faulty, but viewers will sympathize with the doctor who made it. It might seem that the entire movie is in Chloe's head.

British filmmaker Sally Potter, a bold adventurer with form and genre, has racked up a formidable resume of hits and some misses, among them the gorgeous historical gender-bender Orlando (1992); the sexy dance movie The Tango Lesson (1996); The Man Who Cried (2001), a tone-deaf Holocaust misfire; and the terrific Ginger and Rosa (2012), which explored the tricky friction between ideology and private behavior on the lefty margins of 1960's London, where Potter came of age.

The Kurdish soldiers stand watch at this rustic outpost, nothing more than sand bags and hardened earth, like some sort of prehistoric fortress. Some of the fighters carry AK-47s, others hold machine guns. And all are looking to the south and the front line with ISIS in northeast Syria.

It's a vast open plain.

Gen. Hassan commands these troops. He's a short, squat man with salt-and-pepper hair, and he points out in the distance where the enemy is located, just a couple of mud huts on the horizon.

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How many relationships do you know of that have lasted for 70 years? If you're coming up short, I'll help you out; Clarence Fountain and Jimmy Carter, the two surviving original members of Blind Boys of Alabama, who began touring together in the 1940's.

As a kid in Oakland, Calif., Ryan Coogler hung out at a comic book shop near his school, reading about superheroes who looked nothing like him.

"As I got older, I wanted to find a comic book character that looked like me and not just one that was on the sidelines," Coogler says. "And I walk in and ask the guy at the desk that day, and say, 'Hey man, you got any comic books here about black people, you know, like with a black superhero?' And he was like, 'Oh, yeah, as a matter of fact, we got this one.'"

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