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Stories for July 21, 2013

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What's Next For The Voting Rights Act?

July 21
NPR Staff / NPR

Access to the polls has not always been assured for all Americans, and before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, many were subjected to so-called literacy tests and poll tax.

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Military Sexual Assault Bill Would Reassign Authority

July 21
NPR Staff / NPR

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is fighting for her bill to curb sexual assaults in the military. Her measure would give independent military prosecutors, rather than commanders, the power to decide which cases should be tried in military court.

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Michigan Governor Doesn't Want Bailout For Detroit

July 21
Scott Neuman / NPR

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says he's not expecting the federal government to offer a bailout for bankrupt Detroit and doesn't think it would be a good idea anyway.

Report: Limo Driver On Phone Before Fatal Fire

Report: Limo Driver On Phone Before Fatal Fire

July 21
Associated Press

The estranged wife of the Northern California limousine driver who was behind the wheel when a fire in the vehicle killed five women celebrating a wedding said he had been arguing with her on the phone moments before the blaze, according to a newspaper report Sunday.

After Blaze, Mudslide Threat For 20 California Homes

After Blaze, Mudslide Threat For 20 California Homes

July 21
Associated Press

A Southern California wildfire that destroyed seven homes and threatened the mountain town of Idyllwild was sluggish after a thunderstorm drenched the timberland, and more storms doused the remaining flames on Monday.

Evacuations Lifted As Gains Made On Southern California Blaze

Evacuations Lifted As Gains Made On Southern California Blaze

July 21
Associated Press

Firefighters in Southern California aided by heavy rain in the mountains above Palm Springs were starting to turn the tide Sunday on a stubborn wildfire that has burned across more than 40 square miles, destroyed a handful of homes and forced the evacuation of thousands of people.

After blaze, mudslide threat for 20 S. Cal. homes

July 21
Associated Press

IDYLLWILD, Calif. (AP) -- Authorities are urging about 20 homeowners to evacuate because of flooding and mudslide risks after a Southern California wildfire.

Homemade Bitters Put The Local Bite Back Into Cocktails

July 21
Emily Corwin / NPR

Evan Mallett is hovering over some plants in a Victorian-era greenhouse in Portsmouth, N.H.

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Police In East Cleveland Discover Bodies Wrapped In Plastic

July 21
Scott Neuman / NPR

Police in Ohio have discovered three bodies wrapped in plastic in a Cleveland suburb.

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Fighting Fire With Fire: Why Some Burns Are Good For Nature

July 21
Christopher Joyce / NPR

Wildfires were once essential to the American West. Prairies and forests burned regularly, and those fires not only determined the mix of flora and fauna that made up the ecosystem, but they regenerated the land.

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A Woman Among Men: Female Firefighter Blazed A Trail

July 21
NPR Staff / NPR

Arlington County, Va., wants more female firefighters. The fire department there has even set up a camp to inspire potential recruits. Donning helmets and matching camp shirts, teenage girls line up to watch a demonstration: A model room with furniture is ablaze.

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High-End Stores Use Facial Recognition Tools To Spot VIPs

July 21
Brenda Salinas / NPR

When a young Indian-American woman walked into the funky L.A. jewelry boutique Tarina Tarantino, store manager Lauren Twisselman thought she was just like any other customer. She didn't realize the woman was actress and writer Mindy Kaling.

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Many Welcome Obama's Entry Into Discussion On Race

July 21
Karen GrigsBates / NPR

As soon as he made his remarks on race Friday, President Obama found himself part of intense conversation around the nation.

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Flying High And Low In 'Full Upright And Locked Position'

July 21
NPR

No, you aren't imagining it: There is indeed less leg room on some airplanes than there used to be.