NPR Staff

The late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro loved baseball. And you may have heard that he was such a good player that years before the Cuban revolution, he tried out for the New York Yankees in Havana.

Or not. This myth has persisted for years, and though it might be fun to contemplate the historical consequences of this "What if?" scenario, Adrian Burgos Jr., University of Illinois history professor and author of Playing America's Game: Baseball, Latinos and the Color Line, says it simply didn't happen.

For the second year in a row, the annual All Things Considered Thanksgiving music chat is a multi-part conversation. Host Ari Shapiro welcomes four musicians, each of whom was named by one of his or her fellow guests as an artist to be thankful for.

In Bernie Sanders' new book, Our Revolution, the Vermont senator tells the story of his life, his career and his run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

He also spells out the programs he believes the country should adopt to combat such ills as inequality, discrimination and lack of opportunity, not to mention the burdens of college and health care costs.

Sanders says he was not shocked by Donald Trump's victory. But he says the election results show it is time for the Democratic Party to undergo a fundamental reassessment.

Influential singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82, according to a publicist for his U.S. record label.

Cohen died Monday, but news of his death came out late Thursday. His Facebook page had this announcement:

"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away.
We have lost one of music's most revered and prolific visionaries.

Updated at 7:58 p.m. ET

Newly discovered emails being examined by the FBI in relation to Hillary Clinton's email server came to light in the course of an unrelated criminal investigation of Anthony Weiner, a source familiar with the matter tells NPR's Carrie Johnson.

Weiner is the estranged husband of close Clinton aide Huma Abedin; he has been under scrutiny for sending illicit text messages to an underage girl. Sources said authorities seized electronic devices in their home, which led them to this new information.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton went head to head Monday night in the first presidential debate.

NPR's politics team, with help from reporters and editors who cover national security, immigration, business, foreign policy and more, live annotated the debate. Portions of the debate with added analysis are underlined in yellow, followed by context and fact check.

Cargo shorts are a staple of men's summer wardrobes.

But the actor Matthew McConaughey, always one for existential questions, had this to ask: "Are they long short pants or short long pants?"

Craig Ferguson, talking to McConaughey in a 2014 episode of The Late Late Show, piled on.

House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke with NPR's Steve Inskeep.

Donald Trump laid out his plan for the economy, criticizing globalization and policies that promote free trade, in a speech in Monessen, Pa., on Tuesday.

NPR's politics team has annotated Trump's speech. The portions we commented on are bolded, followed by analysis and fact check in italics. We will update further.

The speech follows:

Last week marked the end of an era for the historic Chicago-based Johnson Publishing Co. After a 71-year run as an outlet for the expression of both the highest aspirations and deepest frustrations of African-Americans, the family-owned business has sold its iconic lifestyle magazine — Ebony -- and the now digital-only Jet magazine.

This election has brought a bitter primary season: candidates at each other's throats; a Democratic Party in crisis. But it's nothing new.

Eight years ago, the Democratic Party was recovering after a brutal primary between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Now, the party has found itself in a similar place.

This week on For the Record: Lessons learned from the 2008 Democratic primary, with two political operatives who lived through it.

Immigration is back on the front burner in the Republican primary.

This past week, at a rally in Orange County, Calif., Donald Trump returned to talking about the wall he wants to build along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Meanwhile, outside, there were protesters speaking out against his immigration proposals and carrying Mexican flags.

The celebrations for the new year also marked a new open-carry gun law taking effect in Texas. Handgun license holders in Texas will now be allowed to carry their guns in visible holsters on their hip or shoulder.

Previously, Texans wanting to carry a handgun had to obtain a concealed handgun license and conceal their weapon. With the new law, the more than 826,000 state license holders will be allowed to openly display their handguns in most public places.

The resettling of Syrian refugees in the U.S. has become a political and religious flashpoint. On Friday, for instance, Texas dropped its request for a federal court to immediately block Syrian refugees from entering the state. A Syrian family, including two young children, is now expected to arrive in Dallas on Monday.

Brian Khorey/AP

Update 4:45 p.m. Governor Greg Abbott today declared a state of disaster in Bosque, Clay, Denton, Eastland, Gaines, Montague and Van Zandt counties, authorizing further mobilization of state resources to assist affected communities. Additional counties may be added to the declaration as the situation develops.

Current state forecasts indicate the continuation of possible severe thunderstorms, large hail, damaging winds, flash flooding, river flooding and tornadoes across the state throughout the week. 

Today is an important anniversary in the history of World War II. It's the 70th anniversary of VE Day, when Allies celebrated victory in Europe. Of 16 million Americans who served in the war, just about a million are still alive. 

Austinite Richard Overton is 108, and he's been identified by the White House as the oldest living veteran of World War II. He was in his 30s when he joined forces commanded by General Douglas MacArthur. 

Overton was deployed to the Pacific in the fight against Japan. He served in the all-black 188th Aviation Engineer Battalion, building airfields on various islands.

In Memoriam 2014

Dec 31, 2014

Many musical voices went silent in 2014. We lost singers, instrumentalists, composers, conductors, producers, DJs and other visionaries. Explore their musical legacies here.



Claudio Abbado

June 26, 1933 — Jan. 20, 2014

A scholarly literary magazine is celebrating the music of Texas — but don't let that academic approach get in the way of enjoying it.

U.S. Reps. Beto O'Rourke of Texas and Steve Pearce of New Mexico are looking for answers to their questions about the Border Patrol. These Southwest representatives, one Democrat and the other Republican, have neighboring districts along the U.S.-Mexico border.

They introduced legislation in March that calls for more oversight and accountability for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP.

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