NPR Staff

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.

William Shakespeare had a wildly extensive vocabulary. Of more than 800,000 total words in all of his works, almost 29,000 of them are unique.

Although impressive, there are a few rappers who give the Bard a run for his money. Data scientist Matt Daniels charted the vocabularies of hip-hop artists against Shakespeare and Herman Melville.

"This is not a serious academic study. This is an, like, 'I thought it'd be cool on the Internet [project],' " he says.

A small number of universities are starting to go against the grain, reducing amenities and frills in favor of keeping the costs relatively low.

Neil Theobald is the president of Temple University, which recently began offering students $4,000 per year in grants — if they promise to limit the number of hours they work during the school year and graduate on time.

Whooping cough made a comeback in California last year, which researchers have linked to vaccine refusals. And with new measles outbreaks in Southern California, New York and British Columbia, the debate over vaccination is also spreading.