Emma Bowman

The signs that it's officially Hispanic Heritage Month are all around us, be it a Google Doodle or an annual film festival.

But the national attention paid to Latinos and Hispanics this time of year belies a persistent reality, according to a new report: Latino and Hispanic Americans are still underrepresented and poorly represented in popular films.

Ajmal Achekzai was five years old when he first left his homeland. It was 1980, and his family was among the first Afghans to seek asylum in the United States after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

"All I remember is crying, hearing tank sounds," said Achekzai, now 46, recalling the Soviet-Afghan war during a StoryCorps interview in Los Angeles last month.

Achekzai's father, who was a university professor in Kabul, was tipped off by one of his students that the Russian regime suspected him of being a supporter of the anti-Soviet mujahedeen rebels.

The last conversation Keith Chapman had with his younger brother Nathan Chapman was on Christmas Day 2001. Nathan had called up his family from Afghanistan.

Although the 31-year-old, a sergeant first class with the U.S. Army's 1st Special Forces Group, couldn't disclose his location, his family put it together based on what time Nathan said it was where he was calling from.

"I don't remember that we said very much," Keith said during a StoryCorps interview in Frederick, Md., last week with their mother, Lynn Chapman.

Updated July 19, 2021 at 12:01 AM ET

Three people were wounded in a shooting outside of Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. during a home game against the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.

The shooting was an exchange of gunfire between people in two cars, said Metropolitan Police Department executive assistant police chief Ashan Benedict, according to The Associated Press.

More abortion restrictions have been enacted across the U.S. this year than in any previous year, according to an analysis by a group that supports abortion rights.

State legislatures have passed at least 90 laws restricting the procedure in 2021 so far, finds a report released this month from the Guttmacher Institute.

This July 4th, freedom rang a little louder than last Independence Day. Well, the fireworks did at least.

Blasts of flashy pyrotechnics across the country marked something of a return to normal, a year after the coronavirus pandemic dampened most Fourth festivities.

But on America's 245th birthday, there was perhaps even more reason to celebrate in the name of freedom. About half of Americans are fully vaccinated against the virus, lockdowns have been lifted and infections remain relatively low in the U.S.

Updated July 5, 2021 at 5:15 PM ET

For as long as she can remember, Danita Bilozaze knew that the name on her birth certificate, "Danita Loth," didn't reflect her Indigenous identity.

From the stories her mother recounted to her, she knew that Catholic missionaries had changed her family's name. Her great-grandfather, a man known as Lor Bilozaze, was written into priests' logs as "Loth Bilozaze." Government record books in Canada ultimately dropped the "Bilozaze," and Loth became their surname.

In the face of lawsuits alleging the condo board's negligence in the catastrophic collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Fla., the condominium association has hired a crisis communications firm.

Levick, a PR firm based in Washington, D.C., that promises to "fix the impossible," confirmed to NPR that it has been retained by the condo group. Levick's director Maxwell Marcucci told NPR that his firm is assisting the board with a deluge of media inquiries.

Updated June 25, 2021 at 3:46 PM ET

Derek Chauvin's mother told a Minneapolis judge that the former police officer has a big heart, and she opposed a lengthy sentence for her son, who was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd last year.

Carolyn Pawlenty said Chauvin's selfless character has been twisted by the media into an unfair depiction.

Most of us learned about the world's oceans in elementary school. There's the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian and the Arctic.

Now, there's a sea change ahead.

Thanks to National Geographic, you'll soon see a fifth ocean on your maps. It's now officially recognizing the Southern Ocean, the waters swirling around Antarctica, marking the first time the organization has made such a change since it started drawing up maps over a century ago.

The National Memorial Day Concert on Sunday night was less of a concert than it was a muted, broadcast tribute to the sacrifices and heroism of American veterans, fallen service members and their families.

The PBS event wove together vignettes spotlighting veterans, musical performances from noted artists and archival footage across decades of war. Celebrated actors lent their talents to tell first-person accounts of veteran trailblazers. The pre-taped concert, usually held at the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building, was semi-virtual this year because of COVID-19 protocols.

The first cruise set to sail from American ports in more than 15 months is headed to the Caribbean this summer.

Celebrity Cruises got approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to bring passengers aboard for the seven-night cruise on June 26, the company announced this week.

"CDC and the cruise industry agree that the industry has what it needs to move forward and no additional roadblocks exist for resuming sailing by mid-summer," CDC spokesperson Caitlin Shockey confirmed in an email.

William "Bill" Shakespeare, the first man in the United Kingdom to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, has died following a stroke.

The 81-year-old, whose famous name grabbed headlines around the world last year when he got the jab, died on Thursday, The New York Times reported, at the same hospital where he was inoculated.

Internet Explorer is nearing the end of a long and slow death, Microsoft announced this week.

At 25 years old, the much-reviled web browser that once dominated the Internet couldn't shake its reputation as the slow, buggy net-surfing option.

Microsoft has been stepping away from the product since at least 2015, when it introduced its successor, Microsoft Edge (previously known as Project Spartan). By mid-June of next year, the Internet Explorer desktop app will finally be put to rest.

After a long, dark year, social muscles have atrophied. In-person gatherings now call for weighty questions about COVID-19 safety. And many people, who during the pandemic found relief in empty calendars, don't want to go back to the world as they knew it.

Swaths of East Coasters who looked up at the night sky on Sunday were treated to a light show, courtesy of NASA's Black Brant XII rocket. And they've got the pictures to prove it.

The rocket launched at 8:44 p.m. ET from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. But it was the "vapor tracers" that it released into the atmosphere that most spectators glimpsed shooting across the sky.

Updated May 15, 2021 at 8:45 PM ET

Rombauer fended off two top contenders to win the 146th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in sunny Baltimore on Saturday.

Midnight Bourbon, who took off at 3-1 odds, and an embattled Medina Spirit, 2-1, took turns guiding the pack until Rombauer, at 11-1 odds, lurched ahead for a clear lead in the final stretch. Midnight Bourbon finished second, followed by Medina Spirit.

Tech billionaire Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend, in a debut performance that drummed up a lot of reaction before his big night even began.

As the night unfolded, Musk, CEO of electric carmaker Tesla and chief engineer of SpaceX, played a range of characters, including: a doctor at a Gen Z hospital, a priest and self-confessed murderer in a Mare of Easttown parody, an anti-social party guest in a post-pandemic world — and, naturally — himself.

Pfizer and its vaccine partner BioNTech have started an application to request the Food and Drug Administration's approval for its COVID-19 vaccine.

Updated May 5, 2021 at 6:43 PM ET

President Biden threw his support behind a World Trade Organization proposal on Wednesday to waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines, clearing a hurdle for vaccine-strapped countries to manufacture their own vaccines even though the patents are privately held.

Updated May 1, 2021 at 10:03 PM ET

Medina Spirit overcame tough odds to win the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, giving trainer Bob Baffert a record seventh Derby victory.

Medina Spirit, mounted by jockey John Velazquez, broke out of the gate with an early lead and held fast as the race met the final stretch.

A North Carolina sheriff has identified the seven deputies who were on the scene of last week's fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. and subsequently placed on administrative leave – four of whom have been cleared to return to duty.

Deputies shot and killed Brown, a 42-year-old Black man, while carrying out search and arrest warrants at his home on Wednesday in Elizabeth City, N.C. The Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office said that Sheriff Tommy Wooten was releasing the names of the deputies on the scene as part of his promise of transparency and accountability.

Updated April 28, 2021 at 7:39 PM ET

A grand jury has charged three Georgia men with federal hate crimes and attempted kidnapping in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was shot while jogging last year.

In January, under pressure from Donald Trump to overturn what he baselessly called a fraudulent election, Brad Raffensperger remained steadfast. The Georgia secretary of state insisted that the 2020 election in the state was fair and secure, and that there had been no evidence of foul play to back up the former president's claims.

A recent study of mummified parrots found in a high-altitude desert region in South America suggests to researchers that, as far back as some 900 years ago, people went to arduous lengths to transport the prized birds across vast and complex trade routes.

The remains of more than two dozen scarlet macaws and Amazon parrots were found at five different sites in northern Chile's arid Atacama Desert — far from their home in the Amazon rainforest.

So how did they get there?

This week, a shooting attack at a grocery store in Boulder, Colo., left 10 people dead. Just days earlier, eight people were fatally shot in a rampage targeting spas in the Atlanta area.

As with almost every mass shooter in recorded U.S. history, both of the suspects in the recent attacks are men.

A staggering 98% of these crimes have been committed by men, according to The Violence Project, a nonpartisan research group that tracks U.S. mass shooting data dating back to 1966.

As more schools open for in-person learning and some organized sports resume, many children — like adults — are returning to the world after having packed on extra body weight.

While data is sparse on whether there's been a rise in children's weight over the pandemic, some health professionals have seen worrisome signs.

Suzannah Stivison, a pediatric nurse practitioner in Kensington, Md., told NPR that some of her patients put on what she calls "the other COVID-19" — as in, 19 pounds.

Inside the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package President Biden signed on Thursday is a huge, much-needed boost for the child care industry.

Almost $25 billion is going toward child care providers and centers, and an additional $15 billion will go toward helping families get access to child care.

Ten years ago this week, Syrian government forces opened fire on protesters, setting off a bloody civil war. Since March 2011, the civil war has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced more than 10 million people.

In the early days of the uprising, Bassam Khabieh, then an amateur photographer, picked up his camera — his phone at the time — and began documenting what would be years of urban warfare from his hometown of Douma, a rebel holdout.

In a crop of viral videos featuring Tom Cruise, it's not the actor's magic trick nor his joke-telling that's deceptive — but the fact that it's not actually Tom Cruise at all.

The videos, uploaded to TikTok in recent weeks by the account @deeptomcruise, have raised new fears over the proliferation of believable deepfakes — the nickname for media generated by artificial intelligence technology showing phony events that often seem realistic enough to dupe an audience.

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