Faced with massive overcrowding, budget cuts and a weeks-long hunger strike by inmates, California is considering making changes to how it handles its toughest prisoners.

A state legislative panel will hear Tuesday about conditions at the state prison at Pelican Bay, where California's most dangerous convicts are shipped. Located near the Oregon border, Pelican Bay is hundreds of miles from any major city. It's the most isolated prison in the system: Think Alcatraz, but on land.

As the economy continues to sputter, many policymakers are looking to entrepreneurs to create new jobs. And many foreign-born, highly skilled entrepreneurs want to come to the United States and stay here, but immigration laws and policies haven't made that easy.

In an effort to change that, the White House recently announced more flexible policies for granting visas. But many innovation experts say the changes aren't enough.

Biologist Lou Burnett was in his car when his cellphone rang recently. It was a CNN reporter, asking about the fact that his research had been featured in a new report about wasteful government spending.

That was news to Burnett, who works at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. "I was pretty irritated," he recalls.

Meredith Perry turned 22 this month. She just graduated from college and started a new company built around a technology she recently invented.

There's plenty of bad economic news these days, but Perry and her company, called UBeam, are trying to defy it — she's hiring and entertaining funding offers from investors.

Perry's invention: a transmitter that can recharge wireless devices using ultrasonic waves. It's like Wi-Fi, she says, except instead of a wireless Internet connection, her's transmits power over the air.

The new Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial is scheduled to be dedicated on Aug. 28 — the anniversary of the civil rights leader's "I Have A Dream" speech. The memorial, located on the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., was several decades in the making. Here's a brief look at how the idea for a memorial came to fruition.

A giant and powerful digital camera is about to be shipped from a lab near Chicago to a telescope in Chile to study a mysterious part of the universe called dark energy.

Dark energy makes up most of our universe, but scientists currently know almost nothing about it except that it seems to be making the expansion of our universe speed up.

The Libyan rebels may have stormed into Tripoli on a wave of euphoria Sunday. But they were watchful and deliberate Monday as they realized that Moammar Gadhafi's armed loyalists were still a dangerous presence in many parts of the Libyan capital.

In one contested area, a rebel with a megaphone shouted warnings to his comrades: "Be careful of snipers. The city is not clear yet. Be alert."

But most rebels didn't need to be told. They were already jumpy coming into Tripoli, the grand prize in the rebels' six-month uprising against Gadhafi and his 42 years of rule.

For women seeking an abortion, finding a doctor willing to offer one is easier said than done.

Ninety-seven percent of OB-GYNs have encountered patients wanting an abortion, but only 14 percent of the doctors perform them, according to a study published today in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. That finding suggests a smaller percentage of OB-GYNs may be offering abortion services than previous studies have estimated.

NPR's Kelly McEvers is in Syria on a tour organized by a youth group aligned with the government of President Bashar Assad. Most foreign journalists are barred from entering the country otherwise. The tour's theme is "Syria Is Fine." Most of the reporters are from countries that have a history of supporting the Syrian regime — Russia and Iran among them. McEvers is the only American reporter in the group, which also includes some European journalists.

People love how Facebook lets them comment on and share other people's posts. But the idea of sharing on social media has got drug companies scared. When Facebook told drugmakers that they had to start allowing comments on their Facebook pages, some of those pages started disappearing.


Arts & Culture


New Release: For Lenny, For Sure!

We're for sure you're going to love this new release! Pianist Lara Downes celebrates Leonard Bernstein with her new album For Lenny that includes "special friends and family tribute to the man behind the music." Lara has quite a diverse group of artists: beatboxer and Pentatonix member Kevin “K.O.” Olusola , folk/roots singer Rhiannon Giddens , baritone Thomas Hampson , and clarinetist Javier Morales-Martinez . WBAA's John Clare spoke to Downes about the new release, and how she put together the music and the musicians.

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WBAA Public Affairs

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Ask The Mayor: Crawfordsville's Todd Barton On Seeing Video Of A Movie Shooting

There aren’t that many movies staged and shot in Crawfordsville. And probably only a small subset of those involve replica firearms. So when a Crawfordsville police officer encountered what looked like a robbery earlier this week and fired a bullet at an actor carrying an air gun, people began to formulate questions.

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Engagement - Chicago Symphony Orchestra Trip

Join WBAA to see John Williams Conduct the CSO

Tickets include Charter Bus, Dinner, and your seat at the concert on 4/26/18.

This I Believe

McKenna James

This I Believe: I Believe We Can

Throughout your life, you may have been asked questions you don’t quite know how to even begin to answer. Maybe it’s a toughie, like, “Who was the sixteenth emperor in China?” Other times, it’s as simple as “How are you feeling today?” Questions provoke thoughts, which provoke answers, which provoke emotions, but how can you configure a response to a query you don’t fully comprehend? Personally, the question of beliefs has always been difficult to answer. What do I believe in? Had I ever given this question more thought, maybe I would have realized earlier that I have always had the answer. Not in my brain, but in my heart; my spirit.

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News From NPR

Wow! We Have a Winner

16 minutes ago

Have you been listening to NPR's Wow in the World? It's a podcast for curious kids and their grown-ups that illuminates the wonders of science, technology, discovery and inventions.

If you're already a fan then you know all about the "Show Reggie Some Love" art contest. Kids from all across the country have submitted their drawing of everyone's favorite character: Reggie!

There's a big movement among major retail companies to become more than just places that sell you things. In the latest example, Walmart is partnering with a home-services app called Handy to give shoppers a deal on professional help assembling furniture or installing a TV.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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