This gargantuan beauty was built during the 1999 Delaware State News Sandcastle Contest. The castle was lost all too soon in a tragic high-tide incident. Grant L. Gursky/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Grant L. Gursky/AP

Architecture

Blueprints Before High Tide: An Architect Explains The Perfect Sandcastle

Famed architect Renzo Piano is best known for his massive skyscrapers and innovative designs. But the sandcastle enthusiast also has thoughts on how to plan a building that's a bit more ephemeral.

For Faded Gloryville, country artist Lindi Ortega's inspiration ranges wide — including Jeff Bridges' bruised character in the movie Crazy Heart Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Music Interviews

With 'Faded Gloryville,' Lindi Ortega Explores The Rougher Edges Of Fame

It's hard to believe a sound so country and Americana is coming out of Ontario. With her new album, singer Lindi Ortega finds inspiration in the music of performers who may be past their peaks.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah inspects a home that was badly damaged from a suspected attack by Jewish extremists in the West Bank village of Douma. An 18-month-old child was killed and other family members seriously seriously injured. Prime Minister Office/APA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Prime Minister Office/APA/Landov

The Two-Way - News Blog

Israeli Officals Condemn Arson Attack That Killed Palestinian Child

The Israeli prime minister says he's shocked and outraged at the attack. An analyst says public concern could make this a defining moment for Israelis.

Chimpanzees aren't legally humans, a judge said. Brandon Wade/AP Images for The Humane Society of the United States and Chimp hide caption

itoggle caption Brandon Wade/AP Images for The Humane Society of the United States and Chimp

The Two-Way - News Blog

Chimps In Habeas Corpus Case Will No Longer Be Used For Research

Hercules and Leo were used for researched at Stony Brook University will be retired. They were at the center of a court case that tested whether chimps had the same legal "personhood" as humans.

Using a digital device that displays Braille characters, Haben Girma talks with President Obama at a White House ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. White House photo/Courtesy of Haben Girma hide caption

itoggle caption White House photo/Courtesy of Haben Girma

Goats and Soda

She Owes Her Activism To A Brave Mom, The ADA And Chocolate Cake

Born deaf and blind to a refugee mother, Haben Girma has had opportunities in the U.S. she'd never have had in Eritrea. But it was an urge for dessert that led her to advocate for the disabled.

Expectations for movement on justice reform had been high, but sources tell NPR that concrete language on sentencing and criminal justice overhauls is still being hotly debated behind closed doors. David Goldman/AP hide caption

itoggle caption David Goldman/AP

It's All Politics

Despite High Expectations, Sentencing Reform Proposals Still On Ice

Sen. John Cornyn suggested that a hearing and markup on sentencing and criminal justice overhauls could be imminent. But multiple sources tell NPR that concrete language is still being hotly debated.

Organic farmer Margot McMillen holds a grape lead damaged by pesticide drift on her farm, Terra Bella Farm, in central Missouri. Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media hide caption

itoggle caption Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

The Salt

Pesticide Drift Threatens Organic Farms

Conventional farmers use millions of pounds of pesticides each year to protect crops from weeds and insects. When those chemicals drift to neighboring property, they can ruin crops on organic farms.

A drone similar to this one was shot out of the sky in Kentucky this week, by a homeowner who said his privacy was being invaded. He's now facing criminal charges in the case. Tim Sharp/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Tim Sharp/AP

The Two-Way - News Blog

Dispute Emerges Over Drone Shot Down By Kentucky Man

William Meredith, 47, of Bullitt County, Ky., was arrested Sunday after he used his shotgun to bring down a drone that he said hovered above his property in a suburb of Louisville.

A spry 52 when the film was shot, Tom Cruise — still his own stuntman — careens a motorcycle, sans helmet, around a winding Moroccan highway at suicide-miles-per-hour. Bo Bridges/Paramount Pictures hide caption

itoggle caption Bo Bridges/Paramount Pictures

Movie Reviews

'Rogue Nation' Fulfills The Mission Of A Reliable Blockbuster Series

Tom Cruise returns as secret agent Ethan Hunt in the latest Mission: Impossible — a super-fun sequel executed with rigor, clarity and creative use of Puccini's Turandot.

A Marine Corps F-35B Joint Strike Fighter does a short takeoff (STOVL) from Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., in 2011. Eighteen years after development began, a version of the plane designed for the Marine Corps is expected to be deemed "combat ready." Cliff Owen/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Cliff Owen/AP

The Two-Way - News Blog

Marine Version Of F-35 Reportedly Deemed 'Combat Ready'

With a total program cost estimated at $400 billion and a per-plane price tag of $135 million, the Joint Strike Fighter program is considered the most expensive in U.S. history.

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