State economists were in an optimistic mood yesterday, saying Colorado’s economy is performing better than the rest of the nation. As a result, lawmakers will also have more money to spend in next year’s budget than originally anticipated. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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AP
May 5, 2015 | NPR · Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. has had a rapid rise. In about three years, he went from a one-star general to a four-star one. He is currently the commandant of the Marine Corps.
 

AP
May 5, 2015 | NPR · Kerry became the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Somalia. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud called the visit “a great moment” for his country.
 

AP
May 5, 2015 | NPR · In a bulletin, the self-declared Islamic State said the two suspects were “soldiers from the soldiers of the Caliphate.” U.S. officials said they were investigating a link to international terrorism.
 

Arts & Life

May 5, 2015 | NPR · British artist Brian Catling makes his fiction debut with The Vorrh, about a mysterious forest in an alternate-universe Africa. Reviewer Jason Heller calls it an “eye-gouging, mind-bending spectacle.”
 

NPR
May 5, 2015 | NPR · Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, who selected the book, tells NPR’s David Greene that Kate Atkinson is “one of those writers that really can make you weep on one page and laugh on the next.”
 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art
May 5, 2015 | NPR · The dramatic images at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art linger in the mind. Curator Linda Komaroff says she hopes the collection challenges an American audience to rethink preconceptions.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
May 5, 2015 | NPR · It’s hard to wrap your head around the amount of work it must have taken to create the new video for Son Lux’s “Change Is Everything.”
 

Polina Yamshchikov for NPR
May 5, 2015 | NPR · When we sat down with Iamsu, the Bay Area rapper had just as many questions for Ali Shaheed Muhammad as we had for him.
 

Courtesy of the artist
May 5, 2015 | NPR · Frances Quinlan, singer and guitarist for Hop Along, says that writing a song is an experience that’s almost painful. “When you record something,” she says, “it’s forever.”
 

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