Despite being buffeted by high unemployment and the recession in recent years, African-Americans expressed high levels of life satisfaction and optimism for the future.

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On Spain’s Atlantic coast, the city of Santander has installed 12,000 sensors that measure everything from when streetlights need to be dimmed to when trash dumpsters are full — saving millions for cash-strapped public coffers. It’s becoming a model for cities worldwide.

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Tuberculosis is much less of a health threat in the United States than it is in other countries. But a family in Boston discovered that even here, no one is immune from this ancient foe. More than a dozen family members were infected with TB, and matriarch Judy Williams died at age 59.

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Prosecutors say the soldier downloaded thousands of diplomatic cables and war field reports and sent them to the website WikiLeaks. His trial, which begins Monday, highlights the U.S. government’s aggressive campaign to keep secrets.

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Journalism can be a dangerous profession in any war-torn country. And in Somalia, the youth and inexperience of many reporters can make it even more so. A dozen Somali reporters were gunned down last year, including four at a single organization, Shabelle Media.

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As humans have cut into Brazil’s forests, the toucan population has taken a dive. The trees, in turn, have changed, too: Without large-billed birds to eat fruit with big seeds, only trees with small seeds thrive. Eventually, one scientist says, “the impacts on the forest could be quite dramatic.”

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Interest rates on government-backed college loans are set to double July 1 — unless Congress agrees on a fix before then. The president is expected to urge Congress on Friday to block that increase.

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In 2004, Peter Obetz was in the middle of a divorce when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He says the news was not only a wake-up call for him to change his life, but it also brought him closer to his friend Jeff Jarrett. He’s been cancer-free since 2009.

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For years, literally, congressional Republicans called on the Democratically controlled Senate to pass a budget. They marked the days, reaching more than a thousand before the Senate finally did pass a budget earlier this year. Now Democrats are borrowing a page from the playbook, counting the days since the Senate passed a budget and demanding a conference committee.

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As part of his investing adventure, NPR’s Uri Berliner tries his hand at bulk buying. The idea: Stock up on goods now that you know you’ll need later. It’s a hedge against inflation. But figuring out what to buy and how much isn’t so easy.

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There were questions if U.S. regulators will approve the takeover of the iconic American company by China’s Shuanghui International. And there were also concerns that Shuanghui could ratchet up production to feed the growing demand for meat in China.

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For many veterans in out-of-the-way locations, getting medical care at a VA facility can be expensive, time-consuming and inconvenient. Telemedicine is changing that, providing access to doctors over the Internet.

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Syria’s war has polarized the country. But as in many conflicts, a large portion of the population just wants to keep their heads down and stay out of harm’s way. A visit to the Sayida Zeinab shrine offers a look into the complicated nature of the war.

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The natural gas industry wants to export more of its commodity, but first it has to build infrastructure. In Oregon, companies want to build a 230-mile pipeline and an export terminal on the coast. Some welcome the new jobs but others worry about environmental consequences.

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Management gurus have long preached the value of ethical leadership. In the presence of ethical leadership — but the absence of ethical co-workers — what happens to people’s honesty?

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There’s fear and frustration in the capital, but even people who acknowledge Assad’s flaws often grimly hope for the rebels to go away: They believe the government’s description of the rebels as terrorists and foreigners out to destroy the country.

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President Obama often tells audiences that he has waged his last campaign. But that’s not exactly true. The White House is gearing up for a massive push this summer to get uninsured people to buy health care when sign-ups begin Oct. 1.

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Itch can be a useful warning sign, or a maddening symptom with no cure. But the origins of itch have long been a mystery. Scientists think they’ve come closer to understanding the origins of itch in a molecule that makes mice scratch like mad.

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In a major speech, the president rejects the idea that the country can fight an opened-ended “global war on terror.” In setting his own guidelines, he defines the standards for using drone strikes and again calls for closing the Guantanamo Bay prison.

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Not long after his shocking ballet, the composer branched out into a broad range of styles, ushering in new musical trends far from the violent tone of his iconic Rite of Spring.

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Two mothers whose sons were killed during the first Gulf War talk about how they became friends after their sons’ death. The last 22 years would have been tough without the friendship, because, as one tells the other, “what’s in our hearts we share.”

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The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America has voted to allow gay Scout members, but to continue a ban on openly gay adult Scout leaders. The policy change would take effect Jan. 1, 2014.

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Organizing for Action — a group that formed out of President Obama’s re-election campaign — has focused its ire on Republicans it calls “climate change deniers.” But some environmentalists are frustrated with the president himself on issues like the Keystone pipeline.

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