Out of the Blocks

4700 Liberty Heights Avenue

The 4700 block of Liberty Heights Avenue is a portrait of survival and adaptability. It's a self-governed, informal economy where the currency is respect. Space is shared by merchants, churches, longtime residents, and drug dealers. Immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, West Africa, and Korea have set up shops alongside a dwindling number of African American-owned businesses. Trust is earned here, not given lightly.
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President Obama's administration contends that refugees are not the true source of U.S. security concerns. Jeh Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, tells NPR that the real concern may be a person traveling as an ordinary tourist from Europe.

Johnson's department is tightening the visa waiver program, under which visitors from 38 countries, including much of Europe, may travel to the United States without applying for visas.

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is stepping up his game in Iowa.

The first term Texas senator has picked up influential endorsements there and is drawing bigger crowds.

At the stage of the race when many caucus-goers are still deciding who to support in the first in the nation presidential caucus, Cruz is making a big play for Iowa evangelical voters, who helped Mike Huckabee in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012 win the Iowa Republican caucuses.

Despite what you read in some history books – such as the Biographical Dictionary of Congressional Women — Rep.

Cascara 'Tea': A Tasty Infusion Made From Coffee Waste

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Coffee lovers may have noticed a new offering in their local cafés. Cascara is a tea-like drink with a fine, fruity flavor and plenty of caffeine, and it's popping up everywhere. For this new addition to chalkboards nationwide, credit Aida Batlle.

"I actually think we're going to solve this thing."

That's what President Obama said in a news conference just before he left a United Nations summit on climate change.

"Climate change is a massive problem," Obama said. "It is a generational problem. It's a problem that by definition is just about the hardest thing for an political system to absorb, because the effects are gradual, they're diffused. And yet despite all that... I'm optimistic. I think we're going to solve it."

As he prepares to leave office this month, Education Secretary Arne Duncan reunited with a former student as part of a StoryCorps interview project.

More than 25 years ago — when he was working at the Chicago Public Schools — Duncan took part in a mentorship program run by the "I Have A Dream" Foundation at Shakespeare Elementary School in Chicago. And Lawanda Duncan (no relation) was one of the young students he mentored.

Seeking to calm growing criticism about his administration's handling of police misconduct cases, Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he will appoint a new "police accountability task force."

In a press release, the mayor's office said the task force "will review the system of accountability, training and oversight that is currently in place for Chicago's police officers."

'Your Brother's Blood' Gives New Life To The Undead

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What does it take to make a zombie novel fresh and intriguing? Dozens of authors have tried to answer this question over the past few years, as the zombie wave swelled into a zombie glut. But few have deconstructed the genre with the heart and soul David Towsey has in Your Brother's Blood. First published in 2013 in Towsey's native England, this debut novel is finally seeing the light of day in the U.S.

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Four years ago, libertarians were an important force in the Republican presidential race. In the campaign for the 2012 nomination, Ron Paul was routinely drawing big crowds on college campuses.