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Hearing the words of a 24-year-old victim of human trafficking — and her struggle to wipe away her conviction on prostitution charges — inspired New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

That young victim, who was featured in an NPR story in February, endured years of rapes and brutal assaults by pimps who forced her into prostitution.

"I'm not ever going to forget what I've done or what I've gone through. But at the same time, I don't want it thrown in my face every time I'm trying to seek employment," she said. "I don't want to have to explain myself every time."

When my mother passed away, I was by her side in a peaceful, sunny room at a hospice in South Florida. The sliding glass doors looked out to a flourishing garden filled with bougainvillea, rosebushes and carefully cultivated grasses. A block of sunlight, alive with swirling dust, hit the edge of my mother's bed where the tops of her small bony feet made a lump under the light cotton covers.

Usually police simulators are tucked away in training academies. But in a Charlotte, N.C., middle school gym, a crowd of 100 people watches Capt. Rob Dance as he leads a teenager through a simulated traffic stop that goes bad.

The simulator lets out several loud bangs. Dance notices the teen is nervous, his hands are shaking.

"You shot 24 times," he tells the student. "Did you realize that?"

The percussive snap of a stapler. The crisp peeling of a Post-it note. The ruffling flip of an old Rolodex chock-full of cards. James Ward loves office supplies beyond reason — and he's written about the history of everything from the pencil to the glue stick in his new book, The Perfection of the Paper Clip.

In 1956, the film Giant (based on the 1952 novel by Edna Ferber) took a piercing look at the Texas myth. It traced the rise of power from cattle ranchers to oil barons and examined the tensions between whites and Latinos. The film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won a best director Oscar for George Stevens.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Biden Urges Illini Men To 'Show Courage'

Apr 24, 2015

Vice President Joe Biden told students on the University of Illinois Urbana campus Thursday that preventing sexual assault is a shared responsibility.

Biden used an emotional, almost evangelical tone to urge about 1,500 students to "show courage" and “be the man you were raised to be.”

"By the way gentlemen, silence is a form of approval. Inaction is a form of cowardice," he said. "Speaking up takes courage." 

The crowd cheered for the Vice President in the gym of one of the campus' recreation centers.

Biden voiced anger at those who commit sexual assault.

The force of the Illinois legislature is behind bringing George Lucas's museum and Barack Obama's presidential library to Chicago.

A measure to ward off legal problems that could prevent the Star Wars creator's museum and the President's library from being located in Chicago first popped up Wednesday evening. 

Less than 24 hours later, it's on the way to the governor. It's supposed to take at three days at minimum for that to happen.

But this measure had support from leaders like House Speaker Michael Madigan.

There's more to Yellowstone National Park than meets the eye. Much more, as it turns out.

You might already know that a supervolcano dominates the famous park that is situated on land in Wyoming and Montana. A shallow subsurface magma chamber has long been known.

Sabeen Mahmud, a Pakistani social activist who ran Karachi's Second Floor cafe, was shot dead Friday by unknown gunmen in the port city.

The Dawn newspaper reports that Mahmud and her mother were on their way home from the cafe, known locally as T2F, at 9 p.m. local time when they were attacked. She died on her way to the hospital, the newspaper reported; doctors retrieved five bullets from her body. Her mother is in critical condition, the newspaper added.

An incident that sparked tensions between the ideals of patriotism and free speech has culminated in a mass protest that shut down the campus of Valdosta State University in south Georgia on Friday.

According to several local media outlets, thousands of protesters from around the state flooded onto the college campus to fly American flags.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that the U.S. epidemic of opioid abuse could lead to more severe outbreaks of HIV and hepatitis C nationally, much like the outbreak now seen in Indiana. A health advisory the agency released Friday outlines steps that state health departments and medical providers should take to minimize the risk of that happening.

Just a very quick post this week while I work my way through my emotions about the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella.

On the show this week, we're joined by our pals Gene Demby and Kat Chow to tackle the issue of food in culture, including cooking shows that feature great cooks, cooking shows that feature lousy cooks, and cooking shows that actually make us better at cooking. We talk about food for the soul and food for the glutton, and we learn a fascinating biographical tidbit about Kat.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

It's commonly thought that the Catholic Church fought heroically against the fascists in Italy. But historian David Kertzer says the church actually lent organizational strength and moral legitimacy to Mussolini's regime. Kertzer recently won a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe.

Originally broadcast Jan. 25, 2014.

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