Kat Lonsdorf

Iraqi security forces launched a major crackdown on anti-government protesters Saturday from Baghdad to cities across the south after an influential Shiite cleric instrumental in the demonstrations withdrew his support.

New Zealand's months-long gun amnesty and buyback program ended Friday, with questionable success. The amnesty gave gun owners a chance to surrender certain firearms before facing legal recourse for having them after the country outlawed most semi-automatic and military-style firearms earlier this year.

A large portion of Australia is on fire after weeks of extreme heat, strong winds and drought that have created ideal conditions for hundreds of bushfires to thrive across the country. Several fires have been burning since November, particularly in the eastern state of New South Wales.

Violence erupted this weekend around a besieged Hong Kong university, as protesters threw petrol bombs and fired arrows at police in an attempt to keep control of the campus.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a former defense secretary and intelligence officer accused of committing human rights violations, has won Sri Lanka's closely fought presidential elections. His main opponent, Sajith Premadasa of the ruling United National Party (UNP), conceded defeat on Sunday, saying he will "honor the decision of the people."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

On a recent Friday afternoon, Sandra Hill leads a painting class at an arts center nestled amid rolling Virginia hills, about an hour and a half drive northwest of Washington, D.C.

Each of the 10 adult students has a canvas balanced on an easel in front of them. They're dabbing paintbrushes loaded with dark green paint along the edge of a lake, the beginnings of a glowing sunset in the background.

"And think tree! Don't just go tap, tap, tap any old place. Remember, trees have depth to them!" she reminds the class.

It's a story fit for Hollywood.

An unidentified woman, her hair pulled up in pigtails and arms loaded with bags, sings a hauntingly beautiful rendition of a Puccini aria seemingly spontaneously on the platform of a Los Angeles Metro stop.

A video of the woman was posted to Twitter by the Los Angeles Police Department late Thursday evening.

Updated at 3:03 p.m. ET

A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration's effort to expand fast-track deportation regulations for undocumented immigrants without the use of immigration courts.

Joseph Wilson, the former U.S. diplomat who publicly challenged the reasoning behind President George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, died Friday. He was 69.

Wilson died of organ failure, his ex-wife, Valerie Plame, confirmed to several news outlets. Plame's identity as a CIA operative was revealed a week after Wilson contested the Bush administration in a 2003 New York Times op-ed. Plame and Wilson divorced in 2017.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Now for a story about soda and state borders. It begins with a Mountain Dew marketing campaign...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Welcome to the land of those who do.

Updated on July 26

The class of 2009 graduated into an economy in decline and one of the worst job markets in generations.

Now, with 10 years of hindsight, how do you think that affected your career path? Do you feel that being unable to land your dream job or internship right after graduation gave you breathing room to explore other options?

NPR's All Things Considered is working on a piece about what 2009 graduates are doing today.

Please fill out the form below to share your thoughts. NPR may contact you for an upcoming story.

Nearly two decades ago, Apple announced its new jukebox software. The company called it iTunes. Today, during its annual World Wide Developers Conference, Apple has announced that in its new operating system, iTunes is going away, to be replaced by a Music app, a Podcast app and a TV app instead.

A porn director worries that young adults think sex is what they've seen on-screen.

A young man worries that the ubiquity of porn creates unrealistic expectations for everyone.

A porn performer worries that young viewers might think her videos are instructional.

They all wish people talked about it more.

Millions of people in the United States watch pornography, thanks largely in part to the Internet and free sites like Pornhub.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Pages