NPR News

It's a bright fall morning in Santa Cruz County, Calif., and the tennis area at Brommer Street Park is overrun with dozens of people. But they aren't here for tennis. Instead, cadences of pick-pock sounds fill the air as doubles players — many in their 50s and older — whack yellow Wiffle-like balls back and forth on eight minicourts.

This recreational craze, which has an estimated 2.8 million players nationally, has a quirky name: pickleball.

Augustin Mawangu Mingiedi, leader of the Congolese group Konono No. 1, died on Monday, Oct. 16 after a months-long illness related to complications from diabetes, a representative for the band confirmed. He was 56 years old.

In the late 1960s, the families of American aviators who had been shot down during the Vietnam War became alarmed at reports that U.S. prisoners of war were being mistreated. The way those families reacted changed the way Americans think about missing troops and the government's responsibility for them.

The POW/MIA movement isn't the cultural and political force that it once was, but it's still hard to ignore. The black and white POW/MIA flag with its slogan, "You are not forgotten," is seemingly everywhere.

It was the Friday before a Monday deadline, and federal health officials in Washington, D.C., were working feverishly with their counterparts in Oklahoma to finalize the details of a new state reinsurance program.

Italian composer Daniele Luppi's first noteworthy work in America has been heard millions of times over. The Los Angeles-based Luppi arranged Gnarls Barkley's ubiquitous "Crazy" in 2005. But it's fair to say Luppi's name first popped up on radars with his ambitious 2011 project with Danger Mouse, Rome, which painstakingly blended the widescreen orchestral landscapes of Ennio Morricone's evocative Spaghetti Western scores, with funky exploitation flick grooves — and the vocal talents of Jack White and Norah Jones.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 KOSU. To see more, visit KOSU.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The bare, plaster walls of Yu Zu'en's new government-issued apartment are adorned with three decorations: an old photo from his years as a soldier, a shelf for his harmonica, and a poster featuring the busts of every Chinese Communist Party secretary since Chairman Mao. He points to the newest one and smiles.

"I wouldn't be here without Xi Jinping," he says. "Under his wise leadership, we're now taken care of. Before, we barely survived. Our village was up in the mountains. Corn didn't grow well, no roads. Then the leaders mobilized us and the entire village moved here."

Pages