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Updated June 23, 2021 at 9:48 AM ET

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced he will support changes to the military justice system that would take sexual assault cases away from the chain of command and let independent military lawyers handle them. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has long pushed for legislation on the issue, praised Austin's move but told NPR on Wednesday that it doesn't go far enough.

Updated June 23, 2021 at 4:05 PM ET

An important election takes place Tuesday in New York City.

But beyond who wins the mayoral primaries there, what happens could have consequences for how millions of Americans vote in the future.

When Aaron Hinton walked through the housing project in Brownsville on a recent summer afternoon, he voiced love and pride for this tightknit, but troubled working-class neighborhood in New York City where he grew up.

He pointed to a community garden, the lush plots of vegetables and flowers tended by volunteers, and to the library where he has led after-school programs for kids.

But he also expressed deep rage and sorrow over the scars left by the nation's 50-year-long War on Drugs. "What good is it doing for us?" Hinton asked.

A growing number of companies such as Nike, JCPenney and Target are embracing Juneteenth as a holiday.

Their efforts are happening alongside a push to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Juneteenth, or June 19, 1865, is the day slaves in Texas learned of their freedom. President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, freeing those in bondage in the rebellious slave-holding states, but it wasn't until 1865 that Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger of the Union Army landed in Galveston, Texas, and delivered the news that the Civil War had ended.

BATON ROUGE, La. — The children of a Black man killed by police in Louisiana's capital city five years ago have accepted a $4.5 million settlement from the local government, the man's family and the city's mayor said Friday.

Alton Sterling's 2016 shooting by a Baton Rouge police officer was captured on video and sparked anger and protests in the city's Black community.

One woman is dead after a man drove into a crowd of protesters late Sunday night in Minneapolis. The suspect is in custody, according to the city's police department.

Demonstrators were gathered to protest the June 3 shooting death of Winston Boogie Smith Jr., a 33-year-old Black man, by U.S. marshals in Minneapolis. At about 11:39 p.m. Sunday, a car sped into protesters that were standing along Lake Street and Girard Avenue in the city's Uptown area, hitting and injuring at least three people.

Updated June 11, 2021 at 4:05 PM ET

Darnella Frazier, who was 17 when she recorded George Floyd's murder in Minneapolis last year, was awarded a special citation by the Pulitzer Board on Friday.

The video played a major role in igniting a global protest movement against police violence, and was used as evidence in the trial of Floyd's killer.

This story was supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

When police took Carlos Yazzie to jail on the Navajo Nation in New Mexico after his arrest on a bench warrant in January 2017, he needed immediate medical attention. His foot was swollen and his blood alcohol content was nearly six times the legal limit.

Mehran Mossaddad has spent much of the pandemic scared and lying awake at night. He's a single dad with an 10-year-old daughter living outside Atlanta.

"I get panic attacks not knowing what's in store for us," he says. "I have to take care of her."

Mossaddad drives Uber for a living, but when the pandemic hit, he stopped because he couldn't leave his daughter home alone. As a result, he has fallen more than $15,000 behind on his rent, and his landlord has filed an eviction case against him.

For Alex Zeldin, it began as a normal Friday.

He was headed to Trader Joe's on New York City's Upper West Side to pick up some food for the Jewish Sabbath.

As usual, he was wearing his yarmulke, or skullcap. When he turned a corner, he realized that a couple of teenagers had started to follow him, spewing antisemitic insults.

President Biden received no grace period when it came to cyber hacks.

"The cyber pressures that this administration has faced so far have been relentless," said April Falcon Doss, a former National Security Agency official who now heads a technology program at the Georgetown University Law Center.

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The speech that high school valedictorian Paxton Smith pulled from inside her graduation gown was not the one she had shown the school.

Katrina Chism was frightened and confused. She'd been renting the same house in Atlanta for three years. She's a single mom with a teenage son. But then she lost her customer service job during the coronavirus pandemic and fell a month behind on her rent.

"I remember going to the door and the sheriff standing there," Chism says. "It scared me because I didn't know why he was at my house."

The reason: Her landlord had filed an eviction case against her.

A Florida man who stormed the U.S. Capitol and stood on the Senate floor during the Jan. 6 insurrection has become the second person to plead guilty in the federal investigation into the deadly riot.

Paul Hodgkins entered his plea during a virtual hearing Wednesday in federal court in Washington. The 38-year-old was originally facing five charges, but under a deal negotiated with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing an official proceeding.

Forecasters say the Atlantic hurricane season, which begins June 1, is likely to be busier than usual. After touring the National Hurricane Center in Miami, the new head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Deanne Criswell had a message to the public.

"Last year was a record season," she said. "We don't know what this season is going to be. But it just takes one storm."

A transit worker opened fire early Wednesday morning at a light-rail facility in downtown San Jose, Calif., fatally shooting nine people and taking his own life. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo told NPR's Morning Edition that the gunman set fire to his own home before the shooting.

A Pennsylvania judge has ordered former Penn State President Graham Spanier to report to jail on July 9 for charges related to the child abuse scandal that embroiled the university a decade ago.

A Dauphin County Court judge ordered Spanier to serve two months in a Centre County correctional facility, followed by two months of house arrest for charges of endangering the welfare of children.

The murder of George Floyd a year ago brought an idea long considered radical into the mainstream of political debate. Last June, a veto-proof majority of Minneapolis City Council members pledged to defund and dismantle the police department.

But now, those same elected officials have softened their tone. And even backers of a police reform proposal headed to the city's November ballot say their measure would not eliminate armed officers.

Harold Harrington is a master plumber. Fixing people's pipes is what he does. But it was something he found in his own home in Flint, Mich., that disturbed him.

"This came out of my house," Harrington says as he holds a small piece of pipe. "This piece of galvanized was in my basement. It fed my upstairs faucet and this is out of my upstairs bathroom. ... It's full of lead."

Harrington is among the tens of thousands of residents of Flint whose contaminated drinking water cast a spotlight on a threat faced by communities across the United States.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Members of George Floyd's family, and others who lost loved ones to police encounters, joined activists and citizens in Minneapolis on Sunday for a march that was one of several events planned nationwide to mark the first anniversary of Floyd's death.

It's been 100 years since the Tulsa Race Massacre — one of the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history. An armed white mob attacked Greenwood, a prosperous Black community in Tulsa, Okla., killing as many as 300 people. What was known as Black Wall Street was burned to the ground.

"Mother, I see men with guns," said Florence Mary Parrish, a small child looking out the window on the evening of May 31, 1921, when the siege began.

Carlette Duffy's tidy, three-bedroom home is in a historic Black neighborhood in Indianapolis. It has been completely renovated and sits across the street from a park and lush greenspace. She bought it four years ago for $100,000.

"My house is my forever home," Duffy said. "I love my neighborhood. I love my home."

With a hot housing market and low interest rates, Duffy wanted to refinance her mortgage to help fix up her late grandmother's home right around the corner.

Updated May 19, 2021 at 5:15 PM ET

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday signed into law a bill that bans abortion the moment a fetal heartbeat has been detected, a move that makes Texas the largest state in the nation to outlaw abortion so early in a pregnancy.

The Texas law effectively prohibits any abortion after around six weeks of pregnancy — before many women are even aware they are pregnant.

An attorney for Andrew Brown Jr.'s family is disputing a North Carolina district attorney's contention that Brown used his vehicle as a deadly weapon against the deputies who fatally shot him.

On Tuesday, District Attorney Andrew Womble announced he had decided not to file charges against the Pasquotank County deputies.

The State Department will now approve U.S. citizenship for children born abroad to same-sex or heterosexual American parents via in vitro fertilization, surrogacy and by other assisted reproductive means.

Under the policy announced Tuesday, the child must be born abroad to married parents and at least one of the parents has to be a U.S. citizen. The child must have biological ties to at least one parent.

South Carolina's Republican governor signed a bill into law last week that sounds like it's from a different century: Death row inmates must choose whether to be executed by the electric chair or a firing squad if lethal injection drugs are unavailable.

For months, officials have been saying the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was the result of a classic intelligence failure. Now key officials are questioning whether that was the case.

White and Black Americans have very different views of race in America and have had very different experiences when it comes to dealing with discrimination and trusting police, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll details.

After the murder conviction of Derek Chauvin, Black police officers in America are considering what's changed and what hasn't in the year since George Floyd's death.

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