NPR Staff

For hundreds of years, Timbuktu has had a place in the world's imagination. Located on the southern edge of the Sahara desert, the city flourished as a center of Islamic culture and scholarship in the 13th through 16th centuries. It was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988, recognized for the University of Sankore, which had as many as 25,000 students who studied the Quran, as well as the historic Djingareyber and Sidi Yahia mosques.

When Owen Husney first met Prince Rogers Nelson, the musician was barely old enough to vote — and still going by his government name. "When you meet someone before they became the unapproachable icon, you tend to have a different relationship with them," he says.

Journalist Michael Kinsley — the founder of Slate and former editor of Harper's and The New Republic — says he's a "scout for his generation." Kinsley was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease when he was in his 40s. Now in his 60s, he writes that he had the opportunity to experience old age before the rest of his fellow baby boomers.

Earlier this month, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, who came to the U.S. as an Iraqi refugee and is currently a student at the University of California, Berkeley, was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight because another passenger overheard him speaking on his cellphone in Arabic.

When Newbery award-winning author Kate DiCamillo talks to kids about how she became a writer, she sometimes shows them a photo of her own family.

"I would put up this picture of my mother, my brother and me and I would say to them, 'Who's missing?' " she tells NPR's Kelly McEvers. "Clearly it's my father." And kids get that right away.

DiCamillo was always getting sick as a child, and when she was 6 years old, her family moved from Philadelphia to Florida in hopes that it would help her get healthy.

Multi-instrumental musician, Andrew Bird is known for his precise composition, his impeccable instrumentation, his playful, ambiguous lyrics — and, yes, his whistling. But he says that on his latest record, Are You Serious, his personal life nudged him into a radical change of approach.

When they wouldn't hire her because she was a woman, she threatened her superiors. When the media asked her a stupid question, she gave them an earful. And when she thought she had contracted HIV/AIDS, she said, "if that's what happened, that's what happened."

In Everybody Wants Some!!, high school baseball star Jake arrives at college for his freshman year. He moves into the team house where there's a lot of sitting around, drinking and Ping-Pong.

For this group of guys, the first couple of days before the school year starts are all about meeting girls and figuring out who they're going to be for the rest of the year ... and maybe the rest of their lives. But, really it's about meeting girls.

Ahead of Tuesday's primary in New York, the presidential candidates have been clocking time upstate, where a lot of small towns have been gutted by the loss of manufacturing jobs in recent years. On this issue, the candidates are united.

Hillary Clinton has vowed to "fight for more help" in upstate New York if she wins the nomination, and Ted Cruz has called to bring manufacturing jobs "back from China and Mexico."

One of those towns is Massena, where big plant closures have meant residents either reinvent themselves, or move.

The hit HBO series Game of Thrones, and the book series that it's based on, George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, features a sprawling cast of characters jostling for power. There are so many, in fact, that just who is the protagonist is a source of debate among GoT fans.

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