The Mississippi River near New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Mississippi: Pushed to the brink


Up and down the Mississippi River, new pressures are being put on America’s inland hydro highway, which helps deliver US goods and commodities to the rest of the world and allows trade flows to return. The strain on the river system is only becoming more acute with the impacts of climate change.

Herbicide spreading

An FDA scientist finds traces of weed killer in many common foods

Asa Hutchinson

A federal judge halts six executions in Arkansas, citing ‘cruel and unusual punishment’

Students in a classroom talking to each other at desks

California will soon provide ethnic studies classes for all high schoolers. Here’s why.

Child looks at camera while sucking thumb

In Arkansas, schools are supposed to teach in English. Here’s how one district gets around it.

A big screen above a high school graduation ceremony in a stadium

Most high schoolers worry about graduation. These students are also being challenged to save their culture


As the Marshall Islands face the threat of rising sea levels, some 2,000 Marshallese American students in Arkansas are feeling a different kind of pressure.

Iris Dement

What does a 20th century Russian poet have to do with Johnny Cash?


Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Iris DeMent has sung duets with John Prine, Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris. But her latest collaboration is with Anna Akhmatova, the “Tragic Queen” of Russian poetry.

George Takei, an ctor, activist and the star of the documentary "To Be Takei," spoke about the early part of his acting career, when he regretfully took on roles that furthered Asian stereotypes.

Racism shaped George Takei’s life ‘as fantastically as science fiction’


Actor George Takei is famous for his role as Mr. Sulu on the original Star Trek — not to mention his wildly popular humor on Facebook. But before he became a star, he lived as an inmate in an internment camp and was forced into Asian stereotypes on screen.

Pipelines and oil trains provide different risks, rewards


The drive to build the Keystone XL pipeline and the deadly oil train wreck in Canada earlier this month have launched a lengthy discussion about how crude oil is moved around in this country. One critic says it should prompt a broad re-think of our use of fossil fuels.

U.S., state officials file lawsuit against ExxonMobil over Arkansas oil spill


Residents of Mayflower, Ark., want payment from ExxonMobil for the environmental damage done by an oil spill there in March. In fact, they’re moving so fast they’ve forced the state and federal government to file suit against the company to seek fines and damages just a few months after the spill.