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The Rick Perry that Iowans were promised in 2012 may have finally shown up — four years too late.

The former Texas governor's much-heralded first presidential run quickly cratered four years ago, beset by stumbles from a candidate who was still recovering from back surgery and never seemed to find his footing on a national stage.

But last week in campaign stops in Northwest Iowa, the likely GOP presidential hopeful was back to his gregarious, confident self on the first of three days he spent barnstorming a state that could make or break his 2016 comeback hopes.

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base."

Caring for the nation's veterans at the end of their lives can be a complex task. Service members — especially combat veterans — can struggle with guilt, abandonment and regret.

It's a warning sign at art museums around the world: "Don't touch the artwork."

But Spain's famous Prado Museum is changing that, with an exhibit where visitors are not only allowed to touch the paintings — they're encouraged to do so.

The Prado has made 3-D copies of some of the most renowned works in its collection — including those by Francisco Goya, Diego Velazquez and El Greco — to allow blind people to feel them.

It's a special exhibit for those who normally can't enjoy paintings.

In 2013, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered state agencies to do whatever it took to build an engineered dune system along the entire Jersey Shore to protect from storms like Sandy.

Most oceanfront property owners have signed the necessary easements and dune-building is finally starting this spring on Long Beach Island.

Cameras are ubiquitous — from the ones in our cellphones to the security cams in parking lots and shops. And just when you thought it couldn't get harder to hide, live-streaming video is raising new questions about privacy.

Streaming video cameras aren't new, but new apps have made it super easy to stream from a smartphone. Periscope is popular because it can be streamed on Twitter, which recently purchased the app.

Don't Write Off Paper Just Yet

May 26, 2015

There's a scene in the television series The Office that says all you need to know about the paper industry's image these days. That sad sack of a company Dunder Mifflin is launching an advertising campaign — and just in time, says one of the sad sack employees. Whenever he tells people he works for Dunder Mifflin, they assume the company make mufflers or muffins or mittens, but "frankly all of those sound better than paper, so I let it slide."

The Chicago Bears released defensive end Ray McDonald Monday after he was arrested on charges of domestic violence in California — his second arrest in the past nine months.

The Chicago Tribune adds:

"McDonald was arrested for misdemeanor domestic violence and child endangerment, the Santa Clara, Calif., police department said. It's the second time since Aug. 31 that he's been arrested as a result of women claiming he assaulted them.

Soccer fans are replacing their favorite club jerseys for national colors as the best female players in the world prepare to face off in Canada for World Cup 2015, which starts on June 6.

The American Outlaws, considered the biggest U.S. national soccer fan association, has already been rocking red, white and blue to cheer on the women's national team.

It's early evening in Friendship Cemetery, the local graveyard in Columbus, Miss. The white tombstones are coated with that yellow glow you only see right before dusk.

Students from the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science are spread out among the gravestones. They're dressed up in costumes: A tall brunette is wearing a dark maroon dress her grandmother made. A young man wears a top hat and leans on a walking cane.

'Remember The Maine' — In Indiana!

May 25, 2015

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base."

It was the spark that led to America's first overseas war. After an explosion sank the battleship USS Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898, the cry rose up in the U.S. to "Remember the Maine."

The event was commemorated across the country — sometimes in unexpected places — like the city of East Chicago, Ind.

California's drought is turning neighbor against neighbor, as everyone seems to be on the lookout for water wasters.

Take Los Angeles resident Jane Demian, for example. She recently got a letter from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Water Conservation Response Unit, about an unverified report of prohibited water use activity at her home in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of L.A. Demian says she was called out for water runoff onto the sidewalk, driveway and gutter, and the unauthorized "washdown of hardscapes" like the walkway to her house.

Charter Communications, the No. 4 U.S. cable company, is reportedly close to buying Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest, for $55 billion, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times are reporting.

Americans are paying tribute today, Memorial Day, to the sacrifices of service members in the nation's earliest conflicts and the newest.

President Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, just outside Washington.

Some 5,000 people were at the grounds of the cemetery, which Obama called "more than a final resting place for fallen heroes." It is, he said, "a reflection of America itself. A reflection of our history, the wars we've waged for democracy, the peace we've laid to preserve it.

Updated at 1:04 p.m. ET

Iraq and Iran are refuting U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter's assertion that Iraqi forces lacked the "will to fight" the self-declared Islamic State, resulting in the loss last week of Anbar Province and its capital, Ramadi.

Saad al-Hadithi, a spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, told The Associated Press that Ramadi's loss was due to mismanagement and poor planning by some senior military commanders.

Police in Malaysia say they have uncovered more evidence of human smuggling, with the discovery of at least 139 graves along the country's border with Thailand.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who as recently as 2009 led his country, was sentenced Monday by a Jerusalem court to eight months in prison for unlawfully accepting money from a U.S. supporter.

As we reported in March when Olmert was convicted in the case:

Updated at 4:41 p.m. ET

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is calling the flood damage in the central part of his state "absolutely devastating."

Abbott flew over parts of the Blanco River Monday, a day after storms triggered flooding. The hardest-hit communities were Wimberley and San Marcos. Abbott added 24 counties to the disaster declaration he issued earlier this month to help communities overwhelmed with heavy rains and tornado damage.

The high water forced Peggy Wilborn — and her neighbors — from their homes in Wimberley.

The goat barn at the Putnam County fairgrounds in Greencastle, Ind., will soon be full of, well, goats. But right now it's full of folding tables stacked with clothes, books and housewares — including an anatomically correct coffee mug in the shape of a woman.

At the tables are families, lots of them. Some waited in line for more than an hour to get first dibs on the larger items, like furniture and appliances. Carrie Ardito was first in that line and ran to the back to claim a clothes dryer.

Fake Killer Whale To Ward Off Sea Lions

May 25, 2015
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It's impolite to stare. But when it comes to severely injured soldiers, maybe we don't look enough; or maybe we'd rather not see wounded veterans at all.

Italian Bakery Confuses Birthday Cake Order

May 25, 2015
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One of the most-tweeted photos in Spain these days shows riot police hauling away Ada Colau. The image is from July 2013, when the anti-poverty protester was trying to "occupy" a Barcelona bank that was foreclosing on homes.

The caption added by Twitter users: "Welcome, new mayor."

Colau is the first of the indignados, or angry ones — Spain's Occupy movement — to win office. She narrowly defeated Barcelona Mayor Xavier Trias in local elections Sunday.

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The actress and comedian Anne Meara has died at the age of 85. She became famous as one half of the comedy team Stiller and Meara. Here's NPR's Bob Mondello.

The 850,000 people who live on the island of Reunion, which lies east of Madagascar, depend on the Indian Ocean that surrounds them. Many homes are near the sea. The beaches attract tourists.

But the ocean has also become a source of dread for this French island. Since 2011, sharks have attacked 16 people, killing seven of them. It's a sharp jump from previous years and has left islanders at a loss as to why.

Bishop Talon, 22, was attacked off a beach called Étang-Sale in February. She died a few hours later from her injuries.

Haneen Radi learned to run by walking.

"I used to walk," says the 36-year-old mother of four. "I saw people running and said, I'll try that."

Radi took off. In the decade since then she's finished eight marathons, and she now coaches a girls' running club with 80 members.

"I'm another person when running," Radi says. "I'm happy, I'm smiling."

A few months ago, Radi decided to organize a marathon in Tira, her hometown in northern Israel.

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base."

Walk through a town square this Memorial Day and you might just see a marker or monument commemorating sacrifice in war. On it: The name of an American who died in combat.

In some parts of the city of Boston, there are markers on nearly every corner.

American medicine is heading into new terrain, a place where a year's supply of drugs can come with a price tag that exceeds what an average family earns.

Pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts says last year more than half a million Americans racked up prescription drug bills exceeding $50,000.

Juan Pablo Montoya Wins Second Indy 500

May 25, 2015

Juan Pablo Montoya came from last place to win the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday.

It was his second victory at the Brickyard — the first was 15 years ago.

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