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Emma Bowman

Burning Man started three decades ago as a low-key gathering of friends who celebrated summer solstice on a West Coast beach by setting a wooden man aflame.

Now, event organizers say the counterculture gathering of arts, music and communal living is eyeing attendance in the six figures, leading to a months-long struggle with federal regulators over whether its swelling size will cause long-term harm to the environment and even make the event vulnerable to a terrorist attack.

At one time, the Volkswagen Beetle was so ubiquitous that its sighting is often punctuated by a swift punch in the arm and a shout of "Punch Buggy!" (Or "Slug Bug!" depending on your regional take on the road trip game).

But this week, the Beetle set off down the road to extinction. On Wednesday, Volkswagen ended production of the Beetle, saying it wants to set its sights on manufacturing electric vehicles.

When Corinthia Isom was a child, her mother sat her down on the steps of their home to tell her she had a deadly illness.

"I have HIV, and things are gonna change within our lives," Isom says, recounting the words of her mother, DeSeane Isom.

DeSeane was a single mother, so before her death, she asked two of her closest friends if they would care for Corinthia after she was gone.

The two friends, Kathleen Payne and her partner, April, had met DeSeane through an LGBTQ gospel choir in New York City.

Updated at 7:50 p.m. ET Monday

President Trump says he "will no longer deal with" the U.K.'s ambassador to the U.S., Kim Darroch, who sent a series of confidential memos to the British Foreign Office assailing President Trump's character and leadership.

Editor's note: This story contains some graphic descriptions of injuries that some readers may find disturbing.

On Oct. 23, 1983, Navy hospital corpsman James Edward Brown survived one of the deadliest terrorist attacks on Americans.

When a bomb detonated at the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Brown was at his post in the sick hall on the Marine compound — about 200 yards away.

At the time, 1,800 Marines were stationed in the city during the Lebanese Civil War.

Fifteen years ago, David Wilson and his husband Rob Compton were one of the first same-sex couples to marry in the U.S.

If it had been up to Wilson and Compton, their union would've been recognized years before that. Frustrated by the injustice, both men became plaintiffs in a lawsuit that led to Massachusetts becoming the first state to legalize same-sex marriage on May 17, 2004.

They married in Boston at City Hall and at their church that same day.

Already a bold trendsetter on the pop stage, Rihanna is also breaking barriers in the makeup and fashion industries.

The 31-year-old Barbadian singer has partnered with the historic LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton fashion house, becoming the first woman of color to have a label under LVMH and the first woman to start an original brand for the world's largest luxury group.

The new label is named Fenty, after the last name of the singer (born Robyn Rihanna Fenty). It's an expansion of her cosmetics empire of the same name, launched in a 2017 partnership with LVMH.

After surviving the Holocaust, Judel and Pauline Schuster resettled in Buffalo, N.Y., to start a family.

This Holocaust Remembrance Week, two of their children, Abe and Esther Schuster, reflect on their parents' joyful view of life in a recent StoryCorps conversation.

That philosophy didn't always mean following the rules.

Abe said that one evening when he was in high school, he introduced his parents to his calculus teacher and her husband at a neighborhood restaurant.

Editor's note: This story contains language that some may find offensive.

On the morning of April 20, 1999, 16-year-old sophomore Lauren Cartaya escaped quickly from Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., after two students began opening fire.

Lauren's older brother, Zach, then a 17-year-old senior, hid for three hours in an empty classroom with his classmates. The gunmen killed 13 people and themselves in what was then considered the largest mass shooting at a high school.

Baylor gave up a double-digit lead but hung on in the final minutes to win the NCAA women's title game against defending champs Notre Dame by a single point Sunday night in Tampa, Fla.

With the 82-81 victory, the Lady Bears clinched their third NCAA women's basketball championship — joining UConn and Tennessee as the only Division I programs with three or more titles. The last time Baylor clinched the title was in 2012 against the Fighting Irish.

Last updated at 7:02 p.m. ET on April 28, 2019.

For the past few years, NPR has celebrated National Poetry Month by turning to the talents of our audience — your haikus, limericks, odes ... the list goes on.

Earlier this month, All Things Considered once again called on listeners to tweet their original poems to us in 140 characters or less by using #NPRPoetry. Our favorites will be featured both on-air and online.

Nina Martinez just became the world's first living HIV-positive organ donor.

In a medical breakthrough, surgeons at Johns Hopkins Hospital late last month successfully transplanted one of her kidneys to a recipient who is also HIV positive.

"I feel wonderful," Martinez, 35, said in an interview with NPR's Michel Martin, 11 days into her recovery. The patient who received her kidney has chosen to remain anonymous, but is doing well, Martinez is told.

Army veteran Sgt. Mickey Willenbring has always been a fighter. She grew up shuffling between homes — with her parents on the West Coast, with family on Native American reservations in the upper Midwest and within the foster care system across the country — during an adolescence she describes as sometimes violent.

But the military struck Willenbring as a way to channel the aggression she says built up during an unstable upbringing. In 1998, Willenbring, then 20, enlisted in the Army and deployed to Iraq five years later.

A scientist just scored honors for a musical adaptation of his research on Friday.

Pramodh Senarath Yapa, a physicist currently pursuing his doctorate at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, has been named the 2018 winner of the "Dance Your Ph.D." contest.

The competition, sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Science magazine, invites doctoral students and Ph.D. recipients to translate their research into an interpretive dance. The winner takes home $1000.

The Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots will face off in this year's Super Bowl after winning the NFC and AFC conference championships, respectively, on Sunday.

The Rams, who overcame a 13-point deficit to beat the Saints, last played in the Super Bowl in 2002 — against none other than the Patriots. The St. Louis Rams won the NFL title two years before that.

The Patriots defeated the Chiefs to return to the Super Bowl for a third consecutive year.

Los Angeles Rams beat New Orleans Saints

For as long as he can remember, Tommy Tomlinson has understood his identity as inseparable from his body.

The federal judge in Texas who ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional earlier this month said that the law can remain in effect while under appeal.

U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor wrote in his ruling filed on Sunday that "many everyday Americans would otherwise face great uncertainty during the pendency of appeal."

In 1973, Barnie Botone got a job in Albuquerque, N.M., working on the railroad. He was 22 years old.

Now, 67, Botone remembers when he told his grandmother that he'd be working as an engineer for the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway. He had been excited to share the news, but her reaction, he explains in a StoryCorps conversation, was not what he expected.

"She cried with a moan, because the irony — it was too much to bear," Botone says.

In keeping with presidential tradition, a detailed schedule of the funeral and memorial services for former President George H.W. Bush was released Saturday evening, with ceremonies planned in Houston, Washington, D.C., Spring, Texas, and College Station, Texas.

John Nordeen and Kay Lee served in the same Army platoon during the Vietnam War.

Nordeen and Lee had very different personalities, but in the life-or-death setting of war, the two bonded. Nordeen, a soldier from Seattle, was one of the first people that Lee, a combat medic from San Francisco, talked to.

But after the war, they lost touch.

In 2015, after a years-long search by Nordeen, the veterans finally reconnected.

Updated at 10:48 p.m. ET

Wildfires continued to tear through Northern and Southern California on Monday, where firefighters were at the mercy of dry air and whipping winds fanning the deadly blazes. At least 44 people have died statewide; many people remain unaccounted for.

In a year of record-breaking fires, Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott told NPR's All Things Considered the Camp fire in the north and Woolsey fire in the south may be "the most destructive and the deadliest" on record for the state.

The Boston Red Sox just capped a dominating season with their fourth World Series in 15 years.

Heading into Sunday night's Game 5, the Los Angeles Dodgers needed a win to stall Boston's chances at this year's title.

But Boston, led by David Price's pitching and Steve Pearce's batting, ruled the road turf to take home their ninth World Series title — and their fourth since 2004.

The Los Angeles Dodgers outlasted the Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 in the deciding Game 7 of the National League Championship Series Saturday night.

With the win, the Dodgers will return to the World Series for the second year in a row, to face off against the Boston Red Sox — and look to rewrite last year's fate, after losing Game 7 of the World Series to the Houston Astros.

"Girl With Balloon," one of the most recognized works of the England-based street artist known as Banksy, fetched a hefty $1.37 million (£1.04 million) at a Sotheby's auction in London on Friday.

But perhaps the real art installation didn't arrive until after the piece was sold.

Updated at 1:02 a.m. ET Sunday

Elon Musk, Tesla's chief executive, has reached a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle a securities fraud charge brought against him on Thursday, the agency announced on Saturday.

Under the terms of the settlement, Musk has agreed to step down as chairman of the Silicon Valley-based company, but will remain in his post as CEO.

The venomous fangs of a copperhead snake are one thing. But the recent sighting of a rare two-headed snake in Northern Virginia is alarming — and mesmerizing — both social media spectators and scientists.

In the past year, women have come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and abuse by men across politics, business and journalism. Multiple media organizations have fired or suspended male executives accused of harassment, including NPR.

But the photojournalism world has largely been absent from the #MeToo conversation — and not because there's no aching for one.

"Photojournalism needs to face its #MeToo moment" — that's according to Kainaz Amaria, a visuals editor at Vox and formerly with NPR.

In a male-dominated industry, Geneva Robertson-Dworet is as rare as the female superhero characters she helps craft. The breakout action-genre screenwriter will be adding a historic project to her resume with Captain Marvel, Marvel's first female-led movie, due out next year.

Robertson-Dworet, who penned the Tomb Raider blockbuster reboot, has also been tapped to work on Sherlock Holmes 3, Gotham City Sirens and the new Dungeons & Dragons adaptation.

Before Lori Alhadeff ran for a seat on her local school board, she had no experience in politics. She didn't even consider herself a "political person," she says.

That changed when her daughter, Alyssa Alhadeff, died in the Parkland school shooting. In February, a former student killed 14-year-old Alyssa and 16 other people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Updated at 1:00 p.m. ET Sunday

Sen. John McCain died Saturday, a day after his office announced his decision to discontinue medical treatment for brain cancer. Before his death, McCain's wife Cindy said in a tweet that the McCain family was "overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from around the world."

That outpouring swelled after the news of his death broke on Saturday.

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