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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Contemporary R&B is flourishing in unimaginable ways right now. And after coming off an especially fruitful year, Indian-American singer Raveena Aurora hopes to keep the momentum going.

"Aimlessly going through the night/ Swimming through seven seas of lights," Aurora coos in the first verse of her newest track, "Wherever U Go."

Folk and blues guitarist and singer-songwriter Chris Smither released his debut album in 1970, the beginning of an exceptional and influential body of work. A gifted songwriter and live performer, Smither was born and raised in New Orleans, and emerged out of the Boston folk music scene in the '60s.

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South by Southwest — the music and interactive media conference that takes place in Austin, Texas, each year — has a controversy on its hands.

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks to New Yorker writer Michael Specter about his article, "Freedom from Fries," on the rise of fast casual food and the impact on the fast food industry.

It used to be that American Muslims who wanted a halal meal had to live in a major city and know a good butcher. Want to find an eligible spouse? Get your parents involved. In the market for halal cosmetics? Good luck.

Times are changing though.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

It's an obscure provision of a relatively obscure law, overseen, rather unpredictably, by the Librarian of Congress.

A section in the country's copyright law known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits unlocking of "access controls" (in simpler terms, breaking digital locks to dig around computer code) on various software.

Poor mothers often spend way too much time hunched over a washboard. What if they could use those hours to curl up with their kids and read a book instead? A group of friends at Oxford University plans to find out by developing a combination childhood education and laundry services center, a concept they've dubbed a "Libromat."

Say you bought health insurance through the federal health exchange, paid the premiums and followed the rules.

And then say you start having pain in your hands. Your doctor refers you to a rheumatologist to test for arthritis.

But when you search for the specialist, there isn't one there.

Editor's note: There is an offensive word in this post. It's an important part of this discussion.

What goes best with a hot cup of tea? A heaping spoonful of gossip, of course.

The World Cup-winning U.S. women's national soccer team was honored at the White House today, where Obama praised the champions.

"This team taught all of America's children that 'playing like a girl' means you're a badass," he said.

A majority of Americans say electronic cigarettes should be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration the same way the agency handles cigarettes containing tobacco, according to results from the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll.

Overall, 57 percent of people said the FDA should regulate e-cigarettes like tobacco products. The proportion of people in favor of regulation rose with age and education. Nearly, two-thirds of people with college degrees or graduate degrees supported regulation compared with 48 percent with high school diplomas or less.

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