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Two decades ago only about 9 percent of children's books published in the U.S. were about people of color. Things have changed since then, but not by much.

On Wednesday, the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison's Education School revealed that in 2016, it counted 427 books written or illustrated by people of color, and 736 books about people of color out of about 3,400 books it analyzed. That adds up to 22 percent of children's books.

Big Little Lies, which begins Sunday on HBO, is a miniseries that begins with a murder scene, and investigation, in the close-knit oceanside town of Monterey. It's a seven-episode drama, and HBO made the first six available for preview. Even after watching all of them, I still don't know the identity of the murderer — or, for that matter, the victim. But that's on purpose.

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. A new action movie shot in China by a Chinese director has a budget of $150 million and an American star. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un died under suspicious circumstances on Tuesday in Kuala Lumpur — and every day since then, the story of Kim Jong Nam's death has gotten stranger and more mysterious.

The body remains in Malaysia, despite demands by North Korea to release it. Malaysian authorities have performed an autopsy on the body but have not made the results public.

The frigid deep sea is considered Earth’s final frontier.  

We know little about life in the deepest parts of the ocean, but new evidence shows we’re already having an impact on it.

Recent tests on shrimp-like crustaceans that live more than six miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean in the Mariana Trench show high levels of long-banned, cancer-causing pollutants in their bodies.

The GOP put out a survey Thursday night that's enough to make a social scientist cringe.

It's called the "Mainstream Media Accountability Survey," but this "survey" commits a variety of polling sins.

It contains:

-- Leading questions ("Do you believe that the mainstream media does not do their due diligence fact-checking before publishing stories on the Trump administration?"),

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been confirmed as the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency Pruitt has long criticized.

The Senate approved Pruitt on a 52-46 vote Friday afternoon, with two Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota — voting for his nomination. Republican Susan Collins of Maine voted no.

A news outlet publishes a story that a Republican politician dismisses as "fake news." Sounds familiar, right?

But in this case, there's a twist. The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel in Colorado is accusing state Sen. Ray Scott of defamation and threatening to sue. If filed, legal experts said it would be the first suit of its kind, potentially setting a legal definition for what is considered fake news and what is not.

More than two months after he publicly criticized Boeing over the costs of a new Air Force One, President Trump visited one of the aircraft company's newest facilities Friday: a plant in North Charleston, S.C., where the company will unveil a new version of its 787 Dreamliner.

The No. 1 challenge of retirement

Feb 17, 2017

Working Americans who save for retirement spend a lot of time and energy making decisions on how to save. It’s confusing, it’s hard. But you know what? It doesn’t get any easier when you hit retirement. One of the biggest stresses is trying to organize your finances when you don’t know how long you’re going to be around to need them. Economists have a favorite method for dealing with this anxiety: It’s called an income annuity, but it’s not quite a household name yet.  

The young mother spoke softly but with determination. After fleeing from her abusive boyfriend, she and her newborn baby found refuge last month in a women's shelter on the outskirts of Moscow.

According to Russian law at the time, he could have faced criminal prosecution for striking her. Now, under legislation signed Feb. 7 by Russian President Vladimir Putin, her partner would most likely face an administrative fine of up to $500.

Since going over capacity last week, the water level in the Oroville Dam has dropped, but it's still at a higher level for this time of year than the previous 16 years.

It's been a long week. Take a moment — or even a minute! — to watch something beautiful.

It's nice to have a friend who's a good listener, but a doll called My Friend Cayla listens a little too well, according to German regulators who say the toy is essentially a stealthy espionage device that shares what it hears and is also vulnerable to takeover by third parties.

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