NPR News

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With its flashy swagger and quotable one-liners, Empire, the Fox series about a fictional black music label, has become a cultural phenomenon. A watch party in Washington, D.C., takes in the show's season finale.
One of California's largest health insurers, Blue Shield of California, could be on the hook for a massive tax bill after the state revoked its tax-exempt status. The company is appealing the decision which could cost the health insurer tens of millions of dollars a year. The dispute comes as the nonprofit is facing mounting criticism for operating like a for-profit company.
The Israeli prime minister now says he opposes creating a Palestinian state, an idea the U.S. supports. Steve Inskeep speaks with Politico's Michael Crowley about changes in U.S.-Israeli relations.
For years, an anonymous Syrian group has been posting short, simple films on the Internet featuring people opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But their films feature Syrians with every point of view, even including some who support the Assad regime. And they rarely show Syria's destruction or images of death. Charif Kiwan, a spokesperson for the group, calls such depictions undignified.
A cement truck tipped over in Brooklyn this week, sending cement flowing all over the street. One man took advantage of the situation, shoveling the spillage to fill an especially annoying pothole.
Journalist Owen Williams thinks he's found the right way to hang toilet paper. He tweeted a picture of the first TP patent. The drawings, from 1891, show the paper clearly hanging over the roll.