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Emma Bowman

The signs that it's officially Hispanic Heritage Month are all around us, be it a Google Doodle or an annual film festival.

But the national attention paid to Latinos and Hispanics this time of year belies a persistent reality, according to a new report: Latino and Hispanic Americans are still underrepresented and poorly represented in popular films.

Ajmal Achekzai was five years old when he first left his homeland. It was 1980, and his family was among the first Afghans to seek asylum in the United States after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

"All I remember is crying, hearing tank sounds," said Achekzai, now 46, recalling the Soviet-Afghan war during a StoryCorps interview in Los Angeles last month.

Achekzai's father, who was a university professor in Kabul, was tipped off by one of his students that the Russian regime suspected him of being a supporter of the anti-Soviet mujahedeen rebels.

The last conversation Keith Chapman had with his younger brother Nathan Chapman was on Christmas Day 2001. Nathan had called up his family from Afghanistan.

Although the 31-year-old, a sergeant first class with the U.S. Army's 1st Special Forces Group, couldn't disclose his location, his family put it together based on what time Nathan said it was where he was calling from.

"I don't remember that we said very much," Keith said during a StoryCorps interview in Frederick, Md., last week with their mother, Lynn Chapman.

Updated August 4, 2021 at 3:56 PM ET

The FBI says George Gonzalez, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency officer who was killed in Tuesday's violent incident at a Pentagon bus platform, was attacked without provocation.

Investigators report that Austin William Lanz, 27, most recently of Acworth, Ga., stepped off a bus and immediately lunged at Gonzalez. Lanz then got the officer's gun and shot himself, the investigators say.

Updated July 19, 2021 at 12:01 AM ET

Three people were wounded in a shooting outside of Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. during a home game against the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.

The shooting was an exchange of gunfire between people in two cars, said Metropolitan Police Department executive assistant police chief Ashan Benedict, according to The Associated Press.

More abortion restrictions have been enacted across the U.S. this year than in any previous year, according to an analysis by a group that supports abortion rights.

State legislatures have passed at least 90 laws restricting the procedure in 2021 so far, finds a report released this month from the Guttmacher Institute.

As new coronavirus variants test the protections of the available vaccines, federal health officials say there's no need for booster doses right now.

"Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time," read a joint statement sent Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.

This July 4th, freedom rang a little louder than last Independence Day. Well, the fireworks did at least.

Blasts of flashy pyrotechnics across the country marked something of a return to normal, a year after the coronavirus pandemic dampened most Fourth festivities.

But on America's 245th birthday, there was perhaps even more reason to celebrate in the name of freedom. About half of Americans are fully vaccinated against the virus, lockdowns have been lifted and infections remain relatively low in the U.S.

Updated July 5, 2021 at 5:15 PM ET

For as long as she can remember, Danita Bilozaze knew that the name on her birth certificate, "Danita Loth," didn't reflect her Indigenous identity.

From the stories her mother recounted to her, she knew that Catholic missionaries had changed her family's name. Her great-grandfather, a man known as Lor Bilozaze, was written into priests' logs as "Loth Bilozaze." Government record books in Canada ultimately dropped the "Bilozaze," and Loth became their surname.

In the face of lawsuits alleging the condo board's negligence in the catastrophic collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Fla., the condominium association has hired a crisis communications firm.

Levick, a PR firm based in Washington, D.C., that promises to "fix the impossible," confirmed to NPR that it has been retained by the condo group. Levick's director Maxwell Marcucci told NPR that his firm is assisting the board with a deluge of media inquiries.

As Derek Chauvin's 22 1/2-year prison sentence for the murder of George Floyd was announced to a crowd gathered outside the Minneapolis courthouse, people processed the news with mixed reactions.

There was subdued debate following the proceedings that people streamed on cell phones, but those more vocal took in the news like a gut punch.

Updated June 25, 2021 at 3:46 PM ET

Derek Chauvin's mother told a Minneapolis judge that the former police officer has a big heart, and she opposed a lengthy sentence for her son, who was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd last year.

Carolyn Pawlenty said Chauvin's selfless character has been twisted by the media into an unfair depiction.

Most of us learned about the world's oceans in elementary school. There's the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian and the Arctic.

Now, there's a sea change ahead.

Thanks to National Geographic, you'll soon see a fifth ocean on your maps. It's now officially recognizing the Southern Ocean, the waters swirling around Antarctica, marking the first time the organization has made such a change since it started drawing up maps over a century ago.

Two North Carolina sheriff's deputies who fired shots during the incident in which Andrew Brown Jr. was killed returned to work this week after being placed on administrative leave, Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten announced on Friday.

A third deputy who also fired his gun plans to resign from his position at the end of the month.

The first cruise set to sail from American ports in more than 15 months is headed to the Caribbean this summer.

Celebrity Cruises got approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to bring passengers aboard for the seven-night cruise on June 26, the company announced this week.

"CDC and the cruise industry agree that the industry has what it needs to move forward and no additional roadblocks exist for resuming sailing by mid-summer," CDC spokesperson Caitlin Shockey confirmed in an email.

William "Bill" Shakespeare, the first man in the United Kingdom to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, has died following a stroke.

The 81-year-old, whose famous name grabbed headlines around the world last year when he got the jab, died on Thursday, The New York Times reported, at the same hospital where he was inoculated.

Internet Explorer is nearing the end of a long and slow death, Microsoft announced this week.

At 25 years old, the much-reviled web browser that once dominated the Internet couldn't shake its reputation as the slow, buggy net-surfing option.

Microsoft has been stepping away from the product since at least 2015, when it introduced its successor, Microsoft Edge (previously known as Project Spartan). By mid-June of next year, the Internet Explorer desktop app will finally be put to rest.

After a long, dark year, social muscles have atrophied. In-person gatherings now call for weighty questions about COVID-19 safety. And many people, who during the pandemic found relief in empty calendars, don't want to go back to the world as they knew it.

Swaths of East Coasters who looked up at the night sky on Sunday were treated to a light show, courtesy of NASA's Black Brant XII rocket. And they've got the pictures to prove it.

The rocket launched at 8:44 p.m. ET from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. But it was the "vapor tracers" that it released into the atmosphere that most spectators glimpsed shooting across the sky.

Updated May 15, 2021 at 8:45 PM ET

Rombauer fended off two top contenders to win the 146th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in sunny Baltimore on Saturday.

Midnight Bourbon, who took off at 3-1 odds, and an embattled Medina Spirit, 2-1, took turns guiding the pack until Rombauer, at 11-1 odds, lurched ahead for a clear lead in the final stretch. Midnight Bourbon finished second, followed by Medina Spirit.

Updated May 10, 2021 at 8:53 PM ET

The Rev. Megan Rohrer has been elected as a bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, becoming the first openly transgender person in the U.S. to do so in a major Christian denomination.

Rohrer will serve as bishop of the Sacramento-based Sierra Pacific synod, which encompasses close to 200 congregations in Central and Northern California and northern Nevada.

Tech billionaire Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend, in a debut performance that drummed up a lot of reaction before his big night even began.

As the night unfolded, Musk, CEO of electric carmaker Tesla and chief engineer of SpaceX, played a range of characters, including: a doctor at a Gen Z hospital, a priest and self-confessed murderer in a Mare of Easttown parody, an anti-social party guest in a post-pandemic world — and, naturally — himself.

Pfizer and its vaccine partner BioNTech have started an application to request the Food and Drug Administration's approval for its COVID-19 vaccine.

Two older Asian women were stabbed on Tuesday while waiting for a bus in downtown San Francisco, authorities said. The attack occurred amid a spate of anti-Asian violence in the country since the start of the pandemic.

The women, age 84 and 63, both remain in the hospital and are receiving treatment for multiple stab wounds, the San Francisco Police Department said in a news release on Wednesday. Neither woman is in critical condition.

Updated May 5, 2021 at 6:43 PM ET

President Biden threw his support behind a World Trade Organization proposal on Wednesday to waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines, clearing a hurdle for vaccine-strapped countries to manufacture their own vaccines even though the patents are privately held.

A North Carolina sheriff has identified the seven deputies who were on the scene of last week's fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. and subsequently placed on administrative leave – four of whom have been cleared to return to duty.

Deputies shot and killed Brown, a 42-year-old Black man, while carrying out search and arrest warrants at his home on Wednesday in Elizabeth City, N.C. The Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office said that Sheriff Tommy Wooten was releasing the names of the deputies on the scene as part of his promise of transparency and accountability.

Updated April 28, 2021 at 7:39 PM ET

A grand jury has charged three Georgia men with federal hate crimes and attempted kidnapping in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was shot while jogging last year.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee will return this June with a new format designed to crank up the competition and crown one, true champion.

On top of other pandemic-inspired modifications, spellers will now face vocabulary questions and, if needed, a tiebreaker round.

In between the usual oral spelling rounds, "word meaning," the new vocabulary portion, will ask the speller to answer a multiple-choice question during the second round of each competition level all the way to the finals.

Scenes of joy and relief erupted across the country after a jury found Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder in the death of George Floyd.

The jury found Chauvin guilty on three charges in Floyd's death during an arrest last Memorial Day: second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Facebook decided not to notify over 530 million of its users whose personal data was lifted in a breach sometime before August 2019 and was recently made available in a public database. Facebook also has no plans to do so, a spokesperson said.

Phone numbers, full names, locations, some email addresses, and other details from user profiles were posted to an amateur hacking forum on Saturday, Business Insider reported last week.

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