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World News
9:48 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

Why did we start using fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July?

Fireworks have been a part of the Fourth of July since the very first anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

The cities of Boston and Philadelphia both included fireworks displays as part of the celebrations of Independence Day in 1777.

One of the Founding Fathers, John Adams, predicted that Independence Day would become America’s greatest holiday. This is what he wrote to his wife Abigail on July 3rd 1776:

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World News
5:46 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

No fireworks this year for the village of Feltwell, England

Fireworks light up the evening sky above Royal Air Force Feltwell during the annual 4th of July celebration. The festivities included games, rides, contests and food booths.

US Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Thomas Trower

This year's 4th of July won't be the same for the people of Feltwell, England.

There won't be any fireworks or any of the celebrations that normally are put on by the US Air Force base there. Royal Air Force Feltwell in Norfolk, Britain is used by the US Air Force.

Officials have announced that "due to local threat assessments," all celebrations are canceled.

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World News
5:41 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

Two bombings in Bogota draw attention to renewed violence in Colombia

Policemen work the scene where an explosion occurred at the office of the Porvenir pension fund in downtown Bogota July 2, 2015. Seven people were injured after the explosion on Thursday, police said, the latest in a string of attacks in the city.

REUTERS/John Vizcaino

Until recently, Colombia — a country once rife with violence — seemed relatively calm. But this summer has changed that, with a string of bombings targeting oil pipelines and now two offices in the capital of Bogota.

The most recent bombings took place Thursday, and targeted a private pension firm called Porvenir. At least seven people were hurt, though none of the injuries were severe.

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Around the Nation
5:25 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

In Philadelphia's Fishtown, A Fierce Debate Over The Fate Of A Polish Church

St. Laurentius, a polish Catholic church in Philadelphia's Fishtown neighborhood, was closed in March amid fears that it would collapse. Since then, the community has pushed back to save the historic building.
Kim Paynter WHYY

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 6:31 pm

For more than a century, the copper spires of St. Laurentius have stood tall over Philadelphia's Fishtown. But the city's oldest Polish church — founded in 1882 — could soon face the wrecking ball.

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Politics
5:25 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

Donald Trump Controversy Highlights Influence Of Hispanics In U.S.

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 6:31 pm

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Donald Trump is doubling down on his negative comments about Mexicans and illegal immigration. To recap, here's what he said last month when he announced his presidential run.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Architecture
5:25 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

Chicago To Replace Famed Ferris Wheel With Taller One

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 6:31 pm

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

Transcript

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Parallels
5:25 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

Debt Crisis Puts The Squeeze On Greece's Banks

Pensioners queue outside a national bank branch in Athens on Thursday. Greek banks are running out of cash and the situation poses further danger to the economy, analysts say.
Aris Messinis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 6:31 pm

As they rapidly run out of cash, Greece's banks could hardly be in a more precarious position.

For months, as this crisis has intensified people have been slowly withdrawing their money. The banks have been able to do business only because of emergency loans from the European Central Bank.

But when Greece missed a payment to the International Monetary Fund this week, the ECB decided not to lend any more money.

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Environment
5:25 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

On The Rebound, Panthers Prowl Expanding Swath Of Land In Florida

Panthers roam in rural Collier County, in southwest Florida. As the Florida state animal's population has grown, wildlife officials may seek to take the panther off the endangered species list.
Courtesy of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 6:31 pm

In Florida, the official state animal triggers mixed feelings. The Florida panther has been on the endangered species list for nearly 50 years. From a low point in the 1970s when there were only about 20 panthers in the wild, the species has rebounded.

Now, nearly 200 range throughout southwest Florida. And some officials, ranchers and hunters in the state say that may be about enough.

Florida panthers are a subspecies of the cougar or mountain lion. They're slightly smaller than their cousins, but like them, the panthers need lots of room to roam.

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Music
5:25 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

From Jazz To Latin To R&B, NPR Music's Favorite Albums Of 2015 So Far

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 6:31 pm

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

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World News
5:24 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

Once held hostage, she's now trying to help her former captors

Laura Ulloa stands in her yard at her family home in Cali, Colombia. Behind her are the Cordillera Mountains, where she was held hostage for seven months.

Camila Kerwin

She was kidnapped by leftist guerrillas at age 11 and held for nearly a year.

Now, 13 years later, she's helping former guerrillas get reintegrated into society.

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