David Greene

Normally, the bookers of the Super Bowl halftime performance don't have a lot of trouble finding talent for the big show. Superstars like Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Beyoncé have all performed. But for this year's upcoming game, nailing down a halftime act hasn't been so easy.

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Today, President Trump is heading to McAllen, Texas. This is a city right along the border with Mexico.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Baghdad today. He is touring the Middle East to reassure allies amid shifting U.S. declarations of its plans for Syria. NPR's Jane Arraf joins us from Baghdad. Hi there, Jane.

JANE ARRAF, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

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This is an extraordinary moment and an extraordinary morning in Washington, D.C. Funeral services are about to take place for the late President George H.W. Bush. And here are some of the sounds we heard in Washington moments ago.

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Matty Healy has long treated writing songs for The 1975 as his diary. As frontman for the Manchester band, Healy's approach to music has been full of conviction, transparency and a millennial wink. The band's latest album is no exception. A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, out Nov.

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The smoky, silky rasp of Anderson .Paak's voice boasts a soulfulness beyond his years. Though he's only 32, the California native has done more living than many musicians do in their whole lives, and he has the war stories to prove it.

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When he's not busy on a movie set, Jeff Goldblum owns Wednesday nights in Los Angeles.

The actor, known for roles in Hollywood blockbusters and a singular, chin-stroking comic persona, plays piano in a jazz band with a standing weekly gig, which he calls The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra. The performances are casual and unstructured, with the man of the hour playing keys one moment, holding court and posing for photos with attendees the next, just generally being ... well, Jeff Goldblum.

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Carla Hall grew up eating soul food since before she could speak.

Her latest book, Carla Hall's Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration, brings to life the cuisine of her childhood, and explores her winding, but rewarding, journey back to her heritage and Southern roots.

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Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is stepping down from her post. I'm here now with NPR's diplomatic correspondent Michele Kelemen. Good morning, Michele.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Good morning.

Ever since he was a kid, Ketch Secor was obsessed with old-time country music. In fact, he made a career of it by leading the string band Old Crow Medicine Show. Appalachia, the birthplace of the band, has served as a wellspring of knowledge for Secor, and even inspired the musician to write a new children's book, Lorraine.

"That's where this story comes from," Secor says. "This is an Appalachian folktale, with a couple of personal twists."

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The three-month confirmation fight is over, and Brett Kavanaugh is the newest associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Yesterday he was in his chambers preparing for oral arguments before this newly constituted court.

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Paul Simon says he's ready to stop touring and retire from music. But first, he's going back through his discography to do a little tinkering.

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