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Monday’s wet weather didn’t keep the crowds, or the traffic, from showing up at the opening day of Ilani, the new Cowlitz Tribe casino in southwest Washington.

By noon, the 3,000-spot parking lot was full and transportation officials were reporting cars backed up for miles on I-5 northbound.

As a hurry-up execution schedule plays out in Arkansas this week, the U.S. Supreme Court and Arkansas Supreme Court have stepped in to block two of the eight executions initially scheduled for an 11-day period.

In the 1950s, television producer Albert Freedman captivated audiences with his carefully crafted game show Twenty-One, which had been foundering before he helped turn it into the most popular program in the country.

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Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters

The Trump White House has doubled down on its demand that a government spending bill include $1.4 billion for a wall on the US-Mexico border. 

But a determined group of US lawmakers is prepared to stand in the president's way.

The Trump administration is contemplating sending US reinforcements to try to stabilize Afghanistan. Defense Secretary James Mattis is visiting the capital, Kabul, to assess the situation.

However, Mattis can't meet with his Afghan counterpart, or the head of the Afghan military, as those guys quit Monday. Their resignations came after a military disaster last Friday, in which Afghanistan's army suffered its biggest loss of the war.

Insurgents overran a base near the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and killed at least 100 soldiers.

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Courtesy of "Almost Asian"

When I stumbled across Katie Malia’s YouTube series “Almost Asian,” I thought, "Oh my goodness, I have found my half-Japanese sister from another mister."

I watched every episode, back-to-back, laughing, even guffawing at times. The short scripted series follows the half-Japanese actress navigating show business in Los Angeles. In an industry where looks really matter, Malia finds herself floundering in a no-man’s land where she’s not quite Asian enough, or white enough.

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Courtesy of the Goldman Environmental Prize

Rodrigo Tot is a 60-year-old farmer and an indigenous land rights activist from Guatemala. He represents an isolated, small Q’eqchi farming and fishing community of about 270 members in the long-running fight to secure legal ownership over their communal lands.

Tot and his community stood up to the government and nickel miners expanding into their land in Agua Caliente.

And now he's won one of the world's most prestigious activism awards, the Goldman Environmental Prize.

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Max Nesterak

Armand Melk-Johnson gives me a tour of his host family’s home, a one-and-a-half story bungalow in Minneapolis.

He’s staying with his host mom Alicia and her two young kids, Mariel and Thomas.

Melk-Johnson is 15 and a ninth-grader at Minnehaha Academy, a private school in Minneapolis, that's doing something different. It’s running a program called City Stay, which offers students the chance to immerse in a new culture for one week. Currently, the program places students with Latino, Somali and Hmong host families.

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is giving headaches to some of the state’s lawmakers, but it may be a self-inflicted ailment. In 2013, the Legislature scaled back the panel’s regulatory powers in an effort to give university leaders more of a role in determining what’s best for their students and institutions.

 

Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

An article on a State Department website about President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort has been removed after criticism that it was an inappropriate use of taxpayer funds.

Critics complained that resources were being used to tout the for-profit club, which Trump refers to as the Winter White House. The club, in Palm Beach, Fla., is held in Trump's trust, of which he is the sole beneficiary.

Robert M. Pirsig, who inspired generations to road trip across America with his "novelistic autobigraphy," Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, died Monday at the age of 88.

His publisher William Morrow & Company said in a statement that Pirsig died at his home in South Berwick, Maine, "after a period of failing health."

Today is the first day of early voting for the May 6 election. Here’s everything you need to know for races all across Central Texas.

But, before we get into the breakdown of what’s on the ballot, here are the early and Election Day voting locations for Travis and surrounding counties:

From Texas Standard:

There's nothing unusual about a state lawmaker and a mayor being worried about turnout in a local election. But in Dallas, it's not just low turnout that's got two local leaders concerned. It's the cause.

 

A Jewish advocacy organization expects a staggering increase in anti-Semitic incidents by the end of 2017. That projection comes after the Anti-Defamation League counted an 86 percent spike in attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions so far this year, according to a report released Monday.

Lillian Hellman's 1939 melodrama The Little Foxes has two great roles for actresses over the age of 40. Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon fill those roles in a new revival on Broadway ... but with one big twist: Linney and Nixon play both roles and switch off at different performances.

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