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Update, 1:10 a.m. ET:

David Letterman approached his final, hour-plus of late-night TV on Wednesday with the same self-deprecation he displayed in the previous 6,027 episodes, but leavened the snark with heaps of nostalgia and praise.

So who does drink the most soda in the world, anyway?

Once upon a time, minimum-wage debates were mostly the province of Congress and statehouses. These days, you're more likely than ever to hear these debates in your city hall. The trend continued this week, when the Los Angeles City Council voted to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 per hour.

The second-largest city in America could soon join Seattle and San Francisco in the club of cities that have agreed to gradually raise their wages above $15 per hour. And these cities are part of a larger, recent wave of cities and counties setting their own minimum wages.

Earlier this month, almost 2,000 radio fanatics gathered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) to listen in as Marc Maron, the neurotic and sometimes gruff comedian and podcast host, interviewed Fresh Air's Terry Gross. He is known for being vulnerable and bringing his personal life into his interviews; she tends to keep her personal life separate from her work. The conversation that resulted blurs those two styles and ends up revealing aspects of Gross' life that even the biggest Fresh Air fans may find surprising.

Three sections of the post-September 11th Patriot Act will expire on June 1. One of those sections, Section 215, was the one former NSA contractor Edward Snowden brought to light concerning the bulk collection of American’s telephone records, and the one that the Senate will vote on this week.

The House already passed an alternative act, the USA Freedom Act, which would restrict the controversial bulk collection of phone records, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to pass an extension for the Senate to debate this hot issue when members are back from break.

In 1980, early in her national TV career, Here & Now’s Robin Young appeared with David Letterman, as she was leaving a show called Evening Magazine and heading to NBC. As she began her time in New York, Young and Letterman did several bits together, a small portion of which is featured in this video.

At the height of the U.S. oil boom, less than a year ago, it wasn’t uncommon for an oil company to pay over $10,000 an acre to drill on state land in North Dakota’s Bakken oil field. But since oil prices have crashed, so has that mineral windfall.

As Emily Guerin from Here & Now contributor Inside Energy reports, recent state mineral auctions in North Dakota have seen the lowest prices since the oil boom began in 2007.

Jimmy Carter’s recent health scare reminded us that the former president is still active at the age of 90. He returned home early from Guyana because he didn’t feel well. Carter was in that country as part of the election monitoring work done by The Carter Center, which he formed in 1989.

Pandas' Bamboo Diet May Endanger Them

May 20, 2015

Panda bears eat tons of bamboo. In fact, they spend up to 14 hours per day eating about 27 pounds of the plant material. But new research examining the genetics of panda waste shows that pandas are not very good at being vegetarian, or digesting bamboo.

The study, published in mBio, found that pandas lack the bacteria necessary to break cellulose in plants, and can digest only about 17 percent of what they eat.

In 1987, James T. Reynolds started a new charity called the Cancer Fund of America. It told donors it was paying for pain medication for children and hospice care for terminally ill patients, and eventually branched into several other charities.

But in a filing yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission says that was all a sham. Less than 3 percent of the money raised actually went to patients, according to the filing, while almost $200 million was spent on luxury vacations, cars and tuition for the founder’s family and friends.

The U.S. Supreme Court is examining whether the death penalty method in Oklahoma constitutes cruel and unusual punishment for using a virtually untested drug called midazolam.

The plaintiffs, several prisoners on death row in the state, brought the case after the botched execution of Clayton Lockett, who took 43 minutes to die on the gurney in April of 2014.

JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Citigroup and UBS have agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay more than $5 billion in total penalties relating to a U.S. investigation into whether the banks manipulated foreign currency rates.

The fines are on top of more than $4 billion in penalties that many of the same banks paid in November over similar charges. Matt Klein of the Financial Times joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details.

'Finding The Good' Through Obituary Writing

May 20, 2015

Journalist Heather Lende lives in the small town of Haines, Alaska, where the population is about 2,000. She’s written obituaries for almost 20 years at the Chilkat Valley News.

In doing so, she’s learned to “find the good,” as she says, not only in the lives of people she writes about, but also in her own life. Lende told Here & Now’s Robin Young that a portrait of the town she lives in also comes through her work.

What motivates someone to become a police officer these days? And what is it like to be a recruit as images of police protests dominate the news? Amy Radil of Here & Now contributor station KUOW met some of Washington state’s newest recruits.

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