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Independence Day celebrates freedom. And how do you celebrate America's day of independence when it comes during nationwide protests against police brutality, especially if you're a Black American?

Baseball's Negro Leagues were formally founded a hundred years ago this week. They should never have had to exist — but they sure had some glorious players and times.

Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, and many more stars who couldn't play in the major leagues because of the cruelty of segregation engineered a sports enterprise of their own with superb teams that included the Kansas City Monarchs, Chicago American Giants and the Homestead Grays.

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.

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BILL KURTIS: This is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your host, who has perfected his quarantine recipe, SpaghettiOs with a Goldfish Cracker garnish, Peter Sagal.

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Thank you, Bill. So we're reviewing what it has been like to do our show with no audience but each other, our bored pets and the collection of creepy dolls on the shelf.

KURTIS: They stare and stare and never sleep.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Finally, the pandemic caught some people in places they didn't expect to be. This spring, Oscar-winning actress Allison Janney was supposed to be walking the red carpet at the premiere of her hew film, "Bad Education." Instead, she ended up having to talk to us from a spare bedroom in her parents' house in Dayton, Ohio.

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ALLISON JANNEY: (Evil laughter).

(LAUGHTER)

LUKE BURBANK: I suspected that.

SAGAL: She's lovely. I actually...

MO ROCCA: "Svengoolie" (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

BILL KURTIS: For our first completely at-home edition of WAIT WAIT, we invited back an old friend, movie star and occasional WAIT WAIT guest host Tom Hanks.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

By the way, Tom asked if he could join us via Zoom for the whole show, not just his segment. And let me tell you something. It is pretty hard to concentrate on your job when Tom Hanks, two Oscars and a dirty volleyball are all staring back at you the whole time.

KURTIS: Here's an extended version of our virtual visit with Tom Hanks.

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Samantha Horton / IPB News

Purdue University researchers developed a new COVID-19 test that could be more affordable and time efficient. The test will first be used by health care providers before then offering it to consumers for use at home.

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Stay tuned for the latest on possible rising water rates for one Northwest Indiana community, and the future of high school sports amid coronavirus, as well as your hot 4th of July weather forecast…

Many schools are still drafting their reopening plans for the fall, leaving families waiting for answers to a number of questions. But the president of the Indiana Association of School Nurses (IASN) says, as families wait for the official word from schools, they can – and should – take time to prepare kids for returning to the classroom.

Justin Hicks / IPB News

The U.S. Department of Education announced it approved Indiana’s new four-year plan for career and technical education. It’s part of a larger strategy to guide both youth and adults towards jobs.

Brandon Smith / IPB News

The vast majority of laws passed each year by the Indiana General Assembly take effect either immediately or on July 1.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 21 additional confirmed deaths since Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 2,469. The state announced more than 46,000 total confirmed cases, with more than 496,000 Hoosiers tested.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

The U.S. Supreme Court ordered an appeals court to re-examine lawsuits involving two Indiana anti-abortion laws Thursday.

Photo Provided by The History Press

Today on Off Mic we get the latest on the pandemic in Northwest Indiana with rising COVID-19 rates and a call for the state to set up a free testing site.

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THE HOLDERNESS FAMILY: (Rapping) I am not throwing away this mask.

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OK. So that was in Texas, but cases are also surging in other states, including California. California's Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, said 19 counties will have to partially shut down again. Here he is.

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Vivian Garcia Leonard studied to become a pharmacist in Cuba before coming to the U.S. in 1961.

Her daughter, also named Vivian, eventually followed in her mother's footsteps. So, too, did her daughter, Marissa Sofia Ochs. Today, the three generations of pharmacists live near each other and work in New York City.

But recently, the elder Vivian, who's 82, stopped working to limit her exposure to the virus.

In a remote StoryCorps conversation recorded last month, the women talked about living through the coronavirus pandemic.

June 2020 was a pride month that looked different from past years, and not just because people were socially distancing and wearing masks: Demonstrations for LGBTQ equality overlapped with protests against violence and systemic racism against Black people.

At the intersection of these two fights for equality are Black transgender people.

Imara Jones, an independent journalist and founder of TransLash media, told NPR's All Things Considered, that this moment has been "a crucible."

Indiana Department of Environmental Management

NORTHWEST INDIANA -
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has issued an Air Quality Action Day and is forecasting high ozone levels for Friday, July 3rd in Northwest Indiana for Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties and in North Central Indiana for St. Joseph and Elkhart Counties.

Sarah Bonick, Director of External Relations says IDEM encourages everyone to help reduce ozone while remaining safe during the COVID-19 health crisis.

When Christian Picciolini was a neo-Nazi, he heard the term "white power" all the time. It was the term neo-Nazis used as a greeting, as a pejorative, to instill fear, even to sign off letters in lieu of "sincerely."

"It was also a proclamation that distilled what we believed in into two words," Picciolini — who is now an author and founder of the Free Radicals Project, a group that works to prevent extremism — told NPR's Morning Edition.

Justin Hicks / IPB News

According to data released Thursday, Indiana had, by far, the largest spike in new claims for unemployment assistance in the country last week. The state says most of them are coming from foreign identity thieves trying to steal money.

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