Listen closely to what U.S. officials like to say about America's long security alliance with South Korea, where 28,000 U.S. troops are stationed in bases around the country. Something in the language perpetually pops up:

"America's commitment to defending our allies ... remain[s] ironclad," Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in Seoul in February.

Three years ago, the Islamic State overran large swaths of Iraq and Syria, and soon declared a caliphate that straddled the border between the two countries. Today, the group's physical caliphate is declining — and the group is preparing its base of fighters for a future under siege.

One of the ways it is doing that is through its musical propaganda.

President Trump plans to nominate Republican Brendan Carr, the general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, to fill one of the organization's two empty leadership seats.

Carr is a former legal adviser to current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and was a lawyer with the law firm Wiley Rein LLP, which has worked with telecommunications companies including AT&T and Verizon.

The White House announced the president's plan late Wednesday.

An FBI agent assigned to the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon last year is facing a five-count indictment for allegedly lying about his role in the shooting death of one of the occupiers.

Boaty McBoatface is back.

And according to the British Antarctic Survey, the world's most famous unmanned submersible returned from its inaugural voyage last week with a trove of "unprecedented data about some of the coldest abyssal ocean waters on earth."

USA Gymnastics announced Tuesday that it will adopt all 70 of the recommendations in an independent review of its policies about reporting abuse. An investigation by The Indianapolis Star last year found that at least 368 gymnasts have alleged they were sexually assaulted by adults working in the sport.

The Trump administration is expected Thursday to announce how it will implement its modified travel ban, following the Supreme Court's decision on Monday lifting a stay on the executive order imposed by two lower courts.

A federal appeals court paved the way on Wednesday for Ohio to resume executions by lifting a lower court's decision to halt the state's lethal injection process.

It was a contentious decision that split the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges in an 8-6 vote.

In the case brought by death row inmates, the judges focused on the effects of the sedative midazolam, one of the three lethal injection drugs used by Ohio.

A firm headed by Paul Manafort, who served as President Trump's campaign manager last year, made more than $17 million in two years working for the pro-Russia political party that controlled Ukraine's government, according to documents filed late Tuesday.

Manafort, who resigned from Trump's campaign last August after his work for Ukrainian interests came under scrutiny, has registered as a foreign agent with the U.S. Justice Department, as did his deputy, Rick Gates.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The next Summer Olympics are still three years off, and already the competition has begun for stand-up paddleboarding.

KRISTIN THOMAS: What is stand-up paddling? Well, it's a hybrid sport. It's the most versatile watercraft that's ever been.

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South Carolina News

Hundreds of Williamsburg County seniors during Senior Market Day in Kingstree to receive vouchers for fresh fruits and vegetables from certified farmers.
Haley Kellner & Makayla Gay/ SC Public Radio

The deadline is fast- approaching for a health center in Williamsburg County to collect information from survivors of the October 2015 flood. Hope Health and the American Red Cross are looking for people in the area who are experiencing specific complications from mold. The information they collect will help residents get the medical care they need and potentially lead to more resources to help them fully recover the historic event.

When the deadline for the survey passes, many flood victims would have been living with mold for more than one year and eight months.

Industrial robots on an automobile assembly line.
ISAPUT [CC BY-SA 4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 Automation has been increasing in the Palmetto State’s factories for a long time, bringing with it fears of job losses for people whose jobs are vulnerable to being replaced by machines.  But Roger Varin of Staubli Robotics, which makes robots for industry, says jobs are changing, but not necessarily vanishing.  In fact, he asserts, automation creates jobs in some areas.  Peter Brews, dean of USC’s Moore School of Business, agreed.  He said what must happen to assure employment in the future is that workers must have better education and training to fill the more technically-oriented jobs

Troubles caused by the historic flood of October 2015 were accompanied by one tiny bright spot: the flood temporarily refilled the state's groundwater supplies, which had been in decline through years of drought since the 1990s.
Courtesy of Nichols resident Courtney Wilds

Despite the destruction and misery caused by South Carolina’s historic 2015 flood, even that ill tide bore a tiny sliver of good on its waters.  According to  Bruce Campbell, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, the Palmetto State was in a drought before the flood.  That was cured by the October rains that produced the flood.  Campbell’s fellow hydrologist Alex Butler of the S.C. Dept.

SC Department of Insurance Director Ray Farmer stand on stage speaking into a microphone, welcoming the crowd.
Haley Kellner/SC Public Radio

On Saturday, June 10, a bustling crowd of Beaufort County homeowners and their families assembled under a tent outside the Home Depot in Bluffton for the city’s second annual Storm Ready Expo. Hosted by the South Carolina Department of Insurance, the Expo was intended to encourage inclement weather preparedness at the beginning of hurricane season, which began June 1 and continues through the end of November.

Evacuation Route image
DHEC

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an above-normal hurricane season with 11 to 17 named storms. Five to nine of those STORMS could potentially become hurricanes. During Hurricane Matthew in 2016, less than 200 people used the state’s special medial-needs shelters. Officials with the state’s department of health and environmental control, (DHEC) are now working to learn more about the medical needs of coastal residents to better help them prepare for the next major storm.

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From books to barbecue, from current events to colonial history, Walter Edgar's Journal delves into the arts, culture, history of South Carolina and the American South.

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