Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

At over three thousand years old, caste hierarchy is one of the oldest forms of social stratification in the world: the community you're born into in places like India, Pakistan and Nepal has designated where you can work, who you can marry, and what your reputation is in life. Even today in South Asia, caste conflict and discrimination remain a potent force in everyday life. In the United States, though, caste tends to be a relatively muted topic.

Every time Rupert Murdoch gets closer to control of the British-based entertainment and TV giant Sky, new obstacles arise.

The latest challenge could shatter his plans — or make him a richer man.

"I will never be fired," professor Randa Jarrar taunted critics after she blasted Barbara Bush as a racist not an hour after the former first lady's death was announced last week.

And the president of California State University, Fresno, has confirmed that she will keep her job.

Has the bromance ended?

One day after President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron were seen embracing and holding hands during the French leader's state visit to the U.S., Macron took issue with the U.S. leader's views on several items, including Iran and the environment, during a speech to a joint meeting of Congress.

Macron joked about his relationship with his U.S. counterpart. Speaking of a 1778 meeting between Ben Franklin and the French philosopher Voltaire, Macron noted the two men were seen "kissing each other's cheeks."

What are "active measures?"

The Russian government launched a broad influence campaign against the United States starting in 2014. Intelligence professionals call it the latest examples of "active measures," secret tools of statecraft that have been used for centuries. They included many interlocking elements:

What is obstruction of justice?

It's against the law to frustrate or try to frustrate an investigation, even if no underlying crime was committed. Lying to federal investigators is a crime on its own and so is acting more broadly to prevent or delay or otherwise interfere with the course of their work.

It's also politically important: The last two occasions on which Congress has filed articles of impeachment against sitting presidents — against Richard Nixon and later, Bill Clinton — they included allegations about obstruction.

Why is President Trump's campaign being investigated for potentially conspiring with the Russian attack on the 2016 election?

Because of something that happened early in 2016: Trump, a political newcomer who had never served in the military or held elective office, was criticized for his lack of experience and faced pressure to name the team that would advise him on national security and foreign policy. Once he did, people on it began to receive overtures from Russians or their agents.

An NCAA commission is calling on the NBA to reopen its draft to athletes who are 18 and have not attended college, citing problems with the "one-and-done" system that sees elite players jump to the pros after their freshman year.

Created last fall after a federal investigation put an exclamation point on a growing list of crises and conflicting priorities in the sport, the Commission on College Basketball issued its recommendations on Wednesday.

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