Republican lawmakers and the Democratic governor of North Carolina say they've reached a deal to repeal the controversial "bathroom bill" that restricts the abilities of transgender people to use the restroom corresponding to their gender identity.

But LGBT activists quickly denounced the bill, which would limit the ability of local officials to extend protections to transgender people for at least four years.

President Trump's executive order to restrict travel to the U.S. from six majority-Muslim countries and suspend the U.S. refugee program has been blocked indefinitely.

The state of Hawaii sued to stop the travel ban, arguing the president's policy violates the Constitution. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson has extended his nationwide order blocking the executive order while the lawsuit continues.

It's somewhat rare to find three singers so in sync as The Wild Reeds' Kinsey Lee, Sharon Silva and Mackenzie Howe. Rarer still is the trio's songwriting skills; think Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Alex Luciano is a guitar-slinging human tornado on a Pixy Stix bender. As the singer, guitarist and one half of the undeniably charming duo Diet Cig, Luciano is known to bop, flail and high-kick around the stage. And that boundless exuberance is infectious, coaxing crowds into pop-punk sock hops. It's also emblematic of the joyful musical bond between Luciano and drummer Noah Bowman, who can frequently be spotted sharing a glance and a wide grin in the split seconds before Luciano leaps off the front of his bass drum.

When Taylor Kirk and his bandmates in Timber Timbre set out for France a year ago to record their newest record, Sincerely, Future Pollution, they envisioned a sound you could dance to, that was worthy of celebration. For more than a decade, the Montreal-based band — led by Kirk, who handles much of the writing and recording — has explored the gnarled and shadowy corners of rock, evolving from sun-bleached cabin beams (Timber Timbre) to '70s country twang (Hot Dreams).

San Fermin was conceived as a vehicle for the chamber-pop compositions of Ellis Ludwig-Leone, whose flair for ornate arrangements helped make the band's 2013 debut a complex and intoxicating concoction. On that self-titled record, the mouthpieces for Ludwig-Leone's vision — singer Allen Tate, plus Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe of the band Lucius — helped give San Fermin's sound a broad emotional palette.

First Listen: Annie Hardy, 'Rules'

4 hours ago

Pouring tragedy into a work of music is nothing new. What's different each time around are the particulars. For Annie Hardy, the pain that inspired her debut solo album, Rules, is as personal as it is unimaginable. In March 2015, her newborn boy Silvio died of SIDS. He was 17 days old. Ten months later, her partner Robert Paulson—Silvio's father—died of a drug overdose.

La Vida Boheme plays upbeat music on somber themes. The Venezuelan rockers' last album, Será, came as student protests were erupting in their home town of Caracas. The band's booking agent was murdered; their tour manager was kidnapped. The four members of the group locked themselves inside their apartments. They would later describe the record, which won a Latin Grammy, as "the soundtrack to an apocalypse."

Two separate high-profile incidents broadcast this week highlighted the criticism black women regularly face in the workplace and spurred many to share their own experiences on social media.

For years, a State Department employee allegedly received tens of thousands of dollars in gifts from Chinese intelligence agents and failed to report the repeated contacts to U.S. officials.

Candace Claiborne pleaded not guilty at a federal court appearance Wednesday to charges of obstructing an official proceeding and making false statements to the FBI, over her relationship with the Chinese agents.

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