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One of NASCAR's most popular drivers — and one of its most famous names — is leaving the racetrack. Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced Tuesday that he's retiring at the end of the season.

Earnhardt recently took a long break to recover from a series of concussions.

Just a few weeks ago, he told NPR he wasn't sure when he'd be leaving the sport.

Fighting Steep Odds, Flint Starts To See Bright Spots

22 minutes ago

It's been a tough three years for an already troubled city. When Flint, Mich. switched to using the Flint River for its drinking water as a cost-saving measure, then failed to properly treat it, lead pipes corroded and contaminated the water with lead.

But Flint residents are fighters, and many are beginning to see signs of hope for a better future.

The most visible are changes are in the city's downtown. There are coffee houses and restaurants along Saginaw Street where 10 years ago there were almost none.

Last week, Kate Tempest — rapper, Ted Hughes Award-winning poet and playwright from South London — played a show at the Boot and Saddle in Philadelphia. If you've never been there, it's a loud room, filled with the noise of everyone checking their phones, talking, ordering drinks.

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

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

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

People around the world use more than a trillion plastic bags every year. They're made of a notoriously resilient kind of plastic called polyethylene that can take decades to break down.

But a humble worm may hold the key to biodegrading them.

It was an accidental discovery. Scientist and beekeeper Federica Bertocchini was frustrated to find that her beehives were infested with the larvae of Galleria mellonella, commonly known as a wax worm.

When you're facing a major life change, it helps to talk to someone who's already been through it. All Things Considered is connecting people on either side of a shared experience, and they're letting us eavesdrop on their conversations in our series Been There.

Ella Fitzgerald, who would have turned 100 Tuesday, was one of the most beloved and versatile singers of the 20th century. In a career that spanned six decades, Fitzgerald recorded hundreds of songs, including definitive versions of many standards. Along the way, she influenced generations of singers.

But the first thing that strikes you about Fitzgerald is that voice.

A new report shows that the worldwide recording industry added nearly $1 billion in revenue in 2016, growth that is almost entirely due to the growth of streaming. The annual "Global Music Report," released today by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) — an umbrella group representing major labels worldwide — says that revenues from streaming were up 60.4 percent over 2015, and the industry overall grew by 5.9 percent.

Streaming's ascent has made the industry very, very willing to experiment. This wasn't always the case.

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