Miles Parks

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.

You can take your drinks outside on Bourbon Street, but you can no longer bring your smokes indoors.

Effective Wednesday, New Orleans has banned smoking in bars, restaurants and casinos.

The New York Times published an intriguing look at the city's nightlife spots as the ban went into effect.

Here's an excerpt:

The Committee to Protect Journalists released its annual report on the 10 Most Censored Countries today, with Eritrea, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia leading the list.

A farm in Iowa is going to destroy more than five million of its chickens in an attempt to curb the spread of the highly infectious avian flu.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed the H5N2 avian influenza outbreak Monday, adding that the agency says that there is little chance that humans could become infected. According to the department's press release:

The prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, said Monday that his country is nearing a major trade agreement with the United States, according to an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

Abe told the Journal that he hopes to come to an understanding with President Barack Obama when he visits Washington at the end of the month as part of a 12-country summit.

The wait is over for Cubs fans.

Well, not the more than 106-year wait for a World Series Championship, but the wait for arguably the most exciting young slugger in baseball to join their club.

It's not hard to reach presidential candidate Ryan Shepard; he doesn't have a media relations office or a slick-tongued press secretary.

Shepard, 40, is a bartender at Roc Brewing Co. in Rochester, N.Y., while also working toward a bachelor's degree in creative writing at nearby SUNY Brockport. He plans to enroll in an master of fine arts writing program after he graduates.

He is also just as much a candidate for U.S. president as Ted Cruz, who was billed by many as the first and only candidate to file so far.

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