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Midday is WYPR's daily public affairs program heard from noon-1pm, Monday-Friday.  Topics range from the latest news, to local and national politics.

WYPR News

P. Kenneth Burns

After spending 16 years in prison, a man convicted of murder who was at the center of the podcast "Serial" has won a new trial in Baltimore.

Rachel Baye

Maryland’s prison system is short several hundred correctional officers.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union called on the state to fix the problem at a news conference Thursday morning at the Dorsey Run Correctional Facility in Jessup. Union leaders say the shortage endangers correctional officers.

  Prosecutors will continue to seek a conviction in last year’s death of Freddie Gray when the trial of Lt. Brian Rice begins Tuesday with a motions hearing.

But after three trials, they have yet to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any of the officers tried so far were criminally responsible for Gray’s death.

The Baltimore Police Department has updated its use of force policy to mandate officers to immediately render aid if someone in custody complains of an injury a year after an arrestee suffered a critical spinal injury in a police van but was initially denied medical treatment.

P. Kenneth Burns

The family and friends of slain local rap artist Tyriece “Lor Scoota” Watson announced Wednesday plans to celebrate his life and artistry over the next three days.

Minister Marvin McKenstry said the circumstances of Scoota’s death have overshadowed his legacy.

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CAPBA Awards

On The Watch

On the Watch, Part 8: Will New Policies and Alerts at the Baltimore Police Department Bring Changes?

Last week, a Baltimore judge found Officer Edward Nero not guilty of reckless endangerment, among other charges, in the death last year of Freddie Gray. Nero's attorneys said he wasn't aware of an updated policy that required prisoners to be seat belted when he helped put Gray in a transport van, handcuffed, with shackles, and no seatbelt. According to the medical examiner, Gray died from injuries suffered in the back of the van.
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Out of the Blocks

All photos by Wendel Patrick

200 W Saratoga

The 200 block of West Saratoga Street is nestled in the frenetic bustle of downtown Baltimore.
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WYPR and NPR News

Almost at the last minute, a federal judge has declared a controversial Mississippi law unconstitutional.

The law, HB 1523, would have protected religious objections to gay marriage, extramarital sex and transgender identities. The judge says it favors some religious beliefs over others and would codify unequal treatment of LGBT people.

Attorneys for the state are expected to appeal the ruling, The Associated Press reports.

Steve Inskeep: You've been told, I think, that we are doing a documentary. We went across a good part of the country to places where you have given speeches over the years to just talk with people about how their lives have changed.

President Obama: That sounds great. I'm going to listen to this one.

Suki Kim spent 10 years researching and visiting North Korea. In 2011, she spent six months teaching at a university in Pyongyang — and working undercover as a journalist.

During that time, Kim secretly documented the lives of 270 of North Korea's elite — young men who were being groomed as the country's future leaders — at the center of the country's regime change.

Editors' note: It's Invisibilia bonus time! Sometimes we've got more wonderful stories than we can fit into the Invisibilia show and podcast. But we can't let them go. This story is being heard exclusively on NPR's Morning Edition.

At the center of Geel, a charming Belgian town less than an hour's drive from of Antwerp, is a church dedicated to Dymphna, a saint believed to have the power to cure mental disorders. It's a medieval church with stone arches, spires and a half-built bell tower, and it has inspired an unusual centuries-old practice: For over 700 years, residents of Geel have been accepting people with mental disorders, often very severe mental disorders, into their homes and caring for them.

P. Kenneth Burns

After spending 16 years in prison, a man convicted of murder who was at the center of the podcast "Serial" has won a new trial in Baltimore.

Donald Trump had an awkward exchange Thursday at a New Hampshire event when a woman asked him why the U.S. isn't putting veterans on the border or at TSA instead of these "heebeejabis they wear at TSA." It was an apparent reference to Muslim employees who wear hijabs, or head coverings.

How many times last year did police pull a Taser on suspects nationwide?

Just like the total number of people shot by police, no one knows for sure.

Connecticut is the first state to require police to fill out a form for every time they pull a Taser. And it just released the first-ever statewide report on how police use them.

The U.S. State Department issued its annual Trafficking in Persons report on Thursday, and the big news is the status of Thailand.

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