NPR

Two of the country's oldest and most venerated music institutions, the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera, are beginning their seasons with a change in artistic leadership. Both organizations are grappling with 21st century issues of bringing new audiences in and convincing them that centuries-old music forms are central to their lives today.

Satellite radio giant SiriusXM is buying the Oakland, Calif.-based digital radio company Pandora in an all-stock deal valued at $3.5 billion, the companies announced Monday. The deal is expected to close in early 2019.

The merger would create "the world's largest audio entertainment company," SiriusXM CEO James Meyer said in a conference call. The deal would still need to be reviewed by antitrust regulators and shareholders, he added.

The Trump administration says it wants to move to a "merit-based" immigration system — one that gives priority to immigrants who speak English and are highly educated.

But critics say that rhetoric is at odds with the administration's actions.

"Show me any policy that's come out so far that has actually made it easier for highly skilled immigrants," says Doug Rand, who worked in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under President Barack Obama.

A solo yachtsman whose sailboat was rolled and dismasted in an Indian Ocean storm during a round-the-world race, has been rescued four days after calling for help.

Abhilash Tomy, a 39-year-old commander in the Indian navy, was taken from his smashed boat, Thuriya, approximately 1,900 miles west of Australia by a French fisheries patrol boat.

"Tomy was taken out of his yacht on a stretcher. He is conscious, and he is safe," an Indian navy spokesman Captain D.K. Sharma told reporters.

In the days after a flood recedes, there's a scene that plays out repeatedly. House after house looks like it's gotten violently ill and vomited all of its waterlogged possessions out onto the lawn.

"It's just heartbreaking," Jerry Gray, 75, says while sitting in his front yard in Kinston, N.C. What used to be his worldly goods are strewn on the lawn around him — wet mattresses, broken furniture, soggy clothes.

"I've been here 16 years," Gray says with a sigh.

Krista Holland wanders past huddles of people at a storm shelter in Chapel Hill, N.C. Some are wearing Red Cross vests; others are in bathrobes and pajamas. The Wilmington principal is looking for any of her students who may have evacuated to the shelter before Hurricane Florence made landfall.

She recognizes a young man wearing earbuds.

"You remember me," the longtime educator says. "Ms. Holland?"

About a hundred years ago, something devious started happening in our homes and offices, in our cars and at restaurants — and our backs have never been the same.

For hundreds — even thousands — of years, chairs were made of wood. Maybe the seat was covered with cord or cattail leaves, and if you were rich, you could afford some padded upholstery, which began to take off in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in New York this week for the U.N. General Assembly session, says he had a "very constructive" dinner meeting with President Trump at Trump Tower, where the leaders discussed trade and military ties.

Abe, who won re-election as leader of his Liberal Democratic Party last week, told reporters in New York that during their Sunday dinner, the two also reaffirmed their commitment to denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

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