Hansi Lo Wang

Hansi Lo Wang is a national reporter based at NPR's New York bureau. He covers issues and events in the Northeast.

In 2016, his reporting after the church shooting in Charleston, S.C., won a Salute to Excellence National Media Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. He was also part of NPR's award-winning coverage of Pope Francis' tour of the U.S. His profile of a white member of a Boston Chinatown gang won a National Journalism Award from the Asian American Journalists Association in 2014.

Since joining NPR in 2010 as a Kroc Fellow, he's contributed to NPR's breaking news coverage of the Orlando nightclub shooting, protests in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, and the trial of George Zimmerman in Florida.

Wang previously reported on race, ethnicity, and culture for NPR's Code Switch team. He has also reported for Seattle public radio station KUOW and worked behind the scenes of NPR's Weekend Edition as a production assistant.

A Philadelphia native, Wang speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese dialects of Chinese. As a student at Swarthmore College, he hosted, produced, and reported for a weekly podcast on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In New York City, there's a little-known island where as many as a million people are buried. It's a public cemetery for homeless people, stillborn babies and unclaimed remains. Visiting Hart Island is a challenge — even for families of the deceased, and now, some of those families are trying to change that.

The only way relatives of the deceased can visit the graves on Hart Island is by ferry across the Long Island Sound once a month. They can also travel to the island with the general public one other day each month, but to an area away from the gravesites.

If you want to meet some of the newest Chinese immigrants of New York City, don't go to Chinatown in Manhattan.

Take the train to the Queens neighborhood of Flushing, where you'll find newcomers who are reshaping the largest Chinese community of any city outside of Asia.

For decades, most Chinese immigrants in the U.S. have come from China's southern provinces. But in recent years, more immigrants are coming from the north and landing in Flushing — including Geng Lei, an immigrant from the northern province of Shandong.

Immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally are often reluctant to report crimes.

That's why Congress created what's known as the "U visa" program. It gives legal status to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and other serious crimes — if they help law enforcement with criminal investigations.

Around the country Monday, hundreds of airport workers protested in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

From Newark, N.J., to Washington, D.C., to Chicago and Miami workers called for a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour.

In Newark, workers carried picket signs of Martin Luther King through the airport.

"If Dr. King were alive today, he would be standing alongside of us," said Kevin Brown, New Jersey's state director of the local service employees union, 32BJ SEIU.

Back in 2012, President Obama took executive action to create a program for unauthorized immigrants who entered the U.S. as children before June of 2007, and who are currently younger than 34.

That program has come to be known as DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — and since it was instituted, it has temporarily protected almost 700,000 people from deportation.

Authorities are still trying to determine how the San Bernardino shooters got the two assault-style rifles they used in the attack.

The guns were registered to Enrique Marquez, long-time friend of shooter Syed Farook. But it's not clear exactly how those guns wound up in the shooters' hands.

Buying guns from licensed dealers for someone else is illegal. "Straw purchasers" break the law by fraudulently filling out a form that says they're the actual buyer, but they're actually buying the gun for another person — someone who might be avoiding a background check.

Edit note: Since this story was first published, former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was found guilty of taking nearly $4 million in bribes and kickbacks. We have updated the story to reflect this change.

Las Vegas has The Mob Museum. Washington, D.C., has the International Spy Museum. And if a concerned citizen has his way, there will be a Museum of Political Corruption in Albany, N.Y.

A street drug made of various chemicals sprayed on tea leaves, grass clippings and other plant material continues to send thousands of people suffering from psychotic episodes and seizures to emergency rooms around the country.

In 2015, calls to poison control regarding the drug already have almost doubled, compared to last year's total, and health professionals and lawmakers are struggling to keep up with the problem.

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Transcript

HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: And that's because the Mets have long suffered in the pinstriped shadow of New York City's other baseball team - you know, the one that's won the World Series 27 times, more than any other team by far. Kevin Kim couldn't care less.

The nation's largest police force is under pressure to change its ways.

That includes how New York City's police department teaches officers to interact with communities of color after recent protests against excessive force by the police.

Now the NYPD is trying out an unusual tool to train recruits: theater.

It's not every day costumed actors perform in a dark lecture hall at the New York City Police Academy.

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