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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:24 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Why We Need Compassionate Conservation

A black rhino and a giraffe stop for a drink in Namibia's Etosha National Park. Only about 5,000 black rhinos remain in the world.
Frans Lanting DPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 8:21 am

Over the weekend someone at an auction in the United States paid $350,000 for a permit to kill a black rhino in Namibia. Black rhinos are endangered: only about 5,000 are still alive in the entire world.

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Author Interviews
9:22 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Lessons On Blindness, 'For The Benefit Of Those Who See'

A blind child studies at the Braille Without Borders school in Lhasa, Tibet, in 2005. The program was the first of its kind in the country.
China Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 3:50 pm

In 2005, Rosemary Mahoney was assigned to write a magazine profile of the woman who started Tibet's first school for the blind, Braille Without Borders.

Sabriya Tenberken, who is blind herself, traveled to Tibet as a young woman and found that blind children there had no access to education, which motivated her to set up a program. During college in Germany, where she grew up, Tenberken also developed the first Braille script for the Tibetan language.

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The Salt
9:21 am
Mon January 13, 2014

California's Pot Farms Could Leave Salmon Runs Truly Smoked

This dead juvenile coho salmon was found in a tributary of California's South Fork Eel River. About 20 large-scale marijuana farms are located upstream from the watershed pictured. All of them divert water from the stream.
Courtesy Scott Bauer

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 2:08 pm

For many users and advocates of marijuana, the boom in the West Coast growing industry may be all good and groovy. But in California, critics say the recent explosion of the marijuana industry along the state's North Coast — a region called the "emerald triangle" — could put a permanent buzz kill on struggling salmon populations.

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The Salt
12:59 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Prison Gardens Help Inmates Grow Their Own Food — And Skills

Prisoners build an organic vegetable garden in the prison yard of the medium security unit at San Quentin State Prison in December.
Kirk Crippens Insight Garden Program

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 2:22 am

Last week, we reported on the correctional industry's enduring practice of punishing certain inmates with a bland, lumpish food known as "the loaf."

Fortunately, there are also more encouraging stories to tell about prison food.

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It's All Politics
12:57 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Nation's New Mayors Revive Big-City Liberalism

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks after being sworn in during the public inauguration ceremony at City Hall in New York on Jan. 1.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 12:22 pm

Like all newly elected politicians, the class of mayors being sworn in as the year begins has made many grand promises.

From New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's pledge to provide universal pre-kindergarten classes, financed through taxes on wealthy individuals, to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's push for a $15 minimum hourly wage, their agenda looks decidedly liberal.

New mayors in cities such as Boston, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh have also been talking about the importance of racial inclusion and the need to address income inequality.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Israelis Pay Respects To Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

Israel's President Shimon Peres stands next the coffin of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the Knesset in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Bernat Armangue AP

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 8:52 am

The body of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was lying in state on Sunday outside the country's parliament.

As Haaretz reports, the Israeli public, as well as top government officials gathered at the Knesset to pay their respects.

Sharon, one of Israel's most iconic figures, died on Saturday after spending eight years in a coma.

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The Sunday Conversation
12:50 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Transracial Family Gets Double Takes 'Everywhere We Go'

Rachel Garlinghouse is the author of Come Rain or Come Shine: A White Parent's Guide to Adopting and Parenting Black Children.
Jill Heupel

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 4:16 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Rachel Garlinghouse and her husband, Steve are both white, and they've adopted three kids — two girls and a boy — who are African-American. "We get double takes everywhere we go," Garlinghouse tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "You have to look at discrimination in a whole new way" as a transracial family.

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Parallels
12:49 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

The U.N. Has Stopped Counting, But Syrians Keep Dying

Kotaiba Mohammad poses during an anti-goverment demonstration in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. He worked as a nurse, helping those wounded in the country's civil war. He was seized and shot dead last month by Islamic extremists.
Courtesy Malek Al Shemali

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 12:06 pm

The United Nations announced this week it is no longer updating the Syrian death toll, which has surpassed 100,000, because it cannot accurately confirm the number of dead due to chaotic conditions in the country. But Syrians are still being slaughtered, and the fighting has gotten more complicated than ever.

It's not just President Bashar Assad's government army versus the rebels. The rebels are also battling rebels, and civilians are often the casualties, including a male nurse from Aleppo.

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Pope Francis Names 19 New Cardinals, None From The U.S.

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 11:13 am

Pope Francis continues to shake up the Vatican establishment. Today, speaking from his studio window to followers in St. Peter's square, he announced 19 new cardinals from some surprising places, the AP reports.

Francis did not name any cardinals from the United States and chose instead to represent poorer nations.

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Sam Berns, Teen Known For His Fight Against 'Aging Disease,' Dies

Sam Berns, 15, who has the very rare premature-aging disease progeria, plays the drums in his high school's marching band.
Courtesy of the Progeria Research Foundation

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 8:45 am

Sam Berns, the teen who became nationally known for his fight against a disease that accelerates aging, died on Friday from complications of his disorder.

As our friends at Shots explained back in September, Sam's parents, Leslie Gordon and Scott Berns, were spurred by his illness to find a cure for the disease.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
12:48 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Seeing The World Is Like Dancing With It

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 5:28 am

When we gaze up into the night sky, we look out into the past. Adam Frank makes this point eloquently in a recent post. And it is a point redolent with consequence in the field of physics. It is the starting point of Einstein's special theory of relativity.

But is it right to suggest, as Adam does, that when I look into the face of my loved one across the table from me, what I see, really, is how she looked a tiny fraction of a second earlier? Adam writes:

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Chemical In West Va. Water More Diluted, But Still Unsafe

Members of the Nitro Volunteer Fire Department distribute water to local residents on Saturday.
Michael Switzer AP

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 8:39 am

The amount of a dangerous chemical in West Virginian's tap water is more diluted, but it is still unsafe for drinking, washing or bathing.

WCHS-TV reports that Col. Greg Grant with the National Guard told reporters that they are seeing readings of methylcyclohexane methanol dip below 1 part per million, the amount that the Center for Disease Control says is safe, but those readings have spiked from time to time.

"The numbers are turning in the right direction," Grant said.

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Author Interviews
12:47 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Months After Marriage, A Military Wife Becomes An 'Unremarried Widow'

This photograph of Artis Henderson and her husband Miles was taken in 2006, on the day he deployed to Iraq. Miles was killed just a few months later in an Apache helicopter crash.
Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 9:47 am

Artis Henderson never imagined she'd end up a military wife. She had dreams of becoming a writer and traveling the world; settling down with a conservative, church-going Army pilot wasn't the life she'd planned for herself.

But she fell in love with Miles Henderson and she followed him to Army bases in small towns where she struggled to fit into military life and culture. Then, in 2006, her new husband deployed to Iraq and was killed just months later in an Apache helicopter crash.

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Latin America
12:47 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Four Years After Earthquake, Many In Haiti Remain Displaced

Boys at a camp for earthquake victims look out from their shelter in Petion-ville, Haiti, outside of Port-au-Prince in November.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 8:41 am

Four years ago Sunday, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, destroying its capital of Port-au-Prince and killing more than 200,000 people.

Today, much of Port-au-Prince looks like it did before the quake. Most of the tent camps in the city itself are gone, and streets are loaded with overcrowded buses and women selling vegetables.

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The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

French First Lady In Hospital, Following Reports Of Hollande Affair

French president François Hollande and his companion Valerie Trierweiler.
Jacques Brinon AP

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 9:15 am

The French first lady Valerie Trierweiler has been admitted to a hospital in Paris in need of "rest," her spokesman tells Reuters.

This comes just after a French tabloid published photographs that it alleges reveal that her boyfriend, French President François Hollande, was having an affair with actress Julie Gayet.

Reuters adds:

"'She has been in hospital since Friday. She will leave tomorrow,' her spokesman Patrice Biancone told Reuters. ...

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