Parallels
12:12 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Desperate Chinese Villagers Turn To Self-Immolation

Relatives of He Mengqing walk in front of his house, which the local government has slated for demolition. The rice farmer from Chenzhou in China's Hunan province rejected a government offer of compensation for his land; he set himself on fire when officials came for him.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 8:07 am

In order to turn China into an urban nation, local governments have demolished tens of millions of homes over the past decade. Homeowners have often fought back, blocking heavy machinery and battling officials.

In recent years, resistance has taken a disturbing turn: Since 2009, at least 53 people across China have lit themselves on fire to protest the destruction of their homes, according to human rights and news reports.

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Around the Nation
12:12 am
Wed October 23, 2013

It's City Vs. Creditors In Detroit Bankruptcy Trial

Detroit officially makes its case for bankruptcy before a federal judge on Wednesday. The city is currently saddled with $18 billion in long-term debt, and officials see bankruptcy as their only choice.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 9:46 am

In Detroit on Wednesday, a federal trial begins that will determine whether that city is eligible for the nation's largest-ever municipal bankruptcy.

Hundreds of the city's creditors are lining up to oppose the bankruptcy, arguing that Detroit is violating Michigan's Constitution and that if officials tried harder they could find enough savings to pay the city's bills.

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Shots - Health News
12:12 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Haitian Cholera Strain Spreads To Mexico

A nurse treats a cholera patient at the Juan Pablo Pina Hospital in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, in August. Health officials say that the strain of cholera circulating in the country— the same one that first appeared in Haiti three years ago — has also caused outbreaks in Cuba and now Mexico.
Erika Santelices AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 10:21 am

A South Asian strain of cholera that was introduced into Haiti three years ago this month has now spread to this continent's mainland.

Mexico is the fourth Western Hemisphere country to experience the cholera outbreak. It's a disease that's very hard to stamp out once it gets into an area with poor water and sanitation.

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Connecting California
6:16 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Commentary: Take A Trip On Amtrak's San Joaquin

The Amtrak San Joaquin line is among the most popular in the state.
Credit Amtrak

I’m not a big fan of trains, but my oldest son, Ben, 4, loves them. He’d been lobbying to go on a “big train trip,” and his school would be closed for a couple days at the end of September, when I had a meeting in Sacramento. Why not take the kid on a train trip from L.A. to the state capital, by Amtrak?

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Government & Politics
5:43 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Fresno County To Pursue State Funds for $80 Million Jail Expansion

The existing main Fresno County Jail in downtown Fresno (file)
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors voted today to submit a grant application to the state to fund a new $80 million jail annex. The proposed new West Annex Jail in downtown Fresno would house 300 inmates and would also include treatment facilities.

As part of the application the county agreed to set aside $8.8 million to help fund the project. If built, the county would be required to operate the facility for at least 10 years. The county hopes the new facility will replace the agin south jail annex in courthouse park.

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The Two-Way
3:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Pew: Most Latinos Can't Name 'Most Important Hispanic Leader'

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was named by 5 percent of respondents as "the most important Hispanic leader in the country today."
Win McNamee AFP/Getty Images

While most Latinos believe it's important for their community to have a national leader, most of them can't pinpoint whom they think that leader is.

That's the new finding from a survey released today by the Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project. Survey participants were asked an open-ended question to name the person they think is "the most important Hispanic leader in the country today."

Sixty-two percent responded they didn't know and 9 percent said no one.

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Around the Nation
3:21 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Funeral Contest Rewards Those Who Think Outside The Pine Box

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 4:13 pm

Melissa Block talks with Christine Pepper, CEO of the National Funeral Directors Association and judge for the Design for Death contest, about the competition and the winning entries.

The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

The Sounds Of New York City, Circa 1920

Times Square near 42nd Street in New York City, in the 1920s.
AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 4:59 pm

We can hear the music of the Roaring '20s anytime we want. But what if you could hear the day-to-day sounds of what it was like to live at that vibrant time?

That's the basis of Emily Thompson's project "The Roaring Twenties." She's a history professor at Princeton University who's been mapping the sounds of New York City in the late 1920s and early '30s.

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The Two-Way
3:05 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Sony Explains Why Its PlayStation 4 Costs $1,845 In Brazil

Sony announced U.S. and European prices for its new PlayStation 4 at a news conference this summer. The game system will cost some $1,845 in Brazil, angering fans.
Eric Thayer Getty Images

Sony's new PlayStation 4 won't be on store shelves until next month, but the gaming console has already raised eyebrows in Brazil, after reports that it would cost 3,999 Brazilian real — or about $1,845 at today's exchange rate.

The company says the steep cost isn't a case of price gouging, but instead a sign of Brazil's heavy taxes and fees on imported electronics.

The game system will be released in the United States on Nov. 15 and in countries including Brazil later that month. Large retailers in the U.S. will offer the PS4 at a base price of around $400.

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Law
2:15 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

How A County Clerk Ignited The Gay Marriage Debate In N.M.

Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins talks with Thom Hinks and Richard Sunman (far right) after they obtained a marriage license at the Dona Ana County Clerk's Office in Las Cruces, N.M. In August, Ellins' office began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Juan Carlos Llorca AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 9:51 am

New Mexico law doesn't explicitly ban or approve same-sex marriage. There were a spate of lawsuits seeking to clarify the issue, but they were tied up in the courts. Then in August, the clerk of Dona Ana County, Lynn Ellins, a long-time supporter of same-sex marriage, consulted his staff.

"And we all agreed that it was about time to bring this thing to a head, and if we did nothing, the cases would languish in the district court if we did not move to issue these licenses and try and put the ball in play," Ellins says.

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