The Two-Way
5:00 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Blast At Russian Train Station Leaves At Least 15 Dead

Russian firefighters and security personnel inspect the damage at a train station following a suicide attack in the Volga River city of Volgograd, Russia.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 7:32 pm

At least 15 people were killed on Sunday when a suspected female suicide bomber detonated an explosive device inside a train station in Volgograd, Russia.

Russia Today, a government-funded, English-language news outlet, reports that authorities are treating the incident as a terrorist attack. RT adds:

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The Two-Way
4:16 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Thousands Still Without Power As More Snow Due To Fall

Maine resident Jim Ridley uses a flashlight to get his mail Thursday. Thousands may be without power well into next week if snow and ice hit the state Sunday night.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 10:25 am

A massive post-Christmas package of precipitation is headed up the East Coast today. The storm is predicted to dump snow and ice from Boston on up and promises to vex residents already a week without power since the last winter storm.

The storm is carrying drenching rain through the Carolinas, Mid-Atlantic and southern New England during the day. The downpour will reduce visibility and make travel difficult, according to Accuweather.com.

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Education
2:09 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Closing The 'Word Gap' Between Rich And Poor

In Virginia this summer, Arlington Public Schools transported students in poor neighborhoods to community libraries for group readings. Studies say children from low-income families may hear roughly 30 million fewer words by age 3 than their more affluent peers.
Bill O'Leary The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 8:12 am

In the early 1990s, a team of researchers decided to follow about 40 volunteer families — some poor, some middle class, some rich — during the first three years of their new children's lives. Every month, the researchers recorded an hour of sound from the families' homes. Later in the lab, the team listened back and painstakingly tallied up the total number of words spoken in each household.

What they found came to be known as the "word gap."

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Science
2:04 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Centuries Before China's 'Great Wall,' There Was Another

In Jiaonan county, the Qi wall incorporates outcrops of bedrock.
Linda Nicholas The Field Museum

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 8:12 am

The Great Wall of China, built more than 2,000 years ago, stands as one of the monumental feats of ancient engineering. Stretching thousands of miles, it protected the newly unified country from foreign invaders.

But before the Great Wall, warring Chinese dynasties built many other walls for protection. An American archaeologist recently began surveying one of the biggest.

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Monkey See
2:03 am
Sun December 29, 2013

This Is (Not) The Most Important Story Of The Year

News of Justin Bieber's retirement sent shockwaves across the Internet.
Powers Imagery AP

Have you spent much of the holiday season debating whether Justin Bieber really intends to retire?

No? Well, what about the question of whether Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson was rightly suspended for making bigoted remarks, or was in fact suppressed for giving voice to traditional values?

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

Student Killed In Clashes At Egyptian University

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood at Al-Azhar university make the four-finger Rabaa gesture as they hold tear gas canisters during clashes with riot police and residents of the area at the university's campus in Cairo on Saturday.
Reuters /Landov

An Egyptian student is dead Saturday after clashes between police and Muslim Brotherhood supporters at the country's main Islamic university.

Egyptian media reported that the violence erupted when security forces fired tear gas to disperse pro-Brotherhood students who were trying to prevent classmates from getting into buildings at the famed Al-Azhar university. Some of the buildings were set on fire. Police said 101 people were arrested.

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Around the Nation
2:02 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

Still In Recovery, Okla. Builds Defenses Against Future Storms

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 3:54 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

We're going to check in now with the city of Moore, Oklahoma. Back in May, it was devastated by a mile-wide F5 tornado with winds in excess of 200 miles per hour. The day after the storm, Mayor Glenn Lewis told MORNING EDITION that rescue crews were still searching for survivors.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

MAYOR GLENN LEWIS: We're still looking for, you know, hopefully that one extra person that we missed that we're going to find. We're very optimistic about that. We did have quite a bit of loss of life.

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Around the Nation
2:02 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

Property Battle Leaves LA Homeless Vets With Few Options

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 3:54 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

From NPR West, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Arun Rath.

This year saw a major development in a story that NPR has been following since 2011. That's when a group of homeless disabled veterans filed a lawsuit seeking housing on a sprawling campus of the VA health care facility in West Los Angeles. The VA had taken no action on plans for housing homeless vets there. But NPR's Ina Jaffe found the department had made tens of millions of dollars renting out parts of the property to enterprises that had nothing to do with veterans. Hi, Ina.

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Arts & Life
2:02 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

The Trouble With Assessing 'Black Films'

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 3:54 pm

This year was lauded by many news outlets as an incredible year for black films. CNN heralded "Hollywood's African-American Renaissance;" The New York Times called 2013 a "a breakout year for black films." Shani Hilton, deputy editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, talks to NPR's Arun Rath about why she think those assertions are overstated.

Around the Nation
2:02 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

Injured Veteran Keeps Up His Fight, Deciding To Live

Tomas Young was paralyzed from the chest down during his deployment to Iraq. He had decided to refuse care and end his life, but since changed his mind.
Frank Morris for NPR

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 3:54 pm

A spinal injury left Iraq War veteran Tomas Young paralyzed below the waist in 2004. Further medical complications a few years later made him quadriplegic.

Although Young had enlisted two days after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, he became an outspoken anti-war activist.

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