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1:46 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Upswing In China's Economy May Be Temporary

In this May 30, 2013: Volvo car at an assembly line of a Volvo factory in Chengdu, southwestern China's Sichuan province released by Volvo Cars. (AP Photo/Volvo Cars)

Manufacturing in China is at a six-month high, but many economists think this growth could be driven by government policy rather than by real demand.

“Modest growth is what you’re seeing,” NPR’s Shanghai correspondent Frank Langfitt told Here & Now.

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The Two-Way
1:44 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Oracle Team USA Defeats New Zealand, Keeps The America's Cup

Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill celebrates after defending the cup as they beat Emirates Team New Zealand in the final race on Wednesday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 7:13 am

Oracle Team USA has successfully defended the America's Cup, leaving challenger New Zealand in its wake off San Francisco after clawing back from a seven-race deficit in one of the most spectacular comebacks in yachting history.

A week ago, it looked to be all over for the U.S., with the Kiwis having built a seemingly unassailable lead and poised at one race away from taking the Auld Mug back to New Zealand.

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The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

SEE: Baby Veronica Reunited With Adoptive Parents

Matt and Melanie Capobianco with "Baby Veronica," taken Monday.
Capobianco family photo

We're a day late to this, but it's a story this blog has followed for a while and this latest development represents some closure.

On Tuesday, the 4-year-old known as "Baby Veronica" was reunited with her adoptive parents. As we reported, that was the same day the Oklahoma Supreme Court opened the door to that possibility.

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Ancient Fish With Strong Jawline Could Rewrite History Of Faces

A reconstruction of Entelognathus primordialis, with the fossil find highlighted above.
Nature

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:18 pm

As faces go, Entelognathus primordialis isn't much to look at, even for a fish.

But consider that the 419 million-year-old, armor-plated fish is the earliest known creature to have what humans might recognize as a face, according to research published Wednesday in Nature. That's mostly due to its bony, modern jaw.

As USA Today reports:

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The Salt
12:32 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Pork Politics: Why Some Danes Want Pig Meat Required On Menus

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 3:16 pm

In Denmark, pigs outnumber people 2 to 1. No traditional Danish meal would be complete without something wrapped in, wrapped around, or topped with pork.

In 2012, the country exported close to $6 billion in pig meat, a figure that includes "carcasses" — which leads to the question: What does one do with a pig carcass?

All this is by way of explaining the hubbub that erupted following a recent headline: "Day Cares Ban Pork."

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Parallels
12:10 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

For Some NYU Students, A Sweet Deal To Study ... In Shanghai

The university is currently located on the leafy campus of East China Normal University. Next year, NYU Shanghai will move to a 15-story building in the city's financial district.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:58 am

First-year college student Stephanie Ulan, from Queens, N.Y., had her sights set on New York University, in the heart of Manhattan's Greenwich Village.

She got her wish — sort of.

At first, the school offered her a generous scholarship but told her and her father they'd still have to take out big loans.

"My father is 62 years old," says Ulan, who plans to major in international relations. "There was a big scene and he flipped out and he was, like, 'I can't do that.' "

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Middle East
12:09 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Meet The Iranian Commander Pulling Strings In Syria's War

Smoke rises after an airstrike hit a Syrian village on Sept. 22.
AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 2:22 pm

Perhaps the most important military commander in Syria's civil war is not Syrian at all. He's Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, and he's the subject of an article by Dexter Filkins in the current edition of The New Yorker.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Wed September 25, 2013

FBI Releases Video Of Navy Yard Shooter Moving Through Building

Alexis moves through the hallways of Building #197 carrying the Remington 870 shotgun.
FBI

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:39 pm

The FBI on Wednesday released some preliminary findings in its investigation of the Washington Navy Yard shootings that left 13 people dead including the shooter.

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Shots - Health News
10:54 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Say What? French Horn Players Run Risk Of Hearing Loss

Stand back, or wear earplugs.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 11:52 am

Loud music can lead to hearing loss. But it's not just rock musicians and their fans who are at risk.

In classical orchestras, horn players are particularly vulnerable to hearing damage from the tunes they and their colleagues play.

Some studies have found that horn players are blasted with some of the loudest sounds in the orchestra. The levels are so high that many countries' occupational health regulations would limit exposure like that to a half-hour a day, some studies have found.

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Parallels
10:52 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Is Iran's Leader Sincere?

Much To Smile About? Iranian President Hasan Rouhani prepares to address the 68th session of the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday.
Frank Franklin II AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:59 am

In keeping with his image as a moderate, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani brought his charm offensive to the United Nations this week and held out the possibility of improved relations with the U.S. after more than three decades of hostility.

"Prudent moderation will ensure a bright future for the world," Rouhani told world leaders Tuesday in New York.

So how is the world responding?

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Senate Takes Next Step Toward Shutdown Showdown

After a dramatic 21-plus hours in which Republican Sen. Ted Cruz stood to express his opposition to President Obama's health care programs, the Senate early Wednesday afternoon voted 100-0 to move ahead and take up legislation that would avert a government shutdown next Tuesday.

As expected, the move by the Democratic-led Senate sets up what promises to be another showdown with the Republican-controlled House.

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World
9:36 am
Wed September 25, 2013

After Siege, Kenyans Left Wondering What Happened

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 9:52 am

Kenya's president says the siege of a mall in Kenya is now over. Host Michel Martin speaks to The Associated Press's Jason Straziuso in Nairobi for an update on the terror attack.

Parallels
8:47 am
Wed September 25, 2013

That's The Spirit: Why Indians Prefer Strong Beer, Liquor

A bartender pours Haywards 5000 strong beer into a glass at a restaurant in Mumbai. Strong beer, with alcohol content of 5 to 8 percent, accounted for 83 percent of all beer sold in India last year, according to research firm Mintel.
Danish Siddiqui Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:59 am

Sometimes we at Parallels see a story that's so compelling, we make an extra effort to chase down the facts. So it's in that spirit, this story from Reuters caught our attention:

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Shots - Health News
8:43 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Repeated Bone Scans Shed Little Light On Fracture Risk

A broken hip like the one at left is a big health worry for older women.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 9:03 am

Many women have heard that they should be concerned about bone health as they age because there's a risk for crippling fractures.

But repeated bone scans that are supposed to help assess the risk do a crummy job of predicting who's actually going to break a bone.

That's the gist of a study of 802 women and men who are part of the ongoing Framingham Heart Study. They were screened for osteoporosis in 1987 and again in 1999. Most were in their 70s.

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The Two-Way
8:41 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Ohio, Other States Running Out Of Lethal Injection Drug

The Texas death chamber in Huntsville, Texas, where death-row inmates receive lethal injections.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 11:34 am

After Ohio death row inmate Harry Mitts Jr. is executed on Wednesday, the state will have officially run out of pentobarbital — the lethal injection drug.

That's because the Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck LLC, which manufactures the drug, has cut off its supply in deference to the European Union's opposition to capital punishment.

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All Tech Considered
8:33 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Weekly Innovation: Pampering Your Pooch From Afar

Your dog can hear your voice, see your face and get treats dispensed at your whim. Almost as good as the real thing!
iCPooch

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 11:41 am

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.

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The Two-Way
8:31 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Kenyan Mall Attack: The Latest News

Members of the Kenyan Sikh community gathered in Nairobi on Wednesday to cremate a grandmother and son who were killed when terrorists took over the Westgate Mall.
Kabir Dhanji EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:00 pm

Here's a quick look at where things stand in Nairobi, Kenya, where terrorists claiming to be part of the Somalia-based al-Shabab organization attacked a shopping mall on Saturday and then kept security forces at bay until late in the day on Tuesday:

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The Salt
7:48 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Rooftop Farming Is Getting Off The Ground

Stacey Kimmons and Audra Lewicki harvest lettuce at the Chicago Botanic Garden's 20,000-square-foot vegetable garden atop McCormick Place West in Chicago.
Courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 12:03 pm

From vacant lots to vertical "pinkhouses," urban farmers are scouring cities for spaces to grow food. But their options vary widely from place to place.

While farmers in post-industrial cities like Detroit and Cleveland are claiming unused land for cultivation, in New York and Chicago, land comes at a high premium. That's why farmers there are increasingly eyeing spaces that they might not have to wrestle from developers: rooftops that are already green.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Yankees Bobble The Ball On Mariano Rivera Giveaway Night

This is what all the fuss was about: One of the Mariano Rivera bobblehead dolls that were eventually given away Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 8:18 am

Mayhem. Chaos. Fiasco.

Choose your favorite. Those words and others are making their way into headlines about what happened Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

It was Mariano Rivera Bobblehead Night, and the first 18,000 fans through the gates were supposed to get jiggly statues of their soon-to-be retired star pitcher.

But the truck bringing the bobbleheads to the stadium broke down. So the thousands of fans who had gathered outside the gates were given vouchers instead.

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It's All Politics
6:04 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Wednesday Morning Political Mix — Sept. 25, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz, worked a rare Senate overnight shift as he kept up a lengthy diatribe against Obamacare (with many digressions.)
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 8:21 am

It's Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, which puts us five days away from a possible federal-government shutdown that would begin Oct. 1 if Congress fails to pass a stop-gap spending bill.

So the drama in the Senate over the spending bill leads the day's interesting political items and features Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. At this writing, Cruz was in the last gasps of an anti-Obamacare talkathon. That's where we start:

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