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2:27 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

In 'Iron Man 3,' A Metalhead Gets The Blues

Window Dressing: Tony Stark's ongoing Iron Man research involves more than one suit of self-assembling armor.
Marvel

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:07 pm

Y'know, I think this bummed-out superhero thing is catching. Depressed Bat-guy, brooding Spider-dude, even the Man of Steel seems existentially troubled in previews of his most recent incarnation.

And smart-alecky Iron Man? He'd appeared inoculated by Tony Stark's reflexive snark from succumbing to a similar ailment — but even he's having anxiety attacks these days. Ever since that Avengers dust-up with those unpleasant aliens last summer, he's evidently been having trouble sleeping.

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News
2:17 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

When It Comes To Guns, How Young Is Too Young?

A woman holds a .22-caliber Crickett youth rifle at a Gander Mountain store in Flint Township, Mich. This type of gun, which is marketed to children and comes in a variety of colors, was involved in the shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Kentucky.
Steve Jessmore The Flint Journal/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 2:27 pm

The shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Kentucky at the hands of her 5-year-old brother has opened up yet another debate about gun control.

While no one favors the idea of 5-year-olds using weapons without supervision, there is no consensus on the appropriate age to start hands-on training with firearms.

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Shots - Health News
2:14 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Women's Health Groups Angered By Morning-After Pill Moves

Soon after President Obama spoke at Planned Parenthood's national conference in Washington, D.C., last Friday, the administration alienated some women's health groups.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 2:27 pm

The administration's actions this week on emergency contraception have left many women's health groups sputtering with anger.

But what really has some of the President Obama's usual allies irritated is the fact that the moves are in direct contrast to speeches he made in just the past week.

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The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

California Wildfire Burns 6,500 Acres, Shuts Down Highway

A fire fighting helicopter comes in to make a water drop behind some home threatened by a wildfire on Thursday in Newbury Park, California.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

A wildfire, dubbed the Springs Fire, in Ventura County has burned more than 6,500 acres and shut down a 9-mile stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway.

NPR member station KPCC is live-blogging. They report that at around 1 p.m. ET., authorities ordered the evacuation of an area that includes "California State University, Channel Islands, where students were notified by text, email and by the campus-wide speaker system to evacuate."

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Music Interviews
1:46 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Natalie Maines On Motherhood, Eddie Vedder And Leaving Country Music

Mother is the solo debut of Natalie Maines, former Dixie Chicks frontwoman.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:22 pm

Natalie Maines is a small woman with a really big voice. Flanked by Emily Robison on banjo and Martie McGuire on fiddle, Maines powered the Dixie Chicks to some 30 million records sold. And then came the collapse — after what the band calls "the incident."

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Research News
1:37 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Of Flybots And Bug Eyes: Insects Inspire Inventors

These robotic flies, which were built in a Harvard lab, can flap their wings independently of each other and fly around while tethered to a power and control wire.
Kevin Ma, Pakpong Chirarattananon AAAS/Science

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 2:49 pm

A smartphone can tell you where to get a cup of coffee, but it can't go get the coffee for you. Engineers would like to build little machines that can do stuff. They would be useful for a lot more than coffee, if we could figure out how to make them work.

But the rules of mechanics change at small scales. Friction becomes dominant; turbulence can upend a small airplane.

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U.S.
1:35 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Bill Would Put Immigration Verification System To The Test

Employers using the E-Verify program are required to post an E-Verify Participation Poster, shown here in a handout photo. A Senate bill would make participation in the system, used to check employees' immigration status, mandatory for all employers.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 2:27 pm

Some employers around the nation have been using E-Verify to check the immigration status of employees for years. Operated by the Department of Homeland Security, the online system is designed to make it harder to hire unauthorized workers — and harder for those workers to find jobs.

While participation in the program has been voluntary since 1996, the immigration bill now in the Senate would make E-Verify mandatory.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Kazakhstan Says It's Cooperating In Marathon Bombing Case

A collection of fireworks that the U.S. Justice Department says were found inside a backpack that belonged to Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Handout Getty Images

The government of Kazakhstan says it's cooperating with U.S. officials in the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombings, a day after two men from the Central Asian country were charged in connection with the blasts that killed three people and wounded more than 250.

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Middle East
1:18 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Sea Of Syrian Refugees Threatens To Overload Jordan

There are more than 100,000 Syrian refugees at the Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, near the Syrian border.
Mohammad Hannon AP

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 6:23 pm

Jordan's fastest-growing city lies in the middle of the desert, where the sand is so white that from a distance it looks like snow. There's little running water and not much electricity.

The name of this place? The Zaatari refugee camp, home to more than 100,000 Syrian refugees.

"This is a city — not one that anybody would want to create if they had a choice," says Caroline Gluck of Oxfam, one of the aid agencies working in the Zaatari camp. "It's certainly not urban planning at its best."

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Shots - Health News
1:16 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Colorado Weighs Reopening A Psychiatric Hospital To Serve the Homeless

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, center, exits the Fort Lyon Correctional Facility in Las Animas, Colo., on Wednesday after touring the facility. Hickenlooper has proposed closing the facility due to budget concerns.
Andy Cross Denver Post via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 1:22 pm

Last summer's mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., led Gov. John Hickenlooper to call for stricter gun control and big new investments in mental health care.

Several significant gun bills passed, and a package of mental health reforms is moving forward. But there may not be enough support to win funding for 300 new inpatient psychiatric beds.

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Shots - Health News
1:15 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Outbreak Of New SARS-Like Virus Kills 5 In Saudi Arabia

The new coronavirus uses spikes on its surfaces to infect cells.
Elizabeth R. Fischer/Rocky Mountain Labs/NIAID/NIH

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 1:28 pm

With a new bird flu in China, it's easy to forget that there's another worrisome virus emerging in the Middle East.

Today we got a rude reminder of its presence.

Five more people have died from a new SARS-like virus on the Arabian Peninsula, the World Health Organization said Thursday. Two others are being treated in intensive care.

That brings the total cases to 24, including 16 deaths.

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Author Interviews
1:05 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Ethical Fashion: Is The Tragedy In Bangladesh A Final Straw?

Casual clothing detail fashion background made in the USA
iStockPhoto.com

A garment factory that manufactures products for international clothing companies collapsed outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh, last month, killing more than 400 workers and injuring scores of others. It came on the heels of a fire at another factory in November 2012; that incident killed 112 workers.

Factories like these in Bangladesh pump out what author Elizabeth Cline calls "fast fashion," or clothes made on the cheap by big chains such as H&M, Zara, Esprit, Lee, Wrangler, Nike, J.C. Penney and Wal-Mart.

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Found Recipes
12:32 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

This Little Piggy Cookie Is A Sweet Mexican Find

A few years ago, Pati Jinich had never heard of Piggy Cookies. But after numerous recipe requests and a chance encounter with the treats in her home country, they've become a family favorite.
Courtesy of Penny De Los Santos

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:22 pm

Mexican Piggy Cookies are known by many names — cerditos, cochinitos, marranitos or puerquitos. Sweetened with unprocessed cane sugar and honey, and spiced with cinnamon, the cutout cookies puff when you bake them.

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The Salt
12:29 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Can Salmon Farming Be Sustainable? Maybe, If You Head Inland

These sockeye salmon were raised at a land-based fish farm in Langley, British Columbia.
Courtesy Willowfield Enterprises

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:43 pm

Is salmon farming ever sustainable?

For years, many marine biologists have argued that the floating, open-ocean net pens that produce billions of pounds of salmon per year also generate pollution, disease and parasites.

In some places in western Canada, the open-ocean salmon farming industry has been blamed for the collapse of wild salmon populations in the early 2000s — though other research has challenged that claim.

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Movie Reviews
12:20 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Peeling Away The Layers In A 'Portrait Of Jason'

Jason Holliday (nee Aaron Payne) is the soloist in front of the camera in Shirley Clarke's seminal 1967 documentary, Portrait of Jason.
Milestone Film

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 12:51 pm

If reality TV has a redeeming value, it's that it teaches you to be suspicious of claims that you're seeing real people doing real things. This is especially so in an age when memoirs bristle with made-up events, and everyone from the Kardashians to the Obamas orchestrate their media coverage. These days, it's hard to tell whether an article, book or TV show is showing you the real person or only a performance.

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Code Switch
11:50 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Crunching The Numbers On Blacks' Views On Gays

Jason Collins, a journeyman NBA center, came out as gay this week in the pages of Sports Illustrated.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 4:06 pm

A relatively high-profile black man came out this week. And with it, a hardy old narrative got another moment in the sun.

When Jason Collins, a journeyman NBA center, announced that he was gay, many commentators who applauded his disclosure still nodded to the idea of heightened opposition to gay rights among black people.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Navy Launches Its First Drone Squadron

A photo of the MQ-8B, provided by Northrop Grumman.
Northrop Grumman

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 3:10 am

The U.S. Navy is inaugurating its first squadron that mixes advanced unmanned drones with conventional aircraft.

The maritime strike squadron, nicknamed the "Magicians," will be officially launched at the Naval Air Station North Island on Coronado, near San Diego.

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Africa
11:35 am
Thu May 2, 2013

With Robocalls, Eritrean Exiles Organize Passive Resistance

Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki, shown on a visit to Libya in 2010, has been widely criticized by human rights groups. Eritrean exiles have organized passive protests, calling on people to stay home Friday.
Geert Vanden Wijngaert AP

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 2:27 pm

Tucked in the northeast corner of Africa, Eritrea is one of the most closed societies in the world, so much so that it's sometimes dubbed the "North Korea of Africa."

President Isaias Afwerki does not tolerate any independent media. The Internet is restricted. Reporters without Borders recently named it 179th out of 179 countries for freedom of expression.

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi Makes Brief Court Appearance In Libya

Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi, the second son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, appears in the court in Zintan city, some 150 km southwest of Tripoli.
Zintan Media Office Xinhua /Landov

Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi, who before the revolution in Libya seemed poised to take his father's place as ruler, made a brief court appearance in Zintan today.

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Arts & Life
11:03 am
Thu May 2, 2013

The Importance Of Learning Poems 'By Heart'

Caroline Kennedy's other works include of A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children and A Patriot's Handbook.
Disney Hyperion Books

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:17 am

Caroline Kennedy's latest book comes with an agenda: to encourage a return to poetic memorization and recitation that both families and schools once considered routine.

In Poems to Learn by Heart, Kennedy stresses the importance of memorizing poetry and presents a collection of poems that she believes everyone should internalize.

"I think there's something in it for all ages," she tells NPR's Neal Conan. "I realized this shouldn't be just for kids because older people are the ones that are really working on keeping their memories going strong."

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