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12:57 am
Tue June 5, 2012

What China's Thinkers Need Most Is Also Most Elusive

Yang Weidong interviews a subject for his documentary project "Signal," which finds that the vast majority of China's intellectuals yearn most for freedom. He plans to interview 500 of China's top thinkers for the project.
Courtesy Yang Weidong

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 8:35 am

A deceptively simple question has become an obsession for Chinese artist Yang Weidong: "What do you need?"

For the past four years, Yang has posed the question to more than 300 Chinese intellectuals, and the results illustrate a startling level of discontent among China's thinkers.

As for the answer, one word pops up time and time again.

"I need freedom," says writer Chang Ping.

"I need freedom of speech," says economist Mao Yushi.

"I need freedom of expression," says poet Ye Kuangzheng.

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Space
12:57 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Rare Transit Of Venus 'A Beautiful Event'

Venus passes between Earth and the sun during its last transit on June 8, 2004, as seen from Manila, Philippines. The next transit of Venus will be in 2117.
Bullit Marquez AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 10:11 am

A rare astronomical event will take place Tuesday evening: The planet Venus will pass between Earth and the sun, appearing as a small black dot moving across the sun's bright disk. It's known as the transit of Venus, and it won't happen again for more than 100 years.

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Religion
12:56 am
Tue June 5, 2012

N. Dakota 'Religious Liberty' Measure Sparks Debate

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 3:29 am

Next week, North Dakota voters will decide whether to add an amendment to the state's constitution that supporters say will guarantee religious freedom. But the ballot measure has prompted debate over precisely what it safeguards; opponents argue that it's a solution in search of a problem and worry about its consequences.

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The Two-Way
4:44 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

High Court Rules 'Equal Protection' Doesn't Extend To Municipal Taxpayers

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Constitution's guarantee to equal protection of the law does not extend to taxpayers who paid more for a sewer hookup than their neighbors.

The case centered on what essentially amounted to an amnesty program for some taxpayers when Indianapolis switched from one payment system to another.

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The Two-Way
4:15 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

It's Not Your Imagination: Americans Are More Polarized, Says Pew

Linda Door of Laguna Beach, Calif. protests against the health care reform law as supporters file past the Supreme Court in Washington, last March.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 5:44 pm

It's not just our politicians who are divided. According to a new report (pdf) from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, Americans' values and "basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years."

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The Record
3:45 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

There's No Such Thing As A Sold Out Concert (Even For Justin Bieber)

Over the weekend, Justin Bieber's 45-city fall tour sold out in an hour.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:44 pm

This weekend, as Billboard has reported, tickets for Justin Bieber's tour of the United States and Canada sold out in an hour. Not just one venue. The whole tour. All of the tickets. Completely.

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It's All Politics
3:42 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Romney Rekindles Conservative Doubts With Pick To Lead White House Transition

Mitt and Ann Romney sit behind Michael Leavitt and his wife Jacqueline at the February 2008 funeral of Gordon B. Hinckley, leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Romney reportedly has chosen Leavitt to lead his transition team.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

With many conservatives already suspecting that he is a conservative of convenience, Mitt Romney apparently hasn't done himself any favors in their eyes with the man he chose to lead his presidential transition.

Politico broke the story Sunday that Romney has chosen Michael Leavitt to oversee the creation of an executive branch in waiting.

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Author Interviews
3:16 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

The 'Truth' About Why We Lie, Cheat And Steal

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 6:49 pm

Chances are, you're a liar. Maybe not a big liar — but a liar nonetheless. That's the finding of Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University. He's run experiments with some 30,000 people and found that very few people lie a lot, but almost everyone lies a little.

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Middle East
3:08 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Israel Presents Itself As Haven For Gay Community

Israel is now marketing itself internationally as welcoming to the gay community. Participants in the annual gay pride parade in Jerusalem are shown here on July 29, 2010.
Ronen Zvulun Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 6:56 am

The sun is setting, gay pride flags wave next to the water, same-sex couples kiss and cuddle on the beach. This is Tel Aviv — which the government of Israel is now pushing as one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world — and gay tourism is booming.

"It's a place you have to go, good parties, nice people, beautiful people and just different from all the other tourist destinations you can go to," says Jorg Grosskopf, a German tourist who, together with his partner, Peter, is on his seventh vacation in Israel.

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All Tech Considered
3:08 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Game Review: 'Beat Sneak Bandit' Has A Rhythm From The Past

The look of Beat Sneak Bandit was inspired by the work of Saul Bass, whose style was synonymous with the beatnik era.
Simogo

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 5:44 pm

For much of the past decade, music video games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero have let millions of aspiring rockers live out their dreams of stardom, waving fake instruments and mimicking their favorite music icons. Jamin Warren, founder of killscreendaily.com, says iPhones and iPads have inspired game designers to re-imagine the music game.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:53 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Mental Illness Is Up Close In One Actor's Family

Calen Pick, a nephew of actor Glenn Close, lives with schizo-affective disorder.
Courtesy of Jessie Close

Oscar-nominated actor Glenn Close is known for her roles in movies like Fatal Attraction and Air Force One and now the hit TV show Damages. But she's also playing a more prominent role raising awareness about mental illness.

She was inspired by her sister Jessie Close, who lives with bipolar disorder, as well as her nephew Calen Pick, who has schizo-affective disorder.

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Syrian Rebels Say They No Longer Respect U.N.-Backed Truce

Syrian rebels said they are no longer holding their fire. Reuters reports that the rebels are walking away from the United-Nations-backed truce with the regime of Bashar Assad.

"We have decided to end our commitment to this (ceasefire)," Free Syrian Army spokesman Major Sami al-Kurdi told Reuters. "We have resumed our attacks but we are doing defensive attacks which means we are only attacking checkpoints in the cities."

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American Dreams: Then And Now
1:54 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

After The Housing Bust, Revisiting Homeownership

Nationwide, home sales are up, mortgage rates are down and in many places, owning a home is as attractive as renting for the first time in years.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 5:44 pm

For generations, owning a home has been a key part of the lifestyle most Americans aspire to. But when the mortgage crisis exploded in 2007, it brought down the U.S. housing market — and the entire economy along with it.

The ensuing recession was an assault on the American dream of homeownership itself. The tidal wave of foreclosures, the crash in home prices and tighter lending standards have left some Americans unable or simply too nervous to buy a house.

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Music Reviews
1:52 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

'Personal Space': Relics From Synth Soul's Early Days

Electronic soul artist Jeff Phelps with his synthesizers.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 5:44 pm

Early synthesizers were supposed to imitate or re-create other existing sounds, but as anyone can tell you, they mostly sounded like synthesizers. That distinctive whine and wheeze captivated all manner of pop artists, from prog-rockers to classical composers to soul musicians. However, back then, synthesizers were so expensive and bulky, you needed a major-label budget and an entire studio wall to install them.

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It's All Politics
1:51 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

California's Top-Two Primary System Faces First Statewide Test

Abel Maldonado, a former California state senator and current congressional candidate, pushed for the change to the top-two primary system. He says he thinks the system will lead to "more open-minded and more reasonable" officials.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 3:45 pm

When voters go to the polls in California's primary on Tuesday, instead of only being able to vote for candidates in their own party, they will be able to vote for anyone they please.

Tuesday will be the first statewide test of California's new open primary system, where the top two candidates move on to the general election, regardless of party. Backers hope this system will favor moderates.

In California, there aren't very many purple areas. The state has strongly Democratic regions and strongly Republican regions — and the Democrats dominate.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:48 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Potty Talk For The Greater Good

A makeshift latrine hangs over the water at the edge of Cite de Dieu, a slum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
John W. Poole / NPR

How do you get people interested in the difference something as simple as a toilet can make for health?

If you're the head of the World Toilet Organization (yes, there is one), or the author of a page-turner about sanitation, or you're part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, you talk toilets up. A lot.

And, it turns out, if you're in Seattle, which considers itself the home for new ideas on global health, talking about poop and toilets will pack an 842-seat theater on a Friday night.

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It's All Politics
1:33 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Supreme Court Backs Secret Service Agents In Dick Cheney Case

Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at a 2006 Republican rally in Idaho.
Jason Hunt AP

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 4:36 pm

In a case involving then-Vice President Dick Cheney's Secret Service detail, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that agents accused of a politically motivated arrest are immune from suit. But the court's unanimous ruling did little more than resolve this particular case.

The decision stems from an incident in 2006 in the Colorado resort town of Beaver Creek, where Cheney was shaking hands at a shopping mall. Steven Howards got in line and when his turn came, he told the vice president that the Bush administration's Iraq policies were "disgusting."

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All Tech Considered
1:22 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Do These Pants Make Me Look ... ? Body Scans For A Better Fit

OptiTex creates digital models of clothes for department stores like Target and Kohl's. These computer designs let stores create or tweak new styles without actually stitching prototype garments.
OptiTex

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 5:44 pm

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The Two-Way
1:13 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

This Past May Is The First Since 2005 Without A Tornado Fatality

Storm clouds pass over the devastated Greenbriar Nursing Home in Joplin, Mo. on May 25, 2011. Eleven residents of the facility died when an EF-5 tornado tore through much of the city.
Charlie Riedel AP

This tweet from Justin Kenney, of the Pew Environment Group, caught our attention:

"This was the first May without a #tornado fatality in US since 2005"

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The Two-Way
12:43 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Report: Facebook Weighing Access For The Under 13 Crowd

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 1:14 pm

Perhaps in a effort to widen its reach, Facebook is exploring ways in which to officially open up its services to kids younger than 13.

That's what The Wall Street Journal reported today adding that Facebook is already used by millions of kids who lie about their age.

The Journal reports:

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The Two-Way
11:58 am
Mon June 4, 2012

'Cricket Comes First,' India's Tendulkar Says After Joining Parliament

Sachin Tendulkar kisses his helmet after scoring his 100th century (100 runs) in a March match against Bangladesh.
Munir uz Zaman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 12:19 pm

Since we've followed cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar's heroics on the pitch, we should note that he's now a member of India's upper house of parliament.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Mon June 4, 2012

A New Record: Cyclist Finishes 'Around The World' Ride In 92 Days

Mike Hall, 30, who hails from North Yorkshire, is one of nine cyclists competing in an epic unassisted race around the globe, beginning the challenge on February 18 from the Greenwich Meridian at the Royal Observatory in south-east London.
Johnny Green Barcroft Media /Landov

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 11:31 am

As part of the World Cycle Racing, Mike Hall, 31, rode into the Greenwich royal observatory today 92 days after he left. The Guardian explains that to come full circle, he travelled 24,900 miles and biked 18,000 of them through "20 countries and four continents to raise money for the Newborn Vietnam charity."

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Prince Philip Hospitalized As Precaution, Diamond Jubilee Festivities Continue

On Saturday, Prince Philip was at the second day of the Epsom Derby horse racing festival.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip, has been taken to a London hospital to be treated for a bladder infection, the BBC and other news outlets are reporting.

The Duke of Edinburgh, 90, has been admitted as a "precautionary measure" and will likely be in the hospital for a few days, a "palace spokesman" tells the BBC.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Flights Diverted As Libyan Militia Surrounds Tripoli Airport

Using tanks and armored vehicles a militia has surrounded the Tripoli international airport in Libya. Commercial flights have been cancelled and some of them were diverted to the city's military airport.

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National Security
9:59 am
Mon June 4, 2012

'Obama's Secret Wars' Against America's Threats

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 10:51 am

Last week, The New York Times reported that Stuxnet, the computer worm that infected computers around the world in 2010, was developed by the United States in conjunction with Israel to destroy Iran's nuclear centrifuges.

"It appears to be the first time the United States has repeatedly used cyberweapons to cripple another country's infrastructure, achieving, with computer code, what until then could be accomplished only by bombing a country or sending in agents to plant explosives," wrote David Sanger, the paper's chief Washington correspondent.

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Election 2012
9:54 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Gay GOP Candidate Reveals Closeted History

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 10:56 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin.

Coming up, George Zimmerman is back behind bars. We'll find out why. NPR's Greg Allen is with us for the latest in the case against the man who killed Trayvon Martin.

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Law
9:54 am
Mon June 4, 2012

New Questions About Zimmerman's Credibility

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 10:56 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, Oscar-nominated actress Glenn Close recently spoke with us about her decision to get involved in advocacy for people struggling with mental illness. Today, we hear from the people who inspired her, her sister Jessie and Jessie's son Calen. They talk candidly with us about how mental illness has shaped their lives. We'll have that conversation in just a few minutes.

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Television
9:54 am
Mon June 4, 2012

'Bachelor' Lawsuit Charges Racism

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 10:56 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The latest edition of ABC's reality television show, "The Bachelorette," is underway. And this season, former winner Emily Maynard, who did not end up living happily ever after with Brad the bachelor, is back to try to find a husband again. And we don't know who she'll choose, but what we do know is he won't be black.

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Latest Sign Of Slowing: Factory Orders Fell In April

The word from the Census Bureau that orders for manufactured goods fell 0.6 percent in April from March — the second straight monthly decline — is in line with other reports that signal the economy "may suffer a swoon yet not slip into a recession," Bloomberg News writes.

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Reports: Suspect Arrested In Canadian Body Parts Case

"Canadian murder suspect Luka Rocco Magnotta has been arrested in Berlin, German police tell CBC News."

The Associated Press says it's been told the same thing by a Canadian official.

As we've previously reported, Montreal Police had issued a warrant for the gay porn star.

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