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Around the Nation
3:02 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

New York, Orthodox Jews Clash Over Circumcision

Rabbi A. Romi Cohn, a noted mohel, prepares an infant for circumcision at Congregation Shaare Zion in Brooklyn on Sept. 4. Cohn opposes a New York City rule requiring parental consent for a type of circumcision ritual practiced by some Orthodox Jews.
Michael Nagle for The New York Times Redux

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 5:25 pm

An ancient circumcision ritual is at the center of a present-day legal battle in New York.

The New York City Department of Health wants to require parental consent for a controversial circumcision practice, which it says can spread the herpes virus. But several Jewish organizations are suing to block the new rule, which they say violates their freedom of religion.

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World
3:01 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

U.S. Steps Up Aid (But No Arms) To Syrian Exiles

Rajiv Shah (left), the head of USAID, speaks with children during a visit at the Oncupinar Syrian refugee camp in Turkey, near the Syrian border, on Nov. 27.
Adem Altan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 4:12 pm

The Obama administration remains wary about arming Syria's rebels. But when it comes to humanitarian aid, the U.S. contribution, over $250 million, is second only to Turkey.

Then there is non-lethal aid, an additional $50 million for communication equipment and training courses.

If you are surprised by the numbers, so are Syrian activists, who say American support is still almost invisible on the ground. Now, U.S. officials are highlighting the American aid profile.

High-Profile Visit

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Africa
2:19 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Is Morsi Morphing Into Authoritarian He Opposed?

Egyptian protesters hold a banner depicting Morsi as a pharaoh, during a rally expressing opposition to Morsi's decrees, in Cairo, on Nov. 23.
Andre Pain EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 3:08 pm

When Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was elected, some Egyptians jokingly referred to him as the Muslim Brotherhood's "spare tire." He was the backup candidate of the Islamist organization, whose first choice for the presidency was barred from running.

But Morsi has proved much more formidable than many Egyptians believed.

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The Salt
2:15 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Can Big Food Kick Its Obesity Habit? Does It Really Want To?

A sign protesting a beverage tax in Richmond, Calif. The U.S. soft drink industry has fought proposals that would put a tax on sugar sweetened beverages like sodas and energy drinks.
Braden Reddall Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 10:11 am

A few days ago, two big names in food policy squared off for a formal debate on the following proposition: There is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the food and beverage industry's interests and public health policy interests on obesity.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

House GOP Sends Obama Its 'Fiscal Cliff' Counteroffer

Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner arrives for a news conference in November.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 3:26 pm

Leaders of the Republican-controlled House sent President Obama a counteroffer that would avoid the fiscal cliff and cut $2.2 trillion from the country's deficit over the next decade.

According to NPR's David Welna, the bottom line is that it achieves those cuts with $800 billion in new tax revenue and the rest through a combination of cuts to entitlements.

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Shots - Health News
2:03 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Evidence Mounts Linking Head Hits To Permanent Brain Injury

Dr. Ann McKee, professor of neurology and pathology of Boston University School of Medicine and co-director of the Veterans Affairs Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, inspects a brain in the Bedford Veteran Medical Center last year.
Stan Grossfeld Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 6:57 am

Researchers at Boston University have found more evidence supporting a link between repeated knocks to the head and chronic brain disease.

The results, just published in the journal Brain, add weight to concerns about the effect of repeated mild head trauma in athletes, whether they're pros or peewees.

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It's All Politics
2:03 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Closing Tax Loopholes Easier In Theory Than In Political Practice

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 3:08 pm

As leaders in Washington try to make a deal to avoid the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts slated to go into effect in the new year, one major focus of the negotiations is whether to let taxes go up on the rich.

The Obama administration wants to allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for top earners. House Speaker John Boehner and congressional Republicans have countered with a proposal that they say would raise revenue through ending loopholes and deductions in the tax code and would not increase tax rates.

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Africa
2:03 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Malians In The South Want Islamists Out Of The North

People originally from northern Mali carry signs that call for military action to retake that part of the country, now under the control of Islamist militants. The rally was held in Mali's capital, Bamako, in October.
Harouna Traore AP

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 3:08 pm

In the southern part of Mali, which includes the capital, Bamako, it's not hard to find people who are angry about the Islamist militants who have taken over the country's north.

But there's little reason to believe the Islamists will be ousted soon. The United Nations Security Council is expected to meet this week to discuss plans for a 3,300-strong regional force to enter Mali. But it is unlikely any sort of military operation will take place in the near future.

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Space
2:03 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

NASA Scientists 'Very Careful' With New Mars Data

This photo, taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, shows Mars' Gale Crater, where the rover has taken samples for chemical analysis. Scientists believe that at some point in the very distant past, there was a riverbed here.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 3:22 pm

NASA is finally receiving data on Martian soil samples from Curiosity, its rover currently traversing the red planet. The results from the soil samples hint at something exciting, but rover scientists are making very sure not to raise expectations.

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Digital Life
1:31 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Sites Give Emergency Compliments, Hugs On Bad Days

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 3:08 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

If you find yourself feeling a bit down this holiday season or maybe just today...

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SERIES, "THE OFFICE")

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Uh-oh. Sounds like somebody has got a case of the Mondays.

BLOCK: Then we've got just the thing for you.

MEGS SENK: My name is Megs Senk, and I created the website emergencycompliment.com.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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