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Theater
1:07 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

In The Theater Of Politics, Staging Is Everything

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, arrives to announce his choice of running mate aboard the U.S.S. Wisconsin in Norfolk, Va., on Aug. 11.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 3:16 pm

During the next two weeks, the major political parties will assemble their faithful in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., to officially nominate their presidential tickets. These conventions were once places of high political drama. But over the decades, as the primary system has determined the candidates well in advance, conventions have become political theater. With that in mind, there's much to be said on staging in politics — not substance, but style.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Ambassador To Afghanistan: 'Vast Majority' Of Afghans Support Coalition

U.S. Marines with 1st Platoon, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines (3/5), Regimental Combat Team 2, in Afghanistan. (January 2010 file photo.)
Corporal David R. Hernandez 3rd Battalion 5th Marines-RCT 2
  • Amb. James Cunningham on who is attacking U.S. troops
  • Amb. James Cunningham on the Afghan people's support

With "green on blue" attacks by Afghans in uniform increasingly in the news, Americans officials are being asked whether the people of Afghanistan are turning against the coalition troops that have been in the Central Asian nation since late 2001.

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Megafires: The New Normal In The Southwest
11:51 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Why Forest-Killing Megafires Are The New Normal

Jorge Castro, a visiting professor of ecology from Spain, sips water in the shade of a burnt tree in New Mexico's Bandelier Wilderness area, adjacent to the Bandelier National Monument. This site was devastated by last year's Las Conchas fire.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 6:46 am

Second of a five-part series

Fire scientists are calling it "the new normal": a time of fires so big and hot that no one can remember anything like it.

One of the scientists who coined that term is Craig Allen. I drive with him to New Mexico's Bandelier National Monument, where he works for the U.S. Geological Survey. We take a dirt road up into the Jemez Mountains, into a landscape of black poles as far as you can see.

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The Two-Way
11:48 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Good Intention, Heartbreak: The Botched Restoration Of A 19th Century Fresco

A combination of three documents provided by the Centre de Estudios Borjanos.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 6:32 pm

Cecilia Giménez, 81, thought she was doing a good thing. A 19th century fresco by painter Elias Garcia Martinez had slowly been battered by time. The masterpiece portrait of Jesus had faded. His tunic was splashed by bare wall and half his face had gone missing.

Giménez, a member of the church where the fresco is located, took it upon herself to restore it to its former glory. Except, well, her artistic skills weren't up to the task.

The pictures tell the story, so we'll just show you.

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Asia
11:34 am
Thu August 23, 2012

With A Girl Jailed, Pakistan Law Again Under Scrutiny

Christians pray for Rimsha on the roof of their priest's compound. Hundreds of the girl's Christian neighbors have fled their homes, fearing attacks by Muslims.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:47 pm

Until last week, Pakistani Christians and Muslims on the outskirts of Islamabad lived side-by-side in peace — and in the tight quarters that come with extreme poverty.

Then an Islamic cleric heard a rumor: A Christian girl named Rimsha Masih may have set fire to pages of Quranic verse.

The girl's priest, Father Boota, says a Muslim neighbor claims to have witnessed it.

"He was the one who raised the alarm, and then there was a shopkeeper — he also started shouting, and he also started making calls, 'Get the Christians! Wage a jihad against them!' " the priest says.

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Sports
11:17 am
Thu August 23, 2012

A Sneak Preview Of The 2012 Paralympics

The Paralympic Games are the second largest sporting event in the world, after the Olympics, and begin August 29th. 4,000 elite disabled athletes will compete in 20 sports. Many of the sports are familiar, but others — like boccia and goalball — are unique to the Paralympics.

The Salt
11:09 am
Thu August 23, 2012

So, Who Sent Those Sick Cows To The Slaughterhouse?

A security guard opens the gate at the Central Valley Meat Co., the California slaughterhouse recently shut down by federal regulators after they received a graphic video of cows being mistreated.
Gosia Wozniacka AP

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:00 am

Federal regulators and fast-food companies reacted with unprecedented speed this week to the release of an undercover video that animal-rights activists shot inside a California slaughterhouse. The video — which, we'll warn you, is pretty graphic — shows employees of Central Valley Meat Co. using electric prods repeatedly on cattle that appeared unable to get to their feet.

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Politics
11:07 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Jane Mayer: Obama In 'Impossible Bind' Over Donors

President Obama is on record as opposing superPACs for normalizing gigantic donations, but his campaign has hesitantly decided to accept donations from such groups. He is shown above speaking during a campaign stop in Oskaloosa, Iowa, last week.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 1:12 pm

When the Supreme Court ruled on the landmark Citizen United case in 2010, the landscape of presidential elections shifted. SuperPACs — entities that can't make direct contributions but are allowed to engage in limitless spending and fundraising independently of the campaigns — have allowed for the some of the largest indirect gifts by wealthy Americans in the nation's history.

Obama is on record as opposing superPACs for normalizing gigantic donations, but his campaign has hesitantly decided to accept donations from these outside groups.

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Participation Nation
11:03 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Group Gardening In San Antonio, Texas

Angela Hartsell, community gardener.
Courtesy of Jason Winn

My significant other, Angela Hartsell, is the Community Gardens Program Manager of Green Spaces Alliance Of South Texas. She builds public and private coalitions to help communities and their gardens in San Antonio. So far her efforts have helped create 33 gardens.

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It's All Politics
10:48 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Will Tropical Storm Isaac Blow The GOP Convention Off Course?

Republican National Committee officials unveiled the stage inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum this week ahead of the Republican National Convention, which may or may not begin Monday.
Tim Boyles Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 12:05 pm

Hurricanes and politics don't mix. That's why next week's gathering in Tampa, Fla., might be the second-consecutive Republican National Convention to be delayed by a storm.

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