3:50am

Tue December 4, 2012
Shots - Health News

The (Huge And Rarely Discussed) Health Insurance Tax Break

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:56 am

The largest tax break in the federal code doesn't appear on the forms the average person fills out each year.
iStockphoto.com

What's the largest tax break in the federal tax code?

If you said the mortgage interest deduction, you'd be wrong. The break for charitable giving? Nope. How about capital gains, or state and local taxes? No, and no.

Believe it or not, dollar for dollar, the most tax revenue the federal government forgoes every year is from not taxing the value of health insurance that employers provide their workers.

Read more

3:39am

Tue December 4, 2012
Europe

Cat Fight In Rome: Beloved Shelter Faces Closure

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 10:23 am

A stray cat rests at the Torre Argentina ruins in Rome in October. Officials say a cat shelter that sits adjacent to the site must be shut down.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Anyone who has visited Rome and its antique monuments has also seen their four-legged residents: the many stray cats that bask in the sun amid the ruins.

One site in central Rome is known as "cat forum," thanks to its adjacent cat shelter. But Italian archaeology officials have issued the Torre Argentina Cat Shelter Association an eviction notice, and feline lovers from around the world are bracing for a cat fight.

Read more

3:33am

Tue December 4, 2012
Middle East

A Rebel Fighter Sees Islamic Law In Syria's Future

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 8:18 pm

A Syrian rebel walks past the stairs of a bombed building in the Saif Al Duli district in Aleppo, Syria, on Sept. 10. The vast majority of those fighting against President Bashar Assad's regime are ordinary Syrians and soldiers who have defected, but Islamist rebels are also present among the fighters.
AP

It's about 9 o'clock in the morning, and already it's been a long day for Abu Anas. He has lost two men to a sniper serving the Syrian regime. Four more have been injured.

But Abu Anas walks with a striking calm through the bombed-out, ruined streets of Aleppo, a city that has been at war for months. He wears a black headband bearing Islam's holy creed: "There is no God but God. And Muhammad is his messenger."

Read more

3:27am

Tue December 4, 2012
The Record

A $100 Guitar Makes A 30,000-Mile Odyssey

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 8:20 pm

The $100 guitar proves once again that it's not just the instrument, it's what you do with it.
Courtesy of The $100 Guitar Project

2:03am

Tue December 4, 2012
Music News

3 Strings And A Snakeskin: Okinawa's Native Instrument

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 9:37 am

In subtropical Japan, the sanshin is a ubiquitous part of life.
Collection of Museo Azzarini, Universidad Nacional de La Plata Wikimedia Commons

10:36pm

Mon December 3, 2012
Regional Coverage

New commanding general takes helm at Fort Drum

Major General Stephen Townsend has taken over as commanding general of Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division.

Major General Stephen Townsend has taken over command of Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division following a ceremony at the post yesterday morning.  

Read more

6:24pm

Mon December 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Newly-Released Color Photo Shows A Bloodied George Zimmerman

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 8:26 pm

A photograph of George Zimmerman on the night he shot Trayvon Martin.
GZlegalcase.com

George Zimmerman's defense team just released a photograph they say was taken the night he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

A black-and-white photocopy of the picture had already been released, but this photo is the first high-resolution and clear view we've gotten of Zimmerman on the night of the shooting.

Read more

6:08pm

Mon December 3, 2012
World

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

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 7:12 pm

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

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

Read more

6:08pm

Mon December 3, 2012
Around the Nation

New York, Orthodox Jews Clash Over Circumcision

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 8:25 pm

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

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.

Read more

6:08pm

Mon December 3, 2012
All Tech Considered

Which Tablet Is Right For You?

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 6:50 pm

The new Microsoft Surface tablet on display after a press conference in New York in October. The Microsoft tablet goes up against products from Apple, Amazon and Google.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

The holiday season is upon us. In the tech world, that means it's time to talk gadgets, specifically one of the year's most popular gadgets: the tablet.

For the first time, Apple's iPad has some competition: Google's Nexus, Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and the Microsoft Surface.

These tablets represent the marquee efforts of the biggest technology companies. They also represent the four major content universes.

Small Tablets

Read more

Pages