10:48am

Thu April 19, 2012
Education

Syracuse borrows millions to sustain school budget

Thomas Favre-Bulle via Flickr

The decision for the Syracuse City School District Board of Education Wednesday night was between borrowing millions or cutting hundreds of jobs. Board members chose to balance a $366 million budget by whipping out the credit card.

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10:46am

Thu April 19, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Flossing Is Good For The Gums, But Doesn't Help The Heart

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 10:24 am

It's still a good idea. But it won't protect you against heart disease.
iStockphoto.com

Think flossing and brushing is helping to fight off heart disease and stroke? Think again.

An expert panel of dentists and cardiologists, writing in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, says there is no evidence that treating or preventing gum disease has any direct effect on heart health.

That's a big turnaround. For the past decade, the medical establishment has been telling people that cardiovascular disease can be caused by poor oral hygiene. Why the change?

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10:31am

Thu April 19, 2012
Animals

Following The Lives Of Chimpanzees On Screen

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 11:49 am

Over the course of filming, Oscar (pictured above) learned how to use rudimentary tools and how to get along with the other members of his clan.
Disney

The new Disneynature film Chimpanzee started off the way most movies do. Co-producers and directors Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill, who had previously worked together on the documentary film Earth, approached Disney with a 70-page script about a group of chimpanzees living in Western Africa. There was just one problem: Chimps don't take direction — or read scripts.

So Fothergill and Linfield teased out a narrative from more than three years' worth of footage they took in Western Africa while observing a large clan of chimpanzees.

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10:28am

Thu April 19, 2012
Regional Coverage

Senate passes bill to legalize mixed martial arts

The effort to legalize mixed martial arts, also known as ultimate fighting, in New York, got a boost in the legislature Wednesday. The Senate passed a bill to legalize the sport, by a vote of 43 to 14, and the Speaker of the Assembly opened the door to possible approval in his house.

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10:22am

Thu April 19, 2012
Middle East

For Syria, A 'Lawrence Of Arabia' Moment

Syrians walk through a badly damaged neighborhood in the central city of Homs on Sunday. Despite a declared cease-fire, fighting has continued in a number of Syrian cities, and peace efforts are at risk of collapsing.
AP

In the final scenes of the classic film Lawrence of Arabia, the Arab rebel fighters are wrapped up with internal, petty squabbles in Damascus as the great powers maneuver for the future of Syria.

Now, nearly a century after the events depicted in that movie, there's a similar Lawrence of Arabia moment playing out in Syria.

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10:21am

Thu April 19, 2012
Politics and Government

Senate Democrats press minimum wage hike

Democrats in the State Senate held a forum promoting a hike in the state’s minimum wage, while a conservative group says there’s already a government program in place that  boosts the earnings of low wage workers well above the current minimum standard.

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8:54am

Thu April 19, 2012
The Two-Way

U.N. Chief: Syria Violating Cease-Fire Amid Apparent Deal On Observers

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 12:31 pm

In a letter to the United Nations Security Council, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the Syrian government is not living up to its end of the bargain on a week-old cease-fire deal.

Ban says the government has failed to keep its pledge to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from cities, but adds that he still thinks there is "opportunity for progress."

The Secretary General's letter comes as the U.N. and Syria apparently worked out details of an observer mission to monitor the shaky deal meant to end more than a year of bloodshed that has killed an estimated 9,000 people.

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8:37am

Thu April 19, 2012
It's All Politics

In Swing States, Obama Campaign Begins Push For Another Latino-Vote Landslide

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 11:42 am

President Obama's re-election campaign has released four new Spanish-language ads, each ending with the phrase: "Esta eleccion si importa," which in English means, "This election does matter."
barackobama.com

7:18am

Thu April 19, 2012
Law

Dutch Entertainer Sued Over Magic Trick

A Dutch magician has threatened to tell the secret behind one of Penn & Teller's most famous bits. In this shadow illusion, an untouched rose falls apart as Teller cuts at the shadow with a knife. Teller tried to make the offer disappear by paying the Dutchman the $3,000. When that was refused, Teller sued.

7:04am

Thu April 19, 2012
Around the Nation

Is Nakedness Protected Political Speech?

John Brennan of Portland, Ore., was going through airport security when he was pulled aside for a closer look. So he removed all of his clothes, saying it was an act of protest. Facing charges, Brennan argues he was "nude but not lewd."

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