5:02pm

Fri December 2, 2011
Music Interviews

Olof Arnalds: An Icelandic Take On Heartland Rock

Originally published on Sat December 3, 2011 3:43 pm

Ólöf Arnalds.
Courtesy of the artist

Ólöf Arnalds was born and raised in Iceland, and has been part of its experimental rock scene for years.

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5:02pm

Fri December 2, 2011
Middle East

After Fleeing, Syrian Activists Regroup In Turkey

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, right, and Turkish President Abdullah Gul meet in Ankara, Turkey on Friday. Biden praised Turkey for putting pressure on neighboring Syria to stop its bloody crackdown of protesters.
Murat Cetinmuhurdar AP

In a matter of months, Turkey has gone from one of Syria's strongest allies to one of its sharpest critics as the uprising in Syria has been met with a harsh crackdown by President Bashar Assad.

Turkey has become a haven for Syrian refugees, a base for Syrian army defectors and a home for Syria's main political opposition group. And on Friday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was in Turkey for talks that included the deteriorating conditions in Syria.

On the streets of Istanbul, Akram Asaf, a 31-year-old lawyer who fled Syria, says he feels safe, but not yet free.

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5:01pm

Fri December 2, 2011
The Two-Way

Study Finds Turtle Embryos Communicate To Synchronize Hatching

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 6:23 pm

A turtle embryo.
Judy Cebra-Thomas and Scott Gilbert National Science Foundation

We were pretty impressed by this piece of news reported by Wired about Australian turtles:

"Murray River turtles communicate with their siblings while they are still in their shells, buried under the soil, in order to coordinate when they hatch."

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5:01pm

Fri December 2, 2011
The Salt

Turning To Big Business To Solve The Obesity Epidemic

Cory Booker is mayor of Newark, New Jersey and honorary vice-chair of the Partnership for a Healthier America.
Doug Van Sant

The Partnership for a Healthier America is a Washington-based group and it has Washington's most prestigious woman as its honorary chair: first lady Michelle Obama.

But this coalition to fight childhood obesity is focused on what needs to happen outside this town, namely in the private sector, to halt the epidemic. And in the last 12 months, it has managed to ink almost 20 deals with some of the biggest food companies in the country.

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4:59pm

Fri December 2, 2011
Music Interviews

For The Queen Of Hip-Hop Soul, A Sequel About Strength

Originally published on Sun January 22, 2012 10:07 am

Mary J. Blige's new album is My Life II.
Markus Klinko and Indrani

Seventeen years ago, Mary J. Blige shook up the world of R&B when she released the record My Life. It ushered in a new sound: soul music over hip-hop beats. Instantly, Blige became known as the queen of hip-hop soul.

My Life was about pain — about Blige's rough childhood, abusive relationship and battles with addiction and depression. Seventeen years on, she's revisited that album. Her new record is called My Life II ... The Journey Continues. She says it's about strength.

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4:33pm

Fri December 2, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

US AIDS Chief Says Tipping Point Is In Sight

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 4:51 pm

Eric Goosby, United States Global AIDS Coordinator, sees a turning point for HIV coming soon.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

If all goes according to plan — the plan President Obama laid out on Thursday — the HIV pandemic may reach an important tipping point by the end of 2013.

"We believe that with 2 million more people in treatment, we will reach a point where the number of new infections is less than the number going into treatment," says Dr. Eric Goosby.

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4:26pm

Fri December 2, 2011
Politics

Why Recall Elections Are So Difficult To Pull Off

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 1:00 pm

Supporters of recalling Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker march toward the state elections board office to deliver required paperwork to launch the effort in Madison on Nov. 15.
Scott Bauer AP

When the word "recall" makes headlines, it usually involves the removal of a defective product from store shelves or perhaps the testimony of some nervous executive at a congressional hearing saying, "I don't recall."

But 2011 has been the year of another kind of recall: the recall election. Angry at elected officials' handling of the economy, budget cuts and other issues, voters across America are taking the "Throw the bums out" approach to new heights.

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4:00pm

Fri December 2, 2011
The Two-Way

Wisconsin Gov. Wants Protesters To Pay For Security

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 5:14 pm

A farmer drives his tractor past the Wisconsin State Capitol during a rally in March.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The Wisconsin State Capitol building has been the scene of protests since February, when Gov. Scott Walker started the process of passing a law that severely limits collective bargaining for public employees in the state.

Yesterday, the Walker administration took a step that is likely to antagonize protesters further. His administration enacted new regulations that would require permits to protest at the Capitol and other state buildings.

The controversial part is that the bill allows officials to charge groups for the security and clean-up costs of such events.

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3:46pm

Fri December 2, 2011
Afghanistan

For Afghan Women, Rape Law Offers Little Protection

Afghan women walk in the northwestern city of Herat on Nov. 23. Women still have few rights, and can end up in jail on adultery charges when they accuse a man of rape. There are fears that women's rights will be further eroded when Western troops leave the country.
Aref Karimi AFP/Getty Images

This week, Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced the pardon of a 19-year-old Afghan woman who was imprisoned for adultery after being raped by a relative, in a case that has attracted international media coverage.

But what happened to the woman, Gulnaz, who has been in prison for two years, is not an isolated episode.

Many other women have suffered similar fates. A recent U.N. report suggests that laws to protect women in Afghanistan from rape and forced marriage are still not being enforced — with devastating results.

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3:41pm

Fri December 2, 2011
Opinion

The Marvels And Messes Of A Month Of Writing

istockphoto.com

Erin Morgenstern is the author of The Night Circus.

Yesterday I was told I had approximately 20 hours to write an essay: 450 words about National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. I'm quite partial to the event. Still, I thought about declining the essay, given the time constraint.

But then I decided, in the spirit of NaNoWriMo, that it was rather silly to say "oh, I can't write 450 words in less than a day" So here we go:

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