4:47pm

Wed January 16, 2013
The Two-Way

Americans Among Hostages Seized By Militants In Algeria

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 5:25 am

Militants seized dozens of hostages, apparently including Americans as we reported earlier, in a deadly raid on an Algerian gas facility Wednesday.

As State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said earlier: "The best information we have at this time is that U.S. citizens are among the hostages."

Now, more is becoming known about what happened in the Algerian gas field, and about some of the hostages.

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4:16pm

Wed January 16, 2013
U.S.

Violence-Riddled Chicago Hopes Gun Proposals Will Help Shield It

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:16 am

Community leaders and family members of murder victims attend a press conference Jan. 3 at St. Sabina Church in Chicago to make a plea for stronger gun regulations.
Scott Olson Getty Images

As President Obama unveiled his gun control proposals Wednesday, he highlighted mass shootings at schools in Colorado, Virginia and Connecticut. He also mentioned another group of children, not in school — the ones on the street corners of Chicago.

Chicagoan Annette Holt was at the White House during Obama's address. Her teenage son, Blair, was shot to death five years ago on a Chicago bus as he shielded a fellow student from a spray of bullets.

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4:09pm

Wed January 16, 2013
The Salt

Jihadi Fighters Win Hearts And Minds By Easing Syria's Bread Crisis

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:16 am

A man makes bread as residents, background, stand in line in front of a bakery during heavy fighting between Free Syrian Army fighters and government forces in Aleppo, Syria, on Dec. 4, 2012.
Narciso Contreras Associated Press

In Syria, the staple of most meals is a thin, round, flat bread that we would probably call pita.

Back in November, as fierce fighting raged across Syria, people started to run out of this bread. Government forces were attacking bakeries in rebel-held areas and cutting off electricity so mills couldn't grind flour. By late last year, Syrians were desperate.

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3:55pm

Wed January 16, 2013
The Two-Way

Manti Te'o Girlfriend Story Was A Hoax; Linebacker Says He Was Taken In

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 7:35 am

The sports website Deadspin says the story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o losing a girlfriend to leukemia is a hoax.
Mike Ehrmann Getty Images

Manti Te'o, the Notre Dame linebacker who nearly won the Heisman Trophy this season, is at the center of what Deadspin reports is a "hoax," in which the story of a girlfriend — and her tragic death — was fabricated. The site is questioning the existence of a girl Te'o has said inspired him to new heights. We'll update this post with new information as it emerges.

Update at 9 p.m. Notre Dame News Conference

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3:54pm

Wed January 16, 2013
Politics

Interior Secretary's Legacy Defined By Issues Of Oil

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:16 am

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar speaks at the dedication for the Southwest's first urban wildlife refuge on the southern edge of Albuquerque, N.M., on Sept. 27, 2012. Salazar has announced that he'll leave his post in late March and return to Colorado.
Susan Montoya Bryan AP

The Department of the Interior is huge — more than 70,000 employees manage a half-billion acres of public land, mostly in the West. The department does everything from operate national parks to administer Native American social programs and manage wild horses.

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3:39pm

Wed January 16, 2013
It's All Politics

The Decades-Old Gun Ban That's Still On The Books

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:16 am

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officer Jay Phillippi looks over a fully automatic Thompson machine gun that was turned in during a "Gifts for Guns" program in Compton, Calif., in 2005.
Chris Carlson AP

When President Obama laid out his proposals Wednesday to reduce gun violence, he included a call for Congress to ban "military-style assault weapons."

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3:11pm

Wed January 16, 2013
Environment

Could Some Midwest Land Support New Biofuel Refineries?

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:16 am

Vegetation like the kind growing here at Michigan State University's Kellogg Biological Station could one day be used to feed small biofuel refineries spread throughout the Midwest.
J.E.Doll Michigan State University

Millions of acres of marginal farmland in the Midwest — land that isn't in good enough condition to grow crops — could be used to produce liquid fuels made from plant material, according to a study in Nature. And those biofuels could, in theory, provide about 25 percent of the advanced biofuels required by a 2007 federal law.

But there are many ifs and buts about this study — and, in fact, about the future of advanced biofuels.

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3:02pm

Wed January 16, 2013
Shots - Health News

Skin Doctors Question Accuracy Of Apps For Cancer Risk

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:51 am

Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Mannino checks a sailor for skin cancer the old-fashioned way during a screening exam at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in San Diego.
MC2 Dominique M. Lasco U.S. Navy

Skin cancer? There's an app for that.

But the same smartphone that brings you Fruit Ninja might not be the best tool for diagnosing deadly melanoma.

Smartphone apps that evaluate moles for skin cancer risk missed threatening moles one-third of the time, according to a study by dermatologists at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

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2:51pm

Wed January 16, 2013
NPR Story

Algeria Hostage-Taking Could Be Retaliation For France's Actions In Mali

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:16 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Algerian Islamists attacked an oil and gas field at dawn this morning in the desert on the border with Libya. They claim to have taken nearly 200 people hostage. In addition to Algerians, they claim to hold seven Americans, as well as French, British and Japanese citizens.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley in Paris reports the hostage-taking appears to be the first act of retaliation for France's actions in Mali.

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2:51pm

Wed January 16, 2013
NPR Story

Taliban Militants Target Afghan Intelligence Center

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:16 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In Afghanistan today, Taliban militants staged a brazen attack in the heart of Kabul. Their target was the headquarters of the National Directorate of Security or NDS - it's Afghanistan's equivalent of the FBI.

As NPR's Sean Carberry reports, the attack began with a suicide bombing, then five militants tried to storm the compound.

(SOUNDBITE OF SIRENS AND GUNFIRE)

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