5:16am

Wed August 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Gore Vidal, In Words

Gore Vidal in 1991. He died Tuesday, at the age of 86.
Central Press Getty Images

The death of writer and cultural critic Gore Vidal on Tuesday, at the age of 86, means many are trying today to capture that man of words' life in just a few phrases:

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2:59am

Wed August 1, 2012
Africa

As Islamists Gain, Mali's Tradition Under Threat

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:31 am

A soldier wears a button bearing the image of coup leader Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo with the words 'President, CNRDRE,' the French acronym of the ruling junta, as he stands guard at junta headquarters in Kati, outside Bamako, Mali.
Rebecca Blackwell AP

Hard-line Islamists in northern Mali stoned a reportedly unmarried couple to death for adultery last Sunday. Analysts worry this is growing evidence of the rebel fighters' avowed intention to impose strict Islamic law in the vast territory under their control.

Another version of the story put about by an al-Qaida-linked militant group is that the couple was married but engaging in extramarital affairs.

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2:56am

Wed August 1, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Under Health Law, 'No-Cost' Birth Control Starts Today

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:31 am

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius joins Democratic senators at a news conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to announce new preventive health coverage for women that takes effect Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Beginning today, most new and renewing health insurance plans must begin offering a broad array of women's preventive health services, most notably coverage of birth control, at no upfront cost.

But even as they take effect, the new rules remain the subject of legal challenges.

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2:56am

Wed August 1, 2012
Dead Stop

The Ghostly Grandeur Of A Desert Graveyard

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:31 am

A couple celebrates Dia de los Muertos at the Concordia Cemetery in El Paso, Texas.
Stacy Kendrick Concordia Cemetery

It's a raggedy moonscape; no lush green grass or tranquil arbors here. Concordia Cemetery in El Paso, Texas, just a few blocks from the Mexican border, is stark and dusty. It's overrun with crumbling concrete markers and old wooden crosses gone askew. And it goes on ... and on ... and on.

"It's 52 acres," says Bernie Sargent, chair of the El Paso County Historical Commission. "Sixty thousand people buried here. And they're all dead."

The Grave Of A Wild West Legend

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2:52am

Wed August 1, 2012
Remembrances

Gore Vidal, American Writer And Cultural Critic, Dies

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:31 am

Author Gore Vidal in 1986. Vidal, whose prolific writing career spanned six decades, died Tuesday at age 86.
AP

Gore Vidal came from a generation of novelists whose fiction gave them a political platform. Norman Mailer ran for mayor of New York City; Kurt Vonnegut became an anti-war spokesman. And Vidal was an all-around critic. His novels sometimes infuriated readers with unflattering portraits of American history.

He also wrote essays and screenplays, and his play The Best Man currently has a revival on Broadway.

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10:43pm

Tue July 31, 2012
Poetry Games

'Once More,' Passing The Torch To One And All

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 8:14 am

Ron Tanovitz

Representing Europe in NPR's Poetry Games is Slovenian poet Ales Steger. Steger's first work translated into English, The Book of Things, won last year's Best Translated Book Award for Poetry. The translator was poet Brian Henry, who also translated Steger's Olympic poem, "Once More."

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Madhulika Sikka is Executive Editor for NPR News, a role she joined in January 2013. As Executive Editor, Sikka oversees all desks and reporters, and helps set the agenda for the entire News division.

5:22pm

Tue July 31, 2012
The Torch

Badminton Qualifying Matches Descend Into Farce, Players Are Booed

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 9:51 am

BWF Referee Torsten Berg, center, urges Indonesia's Greysia Polii, center, and Meilana Jauhari, bottom right, and South Korea's Ha Jung Eun, back right, to play fairly in their women's doubles badminton match during the London 2012 Olympic Games in London on Tuesday.
Adek Berry AFP/Getty Images

BREAKING NEWS Update at 8:10 a.m. ET, Aug. 1:

"Eight players from four teams in the women's doubles competition have been thrown out" of the London Olympics for allegedly deliberately trying to lose their matches, The Telegraph is reporting.

The Associated Press has moved this "alert":

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5:09pm

Tue July 31, 2012
Media

Newspaper Takes A Stand On Anonymous Commenters

Linda Cook eventually revealed herself as the commenter who made a disparaging remark about an Idaho Republican Party official online.
Sandy Clemons Courtesy of Linda Cook

The Internet is slowly becoming a less anonymous place. YouTube has a new policy encouraging commenters to use their real names, and many news sites have switched to a login system run by Facebook.

News sites that still allow anonymous comments are finding there are legal risks. The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash., has spent the last few months trying to protect the identity of a reader who saw a photo of a Republican Party official in Idaho named Tina Jacobson, and then posted a disparaging comment.

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4:39pm

Tue July 31, 2012
The Two-Way

From Our Readers: Lunchbox Lessons From Mom And Dad

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 4:40 am

We asked readers whether their childhood bedtime routine included an educational activity like "Bedtime Math." We also wanted to know whether parents out there have implemented something similar for their kids.

Readers shared stories about parents who carved out teachable moments —whether before bed, in the car on the way to school, or at the breakfast table.

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