4:09am

Sun July 29, 2012
Afghanistan

Disarming Afghan IEDs: Big Job, Too Few Trained

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 9:58 am

A student takes part in an exercise to disarm IEDs in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan.
Sean Carberry NPR

Improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, remain one of the biggest killers in Afghanistan. As NATO forces prepare to withdraw from the country, Afghans are learning the special skills needed to find and disarm these deadly weapons.

The training area near the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif is a large expanse of dirt and gravel, dotted with a few beat-up old taxis and scattered bunkers.

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3:59am

Sun July 29, 2012
Election 2012

Does Sen. Thune Have The Right Stuff For Romney?

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 9:47 am

Mitt Romney gets a kick out of South Dakota Sen. John Thune's comments during a January rally in Dubuque, Iowa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Mike Lee is one of the most conservative members of the Senate. The freshman Utah Republican was elected with strong Tea Party backing and, like Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, he's a man of the West.

Mention the possibility that Thune, 51, might team up with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and Lee's eyes light up: "I love John," he says. "He's articulate, passionate, collegial. I mean ... I think he'd be great."

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3:58am

Sun July 29, 2012
Europe

Spain's Crisis Pushes Educated Into 'Economic Exile'

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 7:48 pm

Government employees demonstrate against the Spanish government's austerity measures in Madrid, on Friday. The economic situation has forced some Spaniards to leave the country for work.
Pierre-Philippe Marcou AFP/Getty Images

In Spain, the growing crisis — debt, austerity and joblessness — has prompted more people to vote with their feet. In the first six months of 2012, emigration from Spain is up more than 44 percent from the same period last year.

The Spanish government denies it, but the "brain drain" has become something of a flood with more and more educated, skilled Spaniards moving abroad.

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3:57am

Sun July 29, 2012
Politics

Forget The Debt Ceiling? The 'Avalanche' Is Coming

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 12:21 pm

If Congress doesn't make a deal before January, massive spending cuts will go into effect automatically in 2013.
iStockphoto.com

In August, lawmakers will be heading home to their districts for the month's recess. Last summer, things weren't quite so calm.

A year ago at this time, Congress was in a nasty and protracted battle over whether to raise the debt ceiling. If they didn't make a decision, the government was going to go into default. It's a fight that cost Congress its already waning public support, and cost American taxpayers $1.3 billion.

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3:24pm

Sat July 28, 2012
The Torch

Sunday, Day 3 Of The London 2012 Games: What's On Tap

Satoshi Shimizu (left) of Japan celebrates his 10-9 points decision over Isaac Dogboe of Ghana, in their Round of 32 bantamweight bout at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The first full day of competition brought many close finishes in London.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

The first full day of Olympic competition brought moments of tense excitement, in the pool and on the archery course, among other places. At the time of this post, China leads the overall medal count, with 6, followed by Italy and the United States, with 5. Four of China's medals are gold.

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2:53pm

Sat July 28, 2012
Technology

Hackers Look At Vulnerability Of Mobile Phones

Originally published on Sat July 28, 2012 8:20 pm

Computer experts say mobile phones are prime targets for hacking because of the ways they connect to networks.
Adele Hampton NPR

This week thousands of hackers — computer security researchers, government recruiters, spooks and cyberpunks — descended on Las Vegas for the annual summer hacker convention.

Hosted by organizations called Black Hat and Defcon, these events are known for their elaborate, though often crude, computer pranks. The convention's actual purpose, however, is pretty serious.

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2:53pm

Sat July 28, 2012
Religion

U.S. Still Religious, But Trust In Institutions Wanes

Originally published on Sat July 28, 2012 5:05 pm

The cross on the steeple of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Henryville, Ind. A recent Gallup poll says only 44 percent of Americans have "great confidence" in organized religion.
Michael Conroy AP

Something is happening when it comes to religion in America.

Though more Americans go to church or believe in God than their counterparts in virtually every other Western country, fewer Americans now trust religious institutions. A recent Gallup poll showed that just 44 percent of Americans have a great deal of confidence in "the church or organized religion."

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2:12pm

Sat July 28, 2012
Music

Across Latin America, Making Cumbia Modern

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 7:21 am

Uruguayan musician and producer Juan Campodónico records as Campo.
Matilde Campodónico Courtesy of the artist

1:36pm

Sat July 28, 2012
Kee Facts: A Few Things You Didn't Know

Live Pigeon Shooting And Other Odd Olympic Games

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 1:11 pm

Leon de Lunden of Belgium won the live pigeon shooting event at the 1900 Olympics in Paris — the only time in Olympic history when animals were killed on purpose.
Popperfoto/Getty Images

The 1900 Olympic Games in Paris hosted what was surely the weirdest and most bizarre Olympic event of all time: live pigeon shooting.

The winner was Leon de Lunden of Belgium, who bagged 21 of the 300 birds that were released to the gun-toting competitors. Perhaps the sight of all those gory feathers fluttering down from the Olympic sky was too horrible for the audience and the organizers; the event never returned.

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1:35pm

Sat July 28, 2012
Movies I've Seen A Million Times

The Movie Kasi Lemmons Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Originally published on Sat July 28, 2012 5:05 pm

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova in Once.
Fox Searchlight AP

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

For writer-director Kasi Lemmons, whose credits include Eve's Bayou, The Caveman's Valentine and Talk to Me, the movie she could watch a million times is John Carney's musical Once. "I was so taken by the filmmaking," Lemmons says.

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