2:07pm

Tue October 23, 2012
It's All Politics

During Debates, Silence On Some Issues Was Deafening

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 9:13 pm

Demonstrators clash with riot police in Athens while protesting the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Oct. 9. The euro crisis is one of several issues that came up little, if at all, during the U.S. presidential debates.
Max Gyselinck AFP/Getty Images

It's possible that the presidential debates will be remembered mainly for trivia — Big Bird, binders and bayonets.

But Mitt Romney and President Obama did discuss issues of paramount importance, including taxes, entitlements and the role the U.S. should play in the Middle East.

Those issues — and above all else, the economy — dominated discussion throughout the debate season. That meant other important topics such as immigration were barely mentioned, while others never came up at all.

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2:03pm

Tue October 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Update: USAID Says Figures On Flood Aid In Pakistan Misinterpreted

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 4:11 pm

Aug. 28: A flooded road in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Umar Qayyum Xinhua /Landov

Update at 6 p.m. ET:

Our original headline on this post was "U.S. Pledges Exceed Pakistan's Spending On Its Own Flood Relief." As we reported, the Christian Science Monitor has looked into the details of a Congressional Research Service report and concluded that U.S. aid to Pakistan for flood relief exceeded that country's own spending.

But Ben Edwards, a spokesman at the U.S. Agency for International Development, tells us in an email that:

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1:40pm

Tue October 23, 2012
It's All Politics

Horses, Bayonets And The Modern Military

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 1:58 pm

U.S. Army Special Forces ride horseback as they work with members of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan in 2001.
AP

President Obama said during Monday night's debate that the U.S. Army has fewer horses and bayonets than in the past.

That's true. Although Army Special Forces were on horseback in Afghanistan when they helped defeat the Taliban in 2001, the Army's horses are now used only for ceremonial occasions.

As for bayonets? The last bayonet charge was during the Korean War in 1951.

The bayonet has somewhat gone the way of the horse cavalry, as far as the Army is concerned (although Marines still use bayonets in training).

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1:04pm

Tue October 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Court Lays Bare Strip Club's Argument That Lap Dances Are Art

In New York State, she's not an artist.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

No, the Nite Moves strip club in Latham, N.Y., can't claim that lap dances, pole performances and other moves in its ladies' repertoire are "art" and therefore exempt from sales taxes, New York State's highest court ruled today in a 4-3 decision.

According to The Associated Press:

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12:26pm

Tue October 23, 2012
The Salt

Buying Food Past Its Sell-By Date Tough To Swallow For Greeks

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 8:00 am

Bargain-hunting Greek shoppers may soon have more options at the grocery store. The government is asking retailers to discount expired nonperishable products in response to rising food prices.
Fayez Nureldine AFP/Getty Images

Austerity measures continue in Greece as the country sinks deeper into a recession. Incomes have dropped nearly 50 percent in some cases, but food prices are at record highs. The Greek newspaper Ekathimerini recently reported that the country has some of the most expensive food and the costliest dairy products in the entire European Union.

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12:26pm

Tue October 23, 2012
Animals

Baby Beluga, Swim So Wild And Sing For Me

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 2:18 am

This image, from an archival video, shows the white whale NOC swimming around and under researchers' boats.
Current Biology

Whales are among the great communicators of the animal world. They produce all sorts of sounds: squeaks, whistles and even epic arias worthy of an opera house.

And one whale in particular has apparently done something that's never been documented before: He imitated human speech.

The beluga, or white whale, is smallish as whales go and very cute, if you're into marine mammals. Belugas are called the "canaries of the sea" because they're very vocal.

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12:24pm

Tue October 23, 2012
Asia

Cambodia Vs. Sotheby's In A Battle Over Antiquities

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 2:18 am

The United States and Cambodia are locked in a legal battle with the auction house Sotheby's over this 1,000-year-old statue of the Hindu warrior Duryodhana that may have been looted from the Cambodian temple complex at Koh Ker.
Courtesy of the U.S. Attorney's Office

The governments of Cambodia and the United States are locked in a legal battle with the auction house Sotheby's over a thousand-year-old statue. The two governments say the statue was looted from a temple of the ancient Khmer empire. Sotheby's says this can't be proved, and a court in New York will decide on the matter soon.

The case could affect how collectors and museums acquire artifacts, and how governments recover lost national treasures.

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12:09pm

Tue October 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Photo Of Dying WWII Veteran Casting Last Vote Inspires Thousands

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 9:12 am

Oct. 17: Frank Tanabe, center, casts his vote with help from his daughter Barbara Tanabe, left, and his wife Setsuko Tanabe.
Irene Tanabe AP

See if you agree with most of the nearly 600,000 people who have seen this photo and think it should inspire others to vote this year.

As The Associated Press writes, it shows 93-year-old World War II veteran Frank Tanabe casting what's almost surely to be his last vote — from a hospice bed in Hawaii. He has liver cancer.

This message was posted with the photo:

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12:00pm

Tue October 23, 2012
It's All Politics

There's A Reason They Call It A Battleground State

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 12:55 pm

Jean Gianfagna displays some of the political mailings her family receives at her home in Westlake, Ohio, on Oct. 19. Gianfagna says her family sometimes gets four of the same piece at a time — her husband and two grown kids all get their own.
Mark Duncan AP

Ohio has been a key swing state in the last three presidential races. As with many elections, there are reports of stolen yard signs and clashes between supporters of the candidates at rallies.

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11:51am

Tue October 23, 2012
Shots - Health News

Insurers Revive Child-Only Policies, But Cost Is Still An Issue

Child-only policies can be critical to some families, including those where an employer doesn't offer dependent coverage.
iStockphoto.com

Health policies for kids are back, now that heath insurers who stopped selling them after the health care overhaul passed are reopening shop, according to a recent report from the Commonwealth Fund.

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