1:40am

Fri July 20, 2012
U.S.

Rain Over Texas Quenches Dry Lone Star State

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 12:42 pm

Pedestrians stand along the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas, in May. The state has gotten a reprieve from more than a year of drought.
Eric Gay AP

While severe drought is taking hold in the Midwest, Texas is doing better. At this time last year, the state was on fire, crops were desiccated in the field and livestock were slowly starving. But recent rains have almost ended more than a year of record drought.

"If you look at the way we were thinking and feeling on the last July 16, that was desperation. That was despair," says Gene Hall, public relations director for the Texas Farm Bureau.

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1:35am

Fri July 20, 2012
London 2012: The Summer Olympics

Olympians' Dilemma: 'Starve My Soul' For Ramadan?

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 6:12 am

Mohammed Ahmed runs at the NCAA championships in June in Des Moines, Iowa. He's representing Canada at the Olympics and had to decide whether to fast for Ramadan this year.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Mazen Aziz, representing Egypt in the 2012 Summer Olympics, has trained for the 10,000-meter, open-water swim for years. It's a grueling race that can take upwards of 1 hour and 45 minutes, depending on the waves, current or water temperature.

But Aziz is Muslim, and with the Olympics falling during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the 22-year-old athlete had to make a choice: be in top physical condition or maintain a primary tenet of his faith.

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1:25am

Fri July 20, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Activists Fear Brazil's Triumph Over HIV Has Fizzled

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 12:42 pm

Drag queens at an outdoor restaurant in Copacabana incorporate safe sex messages into a show of lip-synced songs and risque jokes.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Brazil's HIV/AIDS program — which has been praised as a model for developing nations — is now under strain.

When HIV first emerged in the 1980s, Brazil responded quickly to the epidemic. The South American country launched large-scale safe-sex drives and gave away millions of condoms. It offered free treatment to anyone who was infected. The Brazilian government took on international pharmaceutical companies and even broke patents to cut medication costs.

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1:02am

Fri July 20, 2012
Asia

N. Korean Conundrum: Are Political Changes Real?

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

In this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency and distributed in Tokyo by the Korea News Service on July 9, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is seen with a woman in Pyongyang. It's not clear who she is, but a first lady would be a marked departure from the days of Kim's father, who kept his personal life private.
AP

North Korea's army has been swearing oaths of loyalty to leader Kim Jong Un after he was given the new title of marshal of the nation, cementing his position. This comes just days after the army chief was dismissed for illness. Analysts suspect these announcements are masking far deeper changes, but there's disagreement about what it means.

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8:01pm

Thu July 19, 2012
StoryCorps

Two Tough Guys Meet Tough Times, And Each Other

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 12:42 pm

Jake Bainter and "Boston" Bill Hansbury recently visited StoryCorps in St. Petersburg, Fla., where they discussed losing their right legs.
StoryCorps

Back in 2008, "Boston" Bill Hansbury was learning to live with a prosthetic after losing his leg to an infection. That's when he met Jake Bainter, who was about to have his right leg amputated. The two struck up a friendship, despite a wide gap in their ages — Hansbury was 70, and Bainter was 7.

The pair recently discussed their friendship, and other topics, during a visit to StoryCorps in St. Petersburg, Fla.

"Boston Bill, tell me about the day that we met," says Jake, now 12.

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4:41pm

Thu July 19, 2012
The Two-Way

Service Members Can March In Uniform At Pride Parade, Pentagon Says

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 4:46 pm

In this July 16, 2011 photo, two women, both active duty sailors in the Navy who gave their names as Nikki, left, and Lisa, kiss as they march in the Gay Pride Parade in San Diego.
Gregory Bull AP

The AP is reporting that for the first time in United States history, the Department of Defense is allowing its members to march in uniform at a gay pride parade.

The Pentagon issued a statement today, saying it was making an exception for San Diego's Gay Pride Parade on Saturday. Normally, the Pentagon doesn't allow troops to march in parades in uniform.

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4:39pm

Thu July 19, 2012
It's All Politics

Web Quiz Tells You Which Presidential Candidate Best Fits Your Worldview

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 5:28 pm

ISideWith.com screenshot

Take one guy with an abiding interest in politics, another guy with website-building skills and throw in the shared desire to get people more engaged in the political process, and you have the ingredients for an interactive site called ISideWith.com.

The site's purpose is to show you which presidential candidate's views most align with yours by running you through a short quiz that asks your stance on various policy issues, then determines which candidate most agrees with you.

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4:09pm

Thu July 19, 2012
All Tech Considered

As Wikipedia Gets Pickier, Editors Become Harder To Find

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 4:38 pm

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales speaks during "Wikimania 2012," an international Wikimedia conference, in Washington, D.C.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Admit it. You've used the free, crowd-sourced entries of Wikipedia to brush up on history or look up a fact or two in many a trivia conundrum. And you're not alone. Since Wikipedia was launched more than a decade ago, millions of Web users have "Wikied" this or that.

But what have you done for Wikipedia lately?

Maybe you've added a sentence or two to an entry, or even created a new page about for your favorite up-and-coming indie artist.

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3:41pm

Thu July 19, 2012
The Veepstakes

From Rival To Running Mate? Possible For Pawlenty

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 4:38 pm

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaign in Las Vegas on Oct. 17, 2011.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

As he shadowed President Obama's bus tour in Pennsylvania early this month, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty gave a pretty good impression of a man auditioning for a job.

There was Pawlenty as attack dog, one of the traditional roles of a running mate.

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3:39pm

Thu July 19, 2012
The Two-Way

A First As A Public Company, Microsoft Reports Quarterly Loss

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 4:18 pm

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer comments on the Windows 8 operating system before unveiling Surface, a tablet computer to compete with Apple's iPad.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Microsoft made a $6.2 billion accounting adjustment this quarter that threw it into negative territory for the first time as a public company, the AP reports.

Microsoft took the charge mostly based on the acquisition of aQuantive, an online advertising company Microsoft acquired in 2007.

As MSNBC reports, the "charge was an acknowledgement that the company's struggling online services division — which lost about half a billion dollars in the previous quarter — is a significant financial drag on the company." Microsoft, remember, is the owner of the search engine Bing.

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