U.S.
2:08 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Loud Debate Rages Over N.Y. Library's Quiet Stacks

The New York Public Library's Rose Reading Room sits atop seven floors of book stacks, all closed to the public. Under a controversial renovation plan, many of those books would be moved to New Jersey.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 5:18 am

Enter the glorious Rose Reading Room on the third floor of the New York Public Library on a weekday afternoon, and you'll find almost every chair filled.

Scholars and researchers still submit their book requests on slips of paper and wait for their numbers to appear on two large boards.

The stacks, filled with some 3 million volumes, are closed to the public, so books are retrieved from seven floors of shelving below. Still other volumes are stored off-site.

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Science
2:08 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Summer Science: The Perfectly Toasted Marshmallow

Joe Palca's perfectly toasted marshmallow.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 5:18 am

It's the epic quest of campers everywhere: How do you get the perfectly toasted marshmallow? In our inaugural installment of NPR's Summer Science series, we gave some guidance on the first key ingredient: how to build the campfire. (Later this summer, we'll attempt to answer the vexing question of how to stave off brain freeze.)

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Asia
2:08 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Hijacking Reveals Strains In China-North Korea Ties

A Chinese paramilitary guard gestures outside the North Korean Embassy in Beijing on May 17. Tensions between the two countries are rising after unidentified North Koreans hijacked three Chinese fishing boats and demanded ransom, before releasing the vessels and their crew.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:00 am

New strains are emerging between China and its old ally, North Korea, six months after the death of reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. The recent North Korean hijacking of Chinese fishing boats has shaken those ties considerably, leading to public pressure on China to stand up to North Korea.

Fishing boats returning to their home port in China don't normally make the news. But they did last month, because three boats — and 28 fishermen — had been detained for almost two weeks in North Korea.

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National Security
2:08 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Does Leaking Secrets Damage National Security?

James Clapper, director of national intelligence, leaves a closed-door joint meeting with the Senate and House Intelligence committees on June 7. Clapper ordered an inquiry into security leaks to be concluded next week.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 5:18 am

Last week's assignment of two federal prosecutors to investigate disclosures of national security information might have been the first shot in a new war on leaks. The director of national intelligence is expected soon to announce new measures to fight unauthorized disclosures, and some members of Congress say it could be time for new anti-leaking laws.

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The Two-Way
2:03 am
Tue June 12, 2012

10,000 People Called Human Trafficking Hotline In 2011

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:14 am

A national hotline for human trafficking victims received calls from about 10,000 individuals last year, from every state in the union.

A new report out today by the Polaris Project, which runs the 24-hour hotline through a federal grant, says the volume of calls for help is on the rise, as awareness of the problem grows.

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Revolutionary Road Trip
2:00 am
Tue June 12, 2012

After Libya's War, Acts Of Vengeance

A destroyed apartment building in Tawargha, south of the Libyan coastal city of Misrata. Rebels from Misrata destroyed Tawargha, accusing residents of supporting Moammar Gadhafi and committing atrocities.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 9:05 am

NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is taking a Revolutionary Road Trip across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves. Steve and his team are traveling some 2,000 miles from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya and on to Egypt's megacity of Cairo. Near the Libyan coastal city of Misrata, he looks at violence that took place after the revolution.

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National Security
11:58 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

As Drone Strikes Grow, So Do Concerns Over Use

An unmanned U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field in southern Afghanistan on Jan. 31, 2010. Drones have become the U.S. weapon of choice in the fight against terrorism. But as the technology of this new form of warfare improves, so do concerns about how others will use it in the future.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:28 am

Without question, drones have become the U.S. weapon of choice in the fight against terrorism. Counterterrorism officials say they've come to rely on the pilotless aircraft for their surveillance capability and what officials say is precision targeting. That reliance has led to greater use in the past couple of years, especially in Pakistan and Yemen.

John Bellinger, a State Department legal adviser during the George W. Bush administration, says there are increasing concerns about the frequency of drone attacks.

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Author Interviews
11:50 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

What Animals Can Teach Humans About Healing

When wildfires swept across Australia in February 2009, this photo of a firefighter sharing his water with an injured koala captured hearts around the world. The koala later died — not of fire-related injuries, but of chlamydia. Koalas in Australia are suffering from an epidemic of chlamydia, says Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz. "There's no such thing as safe sex in the wild."
Mark Pardew AP

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 5:18 am

When Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz was asked to treat an exotic little monkey with heart failure at the Los Angeles Zoo, she learned that monkeys can suffer heart attacks from extreme stress — just like humans. That's when the cardiologist realized she'd never thought to look beyond her own species for insights into disease.

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The Record
9:23 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Egypt's Underground Wakes Up

Noor Noor performs with his band El-Zabaleen, which makes many of its instruments out of recycled materials.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:42 pm

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It's All Politics
3:38 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Obama's Deportation Policies Have Failed, Immigrant Advocates Say

Audience members listen to President Obama speak about immigration reform in El Paso, Texas, in May 2011. The Obama campaign is wooing Hispanics ahead of the November elections, but the president's deportation policy is being criticized by immigrant advocates.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 5:16 pm

Criticism of the Obama administration's deportation policies continues to pour in as previously supportive groups called the latest government effort a failure.

Immigrant advocates on Monday condemned the administration's recent findings that a policy designed to reduce the deportations of otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants has had almost no effect.

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