The Two-Way
10:53 am
Tue June 26, 2012

How Do They Know Those Sprinters Finished In A Dead Heat?

In this handout photo provided by the USATF, Jeneba Tarmoh (bottom, lane 1) and Allyson Felix cross the finish line at exactly the same time in the women's 100 meter dash final during Day Two of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on Saturday in Eugene, Ore. It's their torsos, not head, hands, feet or arms, that matter.
USATF Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 11:07 am

As we wait to hear whether sprinters Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh will flip a coin or race again to determine who gets the third and final slot in the 100 meters for Team USA at the London Olympics, we've been wondering:

Just how do officials determine exactly how fast world-class sprinters are and just who has finished first, second or third when they're flashing past?

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Middle East
10:53 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Syrian Youth Lead Rebellion, And Teach Their Elders

A Syrian youth flashes the victory sign as he stands in front of a building that was covered with anti-government graffiti — though local authorities painted over it — in the town of Duma, outside Damascus, in February.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 6:06 pm

The uprising in Syria began in the spring of 2011 when rebellious teenagers scrawled anti-regime graffiti on a wall in the southern city of Daraa.

The protest against their arrest, and the regime's brutal response, sparked the wider revolt. Throughout the unrest, the country's younger generation has been at the forefront of efforts to end the repressive regime of President Bashar Assad.

At a cafe in the heart of Damascus recently, a young man flips open his cellphone to show pictures of people killed in the uprising.

"Actually, they are my friends," he says.

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NPR Story
10:48 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Writers Offer Alternate Lens On Modern Middle East

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 12:57 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan at the Aspen Institute. News from the Middle East often focuses on problems: violence in Syria; political infighting in Egypt; bombs in the new Iraq; nuclear facilities in Iran; ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinians.

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NPR Story
10:48 am
Tue June 26, 2012

As Colorado River Dries Up, The West Feels The Pain

Fifty miles south of the U.S.- Mexico border, the Colorado River Delta and its once-rich estuary wetlands --€” reduced by 95 percent since the river was restricted by dams --€” are now as parched as the surrounding Sonoran Desert.
Peter McBride

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:51 am

The Colorado River touches the lives of Americans coast to coast. The river begins in the Rocky Mountains and flows into Mexico's Sea of Cortez. Along the way, it feeds over a dozen tributaries across the American Southwest.

Many in the West rely on the Colorado for drinking water, and farmers depend on it to irrigate millions of acres of farmland. And if you've ever felt the cool relief of air conditioning in Las Vegas, there's a good chance the electricity was provided by the "mighty Colorado."

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Education
10:17 am
Tue June 26, 2012

What's Driving College Costs Higher?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 7:47 am

Just days before student loan rates are set to double for millions of Americans, President Obama and congressional leaders haven't reached an agreement on legislation to keep those rates at 3.4 percent.

The debate reflects the growing concern over the debt burden many take on to get a college education. About two-thirds of bachelor's degree recipients borrow money to attend college, and collectively, student debt has topped $1 trillion.

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World Cafe
10:02 am
Tue June 26, 2012

David Lynch On World Cafe

David Lynch.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 5:17 am

David Lynch must know something we don't. There's a name for people like him — not director, not writer, not producer, not even photographer, but auteur. Lynch thoughtfully combines images and music, working with composer Angelo Badalamenti to breed a unique atmosphere in creations such as the TV series Twin Peaks and the film Blue Velvet.

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Music Reviews
9:53 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Fiona Apple's 'Wheel' Of Extravagant Emotions

Known for brevity's sake as The Idler Wheel..., Fiona Apple's new album is her first in seven years.
Lionel Deluy

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 7:49 am

"These ideas of mine / percolate the mind," Fiona Apple sings in "Every Single Night," the song that opens her new album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do. Some people are going to listen to the entire record and come away with the feeling that the percolation in Apple's mind has bubbled over like a coffee pot left on a stove too long. But for me and perhaps for you, Apple's bubbling thoughts, words and music are thrilling — eager and direct, heedless about being judged or misunderstood.

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Issa: Executive Privilege Implies White House 'Fast And Furious' Involvement

This December 7, 2010 file photo shows U.S. Republican Representative Darrell Issa of California, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Tim Sloan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 1:24 pm

In a seven-page letter (pdf) to President Obama, Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chair of the House oversight committee, says that President Obama's claim of executive privilege implies high level involvement the "Fast and Furious" scandal.

Fast and Furious is the failed gunrunning operation that sold weapons to drug cartels in Mexico. One of the victims of one of those guns was U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was gunned down in Arizona.

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World
9:32 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Arab-Jewish Tensions Creep Into 'Peace Village'

A boy walks past spray-painted graffiti that reads in Hebrew, "Death to Arabs" and "Revenge." The vandalism took place earlier this month in the mixed Arab-Jewish community of Neve Shalom in Israel.
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 7:28 pm

The Israeli village of Neve Shalom was founded decades ago as a place where Arabs and Jews could coexist in the volatile Middle East. The area has weathered regional wars and uprisings, but earlier this month, vandals targeted it and spray-painted anti-Arab epithets on the school's walls.

"We discovered first of all that a number of tires had been punctured, and then we noticed the damage at the school, slogans painted on the walls saying 'Death to the Arabs,' " says Howard Shippin, a longtime resident of Neve Shalom village. "Of course it's very disturbing."

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The Salt
9:07 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Why Protesting Postal Workers Chose A Hunger Strike

Postal workers and activists make signs for their hunger strike in front of the Rayburn House Office building in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Despite reports that a bit of starvation is just what the doctor ordered, a few of the postal workers expressing their dismay at Congress with a hunger strike are a little nervous.

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