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Education
1:44 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Teaching The LA Riots At Two City Schools

Smoke rises as fires burn out of control near Vermont Street in Los Angeles on April 30, 1992. Riots erupted after L.A. police officers were acquitted in the beating of black motorist Rodney King.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 9:22 pm

It has been 20 years since four police officers were acquitted in the beating of Rodney King, and L.A. erupted in race-fueled riots. Many in Los Angeles, including students who weren't born when the riots hit in April 1992, are reflecting on those days of anger, looting and destruction, asking why it happened and how to make sure it doesn't happen again.

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Europe
1:42 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Showdown Looms Over Europe's Largest Shantytown

Residents of Cañada Real stand near recently demolished shacks on March 5. The settlement is separated into different sections and tends to be segregated by ethnic groups: Roma in one section, Arabs in another, for example.
Susana Vera Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 9:24 pm

Europe's largest illegal settlement lies on the edge of Madrid. As the Spanish capital has grown, the city's limits have moved ever closer to the shantytown known as Cañada Real, a sprawling tangle of tents and cement houses. And as the economy has tanked, a growing number of people are calling it home.

Now the city is eyeing the property for possible development.

The roads in Cañada Real are unpaved. Houses are made of corrugated metal or cement. Some lots are just piles of garbage.

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Theater
1:41 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Managing The Gershwins' Lucrative Musical Legacy

In Nice Work If You Can Get It, Matthew Broderick plays Jimmy Winter, a New York playboy of the Prohibition era. The show is at the Imperial Theatre.
Joan Marcus Boneau/Bryan-Brown

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 6:24 am

In the 1920s, it wasn't uncommon for the Gershwin Brothers — composer George and lyricist Ira — to have two shows running on Broadway at the same time. What's surprising is that this season, 75 years after George's death, it's happening again, with Porgy and Bess and Nice Work If You Can Get It.

It's no coincidence: Both shows were generated by the Gershwin estates, the nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews charged with looking after a legacy that's not only highly loved, but immensely lucrative — a multimillion-dollar-a-year responsibility.

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It's All Politics
6:10 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

The Wisconsin Recall That Nobody's Talking About

In this photo taken in November 2010, Lt. Gov.-elect Rebecca Kleefisch speaks to supporters in Pewaukee, Wis.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

If the job of the vice president is, as John Adams so famously put it, "the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived," what must it be like to be lieutenant governor?

And, to go a step further, what about a lieutenant governor facing recall?

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The Two-Way
5:56 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

With Violence Unabated, France Says Next Step For Syria Should Be Military

As the United Nations chief announced that the Syrian government was "in contravention" of an international peace agreement, France took a tougher stance.

The French foreign minister said that if the peace plan fails, the U.N. Security Council should consider a military option.

The AP reports:

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It's All Politics
5:45 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Gingrich And The Secret Service: Who Calls For Protection To End?

Newt Gingrich signs an autograph for supporter Jeff Legg as members of the Secret Service look on at Delmarva Christian High School in Georgetown, Del., on April 18.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 10:24 am

Newt Gingrich's Secret Service protection is ending Thursday night, NBC news is reporting.

As WNYC's Anna Sale was reporting earlier, a conservative taxpayers group had called on Gingrich to give up his taxpayer-funded protection.

Here's the original post:

Newt Gingrich is ending his presidential campaign, but not until next week. And he still has Secret Service protection despite calls from a conservative taxpayers group to give it up.

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The Two-Way
5:20 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

More Pain In Spain As Economy Goes Down The Drain

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 5:40 am

There was more bad news for Europe's attempt to rebuild its economy: Standard & Poor announced Thursday that it was downgrading Spain's long-term sovereign credit rating by two notches – from "A" to "BBB+." The agency also lowered Spain's short-term sovereign credit rating to "A-2" from "A-1," and said the outlook on the long-term rating is negative.

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The Two-Way
5:03 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

If 'War And Peace' Was Less Than Exciting, Try A Union Between Dull And Boring

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 5:27 pm

Don't expect fireworks for this union: The city of Boring, Oregon and Dull, Scotland will become sister cities.

City leaders hope the union of two dim names will result in a blockbuster tourism campaign.

The Oregonian reports that the idea of becoming twin cities came after Elizabeth Leighton stumbled upon Boring and couldn't "wait to tell all her Dull friends."

The paper adds:

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Election 2012
4:41 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

In Battleground Iowa, Even Office Space Up For Grabs

President Obama arrives to speak at the University of Iowa in Iowa City on Wednesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 5:27 pm

In Iowa, President Obama's re-election campaign is already in gear, with staff and volunteers on the ground.

The Obama campaign hopes its head start over the campaign of Republican Mitt Romney — who until recently had been focused on fending off GOP opponents — will make the difference in November in this swing state.

The Obama campaign headquarters in Des Moines is a former Blockbuster Video store, where this week a couple of dozen 20-somethings tapped away at laptops, painted signs by hand and worked the phones.

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You Must Read This
4:41 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Bradbury's Tale: A 'Wicked' Read, A Haunted Book

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Seth Grahame-Smith is the author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Matthew Rudenberg

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 5:27 pm

Seth Grahame-Smith is the author of Unholy Night.

I know it's strange to be thinking about October right now, but whenever I write, in a way that's always where I am. Growing up in Connecticut, it always held a special place in my heart — "a rare month for boys," as Ray Bradbury begins Something Wicked This Way Comes.

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It's All Politics
4:34 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Biden Foreign-Policy Counterattack On Romney Highlights GOP Challenge

Vice President Joe Biden, March 2012.
Madalyn Ruggiero AP

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 3:24 pm

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Digital Life
4:30 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

What We Have Here: A Failure To Communicate

Commuters immersed in their smartphones ride the subway in Beijing.
Nelson Ching Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 6:45 am

It is the weirdest thing. There are more ways than ever to communicate with people, yet it sometimes seems like it is more difficult to connect — and stay connected — with anyone.

Should you shoot off an email? Tap out a text? Post a private message on Facebook? Write on their Facebook wall? Skype, poke, ping or conjure them up on a digital tin can phone?

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
4:08 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

American Whiz Rises Up In The World Of Ping-Pong

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 7:21 pm

The United States has never won an Olympic medal in table tennis. China has long dominated the sport, winning almost every medal since 1992. That's not likely to change at this year's Summer Olympics in London, but a group of young American women may be on their way to competing at the sport's highest levels.

Ariel Hsing, 16, already has the attributes of a fine table tennis player — quick hands, perfect balance and strong lungs. While she plays, she'll often shout "Sa!" — a meaningless word — to help relieve stress, something she's been dealing with a lot lately.

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Statewide Races
4:08 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

N.C. Gay Marriage Amendment Has Unlikely Foes

Jennifer Cockrham, a nurse from Walkertown, N.C., holds her hand over her heart for the Pledge of Allegiance during a rally supporting a constitutional ban on gay marriage Friday in Raleigh.
Allen Breed AP

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 5:27 pm

North Carolina is the only Southern state without a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. But that could change next month.

On May 8, voters will decide whether to change the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, as well as civil unions and domestic partnerships. Leading Republican lawmakers think it's one of the most important issues facing voters.

But some conservatives worry that the measure goes too far.

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Environment
4:08 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Countries Losing Steam On Climate Change Initiatives

Germany plans to take all of its nuclear power plants offline by 2022, which means coal-fired power plants like the Kraftwerk Westfalen, in Hamm, Germany, will be a key component of the country's energy infrastructure.
Lars Baron Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 5:27 pm

Energy ministers from around the world met in London this week and got a scolding. The International Energy Agency warned the ministers that they are falling way behind in their efforts to wean the world from dirty sources of energy. Nations are nowhere near being on track to avert significant climate change in the coming decades.

It turns out that right now, just about everything is conspiring to make it harder to clean up the world's energy supply.

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