Europe
3:57 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Crowdfunding Effort Seeks To Save Venice's Everyday Gondolas

Nicolo Zen, director of Traditional Boat Museum of Venice, launched a crowd funding project to save one of the last traghetto gondolas — everyday boats used by the city's locals.
Christopher Livesay

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 8:00 pm

Even if you haven't been to Venice, you're probably familiar with the city's famous tourist gondolas: With baroque silver ornaments, shiny black lacquer, and sumptuous red seat cushions, they're unabashedly fancy, not to mention ubiquitous. A ride with a gondolier costs at least 80 euros (about $105), rain or shine (and it's 110 — $144 — more to be serenaded).

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The Two-Way
3:53 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Pentagon: China's Government Hacked U.S. Networks

The 12-story building outside Shanghai that is alleged to be the headquarters of the People's Liberation Army's hacking group.
Peter Parks AFP/Getty Images

The Pentagon has for the first time fingered Beijing directly for cyberattacks against both U.S. government networks and commercial computers, calling the practice a "serious concern."

The new report says numerous U.S. diplomatic, economic and defense industry networks were hacked in 2012 at the direction of China's government and its military.

As NPR's Tom Bowman reports: "In previous reports, the Pentagon has linked computer attacks to China, but not its government."

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Shots - Health News
3:46 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Why A Slowdown In Health Spending Is Starting To Look Real

iStockphoto.com

So you know all that talk about how the boatload of money going to health care will bankrupt the nation if something isn't done soon?

Well, it turns out that while politicians were bickering, the problem started taking care of itself. Well, a little bit.

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It's All Politics
3:29 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Some Democrats Back Same-Sex Amendment To Immigration Bill

Some Democrats want to amend the immigration bill before the Senate to allow foreign-born same-sex spouses of Americans to qualify for green cards.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 8:00 pm

The immigration overhaul bill before the Senate would provide, among other things, more visas for migrant farm workers and high-tech workers, and a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

One thing it would not provide is help for same-sex couples in which one partner is an American and one foreign-born. For heterosexual couples, a foreign-born spouse automatically qualifies for a green card and many of the benefits of citizenship. Not so with gay and lesbian couples.

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Book Reviews
3:22 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Safety Is Relative: A Moving Account Of Life In Chechnya

Russian troops patrol Minutka square in the Chechen capital on Monday, Feb. 28, 2000.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 8:00 pm

How do you write an absorbing novel about unspeakable things? It's always a tricky business, and an editor I know once described the dilemma this way: "A reader needs to want to go there." What "there" means is the self-contained world of the book. And what would make a reader want to go deeply into a world of hopelessness and seemingly perpetual war, a world of torture and intimidation and exploding land mines? There are many answers. One of the most obvious, of course, is the language.

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The Two-Way
3:11 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Germany Arrests 93-Year-Old 'Auschwitz Guard'

Barbed wire encloses the concentration camp of Aushwitz-Birkenau in Krakow, Poland.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

German authorities have arrested a 93-year-old man they say served as a guard at the Auschwitz extermination camp.

Hans Lipschis was deported from the United States to Germany after U.S. authorities found that he lied about his past.

The AP reports:

"Lipschis was taken into custody after authorities concluded there was 'compelling evidence' he was involved in crimes at Auschwitz while there from 1941 to 1945, prosecutor Claudia Krauth said.

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The Picture Show
2:54 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

A Picture Postcard From Wild Wrangel Island

Musk oxen, more akin to goats and sheep than to oxen, were introduced to Wrangel Island in 1975 and now number about 800. In September, with mating season underway, bulls engage in frequent head-butting confrontations to establish dominance.
Sergey Gorshkov National Geographic

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 10:19 pm

If something seems impossibly remote, you call it Siberia. And if Siberians want to make the analogy, they could call it Wrangel Island. About 90 miles off the coast of northeastern Siberia, the 91-mile-long island has been inhabited by some humans over the years — but has been home to a superabundance of wildlife such as polar bears, Pacific walruses and musk oxen.

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It's All Politics
2:37 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Is Jeff Flake The Most Unpopular Senator In The Country?

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., shown on Capitol Hill on April 23, voted against a bill expanding background checks on gun sales, which has upset some of his constituents.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 8:00 pm

Congress is coming back to Washington after a weeklong recess, and for Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, the return may come as a relief.

Some of his constituents in Arizona are still livid over his recent vote against expanded background checks for gun sales. They say the freshman senator is ignoring their calls for a public meeting.

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The Salt
2:34 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Sandwich Monday: Fried Peanut Butter And Banana

Melissa approaches with caution.
NPR

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 2:58 pm

It's strange to find a Fried Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich, famous as Elvis Presley's favorite, on a restaurant menu, given its effect on Elvis. It's like finding a store selling an Isadora Duncan commemorative scarf.

Nonetheless, freelance radio producer Melissa LaCasse and I decided to try the one offered by The Breslin in New York, listed as "fried peanut butter & banana sandwich with bourbon & vanilla."

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blogs
2:29 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

24 Frames: Through the Looking Glass

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