Middle East
3:32 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Is Assad Carving Out A Haven For Syria's Alawites?

A Syrian man holds a national flag bearing pictures of President Bashar Assad during a pro-regime protest to condemn a deadly attack in the central Midan district of Damascus on April 27.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 8:04 pm

As fighting between the Syrian military and rebel fighters rages, concerns are growing about how the regime of President Bashar Assad might react if it becomes convinced it's about to lose power.

One theory involves the establishment of a breakaway region dominated by Syria's Alawite minority — which includes the Assad family — in the northwestern coastal mountains. Analysts say this would be a disaster both for Assad and the region, but it can't be completely ruled out.

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Mountain Stage
3:22 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Suzanne Vega On Mountain Stage

Suzanne Vega performs on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Folk-pop singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega appears in this archival edition of Mountain Stage, recorded in December 2007. Vega enjoyed commercial success with hits like "Luka" and "Tom's Diner," which both reached into the Top Ten of pop charts in the U.S. and abroad, earning her a large national and international following.

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It's All Politics
3:17 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Support For Same-Sex Marriage Could Be Official Democratic Stance

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 8:45 am

Democrats are on the path to including an endorsement of same-sex marriage for the first time in their official party platform.

NPR's Ari Shapiro reported Monday that the proposal has made it through an important Democratic committee.

The 15 Democrats who serve on the party's platform drafting committee voted unanimously to endorse same-sex marriage in the party's official agenda, says Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who serves on the committee.

Frank recently married his partner.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:49 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

What Does The Future Hold For Bird Flu Research?

A government official in Bali, Indonesia, holds a chicken before administering an injection to cull it as a precautionary measure in April to prevent the spread of bird flu.
Firdia Lisnawati AP

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 3:43 pm

In a hotel ballroom in New York City, a couple hundred flu researchers watched with interest Monday as a government official ran down a list of seven kinds of experiments that could raise special security risks.

The official noted that one item on the list was any experiment that could make an infectious agent more transmissible, or contagious. "It wouldn't take long for this audience to come up with an example of that," he noted wryly.

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Newport Folk Festival
2:45 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

tUnE-yArDs, Live In Concert: Newport Folk Festival 2012

tUnE-yArDs performs on the Harbor Stage at the Newport Folk Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 8:39 am

Merrill Garbus, the mastermind behind tUnE-yArDs, often uses a minimal assortment of resources — a ukulele, some pedals, a bit of percussion here and there — to craft an explosive, unpredictable, worldly, beautiful and utterly inventive sound. On last year's widely beloved w h o k i l l, Garbus' music forms a cut-up collage of coos, howls and bold statements of purpose, but her live shows fan out into epic rave-ups, complete with a pair of saxophonists.

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Apple, Samsung Face Off In Court Over Alleged Patent Infringements

Samsung Electronics Co. representatives wait to enter the Robert F. Peckham Federal Courthouse in San Jose, California on Monday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Fortune calls it "the patent trial of the century." And based on money alone, it might as well be: Apple and Samsung are accusing each other of infringement. Samsung wants higher royalties on some technology and Apple is seeking $2.5 billion in damages.

A jury will decide which, if any, company is right. With jury selection, Reuters reports the trial begins today in San Jose, Calif.

Reuters adds:

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The Torch
2:11 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Lochte Misses Out On Medal; American Grevers Wins Backstroke [Results]

Record setter: U.S. swimmer Missy Franklin celebrates winning the women's 100m backstroke final at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Martin Bureau AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 4:22 pm

Yannick Agnel of France has won the 200m men's freestyle at the London 2012 Olympics, beating a field that included American Ryan Lochte and German world record holder Paul Biedermann. Sun Yang of China and and Tae-Hwan Park of South Korea finished with identical times of 1:44.93 — which means that both of them will receive silver medals.

We'll be updating this post with more results from today's action.

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Education
1:56 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Ever-Growing Past Confounds History Teachers

The twin towers of the World Trade Center billow smoke after hijacked airliners crashed into them early 11 September, 2001.
Henny Ray Abrams AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 9:06 am

In college, study of American history is often broken down into two chunks. Professors pick a date to divide time in two: 1865, after the Civil War, say, or 1900, because it looks good. So for those who teach courses on the first half, their purview is fairly well defined.

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The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Jonah Lehrer Resigns From 'New Yorker,' Admitting He Made Up Quotes

Jonah Lehrer.
Nina Subin Courtesy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 4:56 pm

Jonah Lehrer, the super star science writer, has resigned from The New Yorker and admitted that quotes that he attributed to Bob Dylan in his latest book, Imagine, don't exist.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:11 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

The 2012 Classical Olympians Puzzler

Some characters in classical music have Olympian athletic abilities.
Julia Vynokurova Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 1:52 pm

The grumbling of Londoners and the off-putting remarks of Mitt Romney are all but forgotten now as the 2012 Summer Olympics are in spectacular full swing. From here on out the race for the gold continues.

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