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2:00 am
Tue January 1, 2013

The Year Of The Higgs, And Other Tiny Advances In Science

Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider announced the discovery of the Higgs boson on July 4, the long-sought building block of the universe. This image shows a computer-simulation of data from the collider.
Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 8:44 am

It's a year-end tradition to cobble together a list of the most important advances in science. But, truth be told, many ideas that change the world don't tend to spring from these flashy moments of discovery. Our view of nature — and our technology — often evolve from a sequence of more subtle advances.

Even so, chances are good that this year's list-makers will choose the discovery of the Higgs boson as the most important discovery of 2012.

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World
1:59 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Multiple Feuds Bring A Record Year Of Violence To Karachi

Gul Mohammed Khan has lost three sons in sectarian violence during the last two years, in Karachi, Pakistan. He stands here with some of his grandchildren who have lost their fathers. When he looks at his grandchildren, he says, he sees his sons.
Dina Temple-Raston/NPR

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 9:35 am

The sad truth about Karachi in 2012 was that whatever your religion, business affiliation, or political party, someone was willing to kill you for it.

The murder rate in Pakistan's largest city and commercial hub hit an all time high last year. Over 2,500 people died in violent crimes in Karachi in 2012, a 50 percent increase over the year before.

Most of the deaths were attributable to sectarian killings and score settling. Shia Muslims took on the brunt of the violence. But Sunni Muslims were killed in reprisal attacks that added to the tally.

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Business
1:57 am
Tue January 1, 2013

New Year Brings Minimum-Wage Hikes In 10 States

Rhode Island's minimum wage will increase from $7.40 to $7.75.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 1:23 pm

On Tuesday, the minimum wage in 10 states will increase by anywhere from a dime to 35 cents.

For all of the states but one, the pay hikes are part of automatic adjustments designed to keep up with the cost of living.

In Rhode Island, it took a state law to raise the minimum wage for the first time in five years.

Rising Wages Vs. Rising Prices

Cafe Zog in Providence is a cozy, quirky place where you can grab a coffee and bagel to go, or nab a booth then head to the counter to order a hot breakfast.

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Business
1:56 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Rift With China Clouds Solar Industry's Future

Solar panels come off the line at SunPower's solar manufacturing plant near San Jose, Calif.
Lauren Sommer for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 8:44 am

It's been a banner year for solar energy. The United States is on track to install a record number of solar power systems — thanks in large part to low-cost solar panels from China. That's been challenging for American manufacturers, and federal officials have put trade tariffs on Chinese panels.

Things look busy at the SunPower solar manufacturing plant in Silicon Valley. Workers are screwing frames onto shiny, 6-foot solar panels as they come off the line.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:49 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Was 2012 The Year That American Orchestras Hit The Wall?

In Minneapolis, the locked-out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are appealing for public support.
Courtesy of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 8:44 am

2012 will go down as a year of orchestral turmoil in the U.S.: Strikes, lockouts and bankruptcies erupted time and again as once seemingly untouchable institutions struggled financially.

There's been particularly little seasonal cheer in Minnesota's orchestral community. Protests erupted after management at the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra each locked out their musicians, after the musicians had rejected contracts that cut their salaries by tens of thousands of dollars and reduced the size of the orchestras.

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