5:00am

Wed June 26, 2013
Asia

Belly Dancing For The Dead: A Day With China's Top Mourner

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 11:39 am

Dingding Mao is a professional mourner, who is paid for her talents at singing the funeral dirge. This is a tradition that began in the Han dynasty 2,000 years ago.
Courtesy of Wu Peng

File under "one of the oddest jobs ever": professional mourner. China's funeral rituals date back 2,000 years to the Han dynasty, but were banned during the Cultural Revolution as superstition. Now these funeral rituals have become an income source to a select few who stage funeral extravaganzas, marrying ancient Chinese traditions with modern entertainment.

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5:00am

Wed June 26, 2013
U.S.

Some Tech Companies Find Ways Not To Hire Americans

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 11:31 am

Tech workers looking for jobs may think twice before looking at job ads that are targeted at Americans but actually are intended for foreigners.
iStockphoto.com

Lawmakers continue to wrangle over a bill that would overhaul the nation's immigration system. One provision in this bill would allow companies to import a lot more skilled workers. The tech industry has lobbied hard for this, despite fears among some American workers about the extra competition.

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin says the bill has American workers covered. "Employers will be given a chance to hire a temporary foreign worker when truly needed. But first, they'll be required to recruit Americans. No exceptions, no excuses," he said.

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5:00am

Wed June 26, 2013
Economy

Real Estate Sizzles Again In Las Vegas

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 8:43 am

Las Vegas, the recession's foreclosure capital, is seeing a surge in single-family home prices.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

High-paying investors have helped Las Vegas' real estate prices to bloom in a place that once ranked as the country's foreclosure capital.

Thanks to these big-money investors as well as a shortage of supply, the median price for a single-family home in Vegas is up 32.8 percent from a year ago, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

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5:00am

Wed June 26, 2013
Tina Brown's Must-Reads

Tina Brown's Must-Reads: On Media, The People, And Strife

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 11:13 am

Inspired by "Standing Man" Erdem Gunduz, protesters stand silently during an action at Istanbul's Taksim Square on June 23. Among the latest recommended reads from Tina Brown is a Foreign Affairs article on how Turkey's manipulates media coverage of political unrest.
Burak Kara Getty Images

Sometimes when there's a daily drumbeat of news — war, protest, unrest — it's good to find those moments to pause, dig deeper, and find layers of the story that are easy to miss.

Tina Brown, the editor of The Daily Beast, joins NPR's David Greene to help us do just that, as part of a recurring series Morning Edition calls Word of Mouth. This month, it's stories of global conflict and the media that — for good and for ill — cover those stories.

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5:00am

Wed June 26, 2013
Sweetness And Light

Let's Separate The Schoolin' From The Sports

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 11:13 am

iStockphoto.com

We usually think of college sports in terms of classic big-time schools, polls and bowls.

But, in fact, our athletics are intertwined with — and complicate — all higher education.

The University of North Carolina, Wilmington provides a typical recent case. The Seahawks field teams in 19 Division One sports, but unfortunately, like many colleges, UNCW athletics are in the red, so the chancellor, Gary L. Miller, assembled a committee, which recommended the elimination of five sports: men's and women's swimming, men's cross country and indoor track and softball.

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5:00am

Wed June 26, 2013
History

Old Safe Reveals Historical Relics Of Women's Suffrage Group

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 11:13 am

Safe cracker Elaad Israeli works the dial on an old safe found by the National Council of Women of the United States.
Margot Adler NPR

Started in 1888 by suffragettes like Susan B. Anthony, the National Council of Women of the United States still exists today in a small office near the United Nations.

On the organization's 125th anniversary, it teamed up with the University of Rochester to open an old safe painted with the words "Woman Suffrage Party." No one knew what was in the safe or when it had last been opened.

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4:24am

Wed June 26, 2013
The Two-Way

Clock Runs Out On Controversial Texas Abortion Bill

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 7:38 am

The Texas Capitol rotunda filled with supporters of state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, who filibustered a controversial abortion bill.
Eric Gay AP

The official clock ran out on Texas lawmakers overnight, which effectively killed a bill that would have dramatically restricted abortion in the nation's second most populous state. Hours of chaos and confusion in Austin finally lifted as Texas Senate leaders decided that the vote on Senate Bill 5 did not clear a constitutionally-mandated hurdle that it pass before midnight.

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1:59am

Wed June 26, 2013
The Two-Way

Texas Lawmaker's 11-Hour Filibuster Ended On A Technicality

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:42 am

State Sen. Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, dons pink tennis shoes during a Tuesday filibuster.
Eric Gay AP

By midnight Texas time, it was all over but the parliamentary inquiries. After a nearly 11-hour filibuster attempt by state Sen. Wendy Davis to block sweeping restrictions on abortion, the Republican-dominated Texas Senate successfully shut down the filibuster on points of order. (See update at the bottom of this post.)

"This is probably the worst night that I've experienced since I've been in the Senate, maybe since I've been in public life," said state Sen. Kirk Watson, a Democrat from Austin.

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7:06pm

Tue June 25, 2013
Environment

Obama's Climate Strategy Doesn't Require Congressional Approval

President Obama unveils his plan on climate change Tuesday at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. The president laid out his plan to reduce carbon pollution and to prepare the country for the impacts of climate change.
Alex Wong Getty Images

President Obama unveiled a sweeping plan Tuesday designed to deal with climate change. For the first time, carbon emissions from power plants would be regulated. The policy, which can be implemented by the administration without congressional approval, calls for a broad range of actions, including steps to deal with extreme weather events that are already occurring.

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6:05pm

Tue June 25, 2013
Movies

A Revealing '60s 'Portrait,' Opening Eyes In Theaters Again

Jason Holliday, born Aaron Payne, is demanding audiences' attention again in a new theatrical release of Shirley Clarke's Portrait of Jason, restored by Milestone Film and the Academy Film Archive.
Milestone Film

He's got a round, affable face and large, black, hipster glasses. He's smartly dressed in a blazer and button-up shirt. He looks straight into the camera, talking, singing, smoking and drinking — just him, for upward of 90 minutes.

"It only hurts when you think of it," he says, his normally jaunty voice wobbling on the edge of a break. "And if you're real, you think of it a long, long time, that's for sure. Those are the dues."

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