2:34pm

Thu February 21, 2013
The Two-Way

15 Republican Senators Call On Obama To Withdraw Chuck Hagel Nomination

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 9:28 pm

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, talks on the phone at the Capitol in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Fifteen Republican senators sent a letter to President Obama asking him to withdraw the nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to be secretary of Defense.

The senators pointed to his lackluster performance during his confirmation hearing as well as what they said were his untenable positions on Iran.

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1:59pm

Thu February 21, 2013
The Two-Way

Tough Turkeys Are Taking Over A California Town

You talking to me? (A turkey on New York's Staten Island; who's probably just as intimidating, if not more, than those in California.)
Jonathan Fickies Landov

1:53pm

Thu February 21, 2013
The Two-Way

Explosions In Syrian Capital Kill More Than 50

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 3:29 pm

Syrian security agents carry a body following a huge car bombing in Damascus on Thursday. More than 50 people were killed in one of the worst attacks in the capital since the uprising began in 2011.
SANA AP

Several explosions ripped through Damascus on Thursday morning in what was one of the deadliest days in the Syrian capital since the uprising began nearly two years ago.

A huge blast in the al-Mazraa neighborhood was the work of a suicide car bomber, according to media reports. More than 50 people were killed and more than 200 injured, according to both the Syrian state media and opposition groups.

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1:51pm

Thu February 21, 2013
Author Interviews

'Erasing Death' Explores The Science Of Resuscitation

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 2:39 pm

iStockphoto.com

What happens when we die? Wouldn't we all like to know. We can't bring people back from the dead to tell us — but in some cases, we almost can. Resuscitation medicine is now sometimes capable of reviving people after their heart has stopped beating and their brain has flat-lined; Dr. Sam Parnia, a critical care doctor and director of resuscitation research at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine, studies what these people experience in that period after their heart stops and before they're resuscitated. This includes visions such as bright lights and out-of-body experiences.

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1:31pm

Thu February 21, 2013
The Two-Way

In Wal-Mart's Earnings Report, A Lesson On The Tax Code

A Walmart store in Paramount, Calif. in November of 2012.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

The New York Times points out something rather interesting about an otherwise mundane business story. Wal-Mart's fourth-quarter earnings report tells the tale of how changes in the tax code has both helped corporations and hurt them.

As the Times puts it, during the fourth quarter of last year, "the tax code gave and the tax code took away."

The paper explains:

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1:17pm

Thu February 21, 2013
Inner & Outer Space

Art Goes into Hamilton County Jail

One of the walls in the jail's classroom
Credit markmaking.org

Mark Making, a Chattanooga organization promoting public art, spearheaded a mural project inside the Hamilton County Jail. The mural is called Universe Space and portrays planets, supernovas, black holes, and other cosmic imagery. The mural was made with the help of eleven inmates.

An interview with Mark Making's Frances McDonald and local artist Charlie Newton

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1:13pm

Thu February 21, 2013
Book Reviews

Karen Russell's 'Vampires' Deserve The Raves

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 2:39 pm

I don't have a good track record when it comes to raving about Karen Russell. Last year, along with my two fellow judges, I nominated Russell's novel, Swamplandia!, as well as two other finalists, for the Pulitzer Prize. Result? The Pulitzer Board made headlines by deciding not to give out the award in Fiction. Nevertheless, I rave on: this time about Russell's new short story collection, Vampires in the Lemon Grove.

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12:30pm

Thu February 21, 2013
The Two-Way

Sen. Graham Says 4,700 Killed In U.S. Drone Strikes

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 2:09 pm

U.S. "Predator" drone over Afghanistan in Jan. 2009.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

We've all heard that drone strikes directed against al-Qaida and other militants have been on the rise, but now Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has put a number on deaths by U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle: 4,700.

Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, rattled off the death toll during a talk he gave to the Easley Rotary Club in Easley, S.C., Tuesday afternoon.

"We've killed 4,700," Graham said.

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12:20pm

Thu February 21, 2013
The Salt

This Music Is Bananas (Really)

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 12:26 pm

Making a banana piano is easy with the MaKey MaKey.
Jay Silver/Flickr

Fresh produce has never been hipper.

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12:07pm

Thu February 21, 2013
The Two-Way

Pew: U.S. Catholics Divided On Future Of The Church

A silhouette of St. Peter's statue in front of St. Peter's Basilica is seen from the Vatican Gardens.
Franco Origlia Getty Images

Catholics in the United States are divided over what they want from their next pontiff, a new poll from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life finds.

While a majority (58 percent) say it would be "good" if the next pope allows priests to marry and 60 percent said it would be good if the new pope is from the "developing world," that majority narrows when they asked a broader question.

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