3:00am

Fri May 17, 2013
Parallels

Are Buddhist Monks Involved In Myanmar's Violence?

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 10:05 pm

Some Muslims say Buddhist monks have been inciting followers during recent violence in Myanmar. Monk U Wirathu acknowledges that he is a Buddhist nationalist but says he has tried to prevent fighting. He's shown here at the Masoeyein monastery in Mandalay, Myanmar, on March 27.
Gemunu Amarasinghe AP

In the Western stereotype, Buddhists are meditating pacifists who strive to keep their distance from worldly passions. But last month, more than 40 people were killed in fighting between Buddhists and Muslims in the central Burmese town of Meiktila. Witnesses say some Buddhist monks joined in the violence, while others tried to stop it.

One prominent monk in particular has been blamed for being behind it.

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2:03am

Fri May 17, 2013
Music Interviews

Sam Amidon: Reshaping An American Folk Tradition

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 9:55 am

Sam Amidon's new album is titled Bright Sunny South.
Courtesy of the artist

Shape-note singing is a communal form of music that began in New England 200 years ago, mostly from townsfolk without any musical training. It's music that surrounded folk singer Sam Amidon during his childhood in Vermont.

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7:32pm

Thu May 16, 2013
The Two-Way

Bipartisan House Group Says It's Reached Immigration Deal

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 7:53 pm

Texas Republican Rep. John Carter (right), a member of the bipartisan group, with House Speaker John Boehner in January.
Cliff Owen AP

Members of a bipartisan group of House lawmakers say they've overcome disagreements and have reached a tentative deal to overhaul the nation's immigration system.

Eight Democratic and Republican House members left a two-hour closed-door meeting Thursday evening, saying they would be working on drafting the measure, The Associated Press reports.

"We have an agreement in principle. We're now going to work on finishing up the drafting of the bill," said Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, a member of the group.

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6:59pm

Thu May 16, 2013
The Two-Way

Who Are The Terrorism Informants In Witness Protection?

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 7:59 pm

Michael Fortier, who spent time in federal prison for knowing about the Oklahoma City bomb plot, is one of several terrorism informants in the federal witness protection program.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Known or suspected terrorists who cooperated with federal investigators in at least six major terrorism investigations over two decades were granted protection under the federal witness protection program –- and two of them temporarily could not be found by federal authorities, according to a report from the Justice Department's inspector general.

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6:32pm

Thu May 16, 2013
Parallels

Gerard Depardieu To Star In Two Chechnya-Based Films

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 7:20 pm

French actor Gerard Depardieu (right) chats with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov shortly after his arrival in Chechnya's capital, Grozny, on Feb. 24.
Musa Sadulayev AP

Actor Gerard Depardieu is reportedly set to begin filming a new thriller with British actress-model Elizabeth Hurley, to be set in Moscow and Grozny, the capital of the Russian republic of Chechnya.

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6:25pm

Thu May 16, 2013
It's All Politics

A New Front in the War on Obamacare: Twitter

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 6:48 pm

Few things likely please the Obama White House as a political battle fought on social media. Above, President Obama participates in a "Twitter Town Hall" in 2011.
Charles Dharapak AP

A simple idea: attack Obamacare tersely.

On the same day House Republicans scheduled their latest symbolic vote to repeal Obamacare, as part of their full-court press against the law they also took to Twitter to say, in three words, why they oppose the legislation.

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6:24pm

Thu May 16, 2013
The Two-Way

Federal Prosecutors Arrest Uzbekistan National On Terrorism Charges

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 7:15 pm

Authorities in Idaho have arrested an Uzbekistan national on federal terrorism charges, the Justice Department announced Thursday evening.

Fazliddin Kurbanov, 30, was arrested in Boise on Wednesday, prosecutors say. He is being charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

The AP reports:

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6:22pm

Thu May 16, 2013
The Two-Way

There's No Ignoring This 800-Pound Gator

A photo provided by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department shows Braxton Bielski with the 800-pound alligator he killed.
Troy Bielski AP

You've heard of the 800-pound gorilla in the room that everyone ignores? Well, here's an 800-pound alligator that's getting some attention.

The 14-foot beast, the heaviest ever recorded in Texas, was bagged by a Houston-area high school student last week at a wildlife management area near Choke Canyon State Park, about 90 miles south of San Antonio.

Braxton Bielski, 18, is credited with the kill. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials, the gator could be 30 to 50 years old.

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6:17pm

Thu May 16, 2013
The Salt

Congress: Where Food Reforms Go To Die?

Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Two seemingly common-sense, bipartisan food reforms have gotten mugged on Capitol Hill in recent days. If you're a loyal reader of The Salt, you've heard of them.

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6:01pm

Thu May 16, 2013
It's All Politics

Some Lawmakers Want Big-Budget Groups Included In IRS Debate

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 7:24 pm

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