5:10pm

Mon March 25, 2013
Law

Supreme Court To Examine State Ban On Affirmative Action

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:59 pm

A scene outside the Supreme Court on Monday, as the justices announced they would hear another case involving affirmative action in higher education. Many of those waiting in line at the court in a late-season snowfall were hoping to attend oral arguments on gay-marriage cases being heard Tuesday and Wednesday.
Jose Luis Magana AP

As the national spotlight turns to the U.S. Supreme Court this week with two historic arguments on same-sex marriage, the court on Monday made headlines on another high-profile issue: affirmative action.

Just 10 years ago a narrow court majority upheld affirmative action programs in higher education in an opinion written by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. But ever since O'Connor retired and was replaced by the more conservative Justice Samuel Alito, the court has been on a steady march to get rid of all race-conscious programs.

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5:05pm

Mon March 25, 2013
The Two-Way

Rebels Rain Down Mortars On Damascus

Rebels from the Free Syrian Army walk on a street in Damascus in this picture provided by Shaam News Network and taken March 23. The Syrian capital came under mortar fire on Sunday and Monday.
Ward Al-Keswani/Shaam News Network Reuters /Landov

The author is a Syrian citizen living in Damascus who is not being further identified out of safety concerns.

Syrian rebels carried out mortar and rocket attacks on Sunday and Monday in what appeared to mark a new escalation in the fighting over the Syrian capital.

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5:00pm

Mon March 25, 2013
Author Interviews

In A World That's Always On, We Are Trapped In The 'Present'

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:59 pm

Erikona iStockphoto.com

By now, you've probably heard people call themselves "slaves" to their phones or their computers. We all know what that means — but why are we allowing ourselves to be slaves to the very instruments of technology we've created?

Douglas Rushkoff, who spends his days thinking, writing and teaching about media culture, says it's time for people to stop chasing every ping and start using technology in a way that makes us feel more free. Rushkoff's latest work is called Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now. He joined NPR's Audie Cornish to talk about the book.

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5:00pm

Mon March 25, 2013
Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court

How Ellen DeGeneres Helped Change The Conversation About Gays

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:59 pm

Ellen DeGeneres during a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2011 in Burbank, Calif.
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros. AP

In 2008, during the brief window when it was legal for same-sex couples to get married in California, perhaps no couple drew more attention than Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.

After their wedding, photos of the couple were everywhere; DeGeneres, beaming, in a white suit and holding hands with de Rossi, the very picture of the princess bride so many young girls dream of being one day. It was a cultural touchstone, and Dietram Scheufele, a communications professor at the University of Wisconsin, says it was neither the first nor the last time DeGeneres has played that role.

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5:00pm

Mon March 25, 2013
Around the Nation

In Teen AIDS Activist's Hometown, Old Tensions Remain

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:59 pm

Ryan White gets a hug from Dr. Cory SerVaas after testifying to a presidential commission on AIDS in 1988. He told the panel of his battle with the disease and the taunts and jeers he endured from classmates.
Nanine Hartzenbusch Reuters/Landov

An oral history project that checks in on the Indiana town split in the 1980s by teenager Ryan White's AIDS diagnosis is finding that the topic still hits a raw nerve.

More than 25 years ago, Kokomo, Ind., was reluctantly thrown into the national spotlight when resident White, then 13, was barred from going to school after getting AIDS from a tainted blood transfusion. The decision to keep White out of school sparked national outrage and quickly divided this community.

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5:00pm

Mon March 25, 2013
The Salt

Forget Fish Fridays: In Louisiana, Gator Is On The Lenten Menu

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:59 pm

Tastes like chicken, but it's OK for Lent: Fried alligator, as served at New Orleans' Cochon restaurant.
Chris Granger Courtesy of Cochon

Is it OK to eat alligator on Fridays during Lent? That question isn't just rhetorical in Louisiana, which has large populations of both Catholics and gators.

"Alligator's such a natural for New Orleans," says Jay Nix, owner of Parkway Bakery, which serves a mean alligator sausage po boy sandwich. "Alligator gumbo, jambalaya. I mean, it's a wonder that alligator isn't our mascot, you know?"

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4:59pm

Mon March 25, 2013
The Two-Way

China Reportedly To Buy Russian Subs, Fighter Jets

Russian MiG-29 (top), MiG-35 (left) and Su-35 (right) perform at an air show outside Moscow, in 2011.
Dmitry Kostyukov AFP/Getty Images

China has reportedly signed a deal to buy new submarines and Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia, the first such arms deal in nearly a decade.

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4:16pm

Mon March 25, 2013
The Two-Way

Sen. Rob Portman's Son: 'I'm Proud Of My Dad'

This undated photo provided the office of U.S. Senator Rob Portman shows, from left to right, son Will Portman, wife Jane Portman, Sen. Portman, daughter Sally Portman, and son Jed Portman.
Uncredited AP

In an editorial for the Yale student newspaper, Will Portman says he is "proud" of his dad for his evolution on gay marriage.

Will Portman told his family he was gay two years ago, leading Rob Portman, the prominent Republican senator from Ohio, to have a change of heart on the issue of gay marriage.

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3:55pm

Mon March 25, 2013
Heavy Rotation

Heavy Rotation: 5 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 9:57 am

Tame Impala.
Maciek Pozoga Courtesy of the artist

Our panel of public-radio music obsessives has five more favorites to share. KCRW music director Jason Bentley can't get enough of the new Frightened Rabbit album. Alisa Ali, a DJ for New York's The Alternate Side indie-rock channel, picked a great new track by the promising Glasgow act CHVRCHES. Baltimore's Friday-night hip-hop show Strictly Hip Hop highlighted the new jam by Joey Bada$$.

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3:27pm

Mon March 25, 2013
Shots - Health News

Gates Foundation Says It's Time For A Snazzier Condom

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 12:02 pm

An estimated 15 billion condoms are manufactured each year and 750 million people use them.
ederk iStockphoto.com

Last summer Bill Gates and his foundation held a competition to reinvent the toilet. Now he's hoping to do the same for condoms.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is putting up $100,000 to the best proposal for a more fun and pleasurable condom.

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