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5:27pm

Thu July 30, 2015
Music Interviews

Jason Isbell Has Conquered Fear, But He's Still Learning About Himself

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 6:24 pm

Jason Isbell's new album, Something More Than Free, comes as he's preparing to be a father.
David McClister Courtesy of the artist

Jason Isbell is riding high this week: His new album Something More Than Free is number one on Billboard's country, rock and folk charts. The musician from rural Alabama got his start with the Southern rock band Drive-By Truckers, and then went solo. For the past few years, he's been sober, after drinking brought him "close to the point of no return."

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5:07am

Thu July 30, 2015
Around the Nation

#TheEmptyChair Amplifies Conversation About Sexual Assault

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 5:52 pm

This week's New York magazine cover has received a lot of attention.
New York Magazine Via Twitter

The cover story of this week's New York magazine is getting a lot of attention.

It features 35 women seated in chairs and one empty chair. The women are all dressed in black, looking straight ahead with both hands resting on their knees. It is a stark image, and all the more compelling because each of them is openly and by name accusing Bill Cosby of horrendous acts. Some say they were drugged and raped; others recount stories of narrowly escaping sexual assault.

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5:07am

Thu July 30, 2015
Music Interviews

Through Doubt And Dark Times, Joss Stone Lets Her Voice Light The Way

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 5:01 pm

Joss Stone's new album, Water For Your Soul, is out July 31.
Courtesy of the artist

Joss Stone's voice first stunned listeners more than a decade ago. The British singer was only 14 years old then, but her booming, soulful voice got noticed, as did her knack for taking success in stride. At age 28, she hasn't stopped: Stone's newest album, Water for Your Soul, comes out this Friday.

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6:42pm

Tue July 28, 2015
Parallels

Investigation Underway Into Killing Of Cecil, Zimbabwe's Best Known Lion

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 3:12 pm

Cecil the lion is shown walking in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park in a YouTube video from July 9, 2015. Credit: Bryan Orford
Bryan Orford YouTube

Conservationists are lamenting the hunting and killing of a well-known lion from western Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park.

The black-maned lion, named Cecil, was 13 years old and had become popular among tourists from around the world.

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6:18pm

Tue July 28, 2015
The Salt

Oceans Called A 'Wild West' Where Lawlessness And Impunity Rule

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 12:19 am

There are about 140 million square miles of open ocean, and according to New York Times reporter Ian Urbina, much of it is essentially lawless. As Mark Young, a retired U.S. Coast Guard commander and former chief of enforcement for the Pacific Ocean, told Urbina, the maritime realm is "like the Wild West. Weak rules, few sheriffs, lots of outlaws."

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7:24pm

Mon July 27, 2015
All Tech Considered

Narcissistic, Maybe. But Is There More To The Art Of The Selfie?

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 11:09 am

To selfie, or not to selfie?
iStockphoto

The smartphone has given us a whole new genre of cultural expression: the selfie.

If you're into selfies, it's safe to say you've probably taken one, and maybe wished you didn't have those dark circles under your eyes.

Now there are plenty of apps out there to fix that.

But whether you think your selfies can be elevated to art may depend on how much effort you are willing to put into them.

A Personal Brand Boost

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5:47pm

Sun July 26, 2015
Latin America

A Day Of Triumph In A Time Of Change: Cuba's High Holiday Explained

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 11:23 pm

Cubans gather in Santiago de Cuba to celebrate this year's Revolution Day, the 62nd anniversary of Fidel Castro's first open assault on the forces of President Fulgencio Batista, who would eventually be overthrown by the rebels.
Yamil Lage AFP/Getty Images

On this day 62 years ago, Fidel Castro launched the attack that marked the start of the Cuban revolution. In the years since, the day has taken on emotional significance for the Cuban people — and for the communist government that celebrates it annually.

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5:13pm

Sun July 26, 2015
Global Health

Transgender Women Face Inadequate Health Care, 'Shocking' HIV Rates

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 11:27 pm

Transgender performers walk backstage during an event to mark World AIDS Day in 2013. A new WHO report demonstrates extremely rates of HIV infection among transgender women in 15 countries.
Prakash Mathema AFP/Getty Images

Transgender people are not getting adequate health care, and widespread discrimination is largely to blame, according to a recent World Health Organization report. And the story is told most starkly in the high rates of HIV among transgender women worldwide.

JoAnne Keatley, one of the authors of that study, puts it plainly.

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8:39am

Sat July 25, 2015
Race

A Navajo Speaker Says The Language Connects Her With Her Culture

Originally published on Sat July 25, 2015 10:55 am

Supporters of Navajo presidential candidate Chris Deschene were unhappy last October when a court determined that he did not meet the language requirement.
Felicia Fonseca AP

Should the president of the Navajo Nation be required to speak fluent Navajo?

The Navajo Nation held a referendum on that question this week, and the majority voted no.

The vote was victory for supporters of a Navajo presidential candidate who was disqualified last fall because he didn't speak the language fluently. The next Navajo Nation election is in 2018.

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5:27am

Sat July 25, 2015
Animals

When Detecting Land Mines, The Nose Knows — Or, In This Case, The Trunk

Originally published on Sat July 25, 2015 11:41 am

An elephant in South African offers an up-close glimpse of its prodigious instrument. According to Sean Hensman of Adventures with Elephants, trunks like this one could help the U.S. Army develop a better landmine sensor.
Greatstock/Barcroft Media Barcroft Media/Landov

In Angola, a civil war that raged for decades has left lingering, and dangerous, reminders of the violence across the countryside. Long since the worst of the fighting ended in 2002, land mines continue to claim lives — and not just those of humans.

Even as the elephant population there saw a replenishment in numbers following the war, many of the mammoth animals were being killed by leftover land mines, as well.

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6:37pm

Mon July 20, 2015
All Tech Considered

With Ad Blocking Use On The Rise, What Happens To Online Publishers?

Originally published on Tue July 21, 2015 1:56 pm

The rise of ad blockers threatens the business model that drives much of the Internet economy.
Danae Munoz Ikon Images/Getty Images

Advertising is the basic business model of the Internet. It's one reason we can view online content free of charge.

Millions of Web surfers already download software to block ads online, and that number is growing. Soon, Apple could be making mobile ad blocking easier.

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6:28pm

Sun July 19, 2015
Animals

PETA Says Undercover SeaWorld Employee Posed As Animal Rights Activist

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 11:31 am

During the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade, SeaWorld's float was accompanied by police in Pasadena, Calif. PETA supporters were arrested for protesting the float that day, and PETA claims that a SeaWorld employee posing as a PETA volunteer tipped police off to the protest.
Ringo H.W. Chiu AP

In recent years, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has waged a protest campaign against SeaWorld, saying that the U.S. theme parks' treatment of trained orcas is cruel. Now, PETA says it has identified a SeaWorld "agent" in its midst.

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5:48pm

Sat July 18, 2015
Environment

Birds, Bees And The Power Of Sex Appeal: The Ribald Lives Of Flowers

Originally published on Sat July 18, 2015 6:33 pm

Stephen Buchmann Scribner

Flowers, bugs and bees: Stephen Buchmann wanted to study them all when he was a kid.

"I never grew out of my bug-and-dinosaur phase," he tells NPR's Arun Rath. "You know, since about the third grade, I decided I wanted to chase insects, especially bees."

These days, he's living that dream. As a pollination ecologist, he's now taking a particular interest in how flowers attract insects. In his new book, The Reason for Flowers, he looks at more than just the biology of flowers — he dives into the ways they've laid down roots in human history and culture, too.

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5:10pm

Sat July 18, 2015
Music Interviews

Leaving Los Angeles: Rickie Lee Jones Turns A Decade Into An Album

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 2:51 pm

The new album The Other Side of Desire marks Jones' first original material in years, spurred on by a life-changing move to New Orleans.
David McClister Courtesy of the artist

If you turned on a radio in 1979, there was very good chance you'd hear the music of Rickie Lee Jones. At only 24, she leapt onto the world stage with her big single "Chuck E.'s in Love." Rolling Stone called her "the dutchess of coolsville."

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5:08pm

Sat July 18, 2015
Education

They're No. 1: U.S. Wins Math Olympiad For First Time In 21 Years

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 1:26 pm

Head coach Po-Shen Loh (far left) and assistant coaches John Berman and Alex Zhai (far right) flank the members of the winning squad: Shyam Narayanan, David Stoner, Michael Kural, Ryan Alweiss, Yang Liu and Allen Liu.
Courtesy of Po-Shen Loh

In one of this year's most intense international competitions, the United States has come out as best in the world — and this time, we're not talking about soccer.

This week, the top-ranked math students from high schools around the country went head-to-head with competitors from more than 100 countries at the International Mathematical Olympiad in Chiang Mai, Thailand. And, for the first time in more than two decades, they won.

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