3:22pm

Wed April 17, 2013
The Two-Way

More Prisoners Join Hunger Strike At Guantanamo

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 3:27 pm

In this image reviewed by the U.S. military, Navy Capt. Robert Durand stands next to some of the makeshift weapons confiscated from detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison following a clash Saturday between prisoners and guards.
Ben Fox AP

The U.S. military says the number of prisoners on hunger strike at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has risen to 52 — up from 45 a day earlier. The news comes just days after guards raided a section of the facility to move prisoners to single cells from their communal holding area because the detainees had covered security cameras and engaged in other actions.

The Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg had this tweet:

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2:37pm

Wed April 17, 2013
It's All Politics

Immigration Proves A 'Rubik's Cube' For Many Republicans

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 5:37 pm

Protesters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Capitol on April 10.
Allison Shelley Getty Images

While an immigration overhaul has drawn support from church groups, business, labor and even former opponents, there's still deep opposition — mostly centered in the Republican Party.

The last time a president tried to pass a comprehensive immigration overhaul was in 2007, and George W. Bush's fellow Republicans in Congress killed his bill. Republican strategist Kevin Madden says a lot has changed since then — including the way the Republican Party is dealing with its own internal divisions.

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1:53pm

Wed April 17, 2013
Shots - Health News

How Ricin Can Sicken And Kill

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 10:43 am

Federal authorities confirm that the poison ricin was found in envelopes sent to both President Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker, a Mississippi Republican.

If that sounds eerily familiar it's maybe because back in 2003, an envelope containing a threatening note and a sealed container of ricin were found in a South Carolina postal facility.

What is ricin?

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1:47pm

Wed April 17, 2013
Arts & Culture

Today's local music: Nebula Force, Go!

www.facebook.com/pages/Nebula-Force-Go

Today we're featuring a group called “Nebula Force, Go!” That’s a reference to Power Rangers ... and we’ll leave it at that. Anyway, this alternative folk rock quartet is playing at The Lost Church in San Francisco on Saturday April 20. Be advised that programs there often sell out. Music starts at 8pm.

 

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1:40pm

Wed April 17, 2013
The Two-Way

Senate Rejects Expanded Background Checks For Gun Sales

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 3:36 pm

President Obama makes a statement on gun violence as Vice President Joe Biden, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and family members of Newtown, Conn., shooting victims look on at the White House Rose Garden.
Win McNamee Getty Images

A bipartisan compromise that would have expanded federal background checks for firearms purchases has been rejected by the Senate.

The defeat of the measure by a 54-46 vote — six votes shy of the number needed to clear the Senate — marks a major setback for gun-control advocates, many of whom had hoped that Congress would act to curb gun violence in the wake of December's Newtown elementary school massacre, where 20 students and six adults were killed.

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1:29pm

Wed April 17, 2013
It's All Politics

Focus On Sanford's Whereabouts, Again, Won't Help Gender Gap

Jenny Sanford says her ex-husband was in her Sullivan's Island, S.C., home without her permission.
Mary Ann Chastain AP

If it seemed like former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's problem with female voters couldn't get any worse, well, it appears that it might have.

Sanford, a Republican, is hoping to put the marital scandal that defined his second term behind him with a return to Congress in a May 7 special election. But just two days later, Sanford will have to appear in court to defend himself from an accusation that he was at his ex-wife's house in February without her permission.

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1:25pm

Wed April 17, 2013
The Two-Way

Scientists Sequence Genome Of 'Living Fossil' Fish

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:17 pm

Workers at the National Museum of Kenya show a coelacanth caught by Kenyan fishermen in 2001.
Simon Maina AFP/Getty Images

Scientists have unraveled the genome of the coelacanth, a rare and primitive fish once thought to be extinct, shedding light on how closely it's related to the first creatures to emerge from the sea.

The coelacanth, a fish that can reach up to 5 feet long and lives in deep ocean caves, had only been seen in fossils and was thought to have gone extinct some 70 million years ago. That was until 1938, when fishermen from the Comoros islands off the coast of Africa captured one in a net. A second coelacanth species was discovered off the Indonesian island of Sulewesi in 1997.

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12:55pm

Wed April 17, 2013
The Two-Way

On Independence Day, A Subdued Syrian Capital

Pro-Assad, flag-painted Hummers are often seen driving throughout Damascus blasting patriotic songs and regime slogans. These two vehicles were photographed at the site of blasts earlier this month near Syria's central bank.
NPR

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

On this day in 1946, Syria celebrated the withdrawal of the last French soldier from its soil, and announced itself as an independent, 20th century-style nation-state.

It was a day of hope and jubilation, which over the years my older relatives would periodically recollect from memory.

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12:15pm

Wed April 17, 2013
The Salt

Science In A Scoop: Making Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 9:14 am

The store uses a patented machine to keep ingredients churning and mix in the liquid nitrogen in a safe, controlled manner.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

Robyn Sue Fisher's ice cream shop, Smitten, in San Francisco's Hayes Valley, may at moments resemble a high school chemistry lab, but that's because Fisher uses liquid nitrogen to freeze her product.

Nitrogen is "a natural element," she notes. "It's all around us."

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11:33am

Wed April 17, 2013
Shots - Health News

As Bird Flu Spreads In China, The Source Remains A Mystery

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:19 pm

A vendor weighs a live chicken at the Kowloon City Market in Hong Kong Friday. Health authorities there have stepped up the testing of live poultry from China to include a rapid test for the H7N9 bird virus.
Lam Yik Fei Getty Images

The new bird flu in China has come with a long list of questions.

Are the 82 cases reported so far just the tip of a larger outbreak? Why does the virus cause mild symptoms in some people and severe pneumonia in others?

Perhaps the most critical question is also the simplest: How do people catch the bug?

The H7N9 virus clearly infects birds. Health workers have detected it in chickens, ducks and pigeons.

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