12:56pm

Wed January 2, 2013
Middle East

On Multiple Fronts, Russian Jews Reshape Israel

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 5:54 am

Russian-speaking Israelis mingle at the Soho nightclub in Tel Aviv. The club caters to the Russian-speaking immigrant community, featuring hired dancers and extravagant decorations rarely seen in informal Israel.
Oded Balilty AP

Many signs are in the Cyrillic alphabet. The men and women sitting in the cafes are speaking Russian. The shops sell vodka, black bread, pickled herring and Russian-brewed Baltika beer. You have to pinch yourself to remember where you are.

This scene, with all its echoes of the former Soviet Union, is not in St. Petersburg or Vladivostok, or anywhere else in that vast sweep of bleak northern lands. It is in Ashdod, Israel, a palm-lined, pastel-colored port city that sprawls along the mild shores of the Mediterranean.

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12:34pm

Wed January 2, 2013
National Security

At $130 Million A Plane, Critics Question The Cost Of The F-35

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 4:51 pm

Visitors look at a Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet at the Singapore Airshow in 2010. The cost of the plane keeps on rising and is now $130 million or more per plane, depending on the model.
Roslan Rahman AFP/Getty Images

Second of two parts

In a mile-long building on the edge of Fort Worth, Texas, an assembly line is taking shape to build the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Lockheed Martin, which got the contract to build the jet back in 2001, is slowly cranking up production. It's hard to keep a plane current, when it takes so many years to develop.

But Lockheed's Kevin McCormack says the F-35 is designed to change as technology evolves.

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12:24pm

Wed January 2, 2013
It's All Politics

Bidding Adieu To Congressional Trailblazers

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 7:15 am

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the nation's most prominent gay politician, speaks in Washington last month about his imminent retirement.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The drama over the fiscal cliff and the familiar up-against-a-deadline dysfunction of Congress have largely overshadowed the leave-taking of some Capitol Hill originals.

So we wanted to remember a few true congressional trailblazers whose long Washington careers are ending. They include the first openly gay member of Congress, a leader of the libertarian movement, the first Jewish candidate to run on a major party presidential ticket, and the most fervent supporter of a U.S. Department of Peace.

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12:04pm

Wed January 2, 2013
Shots - Health News

Drug Fulfills Promise Of Research Into Cystic Fibrosis Gene

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 4:53 pm

Kalydeco is one of the first drugs that is effective at combating the root causes of a genetic disease.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The promise of genetic medicine is beginning to be fulfilled, but it's been a long, hard slog.

Take the story of Kalydeco. It's designed to treat people with a lung disease called cystic fibrosis. While not quite a cure, the drug is extremely effective for some CF patients.

But the success of Kalydeco has been more than two decades in the making.

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11:49am

Wed January 2, 2013
It's All Politics

Cliff Deal: What We Learned; What Comes Next

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 1:03 pm

Although the fiscal cliff deal was passed by majorities in both chambers, it has still drawn criticism from the left and right.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The budget negotiations that led to a frantic New Year's deal on taxes confirmed many lessons about the way Washington works today.

For one thing, many of the most important relationships in the capitol appear to be broken. President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner led negotiations on a budget deal for most of the post-election period, but once again they came up empty.

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10:56am

Wed January 2, 2013
The Two-Way

Malala, Shot For Speaking Out Against Pakistan's Taliban, To Stay In U.K.

In November, Pakistani students in Karachi participated in a "Malala Day" to show support for the girl who was shot when she spoke out against the Taliban.
Masroor Xinhua /Landov

Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old girl who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman because she had been speaking out against that group's efforts to stop Pakistani girls from going to school, will be staying in Great Britain.

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10:30am

Wed January 2, 2013
It's All Politics

'Rum Cliff' And Other Close Shaves In The Tax, Spending Deal

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 12:12 pm

The 'rum tax' is extended.
istock

You might have thought the intense partisan negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff were all about who wins and who loses when it comes to taxes and government programs.

And that assessment would be essentially correct — but some of the winners might strike you as a bit odd.

Tucked away in the bill's obscure cul-de-sacs are a bevy of obscure tax and spending provisions. We picked five for your perusal. Here goes:

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10:20am

Wed January 2, 2013
Crosscurrents

The search for redemption: an ex-con's perspective

Don Cronk
courtesy of lifeaftermurder.com

Between 2000 and 2009, 57,000 men and women convicted of murder were released from state and federal prison.

By the time convicted murderers are released, they’ve usually served decades behind bars; they’re a generation older than when they went to prison. When they come out, they often fade from view – no sensational headlines, no fanfare.  They make their way on the outside in a world that’s can be very different from the one they left.

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10:10am

Wed January 2, 2013
Economy

Economists See (OK-ish) Growth In 2013

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:07 am

Farmer Randy Dreher unloads corn from his combine during harvest north of Audubon, Iowa. Farm exports are booming and high global prices are helping growers despite the U.S. drought.
Gary Fandel/Iowa Farm Bureau AP

Suddenly, the new year is looking a bit brighter — at least in the eyes of most economists and investors.

On Day 1 of 2013, Congress voted to veer away from the "fiscal cliff" by passing a package of provisions that avoided broad tax hikes and big spending cuts. And on Day 2, stock prices shot up.

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9:57am

Wed January 2, 2013
The Two-Way

Andrew Sullivan's 'The Dish' Is Leaving 'The Daily Beast,' Going Solo Again

Andrew Sullivan
Andrew H. Walker Getty Images

Saying that he and his team want "to help build a new media environment that is not solely about advertising or profit above everything, but that is dedicated first to content and quality," blogger Andrew Sullivan confirmed today that The Dish is leaving The Daily Beast and striking out on its own again.

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