1:38pm

Tue March 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Statue Of Liberty Will Reopen July 4th, Says Parks Service

A sea shell rests on a wall surrounding the Statue of Liberty, in New York in November. Tourists in New York will miss out for a while on one of the hallmarks of a visit to New York, seeing the Statue of Liberty up close. Though the statue itself survived Superstorm Sandy intact, the storm damaged buildings and Liberty Island's power and heating systems.
Richard Drew AP

The National Park Service is almost finished with extensive repairs at the Statue of Liberty site and they expect to reopen it to the public by July 4th.

The damage was caused by Hurricane Sandy. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in a statement that the hurricane damaged docks, the energy infrastructure on Ellis Island and crippled the security screening system.

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1:32pm

Tue March 19, 2013
Europe

What's Worked, And What Hasn't, In Gun-Loving Switzerland

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 5:34 pm

Gun enthusiasts take part in a shooting competition at a club outside Zurich. The gun culture is deeply entrenched in Switzerland, where citizens as young as 10 learn to shoot.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

Switzerland has an entrenched gun culture that is embraced by most of its 8 million citizens, some of them as young as 10 years old.

Every Swiss community has a shooting range, and depending on who is counting, the alpine country ranks third or fourth in the number of guns per capita.

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1:03pm

Tue March 19, 2013
The Two-Way

WATCH: After 'Fascist' Accusations, Ukrainian Parliament Brawls

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 1:49 pm

Ukrainian opposition and majority lawmakers fight around the rostrum during the session of parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, on Tuesday.
Sergei Chuzavkov AP

You thought our politics were bad. If you need a fresh reminder that it could be worse: Official business at Ukraine's parliament was suspended for a short time, while MPs exchanged punches.

Russia Today has video:

And an explanation as to what caused the brawl:

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12:59pm

Tue March 19, 2013
It's All Politics

Assault Weapons Ban Is Gun Debate's First Casualty

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 1:48 pm

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has been told that her assault weapons ban will not be included in the Democratic gun bill to be introduced on the Senate floor in the coming weeks.
Evan Vucci AP

The prospects of an assault weapons ban emerging as part of any post-Newtown gun control law looks highly unlikely after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid opted not to include it in a Democratic proposal to be offered on the Senate floor in coming weeks.

"My understanding is it will not be [part of the base bill]" to be introduced on the Senate floor, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said after meeting with Reid on Monday, according to Politico. "The leader has decided not to do it."

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12:44pm

Tue March 19, 2013
Middle East

'We Survived Iraq': An Iraqi Makes A New Home In North Carolina

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 4:51 pm

Ali Hamdani was a doctor in Iraq before becoming a translator for NPR. He now lives in North Carolina.
Lourdes Garcia-Navarro NPR

Ten years after the Iraq War began, NPR is catching up with people we encountered during the conflict. Back in 2008, NPR's armored car was targeted with a so-called sticky bomb in Baghdad. Ali Hamdani, an Iraqi who worked for NPR as a translator and producer, narrowly escaped. Shortly afterward, he left Iraq for the Unites States as a refugee.

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12:37pm

Tue March 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Supreme Court OKs Discounted Resale Of 'Gray Market' Goods

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 4:51 pm

People stand in line outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that U.S. companies that make and sell products abroad cannot prevent those items from being resold in the U.S.

The 6-3 decision — likely worth billions, even trillions of dollars — could have repercussions that extend from U.S. trade policy to local yard sales.

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12:03pm

Tue March 19, 2013
Arts & Culture

Today's Local Music: Sinister Dexter

What’s that you’re hearing? It’s Sinister Dexter, a horn-heavy funk and soul band from Mountain View. They've evolved over the years from swing and blues into funk and soul at the urging of their audience. They say their goal is to be “the local band that we would go out of our way to see ourselves.”

You can go out of your way to see them this Friday March 22 at Tupelo, in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. Music begins around 8pm.

11:53am

Tue March 19, 2013
Middle East

Israelis, Palestinians Spar Over Controversial Settlement

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 6:19 am

A Jewish settler looks at the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim from the E-1 area on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem on Dec. 5. The Israelis are planning a controversial housing project in E-1.
Sebastian Scheiner AP

In practical terms, a project known as E-1 would provide 3,000 or so new housing units for Israelis in an area between east Jerusalem — which the Palestinians hope will someday be their capital — and the large Israeli settlement of Maaleh Adumim.

But numbers can be deceiving: Palestinians are renewing their objections to the growing number of Israeli settlements, and many fear E-1 could tip the balance in a way that makes an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement impossible.

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11:38am

Tue March 19, 2013
Author Interviews

Veterans Face Red Tape Accessing Disability, Other Benefits

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 2:05 pm

Ten years ago, the United States invaded Iraq and began what the Bush administration said would be a short war.

But it wasn't until December 2011 that the United States officially ended its military mission there.

In addition to the tens of thousands of Iraqis who died, the war cost the lives of nearly 4,500 American service members, and wounded more than 32,200 men and women in America's military. Many of the wounded vets have faced — or are still facing — long waits for their disability and other benefits to begin.

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10:53am

Tue March 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Malala, Pakistani Teen Shot For Demanding An Education, Heads To School In U.K.

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban, attends her first day of school on Tuesday just weeks after being released from the hospital.
Malala Press Office AP

Some terrific news today: Malala Yousafzai's story has come full circle. If you remember, the Pakistani teenager was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman because she was in favor of girls receiving an education.

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