3:24am

Sat March 23, 2013
Middle East

In Saudi Arabia, Shiite Muslims Challenge Ban On Protests

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 1:27 pm

Anti-riot police face off with protesters in Saudi Arabia's eastern city of Qatif on March 11, 2011. Despite bans on the demonstrations, Shiite Muslims in the eastern part of the country have continued to stage protests, demanding political changes.
Reuters /Landov

Editor's note: When Arab Spring protests broke out in Saudi Arabia in 2011, the government reacted quickly, pumping $130 billion into the economy and cracking down on dissent. While this approach has worked in some cities, the Shiite Muslims in the Eastern Province continued to demonstrate. Reese Erlich, on assignment for GlobalPost and NPR, managed to get into the city of Qatif and meet with protest leaders.

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3:22am

Sat March 23, 2013
Education

Race, Poverty Central To National School-Closure Debate

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 5:49 pm

Jean De Lafayette Elementary School is one of 50 schools slated to be closed in Chicago. Cities across the country are facing similar decisions, and opposition to the closures is growing.
Scott Olson Getty Images

In Chicago, parents are fighting to prevent the city from closing 54 public schools. The Chicago Teachers Union is planning a rally against the cost-cutting proposal next week.

School closings are nothing new, but in a growing number of districts around the country, what was once seen as a local decision to close schools has now morphed into a politically charged campaign.

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3:18am

Sat March 23, 2013
Shots - Health News

At Age 3, Affordable Care Act Is No Less Controversial

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 9:33 am

President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act at the White House on March 23, 2010.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The Affordable Care Act turns 3 on Saturday, and it seems just as divisive as the day President Obama signed it.

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3:17am

Sat March 23, 2013
The Two-Way

Coal And Coral: Australia's Self-Destructive Paradox

The city of Gladstone near the Great Barrier Reef is the world's fourth largest coal-export hub. Dredges, like one seen here, have turned the harbor brown as they work to expand the coal port.
Richard Harris NPR

NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 5: A return to shore finds that people prefer cars to corals.

It's not every day you open an in-flight magazine and read an ad touting "spitwater pressure cleaners for the mining industry." Flip the page and you'll also see an ad cajoling you to "snorkel, sip, snooze" on the Great Barrier Reef.

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4:22pm

Fri March 22, 2013
Arts & Culture

WEB EXTRA: The Crosscurrents Newsroom Orchestra

The Crosscurrents Newsroom Orchestra: Pro Tools Session
Credit Seth Samuel

Some musique concrète by Seth Samuel, featuring sound recorded by the Crosscurrents staff:

1. Inserting coins into a pay-dryer (recorded by Martina Castro)

2. Singing along with the dryer (Martina Castro)

3. Cicadas (Julie Caine)

4. A radiator (Julie Caine)

5. Landing at Oakland airport (Julie Caine)

6. A bathtub of water (Julie Caine)

7. A dripping tap (Mary Willis)

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3:25pm

Fri March 22, 2013
The Two-Way

Saturday Mail Delivery: Safe For Now?

Veteran USPS letter carrier Michael McDonald gathers mail to load into his truck before making his delivery run in the East Atlanta neighborhood on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in Atlanta.
David Goldman AP

Does the budget bill passed by Congress this week derail the United States Postal Service (USPS) plan to end Saturday delivery of first class mail?

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3:20pm

Fri March 22, 2013
Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court

As Support For Gay Marriage Grows, An Opponent Looks Ahead

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 4:17 pm

Maggie Gallagher has been an outspoken opponent of gay marriage for the past decade. She debated the issue at Saddleback College this month with John Corvino (right), a gay-marriage proponent who is also a personal friend.
The Lariat Robert Cody Shoemake

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to weigh in on gay marriage, Maggie Gallagher, one of the nation's leading voices in opposition to same-sex marriage, is also preparing for what might come next.

Gallagher, co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage, likes to call herself an "accidental activist." After graduating from Yale in 1982, she thought she'd become a writer and focus on what she called "important things," like money and war. She never fathomed she'd end up on TV almost daily, smack in the middle of the war zone over gay marriage.

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2:34pm

Fri March 22, 2013
Politics

From Leadership Posts, Women Said To Be Changing Senate Tone

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 4:17 pm

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., speaks at a field hearing of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, in Tacoma, Wash., last year.
Ted S. Warren AP

A lot of fanfare followed last November's election, when the number of women in the U.S. Senate surged to 20 — more than ever before.

But quieter victories came after. Female senators now claim an unprecedented number of leadership positions, and for the first time in history, women are at the helm of both the Appropriations and Budget committees — as well as half of the Armed Services subcommittees.

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2:32pm

Fri March 22, 2013
It's All Politics

Republicans Launch Mission To Turn Up Their Digital Game

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 4:17 pm

Tweets from GOP supporters scroll along the side of a large-screen display at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 28, 2012.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The Republican and Democratic parties have been in a digital arms race for years. And this week, Republicans frankly admitted that they are losing.

Now, the GOP has ambitious plans to improve its game.

Monday's report from the Republican National Committee puts it bluntly: "Republicans must catch up on how we utilize technology in our campaigns. The Obama team is several years ahead of everyone else in its technological advantage."

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2:24pm

Fri March 22, 2013
Economy/Labor/Biz

Cannabis News Roundup: March 22, 2013

Ca
Portable Network Graphics

UCLA Prof to oversee Washington State cannabis...If cannabis is medicine, why should the CA-ABC control it?...Forbes highlights cannabis angel investors...Another ton of pot found on CA beach … and more!

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