10:25am

Sun February 24, 2013
Europe

Irish Women Emerge From Shadows Of 'National Shame'

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 9:45 am

Candles burn outside grounds of Leinster House, placed by relatives of victims of the Catholic-run work houses known as the Magdalene Laundries in Dublin, Ireland, on Feb. 19.
Peter Morrison AP

In post-independence Ireland, thousands of women found themselves incarcerated in church-run laundries. For the first time, the state has apologized for their treatment.

These women were a diverse group: former prostitutes, unwed mothers, orphans, homeless women, convicts and industrial school transfers put in the care of the Catholic Church.

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9:04am

Sun February 24, 2013
The Two-Way

Auction Halted Of Banksy Mural Removed In London

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 11:18 am

A man inspects a plastic cover placed over an artwork attributed to Banksy in London. The stencilled image depicts a poor child making Union Jack flags on a sewing machine and is located on the wall of a Poundland discount shop in the Wood Green area of north London.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Last week we told you about the uproar surrounding the auction of a piece of art by mysterious graffiti artist Banksy that disappeared from its home on a wall in north London.

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8:40am

Sun February 24, 2013
It's All Politics

As Deep Cuts Loom, Continued Appeals For A Deal, Finger-Pointing

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:01 am

With less than a week before the across-the-board-spending cuts go into effect, Republicans and Democrats are sounding off about the sequestration.

"There's easy ways [sic] to cut this money that the American people will never feel," Rep. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said on Fox News Sunday. "What you hear is an outrage because nobody wants to cut spending ... and it will be somewhat painful, but not cutting spending is going to be disastrous for our country."

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8:10am

Sun February 24, 2013
The Two-Way

Karzai Asks U.S. Forces To Leave Key Afghan Province

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 10:08 am

We're getting word that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered U.S. special forces to leave Wardak Province within two weeks amid allegation of torture and disappearances centering on Afghans who are part of the U.S. forces.

Update at 1:07 p.m. ET. Order Came After Report

NPR's Sean Carberry is reporting on the move for our Newscast unit. Here's what he says:

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6:46am

Sun February 24, 2013
The Two-Way

Paul C.P. McIlhenny, CEO Of Company That Makes Tabasco Sauce, Dies

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 8:44 am

Paul C.P. McIlhenny reigns as Rex as he arrives at Canal Street during Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans on Feb. 28, 2006, six months after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. McIlhenny, the CEO and chairman of the company that makes Tabasco sauce, died Saturday in New Orleans. He was 68.
Alex Brandon AP

The CEO and chairman of the company that makes Tabasco sauce has died in New Orleans. Paul C.P. McIlhenny was 68.

McIlhenny died Saturday, according to a Sunday statement from the Avery Island, La.-based McIlhenny Co.

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5:44am

Sun February 24, 2013
The Two-Way

Pope Benedict XVI Delivers Final Sunday Blessing At Vatican

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing Sunday during his last Angelus noon prayer, from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.
Domenico Stinellis AP

Pope Benedict XVI has given his final blessing before he steps down from the papacy on Thursday.

Here's more from The Associated Press:

"Benedict told the crowd that God is calling him to dedicate himself 'even more to prayer and meditation,' which he will do in a secluded monastery being renovated for him on the grounds behind Vatican City's ancient walls.

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2:46am

Sun February 24, 2013
Middle East

Israel Restores Wetlands; Birds Make It Their Winter Home

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 5:45 am

Cranes fly at sunset above the Hula Valley of northern Israel in January. Millions of birds pass through the area as they migrate south every winter from Europe and Asia to Africa. Some now stay in the Hula Valley for the entire winter.
Menahem Kahana AFP/Getty Images

Like many countries, Israel tried to drain many of its swamplands, then realized it was destroying wildlife habitats. So the country reversed course, and has been restoring the wetlands of the Hula Valley in the north.

The effort has had a huge and rather noisy payoff. Unlike many birding sites, where the creatures take off when you approach them, you can practically touch the cranes that inhabit the Hula Valley.

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2:06am

Sun February 24, 2013
Europe

Greeks Ask Themselves: Who's A Greek?

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 3:36 am

Stephanos Mwange, a Greek-born citizen of Ugandan descent, says his love for Greek history and mythology have inspired him to act ancient Greek tragedies such as Hecuba. He's a well-known actor, though his positive experience as a naturalized Greek citizen is exceptional. Most from a similar background say they've been made to feel like foreigners.
Courtesy of Sotiria Psarou

When it comes to immigration, Greece faces a dilemma: The country needs new, young people because like the rest of Europe, it faces a falling birth rate and an aging population.

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2:05am

Sun February 24, 2013
Shots - Health News

Ancient Chompers Were Healthier Than Ours

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 4:55 am

Prehistoric humans didn't have toothbrushes. They didn't have floss or toothpaste, and they certainly didn't have Listerine. Yet somehow, their mouths were a lot healthier than ours are today.

"Hunter-gatherers had really good teeth," says Alan Cooper, director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA. "[But] as soon as you get to farming populations, you see this massive change. Huge amounts of gum disease. And cavities start cropping up."

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2:05am

Sun February 24, 2013
National Security

Overseas Trip A Road Test For Secretary Of State Kerry

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 4:34 am

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to the press prior to talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida at the State Department in Washington on Friday.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

John Kerry sets off Sunday on his first foreign trip as secretary of state, visiting Europe and the Middle East.

One dominant theme of the trip will be how to resolve the crisis in Syria, where an estimated 70,000 people have been killed over the past two years. Kerry is portraying his trip as a listening tour, and he expects to hear a lot about Syria.

He told reporters recently that he wants to talk with U.S. allies about how to persuade Bashar Assad to agree on peace talks that would end the Syrian leader's bloody rule in Syria.

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