3:33am

Sat January 26, 2013
Author Interviews

Dave Barry's 'Insane' Miami Mixes Refugees, Gangsters, Escorts And A Burmese Python

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 2:36 pm

Putnam

It wouldn't do to call Insane City "a typical Dave Barry novel." What kind of thing is that to say about a book? The story begins with a bachelor dinner that goes off the rails, then brings in Russian mobsters, the fourth-place finisher in the Miss Hot Amateur Bod contest, a goodhearted escort and her "sales representative," if you please, an albino Burmese python — or is that a Burmese albino python?

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3:10am

Sat January 26, 2013
The Salt

Vigor, Brain Power And Other Health Claims From Coke's Advertising Past

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 3:12 am

(1905) Courtesy of Tom Bates

Coca-Cola is taking a lot of flak for its new television ad campaign addressing America's obesity epidemic – an epidemic in which sugary sodas are widely fingered as a key culprit.

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2:29am

Sat January 26, 2013
The Two-Way

Even Syrian Activists Fall In Love On Facebook

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 7:35 am

Two young Syrian activists, Mohsen and Sara, say they met and fell in love on Facebook while monitoring the country's uprising. They didn't want their faces shown, but provided this photo, taken in the Old City of Damascus.
Courtesy of Mohsen and Sara

Syrian activists tend to spend long nights on Skype and Facebook, sending and receiving updates on the battle to oust the government.

And online is also where they sometimes fall in love.

Mohsen, an activist from Hama, says he first met Sara, his girlfriend of nearly two years, on Facebook.

She sent him a friend request because she saw he worked in the field of journalism, and for months they chatted casually about the Syrian uprising. Then, after government troops stormed Hama, Moshen fled to Damascus, where he and Sara finally met face to face.

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2:28am

Sat January 26, 2013
Simon Says

'Ebony' Editor Began Life Black In Nazi Germany

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 2:36 pm

Hans Massaquoi told his story in Destined to Witness: Growing up Black in Nazi Germany. The former managing editor of Ebony magazine died on his 87th birthday last Saturday.
Matthew P. D'Agostino AP

The proudest moment of Hans Massaquoi's boyhood was when his babysitter sewed a swastika on his sweater. He was a 7-year-old boy in Hamburg who wanted to be part of the excitement of the times he saw. But when his mother got home, she snipped off the swastika.

He also wanted to join the Hitler Youth. "They had cool uniforms," Massaquoi wrote years later, "and they did exciting things — camping, parades, playing drums."

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2:27am

Sat January 26, 2013
It's All Politics

For GOP Comeback, Leaders Urge Stepped-Up Outreach

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 2:36 pm

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, shown at the Republican National Convention in August, has been re-elected to another two-year term.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

In their first big party gathering since Election Day, Republican leaders from around the country met in Charlotte, N.C., this week.

The GOP is promising a great deal of change in advance of the next election, but one area where there will be no change for the party is in its leadership. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was elected to another two-year term.

In his acceptance speech, he cited a simple reason why Republicans failed to win the White House and lost seats in the House and Senate in November.

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2:27am

Sat January 26, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama Administration Takes Gun Control Fight Outside Washington

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 2:36 pm

Vice President Joe Biden participates in a round-table discussion on gun violence at Virginia Commonwealth University with Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., on Friday. The panelists included people who worked on gun safety after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.
Steve Helber AP

The Obama administration is taking its push for gun legislation outside of the Beltway — possibly in a nod to the obstacles any gun control bills will face in Washington.

On Friday, Vice President Joe Biden held a round-table discussion in Richmond, Va., speaking with people who worked on gun safety after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.

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2:26am

Sat January 26, 2013
Economy

Japan's Economic Plan May Be Bad News For Everyone Else

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 2:36 pm

Masaaki Shirakawa, the governor of the Bank of Japan, speaks before the press in Tokyo on Friday. The central bank announced new measures to stimulate the economy Tuesday.
Rie Ishii AFP/Getty Images

Moves taken by Japan's central bank are raising fears that the world could face what's called a "currency war." The measures, announced Tuesday, are designed to flood Japan's moribund economy with money and encourage businesses and consumers to spend more.

Steps like these have been tried again and again by countries all over the world — including the U.S. — in recent years, with mixed success.

What's Wrong With Pouring Money Into The Problem?

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1:01am

Sat January 26, 2013
The Two-Way

Egyptian Court Gives 21 Death Sentences Over Soccer Riot

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 11:11 am

Egyptian soccer fans of Al-Ahly football club celebrate in front of their club premises in Cairo on Saturday. An Egyptian court sentenced 21 people to death in relation to a soccer stadium riot last February.
Amr Nabil AP

The top of this post was updated at 10:28 a.m. ET:

An Egyptian court has sentenced 21 defendants to death over a deadly soccer riot last year, adding fuel to the violent protests that continued to flare across the country on Saturday.

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11:03pm

Fri January 25, 2013
Music Interviews

Petra Haden Covers Classic Film Scores With A Single Voice

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 2:36 pm

Petra Haden's new album is titled Petra Goes to the Movies.
Courtesy of the artist

Petra Haden had a problem when she was a child: "I remember watching Looney Tunes cartoons and having the music stuck in my head," the singer and violinist says.

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11:03pm

Fri January 25, 2013
Music News

The Composer Who Tested Fighter Planes And Partied With Sinatra

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 2:36 pm

Jimmy Van Heusen with Frank Sinatra in the 1950s. Van Heusen wrote dozens of songs for the crooner and became Sinatra's close friend and confidant.
Courtesy of Burns Media Productions

You've never heard of Jimmy Van Heusen? Well, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has. You certainly know many of his songs, says Brook Babcock, Van Heusen's grandnephew and president of his publishing company.

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