2:53pm

Sat January 12, 2013
Environment

From Corn Belt To Main Street: The Drought's Far-Reaching Grasp

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 4:37 pm

The sun shines above a farm near White City, Kan., in November.
Orlin Wagner AP

The U.S. had its hottest year on record last year. That heat, combined with the relatively dry winter that came before, has brought a historic drought.

From forest fires and low crop yields, to infrastructure and recreation, the drought has been costly, with early estimates putting the cost at between $50 billion and $80 billion.

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2:40pm

Sat January 12, 2013
The Two-Way

Aaron Swartz, Reddit Cofounder And Online Activist, Dead At 26

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 5:54 am

Aaron Swartz co-authored RSS and founded the company that later became the social media website Reddit.
Boston Globe via Getty Images

He was 14 when he co-authored RSS and later helped found the company that would become the social media website Reddit. Internet activist Aaron Swartz was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment, authorities said Saturday. He was 26.

Update at 7:42 p.m.: Swartz To Be Remembered For 'Technological Virtuosity':

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2:07pm

Sat January 12, 2013
Digital Life

'Make Me' Asian App Sparks Online Backlash

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 7:04 am

A screenshot from the "Make me Asian" app page in the Google Play store.
Google Play

Tens of thousands of people have downloaded two apps from the Google Play Store that are sparking accusations of racism.

The "Make me Asian" and "Make me Indian" apps allow Android smartphone users to take a picture and superimpose characteristics the developer thinks relate to those ethnic groups. An online petition is urging Google to remove the apps from its store.

The Make me Asian app manipulates pictures to give the subject yellow-tinged skin, narrow eyes, a conical rice-paddy hat and a Fu Manchu mustache taken from a fictional Chinese villain.

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2:07pm

Sat January 12, 2013
Remembrances

Remembering PFLAG Founder And Mother

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 7:32 pm

Jeanne Manford, gay rights advocate and PFLAG founder.
PFLAG National

President Obama spoke about Jeanne Manford in a speech he gave at the annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner in 2009. Her son, Morty, was an important figure in New York City's gay community during the turbulent 1970s.

"Soon after the protests at Stonewall 40 years ago, the phone rang in the home of a soft-spoken elementary school teacher named Jeanne Manford," he said. A police officer told her Morty had been arrested.

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12:15pm

Sat January 12, 2013
Law

From The Bronx To The Bench: The Family Photos Of Justice Sotomayor

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, late 1970s.
Courtesy of Justice Sonia Sotomayor

It was a long road to the Supreme Court. On the way, Justice Sonia Sotomayor faced a diabetes diagnosis, her father's death to alcoholism and her cousin's overdose. For Sotomayor, life began in the Bronx, in tenement housing in a community of Puerto Rican immigrants. She gave NPR exclusive access to a huge suitcase brimming with family photos and tells her story in this multimedia experience.

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11:10am

Sat January 12, 2013
The Two-Way

Fleeing Violence, Syrian Refugees Weather A Cruel Winter

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 12:32 pm

Some of the worst winter weather in decades is making life even more difficult for the residents of the al-Marj refugee camp. Some Syrians who fled violence and shelling say after living in such harsh conditions, they wish they could go back.
Susannah George NPR

Lebanon has had some of the worst winter weather in decades. First, record rainfalls flooded the low-lying part of the country, then ice and show bent trees and blocked roads. The frigid conditions are making it even harsher for Syrian refugees trying to take shelter from the violence in their home country.

The al-Marj refugee camp sits wedged between snow-covered vineyards, a community center and an unfinished warehouse in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, just a 10-minute drive from the Syrian border.

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8:57am

Sat January 12, 2013
The Two-Way

Failed French Rescue Attempt Leaves Several Dead In Somalia

In October, kidnapped French intelligence agent Denis Allex appeared in a video shot by his captors. In the video, Allex pleads for French President Francois Hollande to negotiate for his release.
- AFP/Getty Images

It's not clear whether a French intelligence agent is dead or alive after a botched rescue attempt in Somalia on Saturday morning. As the AP reports:

"France says the agent, code-name Denis Allex, was killed in the raid, along with a French commando and 17 Islamist militants. But the militant group al-Shabab, which held Allex for more than three years, says it still has Allex and claims to have captured a French soldier."

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7:29am

Sat January 12, 2013
Simon Says

Cheating Might Buy Home Runs, But No Hall Of Fame

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 10:23 am

The Baseball Hall of Fame is a tourist attraction, not a papal conclave. And the people who cast votes for the Hall are sportswriters, not the College of Cardinals.

But there was something momentous this week when the Baseball Writers Association elected no one to the Hall of Fame. Not Roger Clemens, who won a record seven Cy Young Awards. Not Barry Bonds, who hit a record 762 home runs. Not Sammy Sosa, who hit 60 or more home runs in a season three times.

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6:03am

Sat January 12, 2013
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Civil War, 'Downton' And 'Girls'

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 8:43 am

Lena Dunham's series Girls, which follows the lives of a group of young women in New York City, returns to HBO this month.
Jessica Miglio HBO

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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5:25am

Sat January 12, 2013
Simon Says

Baseball Hall Of Fame Snub Draws The Line

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 6:22 am

There was something momentous this week when the Baseball Writers Association elected no one to the Hall of Fame. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon remarks on the rebuke, rare in a sport where bad behavior is routine.

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