2:52pm

Wed November 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Despite Protection Efforts, Rhino Poaching Soars

Miles Lappeman (left) and his son Marc with the carcass of a rhino that was killed for its horn at their Finfoot Lake Reserve on Nov. 24 in South Africa. This was one of eight rhinos slaughtered by poachers.
Nicolene Olckers Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Just a few years ago, rhino poaching appeared to be more or less under control.

Shootings were relatively rare, and about 75 percent of the world's rhinos lived in South Africa, a country that has taken extensive efforts to protect them.

Just 13 rhinos were reported killed worldwide in 2007. But the figure has been surging in recent years and has already hit 588 so far this year, according to conservation groups.

An estimated 25,000 rhinos remain in Africa.

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2:47pm

Wed November 28, 2012
Research News

A Short Fuse For Fusion As Ignition Misses Deadline

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 12:07 am

A worker inspects a huge target chamber at the National Ignition Facility in California, in 2001, where beams from 192 lasers are aimed at a pellet of fusion fuel in the hopes of creating nuclear fusion.
Joe McNally Getty Images

The National Ignition Facility in Livermore, Calif., has been called a modern-day moonshot, a project of "revolutionary science," and "the mother of all boondoggles."

NIF, as it's called, is a $5 billion, taxpayer-funded superlaser project whose goal is to create nuclear fusion — basically a tiny star inside a laboratory. But so far, that hasn't happened.

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2:30pm

Wed November 28, 2012
It's All Politics

In Fiscal Cliff PR War, Obama Seeks Help From A Public Already Leaning His Way

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 4:18 pm

President Obama speaks Wednesday while meeting with citizens at the White House. Obama called on Republicans to halt an automatic tax hike for middle-class Americans.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

In Washington's latest game of chicken, President Obama is counting on voters who see things his way to give him the edge in his quest to get congressional Republicans to accept tax increases on the nation's wealthiest as part of any fiscal cliff deal.

To energize those voters, the president is ramping up a series of campaign-style events meant to educate the public about the stakes, as he sees them, of letting the Bush-era tax cuts for middle-class Americans expire if no agreement is reached by year's end.

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1:59pm

Wed November 28, 2012
Shots - Health News

Flame Retardants From Furniture Found In Household Dust

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 6:54 am

Scientists say that the best way to reduce a person's contact with the flame retardant chemicals in sofas and other furniture is to vacuum more.
SINAN DONMEZ iStockphoto.com

Sofas and other cushy furniture often contain chemicals intended to reduce the risk of fire. But those chemicals may pose health risks of their own, and some researchers are trying to build the case for getting them out of the house altogether.

Eighty-five percent of couches tested in a new study contained at least one flame-retardant chemical in the foam cushioning.

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1:56pm

Wed November 28, 2012
It's All Politics

Hispanic Caucus Rejects Republican Immigration Bills

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 8:54 am

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and 20 House members make up the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Here, Menendez speaks in September in Sayreville, N.J.
Mel Evans AP

Determined not to be excluded from the post-election bipartisan talk of passing immigration legislation, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Wednesday rejected two Republican proposals while outlining its own priorities.

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1:55pm

Wed November 28, 2012
Middle East

The Middle East: A Web Of 'Topsy-Turvy' Alliances

After a week of recent fighting between Israel and Hamas, an Israeli soldier stands on top of a mobile artillery unit in a position near the Israel Gaza border.
Ariel Schalit Getty Images

Writing for the New York Review of Books at the beginning of November, Robert Malley, the program director for the Middle East and North Africa with the International Crisis Group, and Hussein Agha described the current situation in the Middle East:

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1:53pm

Wed November 28, 2012
MY MIX TAPE

"September" by Earth, Wind & Fire

Gristan Grispol always loves when September comes around.

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1:53pm

Wed November 28, 2012
Religion

Mormonism: A Scrutinized, Yet Evolving Faith

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 2:58 pm

temple
George Frey Reuters

Mitt Romney refused to mix religion with politics in this year's presidential campaign, but that didn't repress people's curiosity about Mormonism. His candidacy brought the homegrown faith into the spotlight.

Patrick Mason, a professor and chairman of the Mormon Studies program at Claremont Graduate University, says attention paid to his faith has been twofold. On one hand, it's been good for attracting new converts. On the other hand, it's turned Mormonism into something of a cultural punch line.

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1:50pm

Wed November 28, 2012
MY MIX TAPE

"Oh Shenandoah" by various artists

Caty Ballister's mother used to sing this song to her when she was a girl. 

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1:47pm

Wed November 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Texas Moves To Seize Polygamous Leader Warren Jeffs' Ranch

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 4:09 pm

Boys walk through a potato field at the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas, in 2009.
Eric Gay AP

The office of the Texas attorney general announced today that it was taking steps to try to seize the ranch of polygamous leader Warren Jeffs.

Reporting from Dallas, NPR's Wade Goodwyn filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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