4:50pm

Wed July 18, 2012
Crosscurrents

Crosscurrents: July 18, 2012

Reforming the Oakland Police Department; Will Californians ever vote online?; 99% Invisible: Designing a postage stamp; and local band Sonny and the Sunsets.

4:46pm

Wed July 18, 2012
Arts & Culture

99% Invisible: Designing a postage stamp

courtesy of 99percentinvisible.org/

Stamps design takes, on average, a year to a year and a half, from conception to execution. Unfortunately, most of the stamps we encounter on a day-to-day basis are the rather predictable flag, bell, and love stamps, but there are some really fantastic commemorative stamps, which are supremely functional and affordable tiny works of art.

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4:31pm

Wed July 18, 2012
Cops & Courts

Reforming the Oakland Police Department

Flickr user alxndr

Throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s, two things shaped the Oakland Police Department.  The city had one of the highest crime rates in California, and four police officers calling themselves the “Riders” beat, robbed, and framed hundreds of residents in the flatlands of Oakland. For years the officers were praised for sweeping drugs from the rough streets of West Oakland. But in 2000 over 100 plaintiffs came forward and accused the “Riders” of kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, and battery.

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3:51pm

Wed July 18, 2012
Politics

Will Californians ever vote online?

Allan Hough

In June, 14 current and retired postal workers in Washington, D.C. and in the state of Washington began a one-week hunger strike. They were protesting against Congress requiring the U.S. Postal Service to make mandatory healthcare and pension contributions. Some employees believe it is making the organization unprofitable.

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3:28pm

Wed July 18, 2012
Environment

Interactive: Mapping The U.S. Drought

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 12:40 pm

More than half the country is experiencing drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
NPR/U.S. Drought Monitor

Texas experienced its worst drought on record last year. Now that the state is seeing some relief, drought conditions have consumed more than half the United States. Use this interactive map and chart to see how conditions have changed over time. Related story: 1,200 counties affected.

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3:19pm

Wed July 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Service Members In Colombia Prostitution Scandal Won't Face Criminal Charges

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 3:35 am

Ten members of the U.S. military who were involved in the Secret Service prostitution scandal have received punishment but will not face criminal charges.

NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Those disciplined include seven soldiers and two Marines. They received administrative punishment that could include penalties such as loss of pay.

"Another Air Force member has been reprimanded and investigations are continuing against two Navy sailors.

"Officials say there will be no criminal charges.

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3:08pm

Wed July 18, 2012
Election 2012

Portman A Low-Key Possibility For GOP Running Mate

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 12:34 pm

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, campaigns with Mitt Romney in Cincinnati on Feb. 20.
Mark Lyons Getty Images

As the guessing game continues about Mitt Romney's choice of a running mate, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman invariably comes up as a top contender. And with a wealth of experience in Washington and beyond, Portman would be considered a safe pick to run for vice president on the Republican ticket.

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3:03pm

Wed July 18, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Prostate Cancer Surgery Shows No Benefit For Many Men

Surgery for prostate cancer shouldn't be an automatic choice, a new study says.
iStockphoto.com

Finally, the results from a decades-long study that compared surgery for prostate cancer to careful monitoring have been published.

Overall, the researchers found no difference in rates of death from any cause, including prostate cancer, among men who had their prostates surgically removed compared to those who didn't.

Preliminary results were released more than a year ago.

The newly published conclusion:

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2:55pm

Wed July 18, 2012
Movie Reviews

As Class Warfare Brews, A 'Dark Knight Rises'

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 8:54 am

The Dark Knight Rises begins eight years after The Dark Knight, with Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) living a reclusive life at his mansion alongside Alfred (Michael Caine). The movie is the finale of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy.
Ron Phillips Warner Bros. Pictures

The canvas is epic, the themes are profound, the execution is ... clunky. Welcome to Christopher Nolan's third and allegedly final Batman picture, The Dark Knight Rises — that so-called rising taking hours, by the way. No Batman film ever had less Batman.

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2:49pm

Wed July 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Is American Stalling On A Merger With US Airways?

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 7:05 pm

US Airways CEO Doug Parker waits to be introduced prior to his address to a National Press Club Newsmaker Luncheon in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Could it be that American Airlines CEO Tom Horton is resisting the warm embrace of US Airways CEO Doug Parker over a little thing like money?

During a National Press Club luncheon Wednesday, Parker didn't exactly shoot down suggestions that American's leadership has been stalling on a merger of the two carriers because of the potential for personal gain.

Asked whether Horton is focused on the payday he would get if American were to remain independent a while longer, Parker hesitated. For more than 8 seconds, his answer was: "Um. The. Uh. Let's see."

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