12:40am

Fri July 20, 2012
U.S.

Rain Over Texas Quenches Dry Lone Star State

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 11:42 am

Pedestrians stand along the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas, in May. The state has gotten a reprieve from more than a year of drought.
Eric Gay AP

While severe drought is taking hold in the Midwest, Texas is doing better. At this time last year, the state was on fire, crops were desiccated in the field and livestock were slowly starving. But recent rains have almost ended more than a year of record drought.

"If you look at the way we were thinking and feeling on the last July 16, that was desperation. That was despair," says Gene Hall, public relations director for the Texas Farm Bureau.

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12:35am

Fri July 20, 2012
London 2012: The Summer Olympics

Olympians' Dilemma: 'Starve My Soul' For Ramadan?

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:12 am

Mohammed Ahmed runs at the NCAA championships in June in Des Moines, Iowa. He's representing Canada at the Olympics and had to decide whether to fast for Ramadan this year.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Mazen Aziz, representing Egypt in the 2012 Summer Olympics, has trained for the 10,000-meter, open-water swim for years. It's a grueling race that can take upwards of 1 hour and 45 minutes, depending on the waves, current or water temperature.

But Aziz is Muslim, and with the Olympics falling during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the 22-year-old athlete had to make a choice: be in top physical condition or maintain a primary tenet of his faith.

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12:25am

Fri July 20, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Activists Fear Brazil's Triumph Over HIV Has Fizzled

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 11:42 am

Drag queens at an outdoor restaurant in Copacabana incorporate safe sex messages into a show of lip-synced songs and risque jokes.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Brazil's HIV/AIDS program — which has been praised as a model for developing nations — is now under strain.

When HIV first emerged in the 1980s, Brazil responded quickly to the epidemic. The South American country launched large-scale safe-sex drives and gave away millions of condoms. It offered free treatment to anyone who was infected. The Brazilian government took on international pharmaceutical companies and even broke patents to cut medication costs.

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12:09am

Fri July 20, 2012
Politics

Today on Your Call: Friday Media Roundtable

On today’s Your Call, it’s our Friday media roundtable. This week, we’ll discuss coverage of the new voter ID law in Texas and vote tampering in California. How are journalists covering voting issues as the election heats up? We’ll also discuss coverage of the ongoing violence and unrest in Syria. We’ll be joined by ColorLines’ Brentin Mock, independent journalist Brad Friedman, and the Financial Times’ Michael Peel joins us from Damascus. Join us at 10am PST or leave a comment here. Where did you see the best reporting this week? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.

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12:02am

Fri July 20, 2012
Asia

N. Korean Conundrum: Are Political Changes Real?

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 7:28 pm

In this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency and distributed in Tokyo by the Korea News Service on July 9, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is seen with a woman in Pyongyang. It's not clear who she is, but a first lady would be a marked departure from the days of Kim's father, who kept his personal life private.
AP

North Korea's army has been swearing oaths of loyalty to leader Kim Jong Un after he was given the new title of marshal of the nation, cementing his position. This comes just days after the army chief was dismissed for illness. Analysts suspect these announcements are masking far deeper changes, but there's disagreement about what it means.

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9:32pm

Thu July 19, 2012
BLUEGRASS SIGNAL 7/21

(Previously) Live Bluegrass!

A recent photo (by Mike Melnyk) of bluegrass pioneer Mac Martin

Host Peter Thompson continues his broadcast of highlights from live performances.  This week:  two fabulous bluegrass concerts in the '70s: Mac Martin & the Dixie Travelers live in Pittsburgh (at a club where they played every Saturday night for many years), and J.D. Crowe & the New South live in Japan.  Listen anytime until 7/28 via KALW's Local Music Player.

The details:

Mac Martin & the Dixie Travelers

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9:26pm

Thu July 19, 2012
Cops & Courts

Criminal Justice Conversations with David Onek: The Wire’s Sonja Sohn

Actress Sonja Sohn, known for her role on the HBO series The Wire, talks with host David Onek about her work as co-founder of Rewired for Change, a nonprofit supporting at-risk youth in Baltimore. She also discusses how her personal life has shaped her commitment to ending children’s exposure to violence, the power of leveraging celebrity to fuel social change and much more.  

Interview Highlights

On what motivated her to start her own nonprofit:

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7:01pm

Thu July 19, 2012
StoryCorps

Two Tough Guys Meet Tough Times, And Each Other

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 11:42 am

Jake Bainter and "Boston" Bill Hansbury recently visited StoryCorps in St. Petersburg, Fla., where they discussed losing their right legs.
StoryCorps

Back in 2008, "Boston" Bill Hansbury was learning to live with a prosthetic after losing his leg to an infection. That's when he met Jake Bainter, who was about to have his right leg amputated. The two struck up a friendship, despite a wide gap in their ages — Hansbury was 70, and Bainter was 7.

The pair recently discussed their friendship, and other topics, during a visit to StoryCorps in St. Petersburg, Fla.

"Boston Bill, tell me about the day that we met," says Jake, now 12.

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4:40pm

Thu July 19, 2012
Cops & Courts

Looking for work with a criminal record

With a Presidential election looming, the issue of the day is still the economy. California has the third highest unemployment rate in the nation, and that just counts people who are actively looking for work. It doesn’t include those who’ve been looking longer than four weeks, or the folks who are so discouraged that they’ve given up altogether.

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4:02pm

Thu July 19, 2012
Crosscurrents

Crosscurrents: July 19, 2012

Looking for work with a criminal record, fighting high unemployment in Marin City, a revival of sacred harp singing, and local musicians The Fret Not Old-Time Gospel Band.

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