Tue January 24, 2012
Around the Nation

Down And Out Escape To 'Slab' In California Desert

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 8:30 pm

Slab City is an informal community in the California desert on the site of a former WWII artillery range. The recent recession has sent the town a new wave of people who have fallen on hard times and are looking to escape the burdens of modern life.
Gloria Hillard For NPR

There are no signs leading to Slab City. From Los Angeles you head east deep into the desert, and then south, past the Salton Sea. For years, a diverse group of people has been drawn to the abandoned Marine base, but the troubled economy has driven even more travelers to the place dubbed "The Last Free Place in America."

Following the tire tracks of countless RVs, trailers, vans and campers, you pass a landscape of the vehicles that have taken root here, their tires now soft on the desert floor.

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Tue January 24, 2012

A Look At Egypt, One Year After Its Revolution

Robert Siegel talks with Sherif Mansour about the events that have unfolded in the year since the Egyptian revolution began. Mansour is an Egyptian democracy activist, who is also a senior program officer for Freedom House's Middle East and North Africa programs.


Tue January 24, 2012
Presidential Race

Romney Releases His Tax Returns

Mitt Romney released his tax returns for 2010 and 2011, after earlier suggesting he would wait until after winning the GOP nomination. While Romney's total tax bill was in the millions, his tax rate was actually lower than that of many middle-class Americans.


Tue January 24, 2012

Groups Want Lawmakers to Step Up For Kids

Improving the well-being of Kentucky's children was the theme of a regional conference in Lexington on Monday. Policymakers, stakeholders, and representatives from numerous child advocacy groups shared their ideas at the Step Up For Kids event. Attendees heard presentations on everything from early childhood and alternative education, monitoring managed care, as well as curbing incarcerations for youth misbehaviors like skipping school and running away from home.

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Tue January 24, 2012
State Capitol

Beshear Reacts to Redistricting Plan

Despite the controversial outcome of a process to redraw state legislative districts, Governor Steve Beshear is hopeful that lawmakers will be able to work together on other important issues. Beshear signed House Bill 1 into law on Friday. The redistricting plan, which is required every ten years to account for population changes, moved Sen. Kathy Stein's district out of Lexington to northeastern Kentucky and moved Sen. Dorsey Ridley from western Kentucky to Lexington.

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Tue January 24, 2012

For China's 'Left-Behind Kids,' A Free Lunch

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:06 am

Students enjoy free meals on the inaugural day of the Free Lunch for Children program at Hujiaying primary school in Shaanxi province's Nanzheng county.
Louisa Lim NPR

For 10-year-old student Xie Xiaoyuan, just getting to school is an ordeal. On a recent day, her frostbitten ears are testament to just how difficult the trip is.

"I get up at five o'clock," she says, "then I comb my hair and start walking."

Xie navigates a mountain path in China's remote Shaanxi province in the dark, trudging through snowstorms and mudslides. Then she has to get a bus for about 10 miles. She hasn't time to eat breakfast.

"For lunch, I spend 15 cents on two pieces of bread and a drink," she says.

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Tue January 24, 2012

Charter School Supporters Ask Unions to Stand Aside

Advocates for charter schools in Kentucky took their cause to Frankfort today. A handful of organizations support charter schools. One of the most vocal has been the Black Alliance for Educational Opportunities or BAEO. Its national president, Kenneth Campbell, helped lead the rally for charter schools at the Capitol. And he told the crowd Kentucky’s education system doesn’t serve all students equally.

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Tue January 24, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

Pike Co. Deputy Sheriff Killed in Wreck

UPDATED: A Pike County sheriff's deputy has died in a three-vehicle car crash. WSAZ-TV reported the accident occurred about 9 p.m. Monday on U.S. 460 between the Marrowbone and Belcher communities. The Pike County Sheriff's Office told the West Virginia TV station that the deputy was James I. Thacker. Kentucky State Police say the deputy was on duty and on his way back to Elkhorn City from Pikeville when the three-vehicle crash happened.

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Tue January 24, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Your Brain On Psilocybin Might Be Less Depressed

This could be your forest on psilocybin.
Baxterclaus Flickr

Magic mushrooms are said to blow your mind, but the hallucinogenic chemical psilocybin, the active ingredient, actually reins in key parts of the brain, according to two new studies.

The memorably vivid emotional experiences reported by mushroom users may flourish because the parts of the brain suppressed by psilocybin usually keep our world view tidy and rational.

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Tue January 24, 2012
All Politics are Local

Officials Asked to Push for I-65 Project

An emissary of Gov. Steve Beshear asked area officials Monday to support three of the governor's budget proposals, one of which he said needs little introduction: completing the six-laning of Interstate 65 through the state. Wendell Cave, director of field services for the Department of Local Government in the 2nd Congressional District, said at Monday's meeting of the Barren River Area Development District that he knows the proposal is "dear to the heart" of Hart County Judge-Executive Terry Martin, whose county contains the lion's share of the remaining 38 miles of I-65 that are only four lanes.