4:30pm

Tue January 17, 2012
The Two-Way

World's Time Keepers Will Decide The Fate Of The Leap Second

The International Telecommunication Union's Radiocommunication Assembly, otherwise known as the international authority that keeps close tabs on time, will debate a philosophical question this week: They will decide whether to eliminate the leap second and in doing so break its tie to astronomical time.

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4:00pm

Tue January 17, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Retail Labs Give Patients Information, But Needle Doctors

If there's a test for it, chances are a storefront lab is eager to help you have it done.
iStockphoto.com

You could call Michael Brooks a supplement junkie. He pops exactly six pills a day, three times a day, not to mention powders and shakes and chews. "A multivitamin, vitamin C, omega-3s, alpha lipoic acid," he says. "I'm taking a digestive enzyme."

Brooks is a personal trainer in Birmingham, Ala. He's healthy and fit, but he almost obsessively wants to know more, which is why we find him here, a few doors down from a sandwich shop and a nail salon, at a storefront lab called Any Lab Test Now.

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3:24pm

Tue January 17, 2012
Middle East

'F' Is For Funding ... Which Palestinian Muppets Lack

Daoud Kuttab, executive producer of Shara'a Simsim, the Palestinian version of Sesame Street, holds a Muppet at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah earlier this month. The producers say they have been forced to put production for the 2012 season on hold because of a funding freeze by the U.S. Congress.
Nasser Shiyoukhi AP

This used to be a busy time of year for Shara'a Simsim, the Palestinian version of Sesame Street.

Producers and educators would be choosing the "words of the day" for the upcoming season. Writers would be brainstorming ideas around a large conference table. Project director Laila Sayegh says everyone would be working long days.

"From the morning, like 8 until 6 o'clock in the evening. And now as you can see, it's empty. We have nothing," she says.

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3:23pm

Tue January 17, 2012
Electronic/Dance

From Mega Man To Final Fantasy, Live Video Game Music

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 12:01 am

Nobuo Uematsu plays keyboard with Earthbound Papas, a rock band made up of video-game soundtrack composers.
Lindsay Totty NPR

Every year, thousands of video-game fans flock to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area for a unique music festival called MAGFest. It's short for "Music and Gaming Festival," and it's designed to celebrate the music of video games.

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3:10pm

Tue January 17, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Listen Up, Walkers: Watch Out For Traffic When Wearing Headphones

Beware of tuning out while crossing the street.
iStockphoto.com

By now we all know that distracted driving can kill you. But a new study suggests that distracted walking can be pretty deadly, too.

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3:04pm

Tue January 17, 2012
Afghanistan

Gains In Afghan Health: Too Good To Be True?

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 7:19 pm

A nurse weighs an Afghan child at a U.S.-funded clinic in Farza, Afghanistan, in September. A new U.S.-sponsored survey shows dramatic gains in life expectancy and other aspects of health care in Afghanistan. But some experts are questioning the accuracy of the results.
John Moore Getty Images

A U.S.-sponsored mortality survey released last year announced huge improvements in health across Afghanistan. But the gains are so great that experts are still arguing about whether it's correct.

During three decades of war, Afghanistan remained a black hole of health information. The few mortality studies looked at a small slice of the population and then extrapolated.

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3:02pm

Tue January 17, 2012
Law

High Court Lets Stand Trio Of First Amendment Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a trio of cases involving free speech and religion.

In the first set of cases, the court declined to address the burgeoning legal debate over what powers school officials have to censor students who are at home, working on their personal computers, when they create parodies or personal attacks involving school officials or fellow students.

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2:34pm

Tue January 17, 2012
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Kentuckians Volunteer on MLK Day

Robbin Bond, Lexington, held a sign during the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom March through downtown Lexington, Ky., Monday, January, 16, 2012.
Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-Leader

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?" On the day the nation paused to remember the civil rights leader's life, thousands of people in Kentucky and millions across the country spent Monday answering King's question.

2:34pm

Tue January 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Morgan Stanley Will Limit Cash Bonuses To $125,000

Morgan Stanley headquarters in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

The employees of Morgan Stanley, owner of the world's biggest brokerage, will receive a maximum cash bonus of $125,000, this year. As The New York Times puts it, the cap reflects "the difficulties that new financial regulations and the debt turmoil in Europe have posed to Morgan Stanley and its rival firms."

And with tongue firmly in cheek, it also notes that the bankers "may want to put their kitchen renovations off until next year."

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2:29pm

Tue January 17, 2012
Business and the Economy

Study Estimates the Impact of Casinos on Economy

Allowing casinos at eight Kentucky racetracks would have an estimated $1.7 billion economic impact on the state during the casinos' first full year of operation, according to a study released Monday by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. That would include $464.7 million in gaming tax revenue, $164.6 million of which would go to racing-industry programs, according to the Kentucky Gaming Market Analysis and Impacts Report, which was paid for by racing-industry interests. Eight casinos also would create nearly 11,000 full-time jobs with a payroll of $289.3 million, the study found.

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