Tue September 27, 2011

Most Kentucky Schools Lose Ground

8-year-old Safi Amisi worked in Kathy Keinath's 3rd grade class at James Lane Allen Elementary, 1901 Appomattox Rd, in Lexington, Ky., Monday, September 26, 2011.
Charles Bertram Lexington Herald-Leader

Pike County elementary schools continued to rack up big scores in statewide results from the 2011 Kentucky Core Content Test, which were released Tuesday. Four Pike County elementary schools put 100 percent of their students in the proficient or distinguished categories in at least one subject. Leading the way was tiny Blackberry Elementary, which put 100 percent of its students in proficient or distinguished in four of five tested subjects: reading, math, science and social studies. Blackberry, which has just 144 students in grades K-5, was the only Kentucky public school of any size to do that.

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Tue September 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Prosecution Begins Case Against Michael Jackson's Doctor

The early word from the trial of pop star Michael Jackson's physician is that the prosecutor says "the superstar's misplaced trust in the doctor led to his death" in June 2009, The Associated Press reports.

As the AP adds, "Jackson died of an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol." Dr. Conrad Murray has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. he has pleaded not guilty.

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Tue September 27, 2011

Widows Win Legal Victory In Indonesia Massacre Case

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 4:09 pm

Cawi Binti Baisan, 84, squats beside the grave of her first husband Bitol, a farmer who was executed by Dutch soldiers in 1947. She is one of seven remaining widows of the more than 400 estimated massacre victims. A Dutch court recently ruled that the Dutch government must compensate the widows for their losses.

Yosef Riadi for NPR

In Indonesia, many people are celebrating what they see as a long-delayed victory for justice and human rights. Representatives of a village in West Java that was the site of a massacre by Dutch colonial soldiers 64 years ago sued the Dutch government and won.

The Dutch court ruled that the government must now compensate the victims' seven surviving widows. One of them is 84-year-old Cawi Binti Baisan.

She remembers her husband Bitol waking her up before dawn one morning in 1947. Bitol, who went by only one name, had just come in from the rice paddies, carrying his plow.

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Tue September 27, 2011

Deadly Blasts Strike Two Cities In Afghanistan

An Afghan police officer looks at a police vehicle damaged in a suicide attack Tuesday in Lashkar Gah, Helmand province.
Abdul Khaleq AP

A minivan carrying women and children returning from an engagement party in Afghanistan struck an improvised land mine that killed 16 people, Afghan officials said Tuesday.

Eleven children were among the dead in Herat province's Shindand district. An additional four people in the car were wounded, said Mohammad Salim, the police garrison chief for the district.

Earlier in the day, a suicide car bomb attack targeted a local business that provides bread for the Afghan police in the southern city of Lashkar Gah, the main city in Helmand province.

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Tue September 27, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Employer Survey Shows Big Jump In Health Insurance Premiums


There was good news and bad news in this year's annual survey of employer health benefits by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust.

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Tue September 27, 2011
The Two-Way

No Hoax, BBC Says: Alessio Rastani Is A Trader Who Wants A Recession

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:29 pm

Alessio Rastani during his appearance this week on the BBC.

His words were provocative enough.

Alessio Rastani dreams of another global recession, the "independent market trader" told the BBC this week, because he knows he — and anyone who's prepared — can make money when that happens.

Traders, he said, don't care if the European bailout plan works or not. They'll profit either way if they're smart.

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Tue September 27, 2011
It's All Politics

Heckler Gives Obama Chance To Affirm His Christian Faith

There are a few things to say about about the incident in which President Obama was heckled by an apparent militant Christian at Monday night's campaign fundraiser at Los Angeles' House of Blues in Los Angeles. (My colleague Mark Memmott reports on the incident over at The Two-Way blog.)

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Tue September 27, 2011
The Salt

How A Small Red Fruit Performs Taste Miracles For 'Flavor Trippers'

The miracle fruit from West Africa has a chemical that binds to and boosts sweet taste receptors in the presence of acidic foods.
Courtesy of Keiko Abe

A tiny crimson berry from West Africa discovered by Westerners almost three centuries ago can turn lemons into lemonade and vinegar into apple cider, at least as far as the tongue is concerned.

The chemical miraculin in "miracle fruit," as the berry is known, makes sour things eaten immediately afterward taste sweet, and sweet things taste super sweet. And it's inspired a small counterculture of "flavor trippers" who get together to swirl it (or a tablet containing it) around on their tongues and then sample a parade of foods to showcase its mind-bending qualities.

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Tue September 27, 2011
Author Interviews

The 'Worm' That Could Bring Down The Internet

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 9:47 am


For the past three years, a highly encrypted computer worm called Conficker has been spreading rapidly around the world. As many as 12 million computers have been infected with the self-updating worm, a type of malware that can get inside computers and operate without their permission.

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Tue September 27, 2011
The Two-Way

A Moment Of Cute: A Photo Of Sleeping Baby Pandas

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 2:11 pm

This photo taken on Sept. 26 shows a group of giant panda cubs napping at a nursery in the research base of the Giant Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province.
AFP/Getty Images

Unbearable cuteness is news, right? In any case, we'll get back to the serious news in a bit. But, first, a picture of 12 baby giant pandas taking a nap at a breeding center in Chengdu:

There is a bit of news to go along with this picture. As the AP reports today, China has finished its census of humans and has now started its once-a-decade counting of pandas in the wild. The AP adds:

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