4:27am

Fri July 29, 2011
Middle East

Bahrain Sets Up Panel To Investigate Unrest

Tents burn on March 16 as Bahraini security troops raid the site of a pro-democracy sit-in at Pearl Square, in the capital, Manama.
Joseph Eid AFP/Getty Images

The government of Bahrain has invited a renowned international legal scholar to investigate what went on during mass protests in February and March, and the brutal crackdown on the largely Shiite opposition that ensued. More than 30 people died, hundreds were detained and beaten, and thousands were fired from their jobs.

The commission is headed by Cherif Bassiouni, an Egyptian-born legal expert who has investigated war crimes and human rights violations in the Balkans, Rwanda, Afghanistan and, most recently, Libya.

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4:00am

Fri July 29, 2011
U.S.

Texas Trial Of Polygamist Leader Warren Jeffs Begins

In the Texas trial of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, the suspect fired his lawyer and told the judge in the case that he wants to defend himself. The proceedings went forward Thursday, with plenty of dramatic moments.

4:00am

Fri July 29, 2011
Politics

After Another Delay, What's Next For Debt Plan?

Last night, the House of Representatives postponed a vote on its debt ceiling bill.

4:00am

Fri July 29, 2011
Africa

Libyan Rebel Leader's Death Fuels Fears Of Fracturing

The military commander of Libya's rebel forces, Gen. Abdel Fattah Younis, was killed Thursday just before arriving for questioning by rebel authorities.

4:00am

Fri July 29, 2011
Environment

Fire Made Arctic Spew, Rather Than Absorb, Carbon

The Arctic tundra has been relatively thunderstorm-free for 10,000 years. But conditions are changing in the far north, and in 2007 a lightning strike caused the biggest wildfire ever recorded on the North Slope of Alaska. The tundra is normally a carbon sink, but scientists report in the journal Nature that that single fire released more carbon into the atmosphere than the entire Arctic tundra absorbs every year.

4:00am

Fri July 29, 2011
Politics

As Deadline Looms, Debt Deal Eludes Congress

When the clock ticked closer to a scheduled House vote on Speaker John Boehner's plan to raise the debt ceiling last night, Boehner realized he did not have enough support from the Republican Party's right wing. He stalled, went into closed-door meetings, then called it a night. The votes that were supposed to happen are expected Friday instead — one day closer to default.

8:08pm

Thu July 28, 2011
Around the Nation

Military Spouses Face Especially Grim Job Prospects

Stephanie Davis, shown with her husband, 2nd Lt. Charles Davis, says even though she's a special education teacher with two master's degrees, she's had trouble finding a job near Fort Hood in Texas.
Courtesy of Stephanie Davis

Second in a three-part series

In this economy, who in their right mind would quit their job and move to a new city where they don't have any contacts? That's exactly what thousands of military spouses do each year. They don't have a choice.

Stephanie Davis thought she had picked a field that would be portable: teaching.

"And I really loved it," says Davis. "I was at a great school, great district."

That is, until last year when her husband, 2nd Lt. Charles Davis, an Army officer, got orders to transfer to Fort Hood in Texas.

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Shankar Vedantam is a science correspondent for NPR. The focus of his reporting is on human behavior and the social sciences, and how research in those fields can get listeners to think about the news in unusual and interesting ways.

Before joining NPR in 2011, Vedantam spent 10 years as a reporter at The Washington Post. From 2007 to 2009, he was also a columnist, and wrote the Department of Human Behavior column for the Post. Vedantam writes an occasional column for Slate called "Hidden Brain."

7:29pm

Thu July 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Political Negotiations Also Shaped By Human Psychology

We all know congressional negotiators are trying to balance party and ideology, principle and pragmatism. But negotiators are people, too, and psychology has some useful things to say about the ongoing debt-ceiling standoff. Here are some key ideas to keep in mind.

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6:47pm

Thu July 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Tundra Fires And Climate Change: More Bad News

Hard-won carbon going up in smoke: the 2007 Anaktuvuk River Fire, North Slope, Alaska. Source: Alaska Fire Service
Alaska Fire Service

It may be cold up there in the Arctic, but that doesn't mean it doesn't burn. And as the planet gets warmer, tundra fires are not only becoming more common, they may also shift a huge amount of carbon from the soil into the atmosphere, a new study reports.

Back in 2007, lightning struck the remote North Slope of Alaska, igniting the largest fire to hit the region since modern recording began in the 1950s. The fire burned for nearly three months until snowfall finally put it out in October. It left behind a charred scar of 400 square miles — big enough to see from space.

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