Wed July 27, 2011

New Republic: Up The Taxes, Lower The Debt

Democrats want to close some tax loopholes for the rich, like those on corporate jets.

Jonathan Cohn is a senior editor at The New Republic.

Few arguments seem to bother conservatives more these days than the suggestion that we could spare student loans and other valuable government programs by raising taxes on the very wealthy.

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Wed July 27, 2011
Critics' Lists: Summer 2011

They Came, They Saw, They Cooked: 5 Food Memoirs

Chris Silas Neal

During summer vacation, part of me wants to spend my hard-earned sheckles traveling the world and eating amazing food. The other part of me just wants to lie on the couch with a good book. Now, thanks to five delicious new food memoirs, I can do both.

The books — written by a reluctant, bad-girl chef; an avant-garde restaurateur; a slacker with a love of roast chicken; a Mideast war correspondent; and an American in Paris — are about love affairs with food, and the journeys that led their authors into the kitchen.

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Wed July 27, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Coal Ash: Government's Response

Kathy Little and Debbie Walker stand in Walker’s front yard, 50 feet from the ash landfill at Louisville Gas & Electric‘s Cane Run plant. They watch as heavy machinery backs up, pushing ash from one pile to another.Both women have lived in the neighborhood for decades—Little for 33 years, Walker for 23. Walker says she used to be able to see Indiana from her window. Now, she just sees the mountains of coal ash.

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Wed July 27, 2011

Libyan Diplomat Takes On A New, Yet Familiar, Role

Ali Aujali (second from right) listens to President Obama speak at the State Department in May. Aujali was Moammar Gadhafi's ambassador to the U.S., but resigned after the Libyan uprising began. He now represents the rebels' Transitional National Council.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Now that the U.S. has recognized the rebel government in Libya, the Transitional National Council, as it is known, wants access to the country's frozen assets. The rebel representative in Washington, D.C., also wants his office back; until earlier this year, Ali Aujali was the Libyan ambassador, but he hasn't been able to get back into his office for months.

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Wed July 27, 2011

Bit By Bit, Afghanistan Rebuilds Buddhist Statues

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:43 am

The larger of the two Buddha statues that towered over the Bamiyan Valley in central Afghanistan. This photo was taken before a 2001 Taliban campaign that destroyed Buddha statues throughout Afghanistan. International teams are now working to restore the sixth century statues.
Zaheeruddin Abdullah AP

When the Taliban controlled Afghanistan a decade ago, they were fanatical about eliminating everything they considered un-Islamic.

Their biggest targets — literally and figuratively — were the two monumental Buddha statues carved out of the sandstone cliffs in central Afghanistan. One stood nearly 180 feet tall and the other about 120 feet high, and together they had watched over the dusty Bamiyan Valley since the sixth century, several centuries before Islam reached the region.

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Wed July 27, 2011
School's Out: America's Dropout Crisis

Despite Interventions, No-Show Students Drop Out

Danny Lamont Jones, 16 (right), missed nearly two years of school, and relies on Rose Street Shelter and Zion Hunter for support.
Claudio Sanchez NPR

Fourth of a five-part series

In Baltimore, the vast majority of kids who never finish school drop out because of extreme poverty, homelessness and a drug epidemic that has left some neighborhoods desolate and dangerous.

In the toughest neighborhoods, kids miss lots of school days, and that puts them at risk of dropping out. Now, Baltimore's efforts are driven toward reaching these children early.

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Wed July 27, 2011

Jesse Owens' Legacy, And Hitler's Oak Trees

Jesse Owens stands on the podium after winning the gold medal in the 100-meter sprint at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. With him are bronze medalist Martinus Osendarp of Holland and silver medalist Ralph Metcalf, also of the U.S.
Fox Photos Getty Images

U.S. track star Jesse Owens made history at the 1936 Berlin Olympics 75 years ago, when he destroyed Adolf Hitler's myth of Aryan supremacy by winning four gold medals. But his feat also set in motion a decades-old mystery, about a unique gift Owens and other Olympic champions received from Hitler.

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Wed July 27, 2011

House GOP Reworking Debt Plan After Delay

Despite the prospect of U.S. debt default if an Aug. 2 deadline isn't met, lawmakers continue to wrangle over competing proposals to increase the debt limit and cut spending. The House is working on a plan put forward by Speaker John Boehner; awaiting a vote in the senate is Majority leader Harry Reid's rival plan.


Wed July 27, 2011

Debt Impasse Continues In Washington

Both Republicans and Democrats have their own plan to end the debt standoff. But neither party thinks a grand deal is in their interest.


Wed July 27, 2011
NPR Story

McDonald's Tries Connecting With Moms

McDonald's is using social media and mom bloggers to reach people it considers to be "influencers." It's developing an invite-only community for the most influential bloggers — inviting them to behind-the-counter tours, visits to headquarters and trips to farms that supply the restaurant chain's food. NPR's Allison Aubrey reports.