Thu July 14, 2011

U.S. Quietly Halts Scholarship For Afghan Students

Former President George W. Bush speaks to student from the Youth Exchange and Study program at the White House in 2005. The program began in 2004 and ended for Afghan students this year after half of those enrolled fled to Canada.
Alex Wong Getty Images

The U.S. State Department has funded international student exchanges for decades, looking to form lifelong bonds and increase understanding across borders.

One program brought hundreds of Afghan high school students to small communities in the U.S. beginning in 2004.

But this year, the U.S. has quietly suspended the popular youth exchange. The reason? Fear of a dark future in Afghanistan was prompting too many of the students to bail out of the program and seek asylum elsewhere.

Deciding To Flee To Canada

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Thu July 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Parts Of U.S. Emerge From Wave Of Scorching Heat

Originally published on Thu July 14, 2011 6:22 pm

As Florida temperatures hover in the 90's, boys use a swing rope to cool off in the Suwannee River near Chiefland, Fla.
Phil Sandlin AP

America's South, Midwest and Southwest are suffering through drought and high heat. Those regions have braved a string of days that saw temperatures in the high 90s, with heat indexes commonly reaching above 110 degrees.

But forecasters say much of the eastern U.S. will experience a gradual cool-down in the next few days. "New York and the D.C. area will drop down intothe lower 80s by Friday," the AP said, "while Atlanta drops to the upper 80s Friday and Saturday."

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Thu July 14, 2011

Mrs. Mallard Celebrates 70 Years Of Safer Streets

Brianna Henderson and her brother Ian Henderson play on the Make Way for Ducklings statues in Boston. The bronze figures by sculptor Nancy Schön were installed in Boston's Public Garden in 1987.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

It's the 70th anniversary of the classic children's book, Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. But it's perhaps only in hindsight one can see how the ducklings were revolutionaries of sorts.

Call them accidental heroes. A very pregnant Mrs. and Mr. Mallard were never looking to change the world when they came to Boston's Public Garden. They just wanted a safe place to settle down.

'She Was A Lot Braver Than I Am'

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Thu July 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Pennsylvania Restaurant Adds New Rule: No Kids Allowed!

Mike Vuick, owner of McDain's Restaurant and Golf Center in Monroeville, Pa., has taken a stand: Starting Saturday, his restaurant will no longer admit children younger than 6.

"I'm doing this on behalf of all the kind, refined people who have emailed me who have had meals ruined," Vuick told The Wall Street Journal. "I've decided someone in our society had to dig their heels in on this issue."

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Thu July 14, 2011
The Two-Way

South Sudan Joins U.N.; Mass Graves Reported In Nearby Sudan

The South Sudan delegation, including Vice-President Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon (second from right), are congratulated by a delegate as they take their seats after the U.N. General Assembly voted to admit the newly formed nation.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Newly independent South Sudan was welcomed to the United Nations Thursday, just days after the largely Christian East African nation formally seceded from Arab-dominated Sudan after decades of civil war. South Sudan brought the number of U.N. members to 193.

In a Newscast report filed from New York , Linda Fasulo said it remains to be seen "how the impoverished but resource-rich nation of 8 million people will fare in achieving a stable, peaceful and democratic society."

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Thu July 14, 2011

Eric Cantor: The 'Young Gun' In The Debt Standoff

House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor speaks at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event on July 12.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

As the debt-ceiling talks descended into yet another day of deadlock, Democrats tried to pin blame on a new target: House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor.

That Cantor is at the center of the acrimonious debt-ceiling discussions should surprise no one who has followed his efforts to mobilize small-government conservatives.

"Young Guns," the No. 2 Republican in the House calls them — and himself — in a book he co-wrote last year with two like-minded House colleagues.

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Thu July 14, 2011

The Man Behind The GOP's Tax Pledge

One person with outsize influence in the debate over raising the debt ceiling is not at the negotiating table. Instead, he sits in downtown Washington at the offices of Americans for Tax Reform, a group that he has run for a quarter century. From there, Grover Norquist fields phone calls and emails from some of the people who are at the negotiating table, and he holds them to their pledge.

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Thu July 14, 2011
NPR Story

What Book Will Fill Harry Potter Gap?

The release of the last Harry Potter movie marks an end to a saga more than 10 years in the making. The first J.K. Rowling book was published in 1997. But the question of what young adult series will fill that void remains to be seen. Michele Norris talks to Judy Bulow, a book buyer at Tattered Cover Books in Denver, about what comes after the adventure of the boy wizard comes to an end.


Thu July 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Pentagon Says 24,000 Files Were Stolen In Data Breach

The Pentagon said today that in March, foreign hackers stole 24,000 sensitive files during a single breach. The disclosure came from William J. Lynn III, deputy defense secretary, who was unveiling the Department of Defense's "Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace."

The New York Times has some details on the stolen documents:

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Thu July 14, 2011
Science And Medicine

Rethinking SIDS: Many Deaths No Longer A Mystery

Originally published on Sat July 16, 2011 10:07 am

Many cases once thought to be sudden infant death syndrome are now believed to be accidents caused by unsafe sleep practices. The image above shows a crib with a teddy bear and bumper — items the American Academy of Pediatrics warns against putting in your baby's crib.