3:29pm

Mon June 20, 2011
Asia

Thailand To Tattoo Tourists: Think Before You Ink

A disciple of Master Noo Ganpai tattoos elaborate Buddhist designs onto the back of a customer.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Many of Thailand's tattoo tourists find their way to Bangkok's Khao San Road, where tattoo parlors are nestled among the Internet cafes, noodle stalls and other backpacker hangouts. A visitor along this road might pick up a tattoo, along with some beads and dreadlocks, and perhaps even a nose ring.

The Thais are famously welcoming to visitors. But last month, Thai Culture Minister Nipit Intarasombat called for a ban on foreigners getting religious tattoos that offend Thai people.

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3:23pm

Mon June 20, 2011
Middle East

Syrian Refugee Gives Vivid Description Of Torture

Syrian refugees gather for a protest against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the Turkish Red Crescent camp in the Yayladagi district of the Turkish city of Hatay, near the Syrian border, on June 20.
Mustafa Ozer AFP/Getty Images

When Syria's mukhabarat, the secret police, couldn't get Abu Ali to tell them the names of the leading activists in his town of Jisr al-Shughour, the 43-year-old says they blindfolded him and tied his hands and feet to an apparatus on the floor.

His interrogators told him he was about to take a trip on the "Flying Carpet."

"I felt my body coming off the ground, then they beat me with a cable on my legs and feet. I could stand it on the legs, but on the feet it was extremely painful," he says. "This was the first stage of the Flying Carpet."

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3:18pm

Mon June 20, 2011
It's All Politics

Mitt Romney Draws GOP Criticism For Abortion, Healthcare, Libya Stances

For a brief moment during the still-early campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the debate in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney's fellow Republicans clearly decided to go easy on him.

But the truce, if you could call it that, now appears over. The kid gloves worn during last week's debate have come off.

Over the weekend Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) went after the GOP frontrunner for his refusal to sign the Susan B. Anthony List's anti-abortion pledge.

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3:05pm

Mon June 20, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Why Hammocks Make Sleep Easier, Deeper

Swaying to and fro can help you rest easier.
Amriphoto iStockphoto.com

Napping in a hammock is one of the more delightful tasks of summer, and Swiss researchers say they now know why.

The gentle rocking motion makes people fall asleep faster, and they sleep deeper. Those changes in brain activity may inspire new ways to help insomniacs, the researchers say.

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2:37pm

Mon June 20, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Paper Criticizes Opponents of Clean Air Rules

The New York Times’ editorial yesterday took power giant American Electric Power to task for its opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed air standards. AEP has been contradicting itself lately, telling the public that the eventual closing of two dozen power plants will result in major job losses, even while the company tells investors otherwise:

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2:18pm

Mon June 20, 2011
Education

Standards Turn Students into Good Workers

Throughout the state, educators are pushed to better prepare students for college. They’re beefing up curriculum, partnering with universities, bringing in specialists and urging students to take advanced classes. But there’s another side to life after high school: the workforce. New education standards also call for educators to prepare students for careers, making them good employees as well as successful college students.

2:16pm

Mon June 20, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Two Mountain Road Projects Begin

PIKEVILLE – Gov. Steve Beshear Monday announced three transportation projects in Eastern Kentucky that will dramatically improve access and mobility for communities in Pike and Martin counties. “We are making improvements that will benefit hundreds of families, many of whom, through no fault of their own, have been isolated to the point of hardship,” Beshear said. The governor, joined by numerous local officials and residents for a ceremony at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center in Pikeville, symbolically broke ground for two projects and presented funding for a third:

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2:16pm

Mon June 20, 2011
Around the Nation

Big Payoff Eyed In Chicago Casino; Some Have Doubts

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is betting a downtown casino would help boost the economy and fill holes in the city's budget.

Illinois lawmakers approved a bill last month that would give Chicago a casino and add others around the state, but the plan has hit a snag with Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who's threatening a veto.

Meanwhile, many Chicago residents continue gambling across the state line in Indiana.

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2:14pm

Mon June 20, 2011
Education

Flexibility for "No Child Left Behind" Sought

FRANKFORT – Calling state authority and autonomy critical components of education improvement, Gov. Steve Beshear and Education Commissioner Terry Holliday Monday called on the U.S. Department of Education for flexibility in public school accountability under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Beshear sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan asking to replace the public school accountability portions of the federal law with Kentucky’s own model. Kentucky is the first state to request the change.

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2:13pm

Mon June 20, 2011
Monkey See

'Popular Crime,' Where Good Writing Transcends Genre

Simon and Schuster

Bill James has written a true-crime book, Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence, and you will probably enjoy it if 1) you've enjoyed James's other work; 2) if you've never heard of James, but like the true-crime genre; or 3) if you've never heard of James and you have historically avoided the true-crime genre because so much of the writing therein is so very terrible.

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