Wed June 15, 2011

Places In Peril: 2011's Most Endangered Historic Sites

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:45 am

Isaac Manchester Farm in Avella, Pa.
National Trust for Historic Preservation

On Wednesday, the National Trust for Historic Preservation released its latest list of places the trust considers the most endangered in the country. The list of 11 includes a Chicago hospital; a jazz musician's home; and a plant in Minneapolis that was once the world's most advanced flour mill.

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Wed June 15, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

EPA Chief Defends New Air Standards

The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency faced the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works today to discuss the EPA’s  proposed air rules.  Lisa Jackson also talked about the new air standards’ impact on public health. In March, after a 20-year political and legal battle, the EPA proposed its first-ever national standards for regulating mercury and other air pollution from power plants. Jackson told the committee that when power plants have to comply with the new standards, it’ll have an incredible effect on Americans’ health.

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Wed June 15, 2011
The Two-Way

With Government Minders In Tow, A Trip To Al Khoms, Libya

In an effort to show journalists in Tripoli that the Libyan government is still in control of its territory, officials organized trips for separate groups of foreign press. They took one group to the east of Tripoli, the other to the west and one to the south.

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson was in the group that headed east to the city of al Khoms, some 80 miles east of Tripoli. Soraya reports that their media bus was escorted by police across the check points and she saw no traffic. What she did see were cars lined up along the side of the road, waiting to get gas.

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Wed June 15, 2011

Planned Texas Execution Has Mexico Up In Arms

Humberto Leal Jr., a Mexican citizen, has been on death row since 1995 for the rape and bludgeoning of a 16-year-old San Antonio girl. He's slated to be executed in three weeks. But the Mexican government says he wasn't informed of his rights.
Courtsey of San Antonio Express-News

A planned execution in Texas has the state at odds with the federal government and the International Court of Justice.

The dispute involves Humberto Leal Jr., a Mexican national who was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

When he was arrested, Leal was not informed of his right to notify his embassy or consulate. Mexico cried foul, the International Court of Justice agreed, and the U.S. government asked Texas to review the case.

But the state has refused and plans to execute Leal in three weeks.

The Case

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Wed June 15, 2011
Monkey See

Clip 'N' Save (The Day): Your Official Monkey See Superhero-Movie Bingo Card

Christina Baird NPR

In the current glut of superhero movies — we've had Thor and X-Men: First Class, this Friday brings Green Lantern, with Captain America due July 22 — even the most casual observer might begin to notice a few, ah, familiar elements.

Tropes, you might call them. Or, to the less generously inclined among you: cliches.

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Wed June 15, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

U.S. Lags Behind Top Nations On Lifespans

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Like politics, all health is local.

The expected lifespans for Americans born recently are impressive: 75.6 years for males and 80.8 years for females who entered the world in 2007.

We're living longer than ever. Well, some of us are. But many Americans aren't faring so well.

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Wed June 15, 2011

South Sudan Works To Aid Wildlife That Survived War

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:45 am

Conservationists feared most of South Sudan's wildlife had been killed during more than two decades of civil war, but a survey several years ago found many had survived, including hundreds of thousands of white-eared kobs.
Frank Langfitt NPR

South Sudan is poised to become the world's newest country in just a few weeks. Two decades of civil war cost more than 2 million lives and wiped out much of the region's wildlife — but not all of it.

A few years ago, conservationists made a surprising discovery: large herds of antelopes and elephants. The government of South Sudan and the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society are now trying to protect animals that were once thought lost to war.

Saving Animals

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Wed June 15, 2011

A Fight To Keep Northern Ireland Interviews Secret

Scholars at Boston College have found themselves in the midst of an international dispute involving shadowy guerilla fighters, gruesome murders, and threats of retribution.

At issue are dozens of secret interviews the college conducted with former paramilitary fighters on both sides of the decades-long conflict in Northern Ireland. The British government is demanding access to those files, and Boston College is fighting back in U.S. federal court.

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Wed June 15, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Council Considers Berea Fairness Ordinance

Tuesday night, the Berea City Council held the second and final public hearing on an ordinance that would protect gay and transgender individuals from discrimination.  After hearing public opinion, the council will decide on Monday whether or not it will take a vote on the ordinance. The Louisville-based Fairness Campaign has been working for months to see the measure passed. Chris Hartman is the group’s director.

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Wed June 15, 2011

Fukushima Workers Tackle Highly Radioactive Water

Today, workers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan tested out a system that will start cleaning up an enormous volume of radioactive water there.

The water has flooded many buildings at the complex, and it has seriously complicated efforts to bring the crisis there to an end. But it's also essential to keep the reactor cores from overheating.

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