Sun July 31, 2011

Debt Ceiling Talks Drag On

Another day, and still no deal on the debt ceiling crisis. On Saturday, the two sides — or the several sides — seemed to be talking to each other again. On Sunday morning leaders of the Senate began showing signs of movement on a bipartisan deal. But by early evening no deal had been announced. "It has gotten so quiet — too quiet, as they say in the movies," NPR's Don Gonyea, tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz. "It seems like the White House is focused on the House today...they want to let [Speaker of the House John Boehner] do what he needs to do."


Sun July 31, 2011

Math Can Predict Insurgent Attacks, Physicist Says

Neil Johnson, a University of Miami physicist, developed this mathematical formula to predict insurgent attacks in war zones.
Courtesy of Neil Johnson

The atrocities of war often seem random.

But when it comes to insurgent attacks in Afghanistan or Iraq, that's not exactly the case, says Neil Johnson, a physicist at the University of Miami. Johnson tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, about the equation his team has developed that predicts when such attacks will happen.

"We found ... that there was a kind of rhyme and reason behind the numbers," he says. "They weren't just accelerating, they were accelerating in a particular way."

Not So Random

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Sun July 31, 2011

Former Obama Adviser Brews A Different Tea Party

Van Jones (right) of the American Dream Movement sings during a rally in front of the Capitol on Thursday, urging lawmakers to come to a fair deal on the budget.
Bill O'Leary The Washington Post/Getty Images

Van Jones was President Obama's special adviser for green jobs when he was hit with a wave of criticism from conservative pundits about his past associations. The controversy forced him to leave his post in September 2009, but it wasn't the last we'd hear of him.

That same conservative wave went on to make a major splash in Congress through the Tea Party. Jones decided to fight back, founding a group called the "American Dream Movement."

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Sun July 31, 2011

A New Way Around Internet Censorship?

Alex Halderman, assistant professor of computer science at the University of Michigan, says the Telex software aims to turn the entire Internet into an anti-censorship device.

China is stepping up Internet censorship, telling hotels and cafes they need to monitor public Wi-Fi usage or face fines and punishments.

China is already one of the most heavily censored places in the world — along with places like Burma (Myanmar), Iran and many Middle Eastern countries.

Now, new software being developed at the University of Michigan may help Internet users find away around the blockages. Alex Halderman is an assistant professor of computer science at the university, and one of the developers of the new system, called Telex.

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Sun July 31, 2011
Business and the Economy

Coping with Religious Hospital Mergers

Later this month, officials with University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish Hospital and Catholic Health Initiatives will address a General Assembly committee on the hospitals’ pending merger.  The principals were called before state lawmakers over concerns that reproductive and end-of-life services will be changed once the Catholic Health Initiatives owns a majority of the other facilities. CHI will have a 70 percent share of University Hospital and the doctors will follow Catholic health directives.

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Sun July 31, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

UK Student Share South African Trip

The University of Kentucky has recently partnered with the nation of South Africa on an academic program titled "Kentucky and South Africa, Different Lands, Common Ground". The collaboration provides an opportunity for UK students to travel and learn more about the people and issues facing the once-segregated country.

International Studies student Corinne Price is back from an internship at the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children in Cape Town, and she recently shared her experiences with Alan Lytle.

The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children (SBCWC ) is a one-stop center in Cape Town, South Africa for women and children who are survivors of abuse. Their vision is the creation of a safe and secure society and a human rights culture where women and children are empowered to exercise their full rights.

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Sun July 31, 2011
Business and the Economy

Celebrating 50 Years of Candymaking

Jennifer Seagraves, owner of Mom Blakeman's, enjoys Friday's 50th anniversary of the Lancaster candy business.
Clay Jackson The Advocate Messenger

For something that melts rather quickly, Mom Blakeman's Creamed Pull Candy has showed remarkable staying power. "It is really still the best kept secret anywhere," said Pam Williams, who runs the store and the company's day-to-day operations. "It's also one of the most unique candies anywhere." The secret was out Friday as those responsible for maintaining the legacy of Lancaster's buttery smooth signature confection celebrated the product's 50th birthday with a packed party at the current store where the candy is now made and sold.


Sun July 31, 2011
Statehouse News

Dream Trip to Norway Marred

Pat Baker keeps momentos from her trips to Norway on display in her Mercer County home.
Erich L. Ruehs The Advocate Messenger

Since Pat Baker first went to Norway as a 20-year-old in 1966, she always dreamed of returning to the nation she called home for seven months. So when Baker was finally able to make that return visit earlier this month, there was no way she thought she’d end up in a real-life nightmare. “The closest thing I can think of to describe the mood of Norway after the tragedy would be our 9/11,” Baker said Friday in her home, two days after returning.


Sun July 31, 2011
The Commonwealth

Attorney Noted for Response to DUIs

Assistant County Attorney Jill Justice speaks with Bowling Green Police Department Officer Ben Carroll during a pretrial hearing Wednesday for a driving under the influence case at the Warren County Justice Center.
Alex Slitz Bowling Green Daily News

When Bowling Green Police Department Officer Ronnie Ward walks into Warren District Court to testify against someone he has arrested for driving under the influence, he is confident that Assistant County Attorney Jill Justice is well-prepared for the prosecution. Justice oversees the DUI division in the Warren County Attorney’s Office, prosecuting the majority of people charged here with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Last year in Warren County, 1,075 people were convicted of DUI, according to a recently released Kentucky State Police study. The high number of convictions places Warren County among the highest per capita in DUI convictions in the state.


Sun July 31, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Engineers Present Options to Fix Dam

Officials in Butler, Ohio and Muhlenberg counties are left wondering what their next move is now that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has presented three proposals for fixing the Green River Dam at Rochester. The corps did take a look at what it would take to stabilize the dam and earlier this month presented three solutions, the first costing $799,000 for a temporary fix with rocks and mortar in front of the dam gates that are leaking. That fix could last 25 to 50 years.