Middle East
4:39 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

A Syrian Defector Confronts A Sectarian Divide

Syria's ongoing fighting is increasingly a sectarian conflict with the majority Sunni Muslims facing off against the Alawites who make up most of the country's ruling elite. Here, government opponents rally in the northern town of Mareh on June 29.
Vedat Xhymshit AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 8:16 pm

The violence in Syria is increasingly being called a civil war, and it can also be called a sectarian war, because much of the fighting pits the majority Sunni Muslims against the minority Alawites who make up much of the country's leadership.

Yet not everyone fits neatly into a category. There are some Alawites who have joined the uprising.

One 30-year-old Alawite man, who doesn't want his name revealed, is nervous as he lights another cigarette and tells the story of how he came to side with the opposition and turned his back on the Alawite rulers.

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The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Kitty Wells, 'Queen Of Country,' Dead At Age 92

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 6:21 pm

Kitty Wells, who paved the way for women in country music and was known as the "Queen of Country," has died, the AP reports. She was 92.

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Economy
4:25 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Call Me Maybe When Your School Loan Is Paid In Full

Some young adults say their student loan debt affects their dating and marriage potential. A few have had partners break up with them over debt, while other couples forge ahead, but keep finances separate and avoid legal marriage.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:12 pm

The increasing debt load of college graduates has affected young people's lives in untold ways, from career choices to living arrangements. Now add another impact on a key part of young adult life: dating and marriage.

Rachel Bingham, an art teacher in Portland, Maine, learned this a few years back, when a guy broke it off after four months of a budding relationship. Among other reasons, he cited her $80,000 in student loan debt.

"He said it scared him," she recalls, "that it really made him anxious. And he just did not want to take on my responsibility."

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Law
4:06 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Even Scalia's Dissenting Opinions Get Major Scrutiny

Justice Antonin Scalia testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Oct. 5, 2011.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 10:01 pm

As legal observers have sifted through the ashes and the tea leaves of the recent Supreme Court term, one justice has stood out for his dissents.

Justice Antonin Scalia was the first name on the joint dissent filed by four justices in the health care case. But it was Scalia's dissent in the Arizona immigration case, written for himself alone, that drew particular attention, and especially harsh criticism.

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The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

For Some British Creatures, Wet Conditions 'Almost Apocalyptic'

Puffins on Farne Islands where many puffin burrows have drowned.
National Trust

Record rainfall in England has battered some wildlife. The country's National Trust says the conditions — record rain in April and June and a very wet July — has been "almost apocalyptic."

Here's how the BBC describes the situation:

"The breeding season has been particularly catastrophic, with sea birds being blown off cliffs by gales and garden birds unable to find food for their young.

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The Salt
3:17 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Coney: The Hot Dog That Fed Detroit's American Dream

Patrons pack in at American Coney in this undated photo. 1942
Courtesy Grace Keros

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 12:18 pm

Take a hot dog from New York's famed Coney Island, throw in plenty of Greek immigrants and a booming auto industry, add some chili sauce, a steamed bun, chopped onions, mustard and an epic sibling rivalry and you've got the makings of a classic American melting pot story.

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Africa
2:27 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Kenya's Free Schools Bring A Torrent Of Students

Kenya's attempt at universal education faces multiple challenges. In many rural areas, families want their kids to work during the day. At this school in central Kenya, Samburu kids who herd the family livestock are now taking classes in the evening.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 6:22 pm

Parents of U.S. students often complain about things like too many standardized tests or unhealthful school lunches. Kenya wishes it had such problems.

Kenya dropped or greatly reduced fees at public schools nearly a decade ago in an effort to make education available to all children. On one level, it's been a success — school attendance has soared. Yet this has also exacerbated chronic problems that include shortages of qualified teachers, books, desks and just about every other basic need.

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The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Stephen Covey, Author Of '7 Habits,' Dead At 79

Stephen R. Covey, the motivational speaker best known for the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, died Monday in Idaho three months after a serious bicycle accident in Utah. He was 79.
Ric Feld AP

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 3:02 pm

Stephen Covey, whose book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People became a seminal guide to leadership, died this morning.

In a statement, the family said Covey died due the "residual effects" of a biking accident he suffered in April. He was 79.

The Salt Lake Tribune gives us a bit of his biography:

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Shots - Health Blog
1:39 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

FDA Approves First Drug To Prevent HIV Infection

Dr. Lisa Sterman holds up a Truvada pill at her office in San Francisco in May. Even before the Food and Drug Administration's approval, Sterman had prescribed Truvada for about a dozen patients at high risk for developing AIDS.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 2:57 pm

The Food and Drug Administration has given the first OK for a drug to prevent HIV infection.

The daily pill Truvada, made by Gilead Sciences, combines two medicines that inhibit the reproduction of HIV. It's been a mainstay in the treatment of HIV/AIDS for years, and as of today is an approved option for reducing the risk of HIV infection for people at high risk.

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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

U.S. Navy Vessel Fires At Speeding Boat Off Coast Of Dubai

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 5:16 pm

The U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said its Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain had opened fire on a speeding vessel off the coast of Dubai today.

In a press release, the Fifth Fleet said a small motor vessel disregarded warnings and approached the USNS Rappahannock. A security team about the Navy vessel "used a series of non-lethal, preplanned responses to warn the vessel before resorting to lethal force."

The team aboard the vessel fired using a .50-caliber machine gun.

The AP reports:

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