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Politics
2:03 am
Fri May 17, 2013

AP Case Adds To Obama Team's Tough Record On Leaks

President Obama speaks during a news conference in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday. He told reporters: "Leaks related to national security can put people at risk."
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 8:34 am

President Obama had a reputation when he took office as a liberal former constitutional lawyer who had condemned Bush-era national security policies.

But he has proven to be even tougher than President George W. Bush on prosecuting national security leaks. The seizure of Associated Press phone records is just the latest example.

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Politics
2:02 am
Fri May 17, 2013

LA Mayoral Candidates Try To Persuade Voters To Pay Attention

Los Angeles mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel had similar records while serving together on the City Council.
AP

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 3:46 pm

The candidates have spent a record amount of money. They've stumped hard in a city that isn't easy to campaign in — 470 square miles sliced up into neighborhoods divided by a web of freeways.

Yet despite nearly $20 million in spending in the March primary alone, turnout is expected to be low next Tuesday in Los Angeles when voters go to the polls to pick a new mayor to replace the term-limited Antonio Villaraigosa.

As a result, City Councilman Eric Garcetti and his opponent, City Controller Wendy Greuel, are engaged in an all-out blitz for votes across the sprawling city.

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Parallels
2:00 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Are Buddhist Monks Involved In Myanmar's Violence?

Some Muslims say Buddhist monks have been inciting followers during recent violence in Myanmar. Monk U Wirathu acknowledges that he is a Buddhist nationalist but says he has tried to prevent fighting. He's shown here at the Masoeyein monastery in Mandalay, Myanmar, on March 27.
Gemunu Amarasinghe AP

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 9:05 pm

In the Western stereotype, Buddhists are meditating pacifists who strive to keep their distance from worldly passions. But last month, more than 40 people were killed in fighting between Buddhists and Muslims in the central Burmese town of Meiktila. Witnesses say some Buddhist monks joined in the violence, while others tried to stop it.

One prominent monk in particular has been blamed for being behind it.

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Sam Amidon: Reshaping An American Folk Tradition

Sam Amidon's new album is titled Bright Sunny South.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 8:55 am

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The Two-Way
6:32 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Bipartisan House Group Says It's Reached Immigration Deal

Texas Republican Rep. John Carter (right), a member of the bipartisan group, with House Speaker John Boehner in January.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 6:53 pm

Members of a bipartisan group of House lawmakers say they've overcome disagreements and have reached a tentative deal to overhaul the nation's immigration system.

Eight Democratic and Republican House members left a two-hour closed-door meeting Thursday evening, saying they would be working on drafting the measure, The Associated Press reports.

"We have an agreement in principle. We're now going to work on finishing up the drafting of the bill," said Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, a member of the group.

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The Two-Way
5:59 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Who Are The Terrorism Informants In Witness Protection?

Michael Fortier, who spent time in federal prison for knowing about the Oklahoma City bomb plot, is one of several terrorism informants in the federal witness protection program.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 6:59 pm

Known or suspected terrorists who cooperated with federal investigators in at least six major terrorism investigations over two decades were granted protection under the federal witness protection program –- and two of them temporarily could not be found by federal authorities, according to a report from the Justice Department's inspector general.

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The Two-Way
5:50 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Federal Prosecutors Arrest Uzbekistan National On Terrorism Charges

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 6:15 pm

Authorities in Idaho have arrested an Uzbekistan national on federal terrorism charges, the Justice Department announced Thursday evening.

Fazliddin Kurbanov, 30, was arrested in Boise on Wednesday, prosecutors say. He is being charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

The AP reports:

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Parallels
5:32 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Gerard Depardieu To Star In Two Chechnya-Based Films

French actor Gerard Depardieu (right) chats with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov shortly after his arrival in Chechnya's capital, Grozny, on Feb. 24.
Musa Sadulayev AP

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 6:20 pm

Actor Gerard Depardieu is reportedly set to begin filming a new thriller with British actress-model Elizabeth Hurley, to be set in Moscow and Grozny, the capital of the Russian republic of Chechnya.

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It's All Politics
5:25 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

A New Front in the War on Obamacare: Twitter

Few things likely please the Obama White House as a political battle fought on social media. Above, President Obama participates in a "Twitter Town Hall" in 2011.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:48 pm

A simple idea: attack Obamacare tersely.

On the same day House Republicans scheduled their latest symbolic vote to repeal Obamacare, as part of their full-court press against the law they also took to Twitter to say, in three words, why they oppose the legislation.

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The Two-Way
5:22 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

There's No Ignoring This 800-Pound Gator

A photo provided by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department shows Braxton Bielski with the 800-pound alligator he killed.
Troy Bielski AP

You've heard of the 800-pound gorilla in the room that everyone ignores? Well, here's an 800-pound alligator that's getting some attention.

The 14-foot beast, the heaviest ever recorded in Texas, was bagged by a Houston-area high school student last week at a wildlife management area near Choke Canyon State Park, about 90 miles south of San Antonio.

Braxton Bielski, 18, is credited with the kill. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials, the gator could be 30 to 50 years old.

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The Salt
5:17 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Congress: Where Food Reforms Go To Die?

Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Two seemingly common-sense, bipartisan food reforms have gotten mugged on Capitol Hill in recent days. If you're a loyal reader of The Salt, you've heard of them.

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It's All Politics
5:01 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Some Lawmakers Want Big-Budget Groups Included In IRS Debate

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 6:24 pm

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Shots - Health News
4:31 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Why Is Psychiatry's New Manual So Much Like The Old One?

Despite significant advances in neurology and imaging, researchers still don't have simple lab tests for diagnosing patients with mental disorders. Diagnoses are still mostly based on a patient's signs and symptoms.
BSIP UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 11:51 am

The American Psychiatric Association is about to release an updated version of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The DSM helps mental health professionals decide who has problems such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.

Psychiatry's new manual, DSM-5, has been nearly 20 years in the making. During that time, scientists have learned a lot about the brain. Yet despite some tweaks to categories such as autism and mood disorders, DSM-5 is remarkably similar to the version issued in 1994.

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Parallels
4:04 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Brazil Looks To Build A 10,000-Mile Virtual Fence

A drug-sniffing dog checks bags at a Brazilian border crossing with Bolivia on April 3. With an increase in illegal immigration and drug smuggling, Brazil is planning to build a virtual fence along its 10,000-mile border.
Yasuyoshi Chiba AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 6:44 pm

Brazil's borders are so vast, and the terrain so inhospitable, that attempting to secure them has seemed a virtually impossible task.

But Brazil's rapidly expanding economy has made the country a magnet for illegal immigration, drug smuggling and other illicit activities, and now the country has announced its own border protection program.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Greta Gerwig, Blithely Spirited As 'Frances Ha'

In Frances Ha, Greta Gerwig stars as a young dancer trying to find her way on her own in New York City. Noah Baumbach shot the film in black and white because it helped him "see the city with new eyes," he says.
Pine District, LLC

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 12:14 pm

Long a darling of the New York indie scene, Noah Baumbach came to filmmaking with a solid pedigree: His father is a film theorist and his mother was a movie critic at the Village Voice (where I've contributed myself).

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