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The Two-Way
1:37 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Women In Combat: Five Key Questions

Female soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division train on a firing range in Fort Campbell, Ky., in preparation for their deployment to Afghanistan. The Pentagon announced Thursday that women will no longer be banned from combat roles.
Mark Humphrey AP

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 2:06 pm

The Pentagon's announcement that it is lifting the ban on women in combat raises a host of questions that the military will have to address. Here's a few of them:

How many combat positions are there in the military?

As in all militaries, U.S. combat troops are a relatively small percentage of the overall force. The U.S. military has 1.4 million men and women on active duty, and women are barred from 237,000 positions, according to the Pentagon. The Pentagon will now be reviewing those positions, and many will be opened up to women.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

United Nations Launches Investigation Into U.S. Drone Program

President Obama's use of drones, and his direct involvement in who they target, has both U.S. and international communities questioning the administration's secret drone policy.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:43 pm

The United Nations' special rapporteur for human rights and counterterrorism launched an investigation Thursday into the United States' targeted killing program.

Ben Emmerson, from Britain, will lead the inquiry, which will focus on the civilian effect of the program as well, as the legal framework governing drone attacks.

Reuters explains:

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The Salt
11:52 am
Thu January 24, 2013

In Order To Live With People, Canines Evolved To Love Carbs

Got spaghetti? Dogs digest starch more efficiently than their wolf ancestors, which may have been an important step during dog domestication.
Lauren Solomon/iStockphoto.com/Nicholas Moore Courtesy of Nature

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 8:42 am

  • Listen To The Story From 'Morning Edition'

These days, a trip down the dog food aisle of your local pet store or supermarket can be a little overwhelming. There are hundreds of brands out there, catering to – let's be honest – every dog owner's taste: everything from generic kibble to organic nuggets.

There are even dog food cookbooks and specialty gourmet shops for people who want their pets to eat as well – or better – than they do.

How did we get here? The first step happened thousands of years ago, when meat-eating wolves evolved to tolerate people – and their more starchy, plant-based diet.

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Author Interviews
11:32 am
Thu January 24, 2013

'Going Clear': A New Book Delves Into Scientology

The Church of Scientology building in Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard on Aug. 28, 2011.
AK2 iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 5:50 am

In the introduction to his new book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, Lawrence Wright writes, "Scientology plays an outsize role in the cast of new religions that have arisen in the 20th century and survived into the 21st."

The book is a look inside the world of Scientology and the life of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, who died in 1986. A recent ad for Scientology claims to welcome 4.4 million new converts each year.

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The Two-Way
11:31 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Anonymous Hackers In Britain Sent To Jail For Paypal, Mastercard Attacks

The "Anonymous" logo is seen on a tablet screen.
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 2:42 pm

Two hackers associated with the group Anonymous will serve time in jail. A British judge handed down the sentence after the two were convicted of perpetrating attacks against the Paypal and Mastercard websites.

The BBC reports Christopher Weatherhead, 22, and Ashley Rhodes, 28, will serve 18 months and seven months respectively. The BBC adds:

"Co-defendant Peter Gibson was given a six-month sentence, suspended for two years, while another defendant, Jake Birchall, 18, will be sentenced later."

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Can I Just Tell You?
11:25 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Te'o Drama Is Telling In More Ways Than One

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 3:28 pm

Finally, I have a word about Manti Te'o, the star Notre Dame linebacker, Heisman trophy runner up, who says he was the victim of an ugly hoax where someone — probably a male friend of his — created an online identity of a young women, with whom Te'o says he fell in love, although he never met her.

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The Two-Way
11:16 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Democrats Unveil Bill To Ban Assault-Style Weapons

Semi-automatic assault-style rifles on display at a gun show in Chantilly, Va., in 2009.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

As they said they would following the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Democrats today unveiled legislation that would ban assault-style weapons.

The lead lawmaker, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, has summed up the legislation's key points this way:

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Politics
10:53 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Women In Combat: Why Now?

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:58 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, first lady Michelle Obama has taken on issues like childhood obesity and support for military families in the first term, but some feminists argue she should be doing more. We'll look at the politics of being first lady in just a few minutes.

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Middle East
10:53 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Politics And Kim Kardashian's Business In Bahrain

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:58 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

President Obama is just beginning his second term in office and we've been looking at some of the unresolved issues and unfinished business from his first four years. This week, we're turning our attention to foreign policy. Yesterday, we talked about the conflict in Syria. Today, we want to focus on another country where the Arab Spring uprising was not successful. It's a small island that often does not get a lot of attention, but plays an important geopolitical role in the Middle East. We're talking about Bahrain.

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Politics
10:53 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Does The First Lady Have Political 'Gravitas?'

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:58 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now I want to turn to another conversation about the role women are or should be playing in our national life - or in this case, one woman in particular: The first lady, Michelle Obama. Just as commentators are now talking about the president's second term agenda, we wonder what projects the first lady will take on in these next four years.

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Television
10:53 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Is Honey Boo Boo Hazardous?

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:58 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I have some thoughts about that strange story involving Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o and the girlfriend who actually didn't exist. It's my Can I Just Tell You essay and it's in just a few minutes.

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Shots - Health News
10:38 am
Thu January 24, 2013

If You Think You're Good At Multitasking, You Probably Aren't

Take it easy, fella.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 3:54 pm

Everybody complains that people shouldn't talk on cellphones while driving. And yet it seems pretty much everybody does it.

That may be because so many of us think we're multitasking ninjas, while the rest of the people nattering away while driving are idiots.

But scientists say that the better people think they are at multitasking, the worse they really are at juggling.

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It's All Politics
10:38 am
Thu January 24, 2013

5 Things To Know About The Congressional Budget Fight

Sen. Dean Heller (left), R-Nev., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speak Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol about legislation to delay a potential clash over the debt ceiling until May — and to freeze the paychecks of lawmakers if they don't pass a budget resolution.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:11 am

As if the federal budget process isn't confusing enough, now we get the fog of partisan war created by the charges and countercharges flying between congressional Democrats and Republicans.

Republicans accuse the Democrats who control the Senate of shirking their duty by not producing "a budget" in recent years; Democrats accuse Republicans of not telling the whole truth.

What's going on? Here are five points to consider.

1) The Budget Control Act

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Yikes! 15,000 Crocodiles Escape Farm In South Africa, Area Evacuated

His cousins are on the loose. (2008 file photo taken at the Leopard Creek Country Club in Malelane, South Africa.)
Warren Little Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:44 pm

As flood waters rose Sunday, a South African crocodile farmer near the border with Botswana was forced to open his gates to prevent a storm surge from destroying the property.

And, no, this isn't the plot of some horror flick:

About 15,000 crocodiles escaped, according to the local newspaper, Beeld.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Thu January 24, 2013

In Syria, Two Opponents Of The Regime Fight Each Other

A Syrian rebel fighter in the northeastern Syrian border town of Ras al-Ayn on Nov. 11. The rebels and a Kurdish militia in the town both oppose President Bashar Assad's regime, but they have been fighting each other in recent days.
Murad Seezer Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:45 pm

In a small border town in northern Syria, there are two groups that both oppose President Bashar Assad's regime. But instead of working in tandem, the Syrian rebels and a Kurdish militia have been battling each other in the town of Ras al-Ayn.

Sally Ali, a 26-year-old resident of Ras al-Ayn, told NPR by phone that the streets are completely empty. "It's a ghost town," she says.

She estimates about half of the town's residents fled to nearby villages; the other half are trapped in their homes by the ongoing violence.

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