Around the Nation
6:11 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

A Century-Old Grotto That Might Out-Glitter Vegas

Father Paul Dobberstein began building the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa, 100 years ago. It's covered with stones, rocks, petrified wood and seashells.
Denise Krebs via Flickr

The Midwest is known for its roadside attractions — world's largest ear of corn, heaviest ball of twine, biggest truck stop.

But it's also home to one of the largest collections of grottoes in the world. Most of these man-made caves were created by immigrant priests at the beginning of the 20th century. And the mother of them all — encrusted in $6 million worth of semiprecious stones — is in West Bend, Iowa.

This weekend, the Grotto of the Redemption turns 100.

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Sports
6:11 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

40 Years On, Title IX Still Shapes Female Athletes

Michelle Marciniak (right) of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers attempts to elude the defensive pressure of Nykesha Sales of the UConn Huskies during the 1996 NCAA Women's Final Four.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 6:30 pm

Title IX, which turns 40 on Saturday, has helped reverse years of bias, banning sex discrimination in federally funded schools and colleges.

Its guarantee of equal access to sports was a small part of the original legislation. But it's become the most recognizable part of Title IX. That guarantee has not always played out, and the law has its critics. For four decades, however, it's played a huge part in shaping lives.

'I Can Handle This World'

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It's All Politics
5:09 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Obama Basks In Latino Politicians' Love After His DREAM Moves

President Obama returned a young fan's salute at the conference of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials in Orlando, Fla.
Brendan Smialowski AFP

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 3:55 pm

Coming a week after President Obama announced that he would defer deportation proceedings for many young illegal immigrants, it was safe to predict that he'd get an appreciative response from an audience of Latino leaders. They didn't disappoint.

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Business
5:03 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

The Downside To Owning Your Own Island

It's great to have your own private island like this one in the Caribbean, unless there's a hurricane bearing down.
Christian Wheatley iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 5:41 pm

Who hasn't dreamed of having their own coral-fringed island, lounging on its sandy beach, coconut daiquiri in hand?

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The Two-Way
4:51 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Germany Knocks Greece Out Of Euro Championship

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 6:11 pm

Germany scored three goals in the second half to knock Greece out of the European Championship, today.

As we reported, it was a match dubbed the "debt derby," because it pitted the Eurozone's weakest economy with its paymaster.

The AP adds:

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Shots - Health Blog
4:39 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Drug-Resistant Germ In Rhode Island Hospital Raises Worries

Pretty to look at, almost, but Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria these are a common cause of infections in hospitals.
CDC

A highly resistant form of a common bacterium recently popped up in two Rhode Island patients, only the 12th and 13th times it has been spotted in this country.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Annan Says Iran Should Be Consulted In International Plan For Syria

Arab League and UN Special Envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan, listens to journalists' questions during a press conference on Friday.
Sebastien Bozon AFP/Getty Images

Kofi Annan is trying to rally the international community to bring the violence in Syria to an end. Annan even suggested that Iran should be consulted, an idea the United States doubts.

NPR's Michele Kelemen filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The joint UN and Arab league envoy, Kofi Annan, is trying to convene a meeting next weekend in Geneva. He told reporters there it is time for countries with influence to increase the pressure on the parties in Syria to stop the killing and start talking.

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Business
4:03 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

A Week Of Near-Calamities Erodes Confidence

Vanessa Loren shops in Miami. An index of consumer sentiment dropped more than expected in June.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 4:24 pm

When Moody's downgraded the credit ratings of most major U.S. banks on Thursday, you'd have thought Friday would be a tough day for bank stocks.

But bank stocks ticked up — largely because investors were relieved. They had feared the downgrades would be worse. The Dow Jones industrial average was recovering from Thursday's 250-point drop, the second-worst of the year.

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Art & Design
3:54 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

A Trailblazing Black Architect Who Helped Shape L.A.

The Degnan residence was built as a weekend retreat in La Canada Flintridge — a Los Angeles suburb reachable by freeway in 40 minutes (in light traffic) today, but that took a couple of hours' drive in 1927, before major freeway construction began in Southern California. This Spanish Colonial Revival home was Williams' first commission as an independent practitioner.
Copyright Benny Chan

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 8:37 pm

Paul Revere Williams began designing homes and commercial buildings in the early 1920s. By the time he died in 1980, he had created some 2,500 buildings, most of them in and around Los Angeles, but also around the globe. And he did it as a pioneer: Paul Williams was African-American. He was the first black architect to become a member of the American Institute of Architects in 1923, and in 1957 he was inducted as the AIA's first black fellow.

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Afghanistan
2:50 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Taliban Pick A Soft Target Popular With Families

Responding to a Taliban attack, NATO Black Hawk helicopters fly over the Spozhmai Hotel on Lake Qargha outside Kabul. More than 20 people were killed before the Taliban fighters were shot dead.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 3:49 pm

Just last month, I was at the same lakeside resort where Taliban gunmen carried out a suicidal attack on Friday, killing more than 20 people before they were gunned down.

My friends and I had gone to Lake Qargha to drink tea after a long hike on a hot day.

The man-made lake, about six miles outside Kabul, is the only large body of water near the capital, and it is extremely popular among Kabul residents seeking to escape the city's pollution, particularly in the summer when temperatures can top 100 degrees.

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