Europe
6:03 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Will The New AK-47 Be As Popular As The Original?

A Colombian police officer stands guard next to seized Chinese-made AK-47 replicas on Nov. 18, 2009. The guns have become so ubiquitous around the world that Russia's planned redesign may not do much to booster sales.
Luis Robayo Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:59 am

The Kalashnikov assault rifle, or AK-47, is one of the most dangerous and widely used weapons in the world. For more than 60 years, nations, rebels, gangsters and child soldiers have wielded the gun.

And now, Russian officials say it's outdated. As part of a $700 billion army modernization program, the country has announced a redesign of the rifle.

New York Times foreign correspondent C.J. Chivers — author of The Gun, a book about the Kalashnikov — tells NPR's Audie Cornish that the updates are mostly cosmetic.

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The Salt
5:35 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Seattle's First Urban Food Forest Will Be Open To Foragers

Designers of a food forest in Seattle want to make blueberry picking a neighborly activity.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 7:41 pm

If you're a regular reader of The Salt, you've probably noticed our interest in foraging. From San Francisco to Maryland, we've met wild food experts, nature guides and chefs passionate about picking foods growing in their backyards.

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The Two-Way
5:30 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Suspect In Ohio School Shooting Charged With Three Counts Of Murder

In this Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012 photo, seventeen-year-old T.J. Lane is led from Juvenile Court by Sheriff's deputies in Chardon, Ohio.
Mark Duncan AP

Prosecutors have officially charged 17-year-old T.J. Lane in the shooting rampage at an Ohio high school.

The charges — three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated attempted murder and one count of felonious assault — were filed in juvenile court, but the AP adds that this could be the first step toward charging him as an adult.

A hearing is set next week in Geauga County to determine whether he'll be charged as an adult.

The AP reports:

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Middle East
5:02 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Syrian Army Drives Rebels From Embattled City

Syrian mourners in Qusayr, a few miles outside Homs, carry the body of a man killed by shrapnel, during his funeral on Tuesday. After a month-long assault by the Syrian army, rebels were forced to retreat from Homs on Thursday.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 12:17 am

A key rebel stronghold in the central Syrian city of Homs has fallen to the Syrian army.

Residents fled as government forces bombarded the city's Baba Amr neighborhood for nearly a month. On Thursday, the rebels withdrew.

When the Syrian uprising began nearly a year ago, Baba Amr saw regular, daily protests. Then after months of being shot, detained and tortured, protesters began taking up arms. Those armed civilians were later joined by defectors from the Syrian military, and together, they called themselves the Free Syrian Army.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:50 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Air Pollution In An Unlikely Spot: An Indoor Hockey Arena

Ah, hockey.

Ice chips spray as a player skates to a stop and digs for a puck in the corner. A cool breeze wafts over the rink in the wake of opposing players rushing down the ice to stop him.

And then there's the yellowish blanket of nitrogen dioxide, a toxic gas that's an ingredient in smog, hovering over the ice.

Say what?

Early last year, 31 people got sick after spending time at an unnamed indoor ice arena owned by a private school in New Hampshire.

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Around the Nation
4:38 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Teen Charged As Juvenile In Ohio School Shooting

A teenager was charged Thursday with killing three students in a U.S. school shooting, the first step in proceedings that could see him charged as an adult and face the possibility of life without parole if convicted.

The charges accuse T.J. Lane, 17, of killing three students and wounding two others in the shooting Monday morning at Chardon High School, about 30 miles east of Cleveland.

He is charged in Geauga County juvenile court with three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault

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World Cafe
4:30 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Kevn Kinney And Golden Palominos On World Cafe

Kevn Kinney (left) and Anton Fier have been friends and occasional collaborators since the 1980s.
Brittny Smith

Kevn Kinney of Drivin N Cryin and Anton Fier of The Golden Palominos combine the twangy side of their respective rock bands for an album aptly titled A Good Country Mile. Through the '80s rock scene, Kinney and Fier became friends and collaborators, and the trend continues more than 20 years later.

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The Two-Way
4:14 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

NASA Struggles With IT Security, Loses Space Station Code

The International Space Station, seen from the shuttle Discovery
NASA

The "algorithms used to command and control the International Space Station" were lost when an unencrypted NASA laptop computer was stolen in March 2011. That tidbit came in testimony Wednesday delivered by NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin as he reported on the space agency's IT security track record.

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Education
4:11 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Case Renews Focus On Race In College Admissions

Students hoping for a repeal of California's ban on affirmative action in college admissions protest outside of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Feb. 13. The Supreme Court will decide an affirmative action case next fall that could affect college admissions policies across the country.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 8:39 pm

College and university presidents are wringing their hands over the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to revisit the issue of affirmative action next fall. Critics of racial preferences are thrilled because the court could significantly restrict the use of race in admissions, but proponents of affirmative action say this would be a huge setback for institutions struggling to diversify their student body.

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Europe
3:52 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Students, Police Clash As Spain Reaches Boiling Point

Police restrain a student protesting against education cuts during a rally in Valencia, in eastern Spain, on Feb. 20. Spaniards are beginning to feel the effects of $20 billion in austerity measures, and discontent is growing.
Juan Carlos Cardenas EPA/Landov

Spain's austerity measures have begun to spark clashes, and a high school in Valencia — Spain's most indebted province — has become a flash point for nationwide rallies.

Last month, police arrested 25 demonstrators there, where cellphones captured video of heavy-handed beatings and parents were shocked to see their children on TV, pinned down by police.

The skirmish was a possible sign of what's to come as the conservative government pushes through more spending cuts and people settle into a period of sacrifice in hopes of economic recovery.

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