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The Two-Way
10:33 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Chinese Activist Tells Of 'Crazy Retaliation' Against His Family

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 8:10 am

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng says his family is being hounded by local authorities in his Shandong, his home province, with his brother and sister-in-law placed under house arrest and his nephew detained.

Chen's flight last month from house arrest and his request for refuge from U.S. diplomats has caused considerable embarrassment for Chinese authorities and threatened to damage U.S.-Sino relations. Since then, Beijing has agreed in a face-saving move to allow the blind, self-taught legal activist and his immediate family to study in the United States.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Syrian Bomb Blasts Kill At Least 50

Syrian soldiers check a burned truck in front of a damaged military intelligence building where two bombs exploded, at Qazaz neighborhood in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Thursday.
Bassem Tellawi AP

A pair of powerful explosions ripped through Syria's capital, killing at least 50 people in the deadliest attack in the country's 14-month uprising. Some 170 people were wounded, according to state television.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but local TV reports called the attacks "terrorist bombings".

The explosions damaged a military intelligence building and left blood and human remains in the streets, according to The Associated Press.

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Middle East
4:48 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Jihadist Group In Syria Carries Out Violent Attacks

Syrians appear behind the damaged windshield of a minibus as they inspect the site of a blast in the central Midan district of Damascus last month. A new jihadist organization in Syria claimed responsibility for the attack.
Louai Besharalouai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 8:17 am

It was Friday, April 27, when a car bomb exploded in the Damascus neighborhood of Midan. Syrian state television showed soldiers and civilians running from the smoke of the explosion under a bridge. Then the camera closed in on streams of blood and body parts.

The Syrian regime's narrative is that the uprising that has gripped the country for more than a year is not a case of people protesting and sometimes fighting for their rights; the official stance is that it's terrorism.

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National Security
2:56 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Cybersecurity Firms Ditch Defense, Learn To 'Hunt'

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 1:19 pm

The most challenging cyberattacks these days come from China and target Western firms' trade secrets and intellectual property. But a problem for some is a business opportunity for others: It's boom time for cybersecurity firms that specialize in going after Chinese hackers.

"It's the next big thing," says Richard Stiennon, an industry analyst who specializes in information security firms.

'An Adversary Problem'

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Asia
2:55 am
Thu May 10, 2012

After The Quake, Japanese Shop For Survival

Store manager Naoto Higashi models a helmet, a fully stocked kit in his backpack, and a windup flashlight. Such items have become popular in Japan following last year's huge earthquake and tsunami.
Lucy Craft for NPR

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 4:48 am

Walk into any large Japanese retailer nowadays, and you might think Japan had become a nation of survivalists.

Aeon, a Wal-Mart-like chain of stores, devotes a sizable chunk of floor space to something called bosai-yohin, or "disaster-protection gear."

Naoto Higashi, a manager at one of the Tokyo stores, demonstrates some of their best-sellers, flashlights that have become the Swiss Army knives of anti-earthquake gear.

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Economy
2:54 am
Thu May 10, 2012

College Grads Struggle To Gain Financial Footing

Graduates of the University of Alabama's class of 2011. The economic downturn has hit recent college grads hard. New data show only half of those who graduated from 2006 to 2011 are working full time.
Butch Dill AP

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 4:48 am

Most of the estimated 1.5 million people graduating from a four-year college this spring will soon be looking for a job.

If the experiences of other recent college grads are any guide, many will be disappointed.

A new Rutgers University survey of those who graduated from college between 2006 and 2011 finds that just half of those grads are working full time.

Settling For Part Time

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Afghanistan
2:53 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Afghan Goal: Toning Down The Radical Preachers

The Afghan government wants Muslim preachers to tone down sermons that often criticize the presence of American troops and praise the Taliban. Here, an Afghan youth drags his sheep past a group of men praying at a mosque in Kabul in November 2011.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 4:48 am

The ministry that governs religious affairs in Afghanistan has announced what some are calling a "three strikes" policy.

It's a warning directed at Muslim clerics, or imams, accused of inciting violence in their Friday sermons. Imams across the country routinely condemn the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and speak in favor of the Taliban.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:52 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Feds Join Fight Against Whooping Cough In Washington

Nurse Susan Peel gives a whooping cough vaccination to a high school student in Sacramento, Calif. The whooping cough vaccine given to babies and toddlers loses much of its effectiveness after by the time people reach their teens and early adulthood.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:50 am

Washington state is in the midst of a whooping cough outbreak. The state has more than 1,100 confirmed cases so far this year — that's 10 times as many as this time last year, and health officials fear the number may rise.

The state is desperately trying to raise awareness of the epidemic. Take this public service announcement featuring a mother whose baby contracted the disease.

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Politics
1:55 am
Thu May 10, 2012

House To Vote On GOP Bill Framed As Guns Vs. Butter

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 8:49 am

Republicans who control the House want to block some $55 billion worth of automatic cuts to the Pentagon budget next year. Instead, they want to cut funding for social programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and Meals on Wheels. It's a choice that has been framed as guns versus butter, and this time, guns are expected to win.

The Obama administration has threatened to veto the legislation, which the House votes on Thursday. But the president is willing to leave the Pentagon cuts in place for now, in hopes of bringing Republicans back to the bargaining table.

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The Two-Way
12:33 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Pew Study: Americans In The Northeast Have More Economic Mobility

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 4:48 am

A new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts finds economic mobility differs significantly across the United States. The report finds Americans are more likely to move up the economic ladder if they live in the northeast.

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