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The Salt
5:44 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Taco Bell Says Adios To Kids' Meals And Toys

Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:32 pm

That Crunchy Taco will no longer come with a side of toy.

Taco Bell announced Tuesday that it is ditching kids' meals and the trinkets that come with them at its U.S. locations. The items will begin to come off menus starting this month, the company says, and should be completely gone by January 2014.

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The Two-Way
5:09 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Court Rules Against Dallas Suburb That Barred Renting To Illegal Immigrants

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:24 pm

Back in 2006, when many municipalities across the country took Arizona's lead passing stringent laws against illegal immigrants, the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch became a kind of poster boy.

With much controversy, the city passed legislation that among other things barred anyone from renting property to undocumented immigrants.

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Music Interviews
4:41 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Guy Clark, Music's Master Craftsman, On Making Songs Last

Tools line the walls of Guy Clark's basement workshop at his home in Nashville, where he still builds guitars.
Jinae West NPR

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

If you want to learn how to write a song — one that's built to last, with vivid characters and images that plant you squarely inside a scene — listen to Guy Clark.

Songwriters who revere Clark will tell you he crafts songs with the same precision and attention to detail he uses when he builds guitars. But Clark has a simpler, blunter explanation, as he told me with a glint in his eye when I visited him recently at his home in Nashville, Tenn.

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

WATCH: Disco, The Parakeet, Takes On 'Monty Python'

Disco, the parakeet.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 8:49 pm

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Shots - Health News
4:19 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Obama Turns To Comedians To Promote Health Coverage

Comedian Sarah Silverman helped get out the vote for Obama in 2008 and 2012.
YouTube

Who needs jocks when you've got Jennifer Hudson and Amy Poehler?

That seems to be the message coming out of the White House following a star-studded meeting yesterday led by White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. Its mission: Figure out how to help promote the Affordable Care Act.

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Around the Nation
4:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

With Miles Of Blight, What's The Best Way To Reimagine Detroit?

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

Melissa Block talks to Dan Kinkead, executive director of Detroit Future City, about how the sprawling and bankrupt city can start from scratch and reimagine its liabilities into assets.

The Impact of War
4:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Backlog Of Benefit Claims A Big Problem For VA

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

More than two million Americans fought in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the vast majority of U.S. veterans, about 20 million, served in earlier wars - World War II, Korea, Vietnam. And they are the vets who filled up the hall today at the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

JOHN HAMILTON: Comrades, I present to you a fellow combat veteran.

BLOCK: That's Vietnam vet John Hamilton, the head of the VFW, introducing another Vietnam vet.

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Education
4:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Teachers Hit The Books To Master New Education Standards

Teacher Karen Pate assists math teachers with Common Core materials in Baltimore. As in other states, Maryland teachers are attending trainings to prepare to implement the new standards this fall.
Gwendolyn Glenn WYPR

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

Almost all the states and Washington, D.C., are grappling with a big challenge as the new school year nears: getting teachers up to speed on the Common Core, a sweeping set of new education standards for English language arts and math.

The Common Core will soon apply to most of America's students from kindergarten through high school. The policymakers behind the Core know that it could fail if they don't help teachers make the change. So this summer, the state of Maryland has been hosting what it calls "academies" to do just that.

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Asia
4:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Families Of Poisoned Children Try To Cope In India

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In India, police have widened their hunt for the principal of an elementary school. It's the place where 23 children died last week after eating a toxic school lunch. The principal has been missing, along with her husband, since the day the children fell sick. An arrest warrant has been issued for her. In the meantime, parents of the victims are trying to cope with the tragedy. NPR's Julie McCarthy visited some of the families who live in one of India's poorest states.

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Book Reviews
4:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Popes, Politics And Power: The Story Of The Borgia Family

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

If every era gets the historical fiction it deserves, we have been good indeed. From the transcendent psychological rummagings of Hilary Mantel to the gooey pleasures of Philippa Gregory, we can set aside flowery bodice-rippers (not that there's anything wrong with those) and view the dusty figures through lenses literary, pop culture-y, or near-pornographic.

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Religion
4:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Jubilation, Protest Greet Pope Francis In Brazil

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

Pope Francis arrived in Rio de Janeiro on Monday and was greeted by adoring masses and protesters alike. It is his first foreign trip since becoming pope.

13.7: Cosmos And Culture
4:04 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Can You Trust A Robot? Let's Find Out

While Hollywood has firmly planted the idea in our minds that robots may very well turn out to be evil, academic research into dangerous interactions between humans and robots has only just begun.
The Halcyon Company The Halcyon Company

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 4:47 pm

When they come — and they are coming — will the robots we deploy into human culture be capable of evil? Well, perhaps "evil" is too strong a word. Will they be capable of inflicting harm on human beings in ways that go beyond their programing?

While this may seem like a question for the next installment of The Terminator franchise (or The Matrix or whatever, pick your favorite), it's a serious question in robotics and it's being taken up by researchers now.

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The Salt
3:33 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Howard Buffett Battles Hunger, Armed With Money And Science

Buffett in a pinto bean field on the Arizona farm, where he grew 60,000 pounds of beans for a Tucson food bank in 2012. Another goal of Buffett's research farm is to find better crops for poor subsistence farmers.
Nick Oza for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 11:12 am

Get Howard Buffett into the cab of a big ole' farm tractor and he's like a kid — albeit a 58-year-old, gray-haired one. He's especially excited when it comes to the tractor's elaborate GPS system, which he describes as "very cool."

"I'm driving hands-free," says Buffett, the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

He says that the tractor has been automatically set to plant 16 perfect rows of seeds, "so it makes everything more efficient. And it's going to give you a better crop in the end."

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The Two-Way
3:32 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

The Big Stink: D.C.'s Corpse Flower Put On A Show

The color of the corpse flower is meant to mimic the color of rotting flesh and raw meat.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 8:50 pm

The line to see the thing that was supposed to smell like rotting flesh wrapped around the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., on Monday night. Most folks who braved the heat and hourlong wait weren't greeted with the overwhelming stench of death, but rather the smell of sweat and intense, intense humidity.

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Anthony Weiner Acknowledges More Inappropriate Messages

Anthony Weiner listens to a question from the media after courting voters outside a Harlem subway station in May.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:36 pm

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