Wed July 3, 2013
The Two-Way

Accused Cleveland Kidnapper Is Ruled Competent For Trial

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 12:40 pm

Ariel Castro sits with his defense attorneys Craig Weintraub (left) and Jaye Schlachet during Wednesday's hearing, at which he was found mentally competent to stand trial.
Jason Miller AP

Ariel Castro, the man accused of kidnapping and raping three women while he held them prisoner in his house for about 10 years, has been declared mentally competent to stand trial. The finding comes one week after a Cleveland judge ordered Castro to undergo an evaluation.

The results of that analysis were presented at a court hearing this morning.

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Wed July 3, 2013
Code Switch

Take The Code Switch Visitor Survey

Clearly, our genius use of stock photos is one of your favorite aspects of Code Switch, and we expect this fact will be reflected in your survey responses.

Code Switch has been up and running for almost three months. We launched on April 8, with a series of stories about code-switching itself.

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Wed July 3, 2013
The Two-Way

As Mandela Lies In Hospital, Family Fights Over Kin's Graves

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 7:25 pm

In 1990, Nelson Mandela (wearing a dark suit, pointing down) visited the graves of family members in Qunu, South Africa. A grandson's 2011 decision to move some relatives' remains to another site was followed by a lawsuit and court action.
Juda Ngenya Reuters /Landov

Former South African President Nelson Mandela remains in stable but critical condition at a Pretoria hospital, where he's been since June 8 for treatment of a serious lung infection.

The anti-apartheid hero, who survived 27 years in jail and decades of oppression, is 15 days shy of his 95th birthday.

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Wed July 3, 2013
The Record

New Jay-Z Album Tests The Musician And Samsung

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 3:26 pm

A still of Jay-Z from the commercial for his new album.


Wed July 3, 2013
WVAS Local

WVAS Local News

The director of the Alabama Department of Public Health's Tuberculosis division will hold a parent meeting this evening at Lee High School to answer questions concerning tuberculosis and TB testing.  State TB Director Pam Barrett said her agency has already tested dozens of people at Lee High School for the ailment.  Barrett says tuberculosis typically attacks the lungs and is treatable. 

Prattville Lawsuit

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Wed July 3, 2013
Code Switch

Chinatown 'Blessing Scams' Target Elderly Women

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 12:13 pm

More than 50 people have reported being victims to the "blessing scams" in San Francisco over the last year. Their losses topped $1.5 million.
San Francisco district attorney's office

In Chinatowns around the country — in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, New York — a peculiar financial scam is targeting elderly Chinese women.

This so-called "blessing scam" isn't much of a blessing. By asking lots of personal questions, the scammers convince their targets that they face terrible tragedy that they can only avoid if they place their valuables in a bag — and then pray over it. Usually, the victims place their jewelry and money in a bag that the thieves swap out for an identical one. And then the thieves tell the women not to open the bag for days.

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Wed July 3, 2013
Shots - Health News

How To Make Disease Prevention An Easier Sell

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 4:30 pm

We'd all like a medical genius like TV's Dr. Gregory House to rescue us from a life-threatening crisis. But what can he do to prevent diabetes?
Adam Taylor/Fox AP

It's much better to prevent illness than to treat it: less time, less money, less suffering. But prevention is a surprisingly hard sell with doctors and the public. That's true even though preventable chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease are the most common causes of disability and premature death in the U.S.

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Wed July 3, 2013
The Two-Way

Good Signs: Jobless Claims Dip And Job Growth Picks Up

A help wanted sign in the window of a clothing store in Pasadena, Calif., last month.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Three reports Wednesday morning all offer at least modestly good news about the U.S. economy:

-- There were 343,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down 5,000 from the week before, says the Employment and Training Administration.

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Wed July 3, 2013
The Two-Way

Here's How One Weird Play Saved Homer Bailey's No-Hitter

Homer Bailey of the Cincinnati Reds during the no-hitter he pitched Tuesday.
Joe Robbins Getty Images

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Homer Bailey tossed the second no-hitter of his major league career Tuesday night as his Reds beat the San Francisco Giants 3-0.

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Wed July 3, 2013
The Salt

Coke Changed Caramel Color To Avoid Cancer Warning; Pepsi In Transition

Pepsi says it plans to reformulate all its colas sold in the U.S. by February 2014 to eliminate 4-MEI, a chemical listed as a carcinogen by the state of California.
PR Newswire

In 2011, the state of California created a problem for the soda industry.

The caramel color that Coke and Pepsi used to give colas that distinctive brown hue contained a chemical, 4-methylimidazole — 4-MEI — that is listed as a carcinogen by the state.

And in accordance with California's Proposition 65 law, the levels of 4-MEI found in sodas would have warranted a cancer warning label on every can sold in the state.

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