3:19am

Fri May 31, 2013
Parallels

Battling Deforestation In Indonesia, One Firm At A Time

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 8:57 pm

This photo shows a heavily logged concession affiliated with Asia Pulp and Paper, or APP, one of the world's largest papermakers, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, in 2010.
Romeo Gacad AFP/Getty Images

On the Indonesian island of Sumatra, a backhoe stacks freshly cut trees to be made into pulp and paper. Asia Pulp and Paper, or APP, is Indonesia's largest papermaker, and the company and its suppliers operate vast plantations of acacia trees here that have transformed the local landscape.

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2:22am

Fri May 31, 2013
Critics' Lists: Summer 2013

Field Trip! 10 Books That Will Send Kids Exploring

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 8:34 am

Andrew Bannecker

When I recommend books to kids or grown-ups, I can almost always get them interested if I add "Oh, and after you read this book, you could go on a field trip to the museum/zoo/baseball stadium/library ... or just take a little road trip!" Spring 2013 has been a very good year for children's books that spark the imagination and make kids (and grownups) want to do a little more exploring.

Books like these can be the start of amazing adventures. Enjoy!

Mara Alpert is a librarian in the Children's Literature Department at the Los Angeles Public Library.

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2:20am

Fri May 31, 2013
StoryCorps

Cherishing The Gift Of Friendship Through A Cancer Bout

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 8:34 am

Peter Obetz (left) and Jeff Jarrett met in 1998 and are still close friends. Peter was diagnosed with stage IV esophageal cancer in 2004. He was declared cancer-free in 2009. They visited StoryCorps in Kansas City, Mo.
StoryCorps

In 2004, Peter Obetz was in the middle of a divorce when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

"Food would get stuck down my throat, and it got worse and worse, so I met with my doctor. I had a tumor on my esophagus wall," says Peter, 48, during a visit to StoryCorps in Kansas City, Mo.

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7:40pm

Thu May 30, 2013
The Two-Way

TSA: No More Graphic, Full-Body Airport Scans

A U.S. Transportation Security Administration employee demonstrates the less intrusive Automated Target Recognition software in 2011.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

The Transportation Security Administration has told Congress that it's finished retrofitting airport scanners to blunt a widely criticized technology that shows graphic detail of a passenger's body as he or she goes through security checkpoints.

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7:02pm

Thu May 30, 2013
It's All Politics

War Zone Visit A McCain Trademark

In this photo provided by Mouaz Moustafa and the Syrian Emergency Task Force, Sen. John McCain, accompanied by Moustafa (right) visits rebels in Syria on Monday. McCain, who slipped into the country for a surprise visit, favors providing arms to rebel forces in Syria.
Mouaz Moustafa AP

There are risks aplenty for a U.S. lawmaker who makes a surprise visit to a war zone, as Sen. John McCain recently did when he crossed the border from Turkey into Syria.

The perils to life and limb go without saying. But there are also other risks: trying to tell the good guys from the bad guys; or being victimized by disinformation from unfriendly Middle Eastern interests.

While McCain got out unscathed from Syria, where he visited rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces, he may have had less success navigating the other risks.

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6:30pm

Thu May 30, 2013
Movie Reviews

'Now You See Me': An Unconvincing Con Job

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:32 pm

Jesse Eisenberg plays J. Daniel Atlas, part of a team of thieving illusionists, in Now You See Me.
Barry Wetcher, SMPSP Courtesy Summit Entertainment

Magic is compelling when it actually amazes, accomplishing the difficult feat of freeing its viewers from disbelief and letting them bask in the wonder of seeing what they know is impossible. Movies work the same way, and part of the equation for both is developing the right expectations.

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6:24pm

Thu May 30, 2013
The Salt

Congress Poised To Make Crop Insurance Subsidies More Generous

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:40 pm

An Illinois corn and soybean farmer walks to his tractor while cultivating his field.
Seth Perlman AP

For decades, farmers have been getting checks from the federal government as part of a safety net to help protect against, for instance, the financial ruin of drought or floods.

So last year when a big drought hit the Midwest, who paid for it? You did.

As my colleague Dan Charles has reported, payouts from crop insurance policies added up to about $16 billion, and much of it was paid by taxpayers.

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6:21pm

Thu May 30, 2013
The Two-Way

A Kiss Is But A Kiss, But To French Kiss Is 'Galocher'

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 8:29 pm

French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault kisses his wife, actress Salma Hayek, in Paris in 2009.
Francois Mori AP

It might come as a surprise that for centuries the French have been sans a term for "French kiss."

But, voila! The newest edition of the Petit Robert 2014 dictionary has rectified that with a new verb — "galocher," meaning "to kiss with tongues." It's a clever derivation of la galoche, a word for an ice-skating boot, and so evokes the idea of sliding around the ice — or the lips and tongue.

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5:47pm

Thu May 30, 2013
U.S.

Will Ill. Legalize Gay Marriage Before Legislature Adjourns?

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 7:04 pm

Activists rally in support of gay marriage on March 25 in Chicago. The Illinois Senate has approved legislation that will legalize same-sex marriage, but it has stalled in the state House.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The clock is ticking for those who hope Illinois will become the 13th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn its spring session Friday night, and the marriage equality bill still has not been called for a vote in the state House, where supporters are struggling to round up the 60 votes necessary to pass it.

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5:30pm

Thu May 30, 2013
Shots - Health News

Administration Touts Competition In Insurance Exchanges

The Obama administration is countering criticism that the new health insurance exchanges will be lacking in competition, though it's doing so a bit quietly.

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