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1:54pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Parallels

He Calmed Kandahar. But At What Cost?

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:07 pm

Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq is the police chief widely credited with bringing much greater security to the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. But critics accuse him of human rights abuses including torture and extrajudicial killings.
David Gilkey NPR

The southern Afghan city of Kandahar was the birthplace of the Taliban and has long been considered one the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan.

But the city has grown peaceful in recent years, and much of the credit has been given to an American ally: Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq, the provincial police chief.

On a recent day, the most feared man in Kandahar is slumped in a cheap blue plastic chair on a wide patio. He's slight and wiry, with a shy smile. He could be mistaken for a security guard at this palatial home of marble and chandeliers.

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1:50pm

Thu May 21, 2015
It's All Politics

Gyrocopter Pilot On His 'Incredible' Flight Onto Capitol Lawn

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 5:27 pm

Doug Hughes said he sees his future as working for "the cause of getting a Congress — not more liberal, not more conservative — but a Congress that is working for the people"
Peter Overby NPR

Florida postman Doug Hughes made headlines last month for landing his gyrocopter on the lawn in front of the Capitol building.

In an interview with NPR, Hughes said he "made every effort to send word ahead" about the flight, but also knew he would be taken into custody. He made the flight anyway, he said, to "get a message to the American people — not that there's a problem with Congress but that there are solutions to the problem."

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1:22pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Shots - Health News

People In Poor Communities Are More Likely To Lose Eyesight

Vision loss and blindness can be devastating, isolating people and increasing their risk of illness and death. And that burden falls hardest on people in poor communities, especially in the South.

More than three quarters of the counties with the highest rates of severe vision loss are in the South, according to an analysis published Thursday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. It's the first analysis of severe vision loss at the county level.

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1:21pm

Thu May 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Obama Calls Loss Of Ramadi A 'Setback,' But Denies U.S. Is Losing To ISIS

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 5:26 pm

President Obama tells The Atlantic that the loss of Ramadi to the self-declared Islamic State is a "setback," but he denies the U.S. is losing to the group.
Kathy Willens AP

President Obama says that while the loss of Ramadi to the self-declared Islamic State is a "setback," he doesn't think the U.S. is losing to the militant group.

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12:36pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Parallels

Rome's Cinematic 'Dream Factory' Ramps Up Production Once Again

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 8:27 pm

The famous chariot race in Ben-Hur was filmed on a movie set at Cinecittà in 1958.
AP

It's just 15 miles south of Rome, but it looks more like ancient Jerusalem.

Welcome to the vast backlot at Cinecittà, the sprawling movie metropolis where the original Ben-Hur was filmed, and a remake is currently in production.

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11:57am

Thu May 21, 2015
The Salt

Urban Food Forests Make Fruit Free For The Picking

A morning's berry harvest from West Philadelphia's Ogden Orchard includes raspberries, gooseberries, currants, goumis and mulberries.
Courtesy of Philadelphia Orchard Project

To discover the new frontier of urban farming, you'll have to look up — and look sharp — for hanging fruit.

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11:52am

Thu May 21, 2015
Shots - Health News

Overnight Contacts Can Help Kids' Sight During Day, But Also Carry Risks

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 5:32 pm

Logan Levenson had a cornea transplant to repair an eye after a fungal infection.
Courtesy of Beth Levenson

The sales pitch for contact lenses that help kids see better by reshaping their corneas sounds futuristically appealing. Sleep overnight in the lenses, pop them out in the morning and experience perfect or near-perfect vision for an entire day.

Beth Levenson of Williamsburg, Va., thought the lenses, even at a price of $2,000, seemed ideal for her son Logan, then 9, who played on several sports teams.

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11:52am

Thu May 21, 2015
The Two-Way

'Fast-Track' Trade Authority Wins Key Test Vote In Senate

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 3:28 pm

The Senate has voted to limit debate on a bill that would grant the White House "fast track" negotiating authority and clear a path for the Obama administration's trade deal with 11 Pacific Rim nations.

Reuters says the 62-38 vote, which clears a filibuster hurdle, boosts "hopes for a deal that is central to President Barack Obama's strategic shift toward Asia."

Many Democrats oppose the Asia-Pacific treaty, saying free-trade deals cost U.S. jobs, but the White House maintains that U.S. producers need access to foreign markets.

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11:25am

Thu May 21, 2015
Code Switch

On 'Menace II Society' And 'Easy Rider': Why All The Talk On Bikers And Thugs Matters

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 12:36 pm

Sgt. Patrick Swanton of the Waco Police Department speaks to the media as Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper D.L. Wilson (left) stands nearby a Twin Peaks restaurant where nine members of a motorcycle gang were shot and killed in Waco, Texas on Tuesday.
Mike Stone Reuters/Landov

In his New York Times column this week, Charles Blow discussed bikers and thugs in the aftermath of the Waco shootout on Sunday.

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11:07am

Thu May 21, 2015
Code Switch

What Anti-Domestic Violence Advocates Are Saying About The WNBA Suspensions

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 6:45 pm

Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner stops to sign autographs for fans before a WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm in 2013 in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP

On April 22, WNBA stars Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson were arrested and charged with assault and disorderly conduct after the couple reportedly had a fight in their Phoenix home. A week later, Griner pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and agreed to participate in a 26-week domestic-violence diversion program. On May 8, the couple got married in an outdoor wedding that was written up in The New York Times, and then, on May 15, each woman received an unprecedented seven-game suspension from the WNBA.

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