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5:02am

Fri July 25, 2014
Sports

'No Easy Answer': Ex-Baseball Manager La Russa On Legacy, Steroids

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 8:14 am

Former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is introduced before Game One of the World Series in 2011. La Russa will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.
Paul Sancya AP

Tony La Russa's tenure as manager of the Chicago White Sox, Oakland A's and St. Louis Cardinals is legendary. La Russa, who on Sunday will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, won a total of 2,728 games — more than any Major League Baseball manager in the past 60 years.

And when he hung up his jersey for good after the Cardinals made a historic late-season run in 2011, La Russa became the first manager to retire immediately after winning a world championship.

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5:56pm

Thu July 24, 2014
Politics

Montana Senator Comes Under Fire For Plagiarism Allegations

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 6:22 pm

Sen. John Walsh of Montana was appointed to his seat in February, and he's preparing to face voters for the first time. The Democrat's bid will likely be complicated by allegations of plagiarism, reported by The New York Times. It seems that in a paper Walsh submitted for his master's degree from the U.S. Army War College, long passages were borrowed without attribution.

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5:52pm

Thu July 24, 2014
Politics

Rep. Ryan Unveils His Anti-Poverty Plan, A Rebuke To LBJ Programs

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 8:22 am

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, speaking before the start of the Virginia GOP Convention in Roanoke last month, has unveiled a new plan aimed at tackling poverty in America.
Steve Helber AP

For much of this year, Republicans have talked about finding new ways to get Americans out of poverty but have offered few specifics — until now.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled his plan Thursday to fight poverty, which he says will help fix safety-net programs that he calls fragmented and ineffective.

Here are the highlights of Ryan's plan:

  • Allow states to experiment with federal aid, by merging things like food stamps, child care and welfare into what he calls an "Opportunity Grant."
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5:51pm

Thu July 24, 2014
Goats and Soda

UNICEF Report On Female Genital Mutilation Holds Hope And Woe

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 10:00 am

For 15 years, Amran Mahamood made a living circumcising young girls in Hargeysa, Somalia. Four years ago, she gave it up after a religious leader convinced her that Islamic law did not require it.
Nichole Sobecki AFP/Getty Images

Women and girls are less likely to undergo female genital mutilation, or FGM, than 30 years ago. That's the encouraging news from a UNICEF report on the controversial practice, presented this week at London's first Girl Summit.

The rate has dropped in many of the 29 countries across Africa and the Middle East where FGM is practiced. In Kenya, for example, nearly half the girls age 15 to 19 were circumcised in 1980; in 2010 the rate was just under 20 percent.

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5:46pm

Thu July 24, 2014
Movie Reviews

'A Most Wanted Man': A Parable Grounded In The Real World

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in A Most Wanted Man, director Anton Corbijn's adaptation of John le Carré's 2008 novel, as German intelligence officer Günther Bachmann.
Roadside Attractions

Fittingly, one of Philip Seymour Hoffman's final performances is in a movie about role-playing. The masterly actor mutters and growls his way through A Most Wanted Man as a spy who's simultaneously fighting two losing wars: against the West's enemies as well as his own putative allies.

Further deepening the movie's ambiguity, the American actor plays a German in a story whose payoff is pungently anti-American.

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5:30pm

Thu July 24, 2014
The Salt

The Weird, Underappreciated World Of Plastic Packaging

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 6:39 pm

Food companies spend a lot of time and resources coming up with the perfect plastic packaging to keep their products fresh.
iStockphoto

Like it or not, plastic packaging has become an ingrained part of the food system.

While it's clearly wasteful to buy salad, sandwiches and chips encased in plastic and then promptly throw that plastic away, we take for granted how it keeps so much of what we eat fresh and portable.

And behind many of those packages that allow us to eat on the go or savor perishable cookies or fish imported from the other side of the globe is a whole lot of science and innovation.

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5:04pm

Thu July 24, 2014
Movie Reviews

Maturity And Improvisation In 'Happy Christmas'

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 8:01 am

Cast members including Anna Kendrick (center) and Lena Dunham (left), seen here with filmmaker Joe Swanberg's son Jude (right), improvised many of the film's scenes.
Magnolia Pictures

Reckless immaturity in young people is generally diagnosed across generations, most often by parents worried about their supposedly underachieving kids. That makes the premise of Joe Swanberg's Happy Christmas relatively refreshing, even as it covers well-known ground.

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5:04pm

Thu July 24, 2014
Movies

Revisiting An 'Endless Summer'

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:49 am

Widely considered one of the best surfer movies in American history, The Endless Summer celebrates its 50th anniversary this week.
Monterey Media Inc.

"This is Bruce Brown, thank you for watching, I hope you enjoyed my film."

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4:55pm

Thu July 24, 2014
Shots - Health News

For Better Treatment, Doctors And Patients Share The Decisions

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 6:22 pm

When weighing the risk of heart disease, how the numbers are presented to patients can make all the difference.
iStockphoto

Many of us get confused by claims of how much the risk of a heart attack, for example, might be reduced by taking medicine for it. And doctors can get confused, too.

Just ask Karen Sepucha. She runs the Health Decisions Sciences Center at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital. A few years ago she surveyed primary care physicians, and asked how confident they were in their ability to talk about numbers and probabilities with patients.

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4:39pm

Thu July 24, 2014
Parallels

Who Are The Kids Of The Migrant Crisis?

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 6:23 pm

Volunteers such as this woman — who's with a group that calls itself "Las Patronas" — throw bags of food and water to migrants in Veracruz, Mexico, who are headed toward the U.S.-Mexico border.
Courtesy of Deborah Bonello

Since October, a staggering 57,000 unaccompanied migrant children have been apprehended at the southwestern U.S. border. Sometimes, they've been welcomed into the country by activists; other times they've been turned away by protesters.

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