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8:13 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Palestinian Refugees On Losing Side Of UN Budget Crunch

Palestinian refugee Lawahez Burghal stuffs tripe with rice and garbanzo beans for her family in their home in the Amari refugee camp in the West Bank. Many refugees still depend on the United Nations for food, health care and education.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 8:17 am

The United Nations agency that provides basic health care and education to Palestinian refugees doesn't have enough money to pay local salaries this month.

The shortfall could directly affect 30,000 teachers, doctors and social workers, as well as the people using their services in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the Palestinian territories.

Filling Basic Needs

Sit for an hour in the United Nations Relief and Works Agency office in the al-Amari camp for Palestinian refugees, and you get a sense of what people expect the agency to provide.

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Paul Walker, Star Of 'Fast and Furious,' Dies In Car Crash

Actor Paul Walker attends the World Premiere of 'Fast & Furious 6' in London, England.
Tim P. Whitby Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 5:43 pm

Paul Walker, the star of the stunningly successful The Fast and the Furious film franchise, was killed in a car accident on Saturday, the actor's representative told the AP.

On Walker's Facebook page, his team explained that he was a passenger in a friend's car and that he was in Valencia, Calif. attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Sun December 1, 2013

For Anjelica Huston, The 'Story' Starts Long Before Los Angeles

Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 7:12 pm

When I saw that the actress Anjelica Huston had written a memoir, I thought, "Oh, good, I'll read that." I assumed it would be filled with wild stories from '70s and '80s Hollywood and her relationship with Jack Nicholson. What it was like to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. General movie-star debauchery, carried out in the wedge shoes and oversized sunglasses of that era.

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You Must Read This
7:03 am
Sun December 1, 2013

A Skeptic Is Swept Away By The Bromance-At-Sea In 'Master'

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 1:33 pm

In the autumn of 1995, the editor of an academic journal (we'll call him Dave) recommended a book.

"It's set during the Napoleonic Wars — "

"Not interested."

"No, listen. It's about the friendship of Captain Jack Aubrey of the Royal Navy — "

"I hate Horatio Hornblower."

" — and Dr. Stephen Maturin, his ship's surgeon, who's also a naturalist and secret agent. It sounds unlikely, I know, but just trust me. You'll love it."

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Parallels
5:24 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Five Things You May Not Know About Child Marriage

Arinafe Makwiti, 13, says her parents forced her to drop out of school and get married to an older man last year to help with the family finances. Makwiti has divorced her husband, but now has a 9-month-old daughter.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 10:40 am

NPR's Jennifer Ludden recently traveled to the African nation of Malawi, one of many countries in the developing world where child marriage remains prevalent. She found girls like Christina Asima, who was married at 12 and became a mother at 13. She is now divorced and caring for her infant son on her own. You can read Jennifer's full report here. Below are a few more things she learned while reporting on child marriage.

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Animals
5:21 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Saving The Native Prairie — One Black-Footed Ferret At A Time

Biologist Travis Livieri checks a briefly sedated ferret's health status inside an improvised trailer clinic.
Elizabeth Shogren NPR

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 2:25 pm

American pioneers saw the endless stretches of grassland of the Great Plains as a place to produce grain and beef for a growing country. But one casualty was the native prairie ecosystem and animals that thrived only there.

Some biologists are trying to save the prairies and they've picked a hero to help them: the black-footed ferret. In trying to save this long skinny predator with a raccoon-like mask, the biologists believe they have a chance to right a wrong that nearly wiped a species off the planet.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:20 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Da Vinci's String Organ Must Be Heard To Be Believed

Pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki presents the "viola organista" on Oct. 18 in Krakow, Poland. Zubrzycki spent almost four years building the instrument, which is based on a late 15th-century design by Leonardo da Vinci.
Tomasz Wiech AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:41 am

The man who painted the Mona Lisa, and was the first to sketch out the helicopter and the submarine, also dabbled in music. So here's the question: What musical instrument did Leonardo da Vinci design?

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Parallels
2:40 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Restoring The Mausoleum That Helped Inspire The Taj Mahal

Elaborate scaffolding was erected to complete the work on the exterior of Humayun's Tomb.
Courtesy of the AKTC

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 2:25 pm

Think Taj Mahal and then try to imagine what came before it. What was the inspiration for that masterpiece?

Archaeologists and architects say a 16th century tomb tucked in the southeast corner of Delhi presaged the jewel of Muslim art in India.

The recent restoration of the mausoleum built to memorialize the Muslim emperor Humayun has created a sensation in the city, drawing sightseers, schoolchildren and history buffs to the site that is now a showcase for India's architectural patrimony.

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Around the Nation
12:52 am
Sun December 1, 2013

'Fast & Furious' Star Dies In Car Crash

Actor Paul Walker in March.
Joel Ryan AP

Paul Walker, the star of the "Fast & Furious" movie series, died Saturday in a car crash that killed one other person north of Los Angeles, his publicist said. He was 40.

Walker died Saturday afternoon, Ame Van Iden told the Associated Press.

A statement on the actor's Facebook page said he was a passenger in a friend's car, and that Walker was in the area to attend a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide.

"We ... are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news," the statement said.

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Parallels
12:27 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Rival Protesters Clash In Bangkok

Anti-government protesters in Bangkok attack a bus that they suspect is of supporters of the current Thai government on Saturday.
Wason Wanichakorn AP

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 1:26 pm

Clashes among protesters in Thailand's capital have led to the death of at least one person amid mass rallies by opponents of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra as well as by supporters of her government.

Reuters says the person was shot dead and that 10 others were wounded in the first bloodshed in a week of protests aimed at toppling Yingluck, whose government won overwhelmingly in 2011 elections.

In other violence, Reuters reports,

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