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5:00 am
Thu November 29, 2012

The 'Not Too Crazy' Pulls Ahead In Car Race

Toyota unveils its new RAV4 crossover SUV to the media Wednesday before the L.A. Auto Show opens to the public.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 12:55 pm

Once upon a time when a car company introduced a new car, it was a new new car.

But at this year's L.A. Auto Show, you won't see any revolutionary new rides — at least not on the outside. You'll find the same sameness in your grocery store parking lot. A lot of cars look alike. Why is that?

"What they're relying on to distinguish these cars from one another is not so much the mechanical pieces of them or the design," says Brian Moody of Autotrader.com. "They're selling sort of a lifestyle or an experience or a philosophy."

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Live At The Village Vanguard
12:20 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Wilson, Rosnes, Washington: Live At The Village Vanguard

Steve Wilson (saxophone), Renee Rosnes (piano) and Peter Washington (bass).
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 12:28 pm

A saxophonist, a pianist and a bass player walk into a bar. But the bar happens to be one of the world's preeminent jazz clubs, where they're regularly sighted on stage. And they're working as a new collective band: no drummer, no hierarchy. So much for that joke.

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World Cafe
6:13 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion On World Cafe

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.
Stefano Giovannini

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 6:48 pm

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion — Jon Spencer, drummer Russell Simins and bassist Judah Baer — has kicked out the jams for more than 20 years. Formed in 1991, the band draws on punk, blues and rockabilly, and has collaborated with artists ranging from Elliott Smith to Solomon Burke to Martina Topley-Bird to Steve Albini and even Ad-Rock of The Beastie Boys.

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Research News
5:47 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

A Short Fuse For Fusion As Ignition Misses Deadline

A worker inspects a huge target chamber at the National Ignition Facility in California, in 2001, where beams from 192 lasers are aimed at a pellet of fusion fuel in the hopes of creating nuclear fusion.
Joe McNally Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:07 am

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The Two-Way
5:28 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Despite Protection Efforts, Rhino Poaching Soars

Miles Lappeman (left) and his son Marc with the carcass of a rhino that was killed for its horn at their Finfoot Lake Reserve on Nov. 24 in South Africa. This was one of eight rhinos slaughtered by poachers.
Nicolene Olckers Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 5:52 pm

Just a few years ago, rhino poaching appeared to be more or less under control.

Shootings were relatively rare, and about 75 percent of the world's rhinos lived in South Africa, a country that has taken extensive efforts to protect them.

Just 13 rhinos were reported killed worldwide in 2007. But the figure has been surging in recent years and has already hit 588 so far this year, according to conservation groups.

An estimated 25,000 rhinos remain in Africa.

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It's All Politics
5:06 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

In Fiscal Cliff PR War, Obama Seeks Help From A Public Already Leaning His Way

President Obama speaks Wednesday while meeting with citizens at the White House. Obama called on Republicans to halt an automatic tax hike for middle-class Americans.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 7:18 pm

In Washington's latest game of chicken, President Obama is counting on voters who see things his way to give him the edge in his quest to get congressional Republicans to accept tax increases on the nation's wealthiest as part of any fiscal cliff deal.

To energize those voters, the president is ramping up a series of campaign-style events meant to educate the public about the stakes, as he sees them, of letting the Bush-era tax cuts for middle-class Americans expire if no agreement is reached by year's end.

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It's All Politics
5:06 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Hispanic Caucus Rejects Republican Immigration Bills

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and 20 House members make up the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Here, Menendez speaks in September in Sayreville, N.J.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 11:54 am

Determined not to be excluded from the post-election bipartisan talk of passing immigration legislation, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Wednesday rejected two Republican proposals while outlining its own priorities.

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Shots - Health News
4:59 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Flame Retardants From Furniture Found In Household Dust

Scientists say that the best way to reduce a person's contact with the flame retardant chemicals in sofas and other furniture is to vacuum more.
SINAN DONMEZ iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 9:54 am

Sofas and other cushy furniture often contain chemicals intended to reduce the risk of fire. But those chemicals may pose health risks of their own, and some researchers are trying to build the case for getting them out of the house altogether.

Eighty-five percent of couches tested in a new study contained at least one flame-retardant chemical in the foam cushioning.

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Middle East
4:55 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

The Middle East: A Web Of 'Topsy-Turvy' Alliances

After a week of recent fighting between Israel and Hamas, an Israeli soldier stands on top of a mobile artillery unit in a position near the Israel Gaza border.
Ariel Schalit Getty Images

Writing for the New York Review of Books at the beginning of November, Robert Malley, the program director for the Middle East and North Africa with the International Crisis Group, and Hussein Agha described the current situation in the Middle East:

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Religion
4:53 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Mormonism: A Scrutinized, Yet Evolving Faith

temple
George Frey Reuters

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 5:58 pm

Mitt Romney refused to mix religion with politics in this year's presidential campaign, but that didn't repress people's curiosity about Mormonism. His candidacy brought the homegrown faith into the spotlight.

Patrick Mason, a professor and chairman of the Mormon Studies program at Claremont Graduate University, says attention paid to his faith has been twofold. On one hand, it's been good for attracting new converts. On the other hand, it's turned Mormonism into something of a cultural punch line.

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