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Environment
6:33 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Kansas Mayor Says Sustainability Is About Community, Not Politics

The community of Greensburg, Kan., was hit hard by an F5 tornado in 2007. The event inspired one resident to run for mayor.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 1:36 pm

In Washington, the debate over what to do about climate change is split largely down party lines. But it hasn't always been that way.

Republican Sen. John McCain campaigned on the issue in his presidential runs. "Climate change is real," he said in 2007. "The Earth is warming, and it is the result of greenhouse gas emissions."

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Books News & Features
6:33 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Romance Novels Sweep Readers Off Their Feet With Predictability

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 1:26 pm

Romance novels are a $1.4 billion industry, dwarfing the literary book market by millions.

Last summer, Harper's editor Jesse Barron attended the Romance Novel Convention in Las Vegas. Emceed by a handsome novel-cover model named Jimmy, the event helped professionals and novices alike to pool resources, share ideas and generally have a love fest.

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Author Interviews
5:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

With Fearlessness And A 'Code Name,' Iraqi Helped Navy SEALs

Courtesy of HarperCollins

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 6:33 pm

For years, Johnny Walker interpreted for the U.S. Navy SEALs on missions all over his home country of Iraq. He served on over a thousand missions, and stood out as an invaluable part of nearly every team he worked with.

No, Johnny Walker isn't his real name. The SEALs gave him the nickname in honor of his love of Johnnie Walker Whisky — and to protect his identity, a necessary precaution even today.

"Bad guys, if they hear your real name, they can find you," he tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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Business
4:17 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Funeral Home Kiosks Offer Shoppers The Ultimate Deal

Forest Lawn funeral services has a kiosk at the Glendale Galleria mall in Glendale, Calif., to reach potential customers who may not want to visit a funeral home.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Forest Lawn is a big name in the funeral business, and it has funeral homes all across Southern California. Most are stately, sprawling estates. But the Glendale location is a little different.

First off, it's tiny — the size of a typical funeral home bathroom. Second, there aren't any coffins or headstones for sale. There is an attendant, but he can't sell you anything: The urns are only on display. The place feels pretty inconspicuous. It could as easily be marketing homemade pottery as end-of-life planning.

It's also right in the middle of a shopping mall.

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Around the Nation
3:54 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Prospectors See A Golden Lining In California's Drought

A man looks for gold in Woods Creek in Jamestown, Calif., in 2011.
David Paul Morris Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 6:33 pm

Wayne Warren shakes wet dirt out of a plastic bucket and into a metal chute, tossing aside bigger rocks. For him, California's drought is golden.

Yes, golden. Warren is knee-deep in the San Gabriel River, an hour outside of Los Angeles. That chute next to him is a sluice box. The water washes away the dirt in a muddy cloud, and he leans over the box. Out of the creek, he taps his findings into a green, plastic gold pan and gives it a few swirls. What's left ...

"Sure is pretty in the sun, huh?" he says.

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The Salt
1:21 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Four-Legged Athletes Compete With Olympic-Sized Heart

Sky, an Australian shepherd, runs the weave poles with the intensity of an Olympian.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:19 pm

In Sochi this week, athletes are competing in a display of human grace and skill. Many will win. Many more will lose, and many tears will be shed.

In New York on Saturday night, athletes of a different breed competed in a display of canine finesse and dexterity. Many won. If any lost, none knew it. Not one shed a tear.

At the Westminster Dog Show's Masters Agility Championship, 225 exuberant dogs dove through tunnels, flew through hoops, leaped over hurdles and wove in and out of poles with the focus of the highest-level Olympic champion.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Syrian Official Says 600 Evacuated From Rebel-Held Homs

Syrians on two buses followed by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent's vehicles evacuate Syria's battleground city of Homs, on Friday.
Uncredited AP

More than 600 people have left rebel-held areas of the besieged Syrian city of Homs, according to the local governor.

Talal Barrazi gave the figure for the number of evacuees as of Sunday evening.

The Associated Press says:

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Swiss Narrowly Approve Rollback Of Immigration Allowances

Members of the Swiss People's Party (SVP) cheer after the results after winning a narrow vote on an anti-immigration referendum on Sunday.
Marcel Bieri EPA/Landov

Swiss voters narrowly approved a referendum to impose strict quotas on immigration, effectively ending a "free movement" agreement with the European Union.

The measure passed by just 50.5 percent of the vote. Switzerland, which is not part of the EU, nonetheless has adopted many of the union's policies.

A coalition led by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) spearheaded the "yes" vote.

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Monkey See
11:52 am
Sun February 9, 2014

The Beatles, As America First Loved Them

It's been 50 years since The Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan, to an audience of screaming, hair-pulling, ecstatic (in the classic sense) teenage girls. Cutes in suits, you might call them, like (and, of course, nothing like) countless other bands of the time that wore skinny ties and shared microphones and said "oh" and "yeah" and "baby."

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Energy
11:32 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Oil, Gas Drilling Seems To Make The Earth Slip And Go Boom

Infrastructure used for oil and gas may be making more earthquakes. In Texas, there 10 times the number of earthquakes now than a few years ago.
Mark Rogers AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:21 pm

There's been a surge in earthquakes in the U.S. over the last few years. In Texas, there are 10 times the number of earthquakes now than just a few years ago.

Scientists say it's likely linked to the boom in oil and gas activity, meaning that people who never felt the ground shake are starting to.

Here's how Pat Jones of Snyder, Texas, describes the earthquake that struck her town in 2010: "It just sounded like some car hit the back of our house. We got up and checked around and we didn't see anything or hear anything else."

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