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Education
6:25 am
Sat September 7, 2013

New School Year Brings Sequestration Pain For Many Districts

A student at Red Lake High School starts the 2005 school year following a shooting the year before in which eight people were killed. Because of sequestration, the district is not able to keep on staff a school psychologist brought in after the shootings.
Ann Heisenfelt AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 8:39 pm

The superintendent of the Lancaster, Pa., school district is meeting with teachers and staff at George Washington Elementary. It's the start of a new school year, and he's trying to sound upbeat about the district's finances.

"We continue to lose 5 and 10 percent of budgets each year," Pedro Rivera tells them. "And our overall goal is to make those plans and stretch out dollars to not impact you, because no kids should go without. Right?"

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It's All Politics
5:38 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Vulnerable Senators Straddle The Syria Fence

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Timothy D. Easley AP

President Obama has mustered limited international support for a military strike on Syria, stirred uncertainty about what he'll do if Congress fails endorse a strike (it may depend on the meaning of "intention") and faces growing Capitol Hill resistance.

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Parallels
5:38 am
Sat September 7, 2013

On A Razor's Edge In Damascus

Syrian military soldiers check identifications and search vehicles at a checkpoint on Baghdad Street in Damascus, Syria, on Aug. 21.
Hassan Ammar AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 9:32 am

The author is a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified for safety reasons.

Lately, Marwan feels like he is sneaking around Damascus doing "something bad."

Marwan is a personal trainer, and under normal circumstances he would have nothing to worry about.

But in the increasingly tense and fearful atmosphere that Damascenes find themselves, Marwan feels he has little choice but to look over his shoulder — especially because some of his few remaining clients are underground activists.

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Music
5:36 am
Sat September 7, 2013

A Children's Author Wrangles A Cowboy Soundtrack

Sandra Boynton's new children's album and songbook is titled Frog Trouble.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 6:11 pm

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Simon Says
5:33 am
Sat September 7, 2013

When Weighing Intervention In Syria, Consider The Children

Leo del Aguila (from left), Vesa Gashi, Scott Simon, Erblin Mehmetaj and Shawn Fox in 1999 in a housing complex in Pristina. Del Aguila, Simon and Fox were covering the Kosovo conflict for NPR; the children lived in the war-stricken area.
Courtesy of Erblin Mehmetaj

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 1:01 pm

I was in a grocery store one night this week when a sturdy young man approached with a smile.

"Do you remember me?" he asked. "Bini."

Bini — Erblin Mehmataj — was a bony-shouldered 9-year-old boy with a full, toothy grin who lived in an Albanian Muslim housing complex in Pristina, where we stayed to cover the war in Kosovo in 1999.

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Author Interviews
5:32 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Billy Crystal's 'Foolin', Full Of Fun — And Feeling

Billy Crystal returned to voice the role of Mike Wazowski in 2013's Monsters University, sequel to the hit Pixar comedy that introduced the outgoing one-eyed scareball — sidekick to John Goodman's furry blue-and-purple star.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 5:07 pm

Billy Crystal is ... 65. He feels that he's gone from being, as he puts it, "a cool Baby Boomer into a Diane Arbus photograph."

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:50 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Prediction

Our panelists predict what swimmer Diana Nyad will cough up after all that time in the water.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:50 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Lightning Fill In The Blank

All the news we couldn't fit anywhere else.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:50 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Limericks

Carl reads three news-related limericks: The Angry Skyscraper, A Grocery Cart Filled With Self-Loathing and Beyoncephobia.

The Two-Way
6:32 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Top Afghan Militant Reportedly Killed In U.S. Drone Strike

Protesters in Pakistan shout anti-U.S. slogans during a protest in July against drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas.
Arif Ali AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 6:58 pm

A senior leader of the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network — considered one of the most dangerous factions fighting American troops in Afghanistan — has been killed in a U.S. drone strike over northwestern Pakistan, officials say.

Sangeen Zadran was among five people killed at a compound in the North Waziristan tribal region when a missile fired from a U.S. drone hit the building, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

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