Race To The Arctic
3:00 am
Sat August 20, 2011

Trying To Unravel The Mysteries Of Arctic Warming

A polar bear makes its way across the ice in Canada's Northwest Passage. Melting ice in the Arctic will make survival increasingly difficult for wildlife in the region.
Jackie Northam NPR

The Arctic is heating up faster than anyplace on Earth. And as it heats, the ice is growing thinner and melting faster. Scientists say that sometime this century, the Arctic Ocean could be free of ice during the summers. And that transition is likely to be chaotic.

Arctic sea ice has always seen dramatic swings. Every winter, the ocean is completely covered with ice. It starts to melt in the late spring, and by September about half that ice has melted away.

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5:51 pm
Fri August 19, 2011

NCAA Chief Discusses 'Death Penalty,' Miami Case

NCAA President Mark Emmert says he's willing to back up his tough talk on punishing rule-breakers — even using the "death penalty" as a deterrent.

With salacious allegations swirling around Miami's football program, and one week after Emmert joined with university presidents to discuss toughening sanctions against cheating schools, the NCAA's leader said he believed the infractions committee should make the harshest penalty an option.

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Around the Nation
4:39 pm
Fri August 19, 2011

Does More Jobs Mean More Government Spending?

US President Barack Obama listens to questions as he speaks at a town hall style meeting in Decorah, Iowa, August 15, 2011, during his three-day bus tour in the Midwest centering on ways to grow the economy.

President Obama's bus tour across the Midwest this week could probably be summed up this way: jobs vs. deficits. Americans are clamoring for action on both, but action on jobs might mean more spending, which is a toxic word in Washington, as well as for many small-business owners.

A Small-Business Owner's Struggle

Terry Frank and her husband own a shop that sells everything from sandwiches to desserts on the Oak Ridge Turnpike in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

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4:31 pm
Fri August 19, 2011

UN: 300,000 Children At 'Risk Of Dying' In Somalia

Children run toward workers distributing hot meals in Mogadishu Thursday. Some 12 million people in parts of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda and Somalia are at risk of starvation in the wake of the region's worst drought in decades.
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

More than 300,000 children in the Horn of Africa are severely malnourished "and in imminent risk of dying" because of drought and famine, the head of the U.N. children's agency said Friday.

The United Nations says that tens of thousands of people have died in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti — and the organization warns that the famine hasn't peaked. More than 12 million people in the region need food aid, according to the U.N.

"The crisis in the Horn of Africa is a human disaster becoming a human catastrophe," UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake told reporters.

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4:25 pm
Fri August 19, 2011

Fire rating increased in Tetons

Fire officials have elevated the fire danger rating to "high" for both Bridger-Teton National Forest and Grand Teton National Park.

Jackie Scaggs is a spokeswoman for Grand Teton National Park. She says one of the biggest factors for the rating comes from a drier-than-normal season.

"We definitely had a wet spring, and we had an wet, early summer through June, but July actually had less moisture, less precipitation than we normally do and we have continued that trend into August. So the heavy fuels in the forest are drier than normal for this time of year."

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Shots - Health Blog
4:15 pm
Fri August 19, 2011

HIV In The Middle East And North Africa: Hidden 'Behind A Veil'?

Pakistani NGO workers protest at a rally on World AIDS Day in Peshawar in 2006.
Tariq Mahmood/AFP Getty Images

HIV epidemics are emerging among men who have sex with men in the Middle East and North Africa, researchers say. It's a region where HIV/AIDS isn't well understood, or studied.

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3:53 pm
Fri August 19, 2011

Libyan Rebels Celebrate Takeover Of Another Key City

Two Libyan rebel fighters battle with snipers holed up in a hotel at the main square of Zawiya, a city 30 miles west of Tripoli, on Aug. 18. The rebels entered the key coastal city this week.
Marc Hofer AFP/Getty Images

The Libyan rebels have been on the move this week.

In Gheryan, an important city south of the capital Tripoli, it seemed everyone was celebrating Friday. Women, children, young men, older men and even white-haired grandfathers.

They jumped into trucks and cars and flashed the victory sign to each other in an impromptu parade. The city, which straddles the main road south from Tripoli, was a garrison for Moammar Gadhafi's forces for the past six months. From Gheryan, the military would resupply forces for the frequent battles in the country's Western Mountains.

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3:48 pm
Fri August 19, 2011

Gadhafi's Former No. 2 Defected, Libyan Rebels Say

Libyan rebels say a close Moammar Gadhafi associate who was once the No. 2 top regime official has defected in another blow to the increasingly isolated Libyan leader.

Abdel Salam Jalloud helped Gadhafi stage the 1969 coup that propelled him to power and transformed Libya from a monarchy to a republic. He was Gadhafi's most trusted deputy for two decades but began to clash with the leader starting in the 1990s.

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Middle East
2:46 pm
Fri August 19, 2011

Syria's Crackdown Provokes Sharp Debate

In a photo taken during a guided government tour, Syrian soldiers raise their weapons while holding a picture of President Bashar Assad as they leave the eastern city of Deir al-Zour on Aug. 16, following a 10-day military operation.
- AFP/Getty Images

Over the past five months, the Syrian military has repeatedly used tanks and heavy weaponry on cities and towns that are centers of protest.

As has been the case most every Friday since March, demonstrators turned out in huge numbers after the midday prayers, and there was more violence. Activists said that Syrian security forces fired at protesters across the country, reportedly killing at least 20.

Assessing whether this Syrian strategy is working depends on who you ask — and what version of the military crackdown in Syria you accept.

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