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10:01 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

After Aiming Too High, Spain Renews Solar Push

A worker installs a solar panel on the roof of a house in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife in March 2011. The country's solar sector intends to double its contribution to the national grid by 2020, after an earlier government attempt at boosting the industry failed.
Santiago Ferrero Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 3:32 pm

The streets of Madrid are sizzling in the summer. The sun bears down on everything — including the solar panels dotting houses, offices and even parking meters. Solar energy makes sense in Spain, and it's attracted people like Juan Casanovas.

Casanovas says he first became interested in the solar industry in 2003 "because it's a democratic way to generate electricity." He says people can become self-sufficient in energy.

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Religion
10:01 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Evangelicals Question The Existence Of Adam And Eve

An engraving depicting Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, by Albrecht Durer, 15th century.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Let's go back to the beginning — all the way to Adam and Eve, and to the question: Did they exist, and did all of humanity descend from that single pair?

According to the Bible (Genesis 2:7), this is how humanity began: "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." God then called the man Adam, and later created Eve from Adam's rib.

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Environment
10:01 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Why Cleaned Wastewater Stays Dirty In Our Minds

Brent Haddad studies water in a place where water is often in short supply: California.

Haddad is a professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. About 14 years ago, he became very interested in the issue of water reuse.

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The Two-Way
5:46 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Market Indexes Sink On U.S. Debt Concerns; Widespread Losses Seen

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke may look to reassure global financial markets Tuesday. Here, he arrives for a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing in July.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

U.S. stock benchmarks took another big hit Monday, in the first day of trading since America's credit was downgraded by Standard and Poor's rating agency late Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial index closed below the 11,000 mark for the first time since late 2010, ending the day at 10,811.

The Standard and Poor's 500 Index, meant to reflect the U.S. domestic economy, sank by 6.7 percent Monday. According to Bloomberg, all 500 of the stocks in the index declined on the same day — something that hadn't happened since at least 1996.

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Education
4:12 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

No Child Left Behind Gets A Revamp

Originally published on Mon August 8, 2011 5:08 pm

The Obama administration is giving school districts a waiver from some mandates of the No Child Left Behind education law.

The law requires schools to reach higher goals each year, and by 2014, it demands that every student be graded proficient in reading and math. The administration, which has repeatedly called on Congress to rewrite the legislation, says the law is overly punitive.

In an announcement on Monday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan opened the door for states to avoid the penalties and deadlines of the current No Child Left Behind Law.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

London Endures A Third Night Of Riots, Violence; Cameron Cuts Vacation Short

A rioter throws a rock at riot police in Clarence Road in Hackney, London, Monday. Rioting and looting continued into the night Monday in parts of London, as well as in Birmingham. The unrest was prompted by the initial rioting in Tottenham and then in Brixton on Sunday night.
Dan Istitene Getty Images

Cars and buildings were burning and stores were looted in areas across London Monday, on the third night of riots and violence in the British capital. "Area is an absolute war zone," pub manager Alan McCabe told the BBC in Croydon.

Prime Minister David Cameron is returning early from his summer vacation to help get the riots under control. He will meet with police and Home Office officials Tuesday, part of his "COBRA" emergency response team. The group takes its name from the Cabinet Office Briefing Room in which it meets.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:55 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Early Morning Smokers Are More Addicted And At Greater Risk Of Cancer

Early morning cigarettes are a proxy for the level of addiction, researchers say.
iStockphoto.com

Even though rising cigarette prices and new restrictions on smoking in public places have helped to make a dent in smoking rates in the U.S., there are still plenty of heavily addicted smokers out there who remain at great risk of developing cancer from their habit.

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Economy
3:49 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Market Turmoil Fuels Gold Rush

Gold futures climbed above $1,700 an ounce Monday as investors eyed the precious metal as a safe haven from declining stock markets.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 9:16 pm

The stock markets may be sinking, but the price of gold is on the rise, topping $1,700 an ounce Monday. Economists say the spike in gold is a sign that investors are getting nervous.

Ken Rogoff, an economics professor at Harvard University, says gold is kind of like an economic mood ring: When the price is relatively stable, the economy is cool, calm and collected.

But when the price of gold soars to levels like Monday's high, it's a sign of panic, he says. "People are scared right now," he says.

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Politics
3:04 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Why The Downgrade Won't End The D.C. Dysfunction

President Barack Obama talks about the downgrade of U.S. debt at the White House on August 8.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

The political blame game that has followed Standard & Poor's U.S. debt downgrade has been dismally predictable.

Democrats point fingers at the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. Republicans condemn President Obama for an inability to lead. And S&P has been alternately hailed for calling out Washington's budgeting dysfunction and excoriated for overstepping in its ratings role.

One thing not in dispute?

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Alleged 'Patent Troll' Hit With Large Fine In Appeals Court

A ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is being seen as a victory against "patent trolls," companies that acquire intellectual property for the sole purpose of extracting licensing fees or settlements, despite having no intention of using the protected technology or idea themselves.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:25 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Why Toilet Training Can Trip Up Parents and Doctors

When it comes to potty training advice, pediatricians don't have much science to look to.
iStockphoto.com

Science has failed parents, at least when it comes to determining how to toilet-train their children. There's scant data on whether it's better to potty train early or late, or whether it's OK to go diaper-free with "elimination communication," which involves whisking tiny babies off to the potty whenever they pee, which can be two or three times an hour.

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Economy
2:08 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

How Much Do Debt Ratings Matter?

President Obama signs the financial reform bill into law in 2010 as Vice President Joe Biden and lawmakers look on.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Standard & Poor's moved to downgrade housing lenders Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and a handful of insurance companies Monday — all in connection to Friday's credit downgrade of long-term U.S. debt.

There's a lot of speculation about how much these risk downgrades are weighing on stock markets, and whether they will continue to ripple through the economy. But, there are systemic reasons ratings matter less than they have in recent years.

Conventional wisdom says a U.S. downgrade would make Treasuries riskier. It would make yields — or interest rates — rise.

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National Security
1:48 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

For Navy Seal Team 6, A Huge Loss For A Small Unit

The U.S. Special Forces held a changing of the guard Monday, and it should have been a moment to recount triumphs, like the raid that killed Osama bin Laden just three months ago.

Instead, the long-planned change of command in Tampa, Florida, was a somber day as military leaders paid tribute to the 30 American troops who died in Afghanistan in a helicopter crash Saturday.

Nearly two dozen were members of the unit responsible for killing bin Laden – Navy Seal Team 6.

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Research Shows Texas Having A Link To Antarctica

Scientists have found evidence that parts of North America and East Antarctica were joined in a supercontinent called Rodinia 1.1 billion years ago.
Robin E. Bell Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Scientists have long thought that Earth's continents once formed a "supercontinent" called Pangaea. Now they've found evidence that parts of North America and East Antarctica were joined in a supercontinent called Rodinia 1.1 billion years ago — even earlier than Pangaea.

"I can go to the Franklin Mountains in West Texas and stand next to what was once part of Coats Land in Antarctica," said geochemist Staci Loewy, who led the work. "That's so amazing."

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Asia
1:14 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

In India, Snake Charmers Are Losing Their Sway

Snake charming is a dying art in India. Here, a man named Buddhanath is shown at a New Delhi market during Nag Panchami, the yearly religious festival in honor of the king cobra. The charmer plays a gourd flute and his snake responds.
Corey Flintoff NPR

Snake charmers used to be a fixture at Indian markets and festivals, beguiling crowds with their ability to control some of the world's most venomous reptiles.

But one of India's iconic folk arts is fading away — and animal rights activists say it can't happen soon enough. They say it's an art based on cruelty.

These days, it's not easy to find a snake charmer, even on Nag Panchami, the yearly religious festival in honor of the king cobra, which fell on Aug. 4 this year.

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U.S.
1:00 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Remembering A SEAL Shot Down In Afghanistan

A Navy SEAL from Massachusetts is among the 30 Americans who died Saturday when insurgents shot down their helicopter after a battle in Afghanistan. Kevin Houston was one of 22 members from the elite U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 on board. Some of Houston's classmates gathered over the weekend to remember their friend.

The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

SEALs' Chopper Was On A Rescue Mission, NATO Says

New details are emerging about the downing of a Chinook military helicopter in Afghanistan early Saturday that killed 30 U.S. service members and 8 Afghans. Of the American casualties, 22 were Navy SEALS. The NATO mission in Afghanistan released a statement about the crash Monday.

For Newscast, Ahmad Shafi reported:

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World
12:15 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Debt Downgrade Weakens U.S. Stature Abroad

In the rest of the developed world, the downgrade of United States debt is seen as an important marker in a long process that will likely harm both the world economy and America's reputation as a fiscal steward.

"There's real fear that, given the mounting challenges facing the administration and the stand-off in Congress, this could really weaken U.S. influence and the U.S. role in the world," says Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform in London. "For most Europeans, that's not a prospect they welcome."

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Mon August 8, 2011

ABC News Questions Report On Contents Of New Jackie O. Tapes

Today, British tabloid The Daily Mirror published a report that alledged new recordings of Jackie Onassis reveal that she believed President Lyndon B. Johnson had a hand in the assassination of her husband John F. Kennedy.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:01 am
Mon August 8, 2011

Kids Can Work Out In The Heat, As Long As They Play It Safe

Pediatricians recommend that kids acclimatize to the the heat by taking it easy the first two weeks of practice.
iStockphoto.com

Parents often worry about sending children out into the heat, but also know that spending the summer holed up in the basement with Nintendo isn't ideal, either.

Fear not. The nation's pediatricians say that children can handle workouts in the heat just fine. But they warn that coaches and student athletes don't always play safe when it's sweltering.

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Mon August 8, 2011

Syria Is Hacked By Anonymous, And Pressed By Gulf Allies

The hacking group Anonymous took over Syria's defense ministry site Monday.
imgur

Syria's President Bashar Assad has removed the country's defense minister and replaced him with the army chief of staff, according to Syria's state-run news agency. The change, one of several in key government posts, comes during Syria's "brutal crackdown on a five-month-old uprising" against Assad, the AP reports.

That crackdown is bringing pressure on Syria and Assad from nearly all quarters. As Eyder reported earlier, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have now recalled their ambassadors. Here's a quick rundown of other developments:

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The Two-Way
10:06 am
Mon August 8, 2011

President Obama To Speak; Expected To Address S&P Downgrade

The White House announced that President Obama will deliver a speech today at 1 p.m. ET.

The AP reports that Obama will likely address the first downgrade of the country's credit rating in history. And the president is also expected to talk about the 30 U.S. troops killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Saturday.

You can listen to the president live on NPR.org and CSpan will stream video of it. We will live blog it here, too.

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Mon August 8, 2011

Obama Administration Will Override Key Component Of 'No Child Left Behind'

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that faced with outcry from the sates about the unrealistic requirements of the education law No Child Left Behind, the Obama administration will grant waivers to states.

The Washington Post reports:

"The states are desperately asking for us to respond," Duncan said in a conference call with reporters Friday.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Mon August 8, 2011

Treasury Secretary Geithner: S&P Has 'Shown Really Terrible Judgement'

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
Michael Nagle Getty Images

In an interview with CNBC, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Standard& Poor's "has shown really terrible judgment and they've handled themselves very poorly," when it downgraded the United States' rating.

"They've shown a stunning lack of knowledge about basic U.S. fiscal budget math. And I think they drew exactly the wrong conclusion from this budget agreement," Geithner added.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
8:36 am
Mon August 8, 2011

The End Of A Physics Worldview: Heraclitus And The Watershed Of Life

Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said "the world bubbles forth," suggesting a natural magic beyond the entailing laws of modern physics.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

At the dawn of Western philosophy and science, some 2,700 years ago, Heraclitus, declared that, "the world bubbles forth." There is, in this fragment of thought, a natural magic, a creativity beyond the entailing laws of modern physics. I believe Heraclitus was right about the evolution of the biosphere and human life. We live beyond entailing law in a natural magic we co-create.

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Opinion
8:13 am
Mon August 8, 2011

The Nation: Mainstream Media Ignores Real People

Washington residents, dressed as clowns, takes part in a jobs demonstration outside of the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington Wednesday, July 27, 2011.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Leslie Savan blogs for The Nation about media and politics.

Right before a break on The Daily Rundown the other day, host Chuck Todd was talking about the debt deal and mentioned "unemployment lines." Then he announced, "Coming up: Did Washington take its eye off the ball of what really matters?"

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Opinion
8:13 am
Mon August 8, 2011

Weekly Standard: Finger-Pointing Pundits Go Crazy

The arguments in Washington are enough to drive anyone crazy.
iStockphoto.com

Zack Munson writes for The Weekly Standard.

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The Two-Way
7:42 am
Mon August 8, 2011

From Cuba To Florida: A 61-Year-Old Starts The 103-Mile Swim

Diana Nyad delivers a speech at Ernest Hemingway Nautical Club, in Havana.
Adalberto Roque AFP/Getty Images

Diana Nyad attempted it once before. It was 1978 when she was 28, but 42 hours into what's supposed to be a 60-hour swim, her team pulled the plug. Nyad, a world-class endurance swimmer, had been defeated by nature: the water temperature was a tad cool and the wind produced sizable waves.

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Opinion
7:05 am
Mon August 8, 2011

Foreign Policy: History Doesn't Quite Repeat Itself

Members of a pro-Islamic human rights group and Syrians living in Turkey gather, one holding a placard that reads, "we did not forget Hama" as they stage a protest against the Syrian regime and its leader Bashar Assad during a protest outside the Syrian embassy in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Aug. 1, 2011.
AP

David Kenner is an associate editor at Foreign Policy.

Something was stirring in the Syrian city of Hama. The Assad regime appeared to be losing control; it had issued vague warnings about an Islamist takeover, but had gone ominously silent for over a week. A government-planned trip to the city was canceled. Syrian officials warned privately that any attempt by intrepid journalists to visit Hama would be "life-threatening."

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Opinion
6:54 am
Mon August 8, 2011

New Republic: A Lesson From The Great Depression

A family of migrant workers flees from the drought in Oklahoma camp by the roadside in Blythe, California, during The Great Depression.
Dorothea Lange Getty Images

John B. Judis is a senior editor of The New Republic and a Visiting Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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