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5:05 am
Sun June 16, 2013

My Father, The Pilot

Louis Parsons in his late teens, circa 1946, standing beside an Aeronca Champion airplane, a typical trainer plane for aspiring post-war private pilots.
Parsons Family Photograph

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 10:38 pm

My dad was a mild-mannered guy. Never bragged. Hated sports. Mom won the arguments. He was an avocado farmer near Santa Barbara, but being dad was his No. 1 job.

He read me bedtime stories, never missed a piano recital or a family dinner. And he played it safe: Dad's idea of adventure was driving his Ford Taurus to town without the wiper fluid filled to the top.

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Politics
5:05 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Why Both Sides Want Gay Marriage Settled By The States

Anti-gay marriage protesters (left) try to persuade same-sex marriage supporters to get out of the way of their march in front of the Supreme Court.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

The Supreme Court may rule on gay marriage this week. Advocates both for and against are glad the issue didn't reach the court any sooner.

They didn't want a repeat of the abortion issue. With its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, the high court stepped in and guaranteed a right to abortion but also triggered a backlash that has lasted for 40 years.

With same-sex marriage, by contrast, legislators and voters in nearly every state had the chance to make their feelings known before the Supreme Court weighs in.

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Parallels
3:48 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Burning Down The House: Artistic Freedom Under Fire In Egypt

Egyptian employees of the Cairo Opera House and opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi hold placards during a demonstration inside the opera's compound in Cairo on May 30, following the dismissal of the head of the opera house. The firing is the latest salvo in a cultural war between artists and the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 3:50 am

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Around the Nation
6:25 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Water Wars: Who Controls The Flow?

Cattle stand in a heavily irrigated pasture in Oregon's Upper Klamath Basin. The state has ordered ranchers in the region to shut down irrigation. The move is aimed at protecting the rights of Indian tribes who live downstream.
Amelia Templeton for NPR

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 7:39 pm

So often, we take water for granted. We turn on the faucet and there it is. We assume it's our right in America to have water. And yet, water is a resource. It's not always where we need it, or there when we need it.

Rivers don't follow political boundaries — they flow through states and over international borders. And there are endless demands for water: for agriculture, drinking, plumbing, manufacturing, to name just a few. And then there's the ecosystem that depends on water getting downstream.

So what are our legal rights when it comes to water? And who decides?

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Around the Nation
5:03 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Fighting Unwanted Cat Calls, One Poster At A Time

New York artist Tatayana Fazlalizadeh uses posters to combat unwanted cat calls and attention from men in her neighborhood.
Courtesy of Tatayana Fazlalizadeh

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 6:19 pm

It's hard to go unnoticed in New York City, with everyone checking out the latest fashions and hairstyles. As the weather warms, some women who are shedding those winter layers are finding themselves the object of more cat calls, whistles and roving eyes than they'd like.

Artist Tatayana Fazlalizadeh is not going to take it anymore.

Under the cover of darkness, wearing a black knit hit, black leather jacket and black Chuck Taylors, Fazlalizadeh is nearly invisible. She's scouring Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, for a blank canvas.

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Author Interviews
5:03 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Telling Stories About Ourselves In 'The Faraway Nearby'

Brian Jackson iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 6:19 pm

Rebecca Solnit begins her new memoir, The Faraway Nearby, with a question: "What's your story?"

"It's all in the telling," she says. "Stories are compasses and architecture; we navigate by them, we build our sanctuaries and prisons out of them, and to be without a story is to be lost in the vastness of the world that spreads in all directions like arctic tundra or sea ice."

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Middle East
5:03 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Obama's Dilemma: Arming The Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 6:19 pm

The White House is taking its first tentative steps toward arming Syrian rebels. Host Jacki Lyden speaks with James Fallows, national correspondent with The Atlantic, about the U.S.' ongoing struggle to determine when is the right time to intercede. They also discuss moderate candidate Hasan Rowhani's victory in the Iranian presidential election.

Music Interviews
4:43 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Terence Blanchard Turns A Tragic Champion Into An Opera Hero

Terence Blanchard is one of today's foremost jazz composers.
Nitin Vadukul Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 6:19 pm

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Google's 'Looney' Internet Balloons Invade New Zealand

A Google balloon sails through the air with the Southern Alps in the background, in Tekapo, New Zealand, on Monday.
Jon Shenk AP

Google has launched — quite literally — a new idea to bring the Internet to some of the world's remotest places.

The tech giant's engineering hothouse, Google X, is testing the use of 12-mile-high helium balloons to get coverage in areas where it's impractical to put in conventional infrastructure.

Google said Saturday that it has 30 of the balloons, or "high-altitude platforms" (HAPS), flying over New Zealand as part of something called Project Loon. They will hover at about twice the altitude of a passenger jet.

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Parallels
2:32 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

5 Things To Know About Syria's Rebels

Syrian rebels take part in a battle Thursday in the northwestern town of Maaret al-Numan. The U.S. says it will begin providing arms to the rebels, who have been losing ground recently to the Syrian army.
Daniel Leal-Olivas AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 2:33 pm

Now that President Obama's administration says it's prepared to arm Syria's rebels, this raises a question relatively few people can answer: Who exactly are these guys?

The rebels have been fighting President Bashar Assad's regime for about two years, and more than 90,000 people have died in Syria's civil war. But in the U.S. and elsewhere, the rebels have not established a clear identity.

Here are five things worth knowing about the rebels:

1. How Are The Rebels Doing On The Battlefield?

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