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1:40 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Maria Bamford: A Seriously Funny Comedian

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 3:05 pm

It's almost uncomfortable to laugh at Maria Bamford's comedy, because so much of it is about really serious problems she has: OCD, bipolar disorder, suicidal thoughts. She's been hospitalized several times. But you have to laugh, because she's that funny.

In addition to the difficulties from which she suffers, Bamford — who has a new comedy CD out called Ask Me About My New God! — incorporates her family into much of her material. She's close to both her parents, in part, she says, because they've been through so much together.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Study: U.S. Viewed As 'Favorable', China As Rising Superpower

A Chinese boy passes a photo of China's first aircraft carrier during an exhibition entitled "Scientific Development and Splendid Achievements" in Beijing in 2012.
Feng Li Getty Images

More people around the globe view the United States positively than do China, but most of them also believe that Beijing is set to eclipse Washington as the world's dominant Superpower, according to a new Pew Research survey.

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Parallels
12:14 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Global Survey: China Will Surpass U.S. As Leading Superpower

In a global survey, many respondents believe that China has overtaken or eventually will overtake the U.S. as the world's leading superpower. Chinese are shown here walking in Shanghai's financial district in March.
Carlos Barria Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 1:56 pm

China has supplanted or soon will supplant the U.S. as the world's leading superpower. That's the headline from a survey by the Pew Research Center, which put this proposition to people around the world.

In 23 of the 39 countries surveyed, majorities or pluralities said China has overtaken or will overtake America.

In China, the verdict was clear: Two-thirds believe their country already has supplanted or eventually will supplant America.

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All Tech Considered
12:04 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Tech Companies Issue Loud Call For Surveillance Transparency

A Ukrainian activist protests the NSA Internet surveillance program.
Sergei Supinsky Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 12:44 pm

Apple, Google, Microsoft and a broad coalition of major tech companies are making a loud call for greater government disclosure of digital communications monitoring.

In a letter out today, an alliance of 63 companies and groups are calling for dramatically increased transparency around U.S. government surveillance efforts. This comes as the companies — and individual Americans — continue to grapple with recent revelations of a sweeping surveillance program led by the National Security Agency.

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The Salt
11:58 am
Thu July 18, 2013

How To Better Protect Farmworkers From Pesticides: Spanish

Farmworkers harvest and package cantaloupes near Firebaugh, Calif.
Gosia Wozniacka AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 1:02 pm

Advocates for farmworkers, especially those who grow America's leafy greens and fresh vegetables, are pushing the government to do more to protect those workers from exposure to pesticides.

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Weekly Jobless Claims Fall To Lowest Level In Months

The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance dropped by 24,000 last week, the Employment and Training Administration says. At 334,000, the number is at a 10-week low.

The Associated Press reports that the drop may be due to seasonal factors. The wire service adds:

"Still, the broader trend has been favorable. The four-week average, which smooths out fluctuations, fell 5,250 to 346,000.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Panama Charges North Korean Ship's Crew

View of what seems to be weapon parts aboard a North Korean-flagged ship on Tuesday.
Rodrigo Arangua AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 11:57 am

The crew of a North Korean ship carrying a clandestine cargo of Cold War-era weapons from Cuba has been charged with endangering public security by Panamanian authorities, who seized the vessel earlier this week.

The North Korean vessel en route from Cuba was seized as it attempted to transit the Panama Canal.

According to the BBC:

"[Panamanian] Prosecutor Javier Caraballo accused the 35 crew members of endangering public security by illegally transporting war material.

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Shots - Health News
10:47 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Tuberculosis Takes Lasting Toll In The Former Soviet Union

A Doctors Without Borders support counselor waits for MDR-TB patients at a clinic in Nukus, Uzbekistan.
Courtesy of Misha Friedman

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 10:22 am

Misha Friedman began training his lens on tuberculosis patients in the former Soviet Union in 2007, when he worked in logistics for the nonprofit Doctors Without Borders.

At first he took photos in his spare time, whiling away his off days by documenting the patients and hospital workers he met on the job. But this hobby quickly turned into more than that when he won a photo competition judged by renowned photojournalist Gary Knight, founder of the VII photo agency.

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The Two-Way
10:37 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Russian Court Convicts Opposition Activist

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his wife, Yulia, look at a mobile phone Thursday during his trial in Kirov, Russia. A Russian judge found Navalny guilty of embezzlement.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 12:02 pm

We have news this morning from Russia that opposition leader and Moscow mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in prison.

"The judge found Navalny and his business partner guilty of embezzling nearly a half-million dollars' worth of timber from a state-owned company in 2009," NPR's Corey Flintoff tells our Newscast unit. "The case was previously dismissed for lack of evidence but later reinstated after Navalny published embarrassing revelations about the foreign assets owned by the head of Russia's investigative committee."

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Judge Won't Drop 'Aiding The Enemy' Charge Against Manning

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning (right) is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., on June 25, 2012. His attorney announced that Manning, who is accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, had agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:15 pm

The military judge presiding over the court-martial of leaker Bradley Manning has declined to drop the most serious charge against him.

The Associated Press reports that the judge, Col. Denise Lind, said she would allow the government to proceed with a case accusing Manning of aiding the enemy, a charge punishable by life in prison. Lind found the government had enough evidence to support the charges, the AP says.

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