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Parallels
2:22 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Brazil's Slaves Are Being Freed, But Owners Go Largely Unpunished

Brazilian slave laborers stop their work to listen to a Labor Ministry inspector explain their legal rights, on the Bom Jesus farm in the Amazon basin in 2003.
Rickey Rogers Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 4:32 pm

I bought Francisco Lima his first taste of freedom in decades.

A cheeseburger.

It was 2004, and Brazil was starting to confront one of its most distressing problems: slavery. I was in northern Pará state, in the Amazon, observing a special police unit that raided slaveholding farms and firms and liberated workers like the 74-year-old Lima.

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The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Spy Chief Says Classified Leaks 'Pose Critical Threat' To U.S.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies during a hearing before Senate Select Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:51 pm

In his yearly report (pdf) to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the country's spy chief says one of the top threats facing the United States is the unauthorized leak of classified information.

In his threat assessment report, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, listed "insider threats," alongside cyber attacks and terrorism.

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Around the Nation
1:36 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

How Industrial Chemical Regulation Failed West Virginia

Jonathan Steele, owner of Bluegrass Kitchen, fills a jug with bottled water from a tank he installed in the back of his Charleston restaurant.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 7:55 pm

On Jan. 9, people in and around Charleston, W.Va., began showing up at hospitals: They had nausea, eye infections and some were vomiting. It was later discovered that around 10,000 gallons of toxic chemicals had leaked into the Elk River, just upstream from a water treatment plant that serves 300,000 people. Citizens were told not to drink or bathe in the water, and while some people are now using water from their taps, many still don't trust it or the information coming from public officials.

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Music Reviews
1:36 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Don't Pigeonhole Me, Bro: New Country Albums On The Borderline

Jon Pardi.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 4:20 pm

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Shots - Health News
1:19 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

A Little Acid Turns Mouse Blood Into Brain, Heart And Stem Cells

A mouse embryo grows from stem cells made by stressing blood cells with acid. The blood cells are tagged with a protein that creates green light.
Courtesy of Haruko Obokata

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 7:24 am

Back in 1958, a young biologist at Cornell University made a stunning discovery.

He took a single cell from a carrot and then mixed it with some coconut milk. Days went by and the cell started dividing. Little roots formed. Stems started growing. Eventually, a whole new carrot plant rose up from the single cell.

Imagine if you could perform a similar feat with animal cells, even human cells.

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Missing For 112 Years, First Porsche Is Found In Warehouse

The P1, now known as the "first Porsche."
Juergen Skarwan Porsche.com

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:21 pm

Even the famed German automaker concedes that it "may resemble an old horse-drawn carriage."

But the recently rediscovered "first Porsche in the world" — dubbed the P1 — was a technological marvel for its time. It "included a compact electric drive weighing 286 pounds," writes the automotive news site Jalopnik, and could chug along at 22 mph.

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It's All Politics
1:07 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Why Red-State Kentucky Got A Shoutout From Obama

Kentucky's Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, has gotten considerable attention for embracing President Obama's Affordable Care Act and adopting the Common Core educational standards.
Roger Alford AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:44 pm

Steve Beshear couldn't help but chuckle during the State of the Union speech when President Obama said, "Kentucky's not the most liberal part of the country."

Obama was singling out his fellow Democrat for being the rare Southern governor who has fully implemented the Affordable Care Act, expanding Medicaid and running a state health insurance exchange that launched far more smoothly than the federal model.

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Politics
12:49 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Democratic Rep. Fudge Weighs In On Obama's Key Points

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:08 pm

Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, joins Steve Inskeep with reaction to President Obama's State of the Union address.

The Two-Way
11:58 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Tycoon's Lesbian Daughter Rejects Multimillion-Dollar 'Marriage Bounty'

Gigi Chao (right) daughter of Hong Kong property tycoon Cecil Chao, poses with her partner, Sean Eav, at an event in Hong Kong.
AP

A Hong Kong real estate tycoon made headlines two years ago when he offered a $65 million bounty to the man who could win his daughter's heart and marry her. In an open letter today, the daughter says she hopes he can accept that she is indeed a lesbian.

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Politics
11:55 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Farm Bill Charts New Course For Nation's Farmers

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:56 pm

The House on Wednesday passed a new five-year compromise farm bill. The bill now moves to the Senate for a vote.

The farm bill — the result of a two-year-long legislative saga — remains massive. The bill contains about $500 billion in funding, most of which is pegged to the food stamp program, officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

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