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All Tech Considered
5:28 am
Sat April 26, 2014

Tech Week: Look At The Cloud, Aereo In Court, Net Neutrality

Paul Hopkins of DuPont Fabros stands on the roof of company's newest Silicon Valley data center. "It's about the same size and length as a Nimitz aircraft carrier," he says.
Steve Henn NPR

It was another busy week in the technology and society space, so we'll dive right into your weekly roundup:

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Parallels
5:27 am
Sat April 26, 2014

Syria Gives Up Chemical Weapons ... But A War Rages On

A Syrian woman cries as she leaves a residential block in Aleppo, Syria, reportedly hit by an explosives-filled barrel dropped by a government forces helicopter on March 18.
Khaled Khatib AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 11:30 am

Sunday is the deadline for Syrian President Bashar Assad to hand over his government's chemical weapons stockpile, and he will have surrendered the vast majority of his declared arsenal.

Some call this a triumph. Others say Assad used the deal to buy time for brutal offensives in the civil war raging through the country. Western governments are investigating reports of more chemical attacks, although Russian officials said Friday that Assad's forces did not use chemical weapons.

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Politics
7:15 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Politicians Get Personal With Memorable Early Campaign Ads

Dr. Monica Wehby, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Oregon, appears in the much-talked-about campaign ad "Trust."
Dr. Monica Wehby Senate campaign

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The Two-Way
6:37 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Jewish Man Who Became Radical Islamist Sentenced To Prison

Yousef al-Khattab, a Jewish kid from New Jersey who turned into a radical Islamist, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison on Friday.

As NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reported earlier today, al-Khattab is the founder of a radical Islamist group called Revolution Muslim, "which became a gateway for young jihadists in the U.S. looking to join violent Islamist groups overseas."

Dina continued:

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The Two-Way
5:51 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

For New York, The '10-Year Storm' Isn't What It Used To Be

Sandbags protect the front of the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 29, 2012, in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.
Richard Drew AP

New York City is 20 times more likely to flood during a storm than it was in the mid-1800s, partly owing to sea-level rise linked to global climate change, according to a new study.

The maximum water height at New York Harbor during storms such as Hurricane Sandy has risen nearly 2.5 feet since 1844, says the study, which was published in a recent issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

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Politics
5:34 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Pay-To-Play Laws Celebrate 20th Anniversary

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during an April 17 news conference in New York.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 7:15 pm

While the Supreme Court this month took another step in freeing up big political donors, another set of federal restrictions on political money is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The so-called pay-to-play rules — enforced by the Securities and Exchange Commission — are a narrow but powerful way to control political cash.

Think "pay to play" and you might think of video games or high school sports. But in politics, "pay to play" refers to something totally different — a particular kind of political corruption.

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The Salt
5:22 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Rum Renaissance Revives The Spirit's Rough Reputation

Ian Burrell, a rum ambassador from the U.K., samples the liquor at the Miami Rum Festival.
Tatu Kaarlas Courtesy of Miami Rum Festival

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 11:31 am

There was a time when rum was considered rotgut. Blackbeard the pirate liked to mix his cane alcohol with gunpowder and light it — rum and croak.

Fast-forward a few centuries to rum respectability — specifically, to Rob Burr's patio deck in Coral Gables, in South Florida.

From the waterfall pond to the tiki bar, Burr's deck sets a mood not for swilling rum, but for tasting it. Not the way spring-breakers chug Captain Morgan, but the way cognac drinkers sip Napoleon: Not with Coke (or gunpowder) but neat, in a snifter.

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Media
4:51 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

So Much For Scoops: Newspapers Turn To Data-Crunching And Context

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 7:15 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Verticals, context blogs, explainers, those are the buzzwords of the news business. From some of the nation's oldest papers to the newest digital news startups, there's a rush to create sites that emphasize context rather than good old-fashioned scoops. The focus now is to blend fresh writing, number crunching and striking graphics. NPR's David Folkenflik reports on this evolution.

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Shots - Health News
4:41 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Family Tree Of Pertussis Traced, Could Lead To Better Vaccine

False-color transmission electron micrograph of a field of whooping cough bacteria, Bordetella pertussis.
A. Barry Dowsett Science Source

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 7:51 am

Whooping cough was once one of the leading killers of babies around the world. Now that it's largely controlled with a vaccine, scientists have had a chance to figure out how the disease came into being in the first place.

That story is told in a study published online this week in the journal mBio. And it turns out that whooping cough arose quite late in human history.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:36 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Valentina Lisitsa: Chasing Pianos And YouTube Fans

Valentina Lisitsa's new album, Chasing Pianos, features music from Michael Nyman's score to the 1993 film The Piano.
Alexei Kuznetsoff Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 7:15 pm

Born in Kiev a little more than 40 years ago, Valentina Lisitsa came to America in the early '90s to work as a concert pianist.

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