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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Louisiana Artist Behind 'Blue Dog' Paintings Dies At 69

Artist George Rodrigue looks at one painting of the three-canvas series titled "Three Coins in the Fountain" in 2010.
Brett Duke The Times-Picayune /Landov

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Author Interviews
8:29 am
Sun December 15, 2013

54 Days In The Eternal City: A Christian 'Pilgrimage' For Lent

Rome's St. Zeno chapel was built by Pope St. Paschal I in honor of his mother. The ceiling, a gold mosaic, was intended as an interpretation of heaven.
Stephen Weigel Courtesy of Basic Books

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

Each year, millions of people from different faiths make religious journeys. They travel far, to Mecca, Jerusalem, the Ganges River or Lourdes, France, to walk the paths of prophets, saints and martyrs.

"Pilgrimage is something built into the human condition," says George Weigel, author of Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches. "There seems to be something hardwired into us, spiritually, that the idea of a journey from A to B becomes part of the rhythm of the spiritual life."

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Europe
8:23 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Why French Troops Are Intervening In Africa — Again

A French soldier talks to a crowd outside a church in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, on Thursday.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Sun December 15, 2013 2:19 pm

Once again, French television screens are full of images of joyous Africans welcoming French troops.

In January, the French military intervened in Mali to help liberate large swaths of the country from radical jihadists. Now, for the second time this year, France has sent troops into an African country to quell violence.

Last week, French soldiers went into the Central African Republic to stop sectarian killings. In news reports from the Central African Republic, crowds yell, "Vive la France!" as they run out to greet convoys of French soldiers.

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Global Health
8:23 am
Sun December 15, 2013

They Shot For Zero, But Couldn't Squash Polio In 2013

A polio worker vaccinates a child in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan, in October.
Arshad Arbab EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 2:43 pm

As we near the end of 2013, NPR is taking a look at the numbers that tell the story of this year. Numbers that, if you really understand them, give insight into the world we're living in, right now. Over the next two weeks, you'll hear the stories behind numbers, ranging from zero to 1 trillion.

The lowest number of polio cases ever recorded in the world during one year was 223. And 2013 was on track for an even lower number.

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Sun December 15, 2013

China's Moon Rover Separates From Lander

China's first lunar rover separates from Chang'e-3 moon lander early Dec. 15, 2013. This picture was taken from the screen of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China.
Li Xin Xinhua /Landov

Very early Sunday morning, China's moon rover, "Yutu" or Jade Rabbit, separated from its lander and began its exploration.

This means that China has officially joined the United States and the former Soviet Union as as the only countries to make a soft landing and drop an exploratory vehicle on the moon safely.

The state news agency Xinhua reports:

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It's All Politics
5:25 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Another Partisan Divide: Mitt Romney's Looks

Mitt Romney speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on March 15. New research suggests Democrats and Republicans had different perceptions of his physical appearance during the 2012 election.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

It's clear that Republicans and Democrats had different political opinions about Mitt Romney. But did Romney literally look different to the two sides? A forthcoming study suggests that might be the case.

According to new research from Ohio State University psychologists, individual political biases might have caused 2012 GOP presidential nominee's physical appearance to appear different to Republicans and Democrats.

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The Two-Way
2:00 am
Sun December 15, 2013

As The World Watches, Mandela Is Buried In His Humble Village

Large video screens were set up around the village of Qunu for the more than 4,000 mourners who gathered for the service.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 15, 2013 7:09 pm

Updated at 6:22 a.m. ET

Under a sunny African sky, Nelson Mandela was buried Sunday on a hill overlooking his beloved boyhood village. Members of his clan, national leaders and a global audience bid farewell to the man who transformed his country and became one of the world's most revered figures.

The burial marked the culmination of 10 days of mourning and tributes to Mandela's remarkable journey, which began and ended in Qunu. Home to a few hundred farmers, the village is little-changed since Mandela's childhood.

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Shots - Health News
5:50 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Before The Prescription, Ask About Your Doctor's Finances

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:45 am

Last month, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issued new guidelines that could double the number of people taking cholesterol-lowering drugs.

The organizations receive financial support from drug companies, and many of the experts who worked on the guidelines have industry ties.

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Digital Life
5:32 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Tug Of Authority Over Legal Gap In Online Privacy

iStockphoto

Even the most mundane online tasks require us to hand over sensitive data. Privacy policies pass by with an easy click. Yes, each company has its own legal language about the risks we take on, but the standards for consumer protection are murky.

"There is no one law in the United States that mandates that websites and phone applications have good data security," says law professor Woodrow Hartzog, who focuses on the area of privacy law and online communication.

So if there isn't one set of rules, who's working to keep your personal information safe?

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
5:13 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

In Newtown, Making Promises To Transform A Tragedy

Ian and Nicole Hockley are parents of Dylan Hockley, one of 20 first-graders killed at Sandy Hook Elementary last year. Nicole helps lead Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit seeking to prevent the causes of gun violence.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 7:18 pm

Nicole Hockley says she used to be the kind of person who knew where she was going in life. Then, last Dec. 14, her 6-year-old son, Dylan, was one of the 26 victims killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary.

"Every plan I had went out the window, and I just kind of lost my way in terms of where do you go from here, how do you pick yourself up and move forward and find a new path," Hockley says.

The phone kept ringing at home, and media outlets sent flowers with cards asking for interviews.

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