The Two-Way
7:11 am
Sat September 7, 2013

In Australian Vote, Prime Minister Concedes To Abbott

Women hold a banner celebrating Australia's next prime minister, conservative Tony Abbott, in Sydney. Abbott swept away Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, as voters punished Labor for years of internal party warfare.
Saeed Khan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 12:22 pm

In Australia's just-concluded national vote, conservative Tony Abbott has won enough support to become the country's next prime minister and end six years of Labor rule. That's the analysis from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which reports that voters' main issues were the economy and repeal of carbon and mining taxes.

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Monkey See
7:09 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Toronto International Film Festival, Days One And Two

Irrfan Khan in The Lunchbox.
Toronto International Film Festival

Two days into the Toronto International Film Festival, I'm 10 films in. We'll talk more about all of these later, but it seemed only fair to share some basic impressions, since I'm certainly logging the seat time to earn them. So here are the 10 I've seen so far.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
6:34 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Bombino: Tiny Desk Concert

Bombino performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 19, 2013.
Erica Yoon NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 5:12 pm

There's something alluring and charming about Bombino, whose childlike face belies his fierce, hypnotic guitar playing. The first time I saw him perform, I found myself screaming his name at the end of every song — partly to praise his amazing jams, but also as an exercise in bonding. It felt as if I were yelling out to a buddy on stage, even though I'd never met him. I just felt a connection; his sound is that personable and familiar.

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Parallels
6:23 am
Sat September 7, 2013

In Macho Mexico's Lucha Libre, The 'Lady' Is Often The Champ

Pasión Kristal walks toward the ring in Magdalena Culhuacán, Mexico.
Daniela Herrerías for NPR

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 7:56 pm

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Fine Art
6:23 am
Sat September 7, 2013

James Turrell Experiments With The 'Thingness Of Light Itself'

Turrell's 2013 LED work Breathing Light is currently on display at LACMA.
Florian Holzherr LACMA

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 7:47 pm

This is the year of American artist James Turrell. Three major museums collaborated to give this one man thousands of square feet of exhibition space. Turrell's work is all about space, and light and perception. Indeed, the three big shows in New York, Los Angeles and Houston are kind of a tease for his major life's work — the open air spaces at a volcano crater in Arizona.

Turrell fills Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum rotunda with light that slowly changes from purple to tangerine to turquoise and more. It surrounds and washes down on the viewer.

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Three Books...
6:03 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Motherhood: 3 Books On Work, Life And Too-Small Pool Towels

When I was in my 20s, I used to wonder why the media ran so many stories about life-work balance, and specifically about life-work balance for women. Then I had children. Now I'm fascinated by news reports and articles about subjects such as "having it all" and "leaning in." I also like novels and memoirs about the challenges and delights of motherhood, work, and combinations therein. Here are three books I love because they acknowledge and even celebrate the messy way that most of us actually live.

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Education
5:25 am
Sat September 7, 2013

New School Year Brings Sequestration Pain For Many Districts

A student at Red Lake High School starts the 2005 school year following a shooting the year before in which eight people were killed. Because of sequestration, the district is not able to keep on staff a school psychologist brought in after the shootings.
Ann Heisenfelt AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 7:39 pm

The superintendent of the Lancaster, Pa., school district is meeting with teachers and staff at George Washington Elementary. It's the start of a new school year, and he's trying to sound upbeat about the district's finances.

"We continue to lose 5 and 10 percent of budgets each year," Pedro Rivera tells them. "And our overall goal is to make those plans and stretch out dollars to not impact you, because no kids should go without. Right?"

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Parallels
4:38 am
Sat September 7, 2013

On A Razor's Edge In Damascus

Syrian military soldiers check identifications and search vehicles at a checkpoint on Baghdad Street in Damascus, Syria, on Aug. 21.
Hassan Ammar AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 8:32 am

The author is a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified for safety reasons.

Lately, Marwan feels like he is sneaking around Damascus doing "something bad."

Marwan is a personal trainer, and under normal circumstances he would have nothing to worry about.

But in the increasingly tense and fearful atmosphere that Damascenes find themselves, Marwan feels he has little choice but to look over his shoulder — especially because some of his few remaining clients are underground activists.

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It's All Politics
4:38 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Vulnerable Senators Straddle The Syria Fence

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Timothy D. Easley AP

President Obama has mustered limited international support for a military strike on Syria, stirred uncertainty about what he'll do if Congress fails endorse a strike (it may depend on the meaning of "intention") and faces growing Capitol Hill resistance.

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