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Code Switch
2:48 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Science Rap B.A.T.T.L.E.S. Bring Hip-Hop Into The Classroom

Jayda Neor and Kephra Shaw Meredith, seventh-graders from KIPP Bridge middle school in Oakland, Calif., perform a rap song about the discovery of DNA's structure in front of a green screen.
Tom McFadden

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 11:48 am

This story comes to us from our friends at the science desk. They produced the 7-minute video documentary you see above.

"Modern-day rappers — all they talk about is money, and all these unnecessary and irrelevant topics," says Victoria Richardson, a freshman at Bronx Compass High School. Richardson's rhymes tackle a much less-popular subject: DNA.

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Latin America
2:23 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Working To Save The Painted 'Zonkeys' Of Tijuana

Victor Reyes has been photographing tourists atop Tijuana's "zonkeys" since he was 12, and says at one time he could earn $150 a day. Now, he's lucky to earn $15, he says. Here, Reyes poses with his donkey, Ruben.
Amy Isackson NPR

Ruben prances across the street one recent morning on his way to work on a corner of Tijuana's famous tourist strip, Avenida Revolución.

Ruben's hair is freshly dyed. His nametag is shiny.

But both he and his boss, Victor Reyes, have long faces.

Ruben, well, he's a donkey, (a "zonkey" in local parlance).

As for Reyes, his business — taking photos of tourists atop Ruben — has stumbled on hard times.

'Old Mexico'

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Shots - Health News
2:20 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Obamacare Foes Make Final Push To Stop Health Law's Implementation

A screenshot from the FreedomWorks website, which is urging citizens opposed to the Affordable Care Act to opt out of the law's requirement to have insurance. It asks Americans to symbolically "burn your Obamacare card." In reality, no such card will exist.
FreedomWorks

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 9:47 am

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Planet Money
2:13 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Egypt May Not Need Fighter Jets, But The U.S. Keeps Sending Them Anyway

An American F-16 fighter plane arrives at an airbase in Egypt on March 27, 1982.
Foley AP

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 12:51 pm

Every year, the U.S. Congress appropriates more than $1 billion in military aid to Egypt. But that money never gets to Egypt. It goes to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then to a trust fund at the Treasury and, finally, out to U.S. military contractors that make the tanks and fighter jets that ultimately get sent to Egypt.

The U.S. started sending M1A1 Abrams tanks to Egypt in the late '80s. In all, the U.S. sent more than 1,000 tanks to Egypt since then — valued at some $3.9 billion — which Egypt maintains along with several thousand Soviet-era tanks.

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Music
1:03 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Reunited After 50 Years, An Algerian Buena Vista Social Club Makes Its U.S. Debut

Oud player Rachid Berkani, 76, is one of the musicians of El Gusto.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 3:31 am

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