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Environment
4:13 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Environmentalists Warn Olympic Games Will Harm Sochi

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 5:19 am

Russia is preparing for the 2014 Winter Games — turning a sleepy valley in the Northern Caucasus Mountains into an Olympic village, with brand-new facilities for every Alpine sport. Officials say it will be a world-class destination for winter-sports enthusiasts long after the Games are over. Environmentalists say it's an ecological disaster in the making.

The Two-Way
2:22 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Chuck Foley, Co-Creator Of Twister, Dies At 82

Festivalgoers play a giant game of Twister during the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts in southwest England last month.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 9:40 am

One of the men responsible for getting people tied up in knots while they played Twister has died.

Charles "Chuck" Foley died earlier this month in St. Paul, Minn. He was 82.

Foley and his business partner Neil Rabens invented the game for Milton Bradley in 1966. The pair originally called it Pretzel, and it was Milton Bradley who came up with the name Twister.

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Parallels
2:19 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Israel's Internal Battle Over Ultra-Orthodox Soldiers

Soldiers close the gate to the tiny West Bank outpost, right next door to a Jewish settlement, where the HaHod platoon of the ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yahuda battalion is stationed.
Emily Harris/NPR

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 7:14 am

Moshe Haim always wanted to be a soldier. The 20-year-old is now a sergeant, more than halfway through three years of service in the Israeli military.

But when he goes home on leave, he doesn't talk about his military experiences to any of his eight siblings, especially his brothers.

"I know that for my parents and my brothers, the first, best choice is to be in the yeshiva and study there," he says at a small West Bank outpost where he's stationed. "It wasn't good for me, but my brothers are still pure."

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Middle East
2:17 am
Fri July 12, 2013

In Southern Syria, Rebels Say U.S. Support Is Critical

Free Syrian Army fighters after a battle against government troops in Zaizoon, near Dera'a, on Feb. 16.
Shaam News Network Landov

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 7:38 pm

The battle for the city of Dera'a in southern Syria has become a test of an American pledge to give military support to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad. After a string of defeats, the rebels have scored rare victories around Dera'a.

But in interviews,rebel commanders passing through neighboring Jordan say those gains could be lost without a dependable arms pipeline and promised U.S. support.

Yasser Aboud, a thin, intense former colonel in the Syrian army, commands the joint operations center for southern Syria.

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Planet Money
1:53 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Will A Health Insurer Sponsor The Next 'Jackass' Movie?

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 4:13 am

Soon, most Americans will have to buy health insurance or pay a fine. This sounds like a marketer's dream: Captive shoppers directed by the government to buy your product. But when the product you're selling is health insurance, there are some pitfalls. Your customers may not love you. In fact, they may despise you.

"I think it may be too little too late for health insurance companies to now come out, like, 'Hey,we were just kidding the last 50 years!,'" says James Percelay, co-founder of the viral marketing firm ThinkModo in New York.

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