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12:54 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

He Calmed Kandahar. But At What Cost?

Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq is the police chief widely credited with bringing much greater security to the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. But critics accuse him of human rights abuses including torture and extrajudicial killings.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:20 pm

The southern Afghan city of Kandahar was the birthplace of the Taliban and has long been considered one the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan.

But the city has grown peaceful in recent years, and much of the credit has been given to an American ally: Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq, the provincial police chief.

On a recent day, the most feared man in Kandahar is slumped in a cheap blue plastic chair on a wide patio. He's slight and wiry, with a shy smile. He could be mistaken for a security guard at this palatial home of marble and chandeliers.

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Shots - Health News
12:22 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

People In Poor Communities Are More Likely To Lose Eyesight

Vision loss and blindness can be devastating, isolating people and increasing their risk of illness and death. And that burden falls hardest on people in poor communities, especially in the South.

More than three quarters of the counties with the highest rates of severe vision loss are in the South, according to an analysis published Thursday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. It's the first analysis of severe vision loss at the county level.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Obama Calls Loss Of Ramadi A 'Setback,' But Denies U.S. Is Losing To ISIS

President Obama tells The Atlantic that the loss of Ramadi to the self-declared Islamic State is a "setback," but he denies the U.S. is losing to the group.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:26 pm

President Obama says that while the loss of Ramadi to the self-declared Islamic State is a "setback," he doesn't think the U.S. is losing to the militant group.

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Parallels
11:36 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Rome's Cinematic 'Dream Factory' Ramps Up Production Once Again

The famous chariot race in Ben-Hur was filmed on a movie set at Cinecittà in 1958.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:27 pm

It's just 15 miles south of Rome, but it looks more like ancient Jerusalem.

Welcome to the vast backlot at Cinecittà, the sprawling movie metropolis where the original Ben-Hur was filmed, and a remake is currently in production.

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The Salt
10:57 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Urban Food Forests Make Fruit Free For The Picking

A morning's berry harvest from West Philadelphia's Ogden Orchard includes raspberries, gooseberries, currants, goumis and mulberries.
Courtesy of Philadelphia Orchard Project

To discover the new frontier of urban farming, you'll have to look up — and look sharp — for hanging fruit.

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Thu May 21, 2015

'Fast-Track' Trade Authority Wins Key Test Vote In Senate

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 2:28 pm

The Senate has voted to limit debate on a bill that would grant the White House "fast track" negotiating authority and clear a path for the Obama administration's trade deal with 11 Pacific Rim nations.

Reuters says the 62-38 vote, which clears a filibuster hurdle, boosts "hopes for a deal that is central to President Barack Obama's strategic shift toward Asia."

Many Democrats oppose the Asia-Pacific treaty, saying free-trade deals cost U.S. jobs, but the White House maintains that U.S. producers need access to foreign markets.

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Shots - Health News
10:52 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Overnight Contacts Can Help Kids' Sight During Day, But Also Carry Risks

Logan Levenson had a cornea transplant to repair an eye after a fungal infection.
Courtesy of Beth Levenson

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:32 pm

The sales pitch for contact lenses that help kids see better by reshaping their corneas sounds futuristically appealing. Sleep overnight in the lenses, pop them out in the morning and experience perfect or near-perfect vision for an entire day.

Beth Levenson of Williamsburg, Va., thought the lenses, even at a price of $2,000, seemed ideal for her son Logan, then 9, who played on several sports teams.

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Shots - Health News
10:07 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Heart Risk Factors May Affect Black Women More Than White Women

African-American women may be more sensitive to metabolic abnormalities like high triglycerides or low good cholesterol.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 10:31 am

African-American women can be at risk of heart disease even if they don't have metabolic syndrome, a study finds.

That's a problem, because the current thinking is that metabolic syndrome — defined as high triglycerides, bad cholesterol, abdominal fat, high blood pressure and impaired glucose metabolism — is the big risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

The picture with women appears to be a lot more complicated, especially when you compare women in different racial or ethnic groups.

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Code Switch
10:04 am
Thu May 21, 2015

On 'Menace II Society' And 'Easy Rider': Why All The Talk On Bikers And Thugs Matters

Sgt. Patrick Swanton of the Waco Police Department speaks to the media as Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper D.L. Wilson (left) stands nearby a Twin Peaks restaurant where nine members of a motorcycle gang were shot and killed in Waco, Texas on Tuesday.
Mike Stone Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 11:36 am

In his New York Times column this week, Charles Blow discussed bikers and thugs in the aftermath of the Waco shootout on Sunday.

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed Against The NFL's Ray Rice

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 2:33 pm

Citing the completion of a pretrial intervention program, a New Jersey judge has dismissed a felony assault charge that was filed against former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice over a now-infamous incident in which Rice struck his then-fiancee in a casino elevator.

Rice hit Palmer during an argument while they were visiting Atlantic City, N.J., in February of 2014. A month later, he was indicted on a charge of third-degree aggravated assault. He then entered into a one-year pretrial program that would allow him to avoid a trial.

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