Middle East
5:16 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

U.N. Presence Fails To Prevent Syrian Bloodshed

U.N. monitors in Syria leave their Damascus hotel on Wednesday on a mission. A day earlier, their U.N. colleagues were at the scene of a major clash in northern Syria that left more than 30 Syrians dead.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 8:51 pm

There was a deadly clash in northern Syria on Tuesday, but it was different than many other such episodes over the past 14 months of the Syrian uprising.

This time, United Nations monitors were watching. The monitors are in Syria to keep an eye on the government forces and the opposition, who are supposed to be observing a cease-fire and opening a dialogue.

But the trouble Tuesday began with a funeral the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun.

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The Two-Way
5:07 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Chuck Brown, The Godfather Of 'Go-Go', Dies

Abby Verbosky NPR

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 5:55 pm

Chuck Brown, known as the "Godfather of Go-Go," a style of percussion-heavy funk pioneered in Washington, D.C., died Wednesday. His death was reported by The Washington Post, quoting his manager, and other local outlets confirmed his death with family members.

Brown had been hospitalized for pneumonia. He was 75.

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The Salt
5:02 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Can Coffee Help You Live Longer? We Really Want To Know

Bring on the caffeine — maybe.
antwerpenR Flickr.com

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 8:49 pm

It seems like every day there's some new research about whether our favorite drinks are good for us. One day, science says a glass of red wine a day will help us live longer. The next day, maybe not.

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Animals
5:00 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

What Killed Orca Victoria? Some Point To Naval Tests

Orca L112, also known as Victoria, was 3 years old when she washed up on the Washington coast. An investigation into her death has been inconclusive.
Center for Whale Research

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 7:34 pm

Few people know the orcas of Puget Sound as well as Ken Balcomb.

A researcher with the Center for Whale Research on Washington state's San Juan Island, Balcomb has been studying the whales for more than 30 years.

It takes Balcomb only a few seconds of listening to the squeaks and whistles of underwater whale recordings to recognize the different pods of orcas.

In one recording, Balcomb identifies the group known as the L Pod — the family many people in the area are talking about right now.

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World Cafe
4:41 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Bassnectar On World Cafe

Bassnectar's new album is Vava Voom.
Peter Samuels

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 12:09 pm

Since beginning his "open-source" musical project in the 1990s, Lorin Ashton and his Bassnectar alias have become nearly superhuman. Bassnectar is associated with a community of devoted Bass Heads, several non-profit and charity organizations and shows of such epic proportions, they're called Bass Centers. Ashton describes his music as "the motion of [his] cells bouncing back at the world," and tens of thousands of people connect with it as a deeply human pursuit, as well. Last year, he sold out a New Year's Eve show attended by 10,000 fans.

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Asia
4:41 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

U.S. Forces In Australia Draw Mixed Reaction

U.S. Marines are shown during a training exercise south of Darwin, Australia. Marines recently arrived in Australia as part of a move by the U.S. to place greater emphasis on Asia and the Pacific.
Glenn Campbell The Sydney Morning Herald/Fairfax Media via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 7:34 pm

Since a small contingent of Marines landed in the northern port town of Darwin last month, the U.S. has shown greater interest in using Australian military facilities as part of a larger effort to refocus its military capabilities in Southeast Asia and the western Pacific.

"We have no better ally or friend in the world than Australia, and we have no area in the world which is as important or dynamic over the next 50 years as the Asia Pacific," says Jeffrey Bleich, the U.S. ambassador to Australia.

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Performing Arts
4:03 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

UniverSoul Circus Organizer: 'Soul Is Not A Color'

The Shaolin Warriors, from Shaolin Monastery in central China, put on a demonstration of traditional kung fu fighting techniques, with some crowd-pleasing stunts thrown in. They had never performed with a circus before this year.
Courtesy of UniverSoul Circus

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 7:34 pm

For almost 20 years, the UniverSoul Circus has been pitching its tent in urban plazas across the country. The circus was founded by a Baltimore native as a showcase for black talent, one that he hoped would inspire black audiences.

In more recent times, the circus has evolved into an eclectic mix of acts from around the world. Now, it's pushing to diversify its audience, with a show called "Us."

Strength, Precision And Crowd-Pleasing Nerve

In the beginning, all of the talent was black. They came from Africa, the Caribbean and the U.S.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Bloomberg: Facebook's Saverin May Save $67 Million By Renouncing Citizenship

Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of Facebook.
Jason Kempin Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 8:17 am

Bloomberg took out its pencil, paper and calculator and came up with this number: $67 million.

That's how much the news service estimates Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin could save in federal income taxes after having renounced his United States citizenship in advance of social media company's public debut.

Bloomberg reports:

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The Salt
3:29 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Thank The Patron Saint Of Bakers For This Cake Today

The author pauses to photograph the St. Honore cake before she digs in.
Deena Prichep

We here at The Salt usually ignore food festivals and those "Celebrate Whatever We're Eating Now" Days. They're a bit precious, no? But this one was too good to pass up: Today is the day the French celebrate the Feast of St. Honoré, the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs.

And since the French hold their corner bakery right up there with the Catholic Church, the celebration is not complete without a big bite of the complicated confection named for the saint in question. More on the cake a little later.

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The Fracking Boom: Missing Answers
2:41 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Town's Effort To Link Fracking And Illness Falls Short

NPR

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 11:35 am

Quite a few of the 225 people who live in Dish, Texas, think the nation's natural gas boom is making them sick.

They blame the chemicals used in gas production for health problems ranging from nosebleeds to cancer.

And the mayor of Dish, Bill Sciscoe, has a message for people who live in places where gas drilling is about to start: "Run. Run as fast as you can. Grab up your family and your belongings, and get out."

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