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5:16 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Massive Bat Cave Stirs Texas-Size Debate Over Development

Millions of bats live in Bracken Cave, in a rural area near San Antonio. Conservationists are worried that plans for a multithousand-unit housing development will disrupt the bat colony.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:28 pm

The Bracken Bat Cave, just north of San Antonio, is as rural as it gets. You have to drive down a long, 2-mile rocky road to reach it. There's nothing nearby — no lights, no running water. The only thing you hear are the katydids.

The cave houses a massive bat colony, as it has for an estimated 10,000 years. Bat Conservation International, the group that oversees the Bracken Cave Reserve, wants it to stay secluded, but the area's rural nature could change if a local developer's plan moves forward.

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U.S.
5:16 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Border Drones Fly Into Fight Over Immigration

A Predator drone operated by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine taxis for a flight over southern Arizona near the Mexican border on March 7 from Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, Ariz.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:21 pm

The runways at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., are busy. This is where the Army tests its military drones, where it trains its drone pilots, and where four Customs and Border Protection drones take off and land.

From here, the CBP drones survey the Arizona-Mexico border — mainly looking for immigrants and drug smugglers.

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Monkey See
5:16 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

What Kids Are Reading, In School And Out

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 7:11 pm

Walk into any bookstore or library, and you'll find shelves and shelves of hugely popular novels and book series for kids. But research shows that as young readers get older, they are not moving to more complex books. High-schoolers are reading books written for younger kids, and teachers aren't assigning difficult classics as much as they once did.

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The Two-Way
5:14 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Egypt Said To Be In Talks With Ethiopia Over Nile Dam Plan

A May 28 photo shows the Blue Nile in Ethiopia, during a diversion ceremony for the country's dam project. Egypt says it is against the plan.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Egypt's leaders are negotiating with Ethiopia over a Nile River dam project the Ethiopians have begun building, according to reports. The news comes after a week of forceful talk about the dam project, including one session with Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi in which politicians discussed armed intervention, apparently not aware their words were being broadcast on live television.

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The Salt
5:12 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Tender Beef, Without The Pathogens: USDA Proposes Labeling Rules

Meat tenderized the old-fashioned way. The industrial method is a mechanized process involving needles.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:27 pm

In order to make tough cuts of beef more tender, the industry uses a mechanical tenderizing process that involves piercing the meat with needles.

This is effective in breaking up the tough muscle fibers, but there's a downside, too: a higher risk of surface bacteria making their way into the cut of meat, which can set the stage for food poisoning. That's a particular concern when it comes to the center of meat cuts, which don't get heated to the same temperatures as the exterior.

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All Tech Considered
4:42 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Did Sony Already Win Gaming's Next-Gen Console War?

Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO Andrew House introduces the new PlayStation 4 at an Electronic Entertainment Expo media briefing in Los Angeles on Monday.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 7:20 pm

OK, so it might be a little presumptuous to call a winner considering that neither Sony's nor Microsoft's new console is on the market quite yet.

On Monday, however, on the first day of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, where the gaming industry tells consumers what to buy this holiday season, Sony dropped the mic to universal applause, as Digital Trends described it.

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NPR Story
4:42 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Mandela Remains In Hospital In Serious Condition

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:20 pm

Nelson Mandela has been hospitalized since Saturday with a recurring lung infection. The government says his condition is unchanged — serious, but stable. But his poor health and advanced age — 94 — suggest the former president's days are numbered. Retired archbishop Desmond Tutu described the anti-apartheid campaigner as an "extraordinary gift".

NPR Story
4:42 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Spit And Cotton Swabs The Tools For A Mummy Facelift

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:20 pm

Audie Cornish speaks with Mimi Leveque, head conservator on a project that restored a 2,500-year-old mummy. The mummy got face work and cleaning done courtesy of Massachusetts General Hospital.

The Salt
4:35 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

The Latest In Adventurous Tastings? Prison Food

Sean Kelley, senior vice president at the Eastern State Penitentiary, displays a plate of "food loaf," a punishment food currently served in Pennsylvania prisons. Over the weekend, the historic penitentiary, now a museum, served visitors sample meals from the 1800s, 1900s and today.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 11:11 am

Our fascination with prison food is usually limited to death row prisoners' elaborate last meal requests and urban legends about disturbingly low-grade meat. But nowadays, the walls between the prison cafeteria and the outside world are coming down, at least metaphorically.

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Animals
4:34 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

To Crack Down On Rhino Poaching, Authorities Turn To Drones

This young female rhinoceros, photographed in Kenya in 2011, was killed by ivory poachers a few months after this photo was taken.
Courtesy of Tom Snitch

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:20 pm

A crowd of wildlife rangers gathered on a woody hillside in Nepal last year to try something they'd never done before. A man held what looked like an overgrown toy airplane in his right hand, arm cocked as if to throw it into the sky. As his fellow rangers cheered, he did just that. A propeller took over, sending it skyward.

The craft was an unmanned aerial vehicle, also known as a drone, though not the military kind. Its wingspan was about 7 feet, and it carried only a video camera that filmed the forest below.

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