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The Record
3:40 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Rising Postal Rates Squeeze Small Record Labels

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 10:51 am

Prices on mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service increased this week — the price of a first-class stamp now costs 46 cents, up a penny. But for small businesses that ship products overseas, like many independent record labels, the costs could be much larger.

Brian Lowit, who has worked at Washington, D.C.'s Dischord Records for 10 years, says that while a postage rate hike is a familiar bump in the road, "I've never seen one this drastic."

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Science & Technology
3:38 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Bird, Plane, Bacteria? Microbes Thrive In Storm Clouds

The eye of Hurricane Earl in the Atlantic Ocean, seen from a NASA research aircraft on Aug. 30, 2010. This flight through the eyewall caught Earl just as it was intensifying from a Category 2 to a Category 4 hurricane. Researchers collected air samples on this flight from about 30,000 feet over both land and sea and close to 100 different species of bacteria.
Jane Peterson NASA

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 8:36 am

Microbes are known to be able to thrive in extreme environments, from inside fiery volcanoes to down on the bottom of the ocean. Now scientists have found a surprising number of them living in storm clouds tens of thousands of feet above the Earth. And those airborne microbes could play a role in global climate.

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World News
3:32 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Tunisia's Salafis: 'A Danger' Or Preachers Of God's Law?

A demonstrator shouts anti-government slogans as he stands in front of the Justice Ministry in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, on Nov. 6, 2012, as part of a demonstration by radical Salafi Muslims protesting against the imprisonment of hundreds of Salafist militants.
Amine Landoulsi AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 8:36 am

The uprisings of the Arab Spring unleashed a new political force in the region — Salafis, ultraconservative Muslims who aspire to a society ruled entirely by a rigid form of Islamic law. Their models are the salaf, or ancestors, referring to the earliest Muslims who lived during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad.

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Asia
3:30 am
Tue January 29, 2013

In China, Beware: A Camera May Be Watching You

The use of security cameras such as these, looking out over Tiananmen Square in Beijing, is on the rise in China. Critics say the government is using them to discourage dissidents.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 8:16 pm

The first of two reports

China is becoming a surveillance state. In recent years, the government has installed more than 20 million cameras across a country where a decade ago there weren't many.

Today, in Chinese cities, cameras are everywhere: on highways, in public parks, on balconies, in elevators, in taxis, even in the stands at sporting events.

Officials say the cameras help combat crime and maintain "social stability" — a euphemism for shutting up critics.

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Arts & Life
3:28 am
Tue January 29, 2013

From Aleppo, An Artifact Of A Calmer Age

The silken tassel on this skull cap, woven in Aleppo around 1800, recalls a more prosperous and tranquil time in that now-beleaguered Syrian hub.
Courtesy of The Textile Museum

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 11:57 am

Over the past six months, the headlines from Aleppo, Syria, have been horrifying. As the conflict between rebel forces and the government continues, the city has been overrun by tanks and artillery, and assaulted by shots, explosions and fires.

But Aleppo's present belies a much richer past. It's Syria's largest city, and one of the world's oldest continually inhabited urban areas. Over the centuries, it has served as a major crossroads for trade and commerce.

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It's All Politics
7:51 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Despite Bipartisan Beginnings, Immigration Overhaul Could Splinter GOP

Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., are closer on the immigration issue than McCain is to many in his party. They were among the eight senators who announced the framework for a bipartisan immigration overhaul on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 7:36 pm

If President Obama wanted to pick the perfect wedge issue to split the Republican Party, he could hardly have improved on a comprehensive overhaul of the nation's immigration laws.

Not that he has an ulterior motive in advocating for action on Capitol Hill. But it works out the same way.

That was evident Monday, as conservatives reacted to the news that a bipartisan group of senators had agreed on a blueprint for comprehensive changes in immigration laws. The fissures among Republicans were popping up all over.

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It's All Politics
6:00 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

In New Immigration Plan, A Fraught Phrase Is Mostly Sidelined

Crowd members seek help applying for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles last August.
Jonathan Alcorn Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 6:27 pm

Here's one thing that was hard to find in the "Gang of Eight's" Senate proposal to overhaul the country's immigration system: the term "illegal immigrant."

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The Two-Way
5:43 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Watchdog Says Treasury OK'd Excessive Executive Pay At Bailed-Out Firms

A man walks by an American International Group (AIG) building in 2009.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The special watchdog overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program says the United States Treasury failed to rein in executive pay at companies that received a government bailout.

The AP reports, for example, that the Treasury approved all 18 requests for raises it received from executives at AIG, General Motors and Ally Financial.

The AP adds:

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Around the Nation
5:16 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Unbridled Kentuckians Decide It's Time For A Kick-Ass New Slogan

Whit Hiler (left) and Griffin VanMeter are spearheading the campaign to change Kentucky's slogan from Unbridled Spirit to Kentucky Kicks Ass.
KentuckyForKentucky

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 6:23 pm

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Environment
5:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

The Silver Lining In Drought: 5 Upsides To Rain-Free Weather

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 6:23 pm

Drought is mostly seen as a bad thing — and for good reason. It dries up crops, destroys landscaping and stops ships from moving. But even the lack of rain clouds has a bright side.

Good For Grapes

Last summer it seemed like all Midwestern farmers were upset over the lack of rain. But not all of them were; those growing grapes were embracing the drought.

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