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3:20 am
Tue July 3, 2012

A Cautionary Tale About Transforming Afghanistan

Scores of Americans engineers worked in southern Afghanistan from the late 1940s to the late 1970s to build two large dams and a canal network. The development project soon became a vast experiment in social engineering. New villages were constructed, with schools and health clinics. A new, modern society was to rise from the desert.
Courtesy of the U.S. National Archives via Foreign Policy

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 1:05 pm

The plan in Afghanistan was ambitious. Americans would set up a base in one of the most remote parts of one of the world's most isolated countries. The project would last many years and cost large sums of money. And in the end, Afghanistan, or at least one small part of it, would be a new, modern country.

When Americans think of large-scale U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, most would point to the Sept. 11 attacks that prompted the American invasion of the country in 2001.

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Asia
3:19 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Cheered In Europe, Suu Kyi Faces Crises In Myanmar

Rohingya Muslims, trying to cross the Naf river into Bangladesh to escape sectarian violence in Myanmar, look on from an intercepted boat in Teknaf, June 13. The plight of the Rohingya minority is one of the tests Suu Kyi faces at home.
Munir Uz Zaman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 10:23 am

There are few opposition leaders who are welcomed abroad with the same pomp and ceremony as heads of state. But that's the sort of star treatment lavished on Aung San Suu Kyi, opposition leader of Myanmar, also known as Burma, on her three-week tour of Europe.

But pressure is increasing on her to address simmering political crises at home, and to move her country's democratic changes forward.

In Geneva, Oslo, Dublin, London and Paris, Suu Kyi issued eloquent pleas for ethical foreign investment in Myanmar and foreign support for her country's ongoing reforms.

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The Two-Way
7:15 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

From Our Readers: If A Tweet Is Sent In The Forest...

When Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. ruled that Twitter owns tweets made by OWS protester Malcolm Harris, and, furthermore, that these tweets would not be considered private in the eyes of the law, his opinion invoked the following metaphor:

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The Two-Way
7:10 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Turkey Says Syrian General, 85 Soldiers Have Defected

A handout image released by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network on Monday shows a girl flashing the sign for victory in a destroyed street flooded with water in the restive central city of Homs.
AFP/Getty Images

Turkey's state TV is reporting that a Syrian general and 85 soldiers have defected and are seeking refuge in Turkey.

The AP reports that this just adds to a growing wave of defections. The AP adds:

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Planet Money
6:17 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Scandal That Cost Barclays Chairman His Job Threatens To Spread

London-based Barclays Bank agreed to pay a $453 million fine over charges it manipulated the London Interbank Offered Rate — LIBOR — a key global interest rate.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 12:24 pm

Every day at 11 a.m., a few big banks tell the British Bankers' Association what it costs them to borrow. Out of that comes LIBOR — the London Interbank Offered Rate, a dull but vital interest rate that underpins trillions of dollars of transactions globally, from home mortgages and personal credit cards to major corporate lending.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:34 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

A Parasite Carried By Cats Could Increase Suicide Risk

What's the link between cats and madness?
Hans Martens iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 4:31 am

There's fresh evidence that cats can be a threat to your mental health.

To be fair, it's not kitties themselves that are the problem, but a parasite they carry called Toxoplasma gondii.

A study of more than 45,000 Danish women found that those infected with this feline parasite were 1.5 times more likely to attempt suicide than women who weren't infected.

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Election 2012
5:29 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Obama's 'Clean Coal' Fighting Words To W.Va. Dems

A sign outside the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce in Williamson, W.Va., welcomes visitors to "Hatfield McCoy Country," referring to a legendary family feud that played out in the Appalachians.
Noah Adams NPR

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 11:34 am

Mingo County, deep in the southwest corner of West Virginia, has sent a "protest vote" to the attention of President Obama. In the May 8 Democratic primary, voters chose a man named Keith Judd to run for president. He got 61 percent of the vote.

Judd won't be available. He's serving a 17-year sentence for extortion. From prison in Texas, he managed to file the papers, pay the fee and get on the West Virginia ballot.

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Education
5:00 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Online Classes Cut Costs, But Do They Dilute Brands?

Recently reinstated University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan came under fire for failing to move fast enough into online education.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 8:15 am

The University of Virginia may have settled its most urgent controversy by reinstating President Teresa Sullivan after initially forcing her out. But still unresolved is one issue underlying her ouster: whether the university was too slow to join the stampede of schools into the world of online education.

Many other schools share the concern and wonder if the technology will live up to its hype.

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Digital Life
5:00 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Place Me App Places You ... Everywhere

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 9:22 pm

Place Me is a mobile app that automatically checks users into locations and keeps a running history of where they've been and gone. Alexis Madrigal, senior editor at The Atlantic, takes it for a spin around the block to see how accurate the app really is.

The Salt
4:52 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Cleaner, 'Greener' Cookstoves Need Better Marketing In Bangladesh

A woman at home in Bangladesh with an improved cookstove
UN Foundation

Cooking can be hazardous to your health and to the environment, particularly if you are cooking indoors over an open fire and burning wood and dung, as many people in poor, rural areas of the world do every day.

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