Parallels
5:05 am
Sun June 9, 2013

'Arab Idol' Finalist Delivers Sweet Music, Palestinian Pride

Palestinian performer Mohammad Assaf is a finalist on Arab Idol, which is filmed in the Lebanese city of Jounieh north of the capital Beirut.
Anwar Amro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 8:18 am

In Palestinian territory, Mohammad Assaf's face is easy to find. Big posters of the dark-haired 23-year-old dreamboat smile at you along boulevards in Ramallah. And in Gaza, a giant banner of Assaf billows outside his family home.

Assaf's dad, Jabar Assaf, is bursting with pride.

"I'm very, very, very proud of my son. Besides singing so well, he is very polite, and he is studying at the university," Jabar Assaf says. "He's no street kid. I'm very proud."

So are many other Palestinians — including 16-year-old Abeer Ali.

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The Two-Way
7:36 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Construction Worker In Custody For Phila. Building Collapse

Sean Benschop, 42, is facing charges in connection with a fatal building collapse in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
Philadelphia Police Department

A construction worker has turned himself in to police in connection with Wednesday's building collapse in Philadelphia. The incident killed six people and wounded more than a dozen.

"Sean Benschop was demolishing a four-story building next to a Salvation Army thrift store, when part of the structure collapsed onto the store," WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler tells our Newscast Desk.

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Science
6:03 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Aquarium Sculptors Create Coral For Conservation Awareness

Projected image of the complete Blacktip Reef exhibit.
Courtesy of the National Aquarium

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 10:42 pm

Most aquarium visitors are there to see sharks, sea turtles, fish and other marine life. But at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, there's another star attraction: Coral.

The Aquarium's Blacktip Reef exhibit will open later this summer, and give visitors a look at an Indo-Pacific coral reef. But curators can't just carve a chunk out of a wild reef to put in the vast tank, that would destroy the very ecosystem for which they hope to raise conservation awareness. And corals take hundreds of years to develop into a reef, so the aquarium can't grow its own in-house.

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U.S.
5:40 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Signs Point To Destructive Wildfire Season Ahead

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 6:03 pm

Transcript

TESS VIGELAND, HOST:

Authorities are still searching for a motive in yesterday's shooting rampage in Santa Monica, California. Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said the alleged shooter had weapons with the capacity to fire 1,300 rounds of ammunition.

Meanwhile, north of Los Angeles, fire officials say the so-called powerhouse fire in the Angeles National Forest is 90 percent contained. Twenty-four homes were destroyed, and state officials say the blaze cost some $16 million to knock down.

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National Security
5:40 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Week In News: Spying Suspicions Come To Light

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 6:03 pm

Revelations this week that the National Security Agency has been running an extensive domestic surveillance program involving companies like Google, Facebook and Apple has caused many Americans to ask what's left of their privacy. Guest host Tess Vigeland speaks with James Fallows, national correspondent with The Atlantic.

Law
5:17 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

'Not Fighting For Just Sarah': Rating Transplant Priorities

Sarah Murnaghan, center, on May 30 as she and her parents marked the 100th day of her stay in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Her father, Fran, is at left. Her mother, Janet, is at right.
Murnaghan family AP

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 12:10 pm

Sarah Murnaghan's spirit can be summed up by her personalized Monopoly character: a three-legged silver pig that can stand on its own.

"Everybody sort of expects her to decline here, and she does, but she fights back every time," says her mother, Janet.

Sarah, who has cystic fibrosis, has a reason to keep fighting: She's another step closer to getting a lung transplant. Sarah has been waiting for a year and a half, and doctors say she could die soon without a transplant.

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The Two-Way
5:13 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

DNI Calls Reporting On Government Surveillance 'Reckless'

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee in April.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 9:08 pm

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Saturday said media reporting this week about government surveillance activities amounted to "reckless disclosures" that could hand terrorists a playbook to foil detection.

He said the surveillance measures are legal and said the reporting lacked full context:

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

For London Zoo Patrons, It's A Case Of Once Bitten, Twice Shy

A squirrel monkey at the London Zoo, photographed in December.
Carl Court AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 6:02 am

A "walk-through" enclosure at the London Zoo apparently allows visitors to get a little too close to resident squirrel monkeys and several people have the bite marks to prove it, according to details of a report published in a U.K. newspaper.

The Camden New Journal says 15 people suffered bites from the black-and-tan monkeys over a 12-month period last year.

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Politics
3:31 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Our Surveillance Society: What Orwell And Kafka Might Say

News about data collection by the government sounds uncomfortably like prophetic novels of the past.
Alex Williamson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 1:48 pm

President Obama says he's not Big Brother. The author who created the concept might disagree.

Addressing the controversy over widespread government surveillance of telephone records and Internet traffic Friday, Obama said, "In the abstract, you can complain about Big Brother and how this is a potential program run amok, but when you actually look at the details, then I think we've struck the right balance."

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Serena Williams Wins French Open, Clenches 16th Grand Slam

Serena Williams celebrates match point Saturday against Russian Maria Sharapova at Roland Garros in Paris.
Julian Finney Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 3:18 pm

Serena Williams has won her 16th Grand Slam title and her first French Open championship in more than a decade.

Williams beat Maria Sharapova at Roland Garros on Saturday, 6-4, 6-4.

The Daily Mail writes:

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