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Movies
2:36 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

'Smashed': A Love Story Minus The Alcohol

Kate Hannah (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Charlie (Aaron Paul) in Smashed.
Oana Marian Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 4:02 pm

What happens to a young marriage when the one thing that once brought two people together suddenly vanishes? In Smashed, the answer isn't pretty. But neither is the alternative, because in Smashed, the thing that brings the couple together is alcohol.

The couple is played by Aaron Paul of the series Breaking Bad, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The film also stars Nick Offerman of the TV show Parks and Recreation, Megan Mullally, best known from the TV show Will and Grace, and Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer.

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Remembrances
1:03 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

Arlen Specter, Senator Who Gave No Quarter, Dies

Specter campaigns with President George W. Bush in 2004 at the Harrisburg International Airport in Pennsylvania. Specter spent most of his political career as a moderate Republican. He supported Bush, but later criticized the then-president's warrantless wiretapping program, saying it overstepped civil liberties.
Luke Frazza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:16 am

Former Sen. Arlen Specter, one of the most influential senators of the last half-century, died Sunday from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 82.

The five-term senator, a moderate Republican-turned-Democrat, was a key member of the Judiciary Committee and a major player in the confirmation proceedings of 14 Supreme Court nominees. But he was consistently a thorn for leaders of both political parties and their presidents.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

Sen. Arlen Specter Dies at 82

Arlen Specter, the five-term senator from Pennsylvania, died from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, said his son, Shanin. He was 82 years old.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 1:47 pm

Arlen Specter, the outspoken senator who started off Republican, switched to Democrat and stayed moderate throughout, has died, the AP reports.

The former five-term senator from Pennsylvania announced that he was once again battling cancer in August. He died at his home in Philadelphia on Sunday, according to his son, Shanin, from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

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Middle East
11:21 am
Sun October 14, 2012

A Defection Hints At Cracks Among Syria's Alawites

In a new YouTube video, a Syrian colonel defects from the army, denounces President Bashar Assad and publicly joins the rebels of the Free Syrian Army.

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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Sun October 14, 2012

Syrian Forces Using Cluster Bombs, Rights Group Says

Syrians deliver an injured civilian to a hospital in the northern city of Aleppo on Saturday, following shelling by government forces.
Tauseef Mustafa AFP/Getty Images

The Syrian government indiscriminately used cluster bombs in last week's attacks on civilian areas, according to a Human Rights Watch report released Sunday.

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Election 2012
5:45 am
Sun October 14, 2012

Strict Private School Prepped Romney To 'Aim High'

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lived in Stevens Hall while he was attending Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 1:14 pm

From now until November, President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. In this installment of NPR's "Parallel Lives" series, a look at Romney's time at Cranbrook, an all-boys prep school in Michigan.

Cranbrook has been coed since the mid-1980s, its overall diversity is quite evident and the dress code is casual. None of that was true when Mitt Romney, class of 1965, was a student there.

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Science
5:45 am
Sun October 14, 2012

A Human-Powered Helicopter: Straight Up Difficult

Kyle Glusenkamp pilots Gamera, a human-powered helicopter.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:00 am

"I grew up wanting to fly," says Graham Bowen-Davies. "I guess I just settled for being an engineer."

He's standing on an indoor track in southern Maryland, watching a giant helicopter take flight. At the end of each of its four spindly arms — arms he helped design and build — a giant rotor churns the air. In the cockpit sits the engine: a 0.7-horsepower, 135-pound graduate student named Kyle Gluesenkamp.

Gluesenkamp is pedaling like crazy to keep the rotors spinning and the craft aloft.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

Space Shuttle Endeavour's Final Journey Adds A Day

Space shuttle Endeavour travels through Los Angeles on Saturday.
Jeff Gritchen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 9:22 am

Update 10/14/12 10:08 a.m. ET: The Excitement Has Passed, But Not The Shuttle

The crowds that cheered the shuttle on Saturday changed their tune after a night of hassles that left the Endeavour still blocking L.A. traffic and threatening trees early Sunday morning.

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Around the Nation
4:40 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

Detroit Snob? Of Course I Am.

Some Detroiters think their city has gotten a bad rap.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 2:22 pm

In the past few years, the news from Detroit has been fairly bleak so it's no surprise comedians like Stephen Colbert have taken shots at the downtrodden city.

"Maybe someone could attempt the unthinkable: walk through downtown Detroit."

But many positive changes are taking place. Desiree Cooper, who started a company called Detroit Snob, says residents have a lot to be snobby about.

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Sports
4:40 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

A Shifting Playing Field: Coming Out As A Gay Athlete

Boxer Orlando Cruz hits a speed bag at a public gym in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 4. He said publicly that he is gay earlier this month.
Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo AP

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 10:07 am

These days, we're more likely to see professional athletes on products than protest lines. But it wasn't always this way. In the 1960s, sports stars were often as famous for what they believed as for their home runs.

Back then, many athletes spoke out about civil rights. Muhammad Ali was stripped of his heavyweight title and threatened with imprisonment for refusing to fight in Vietnam, on the grounds of racial discrimination.

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