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All Tech Considered
6:37 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Baby Robot Takes First Steps Toward Learning Language Formation

Human baby Charlotte, the 13-month-old daughter of NPR producer Tom Bullock, tried the same tests that DeeChee, the robot, does for language-learning experiments. Dr. Caroline Lyons says human babies have an advantage: They spend every waking hour of the day in a speaking world.
Tom Bullock NPR

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 12:51 pm

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Around the Nation
6:29 am
Sat June 23, 2012

'Who Would Believe A Kid?' The Sandusky Jury

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves court in handcuffs Friday after being convicted in his child sex abuse trial at the Centre County Courthouse in Pennsylvania.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 10:15 pm

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky spent what could be the first of many nights behind bars Friday after a jury found him guilty of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period.

In Bellefonte, Pa., Friday night, a crowd outside the county courthouse cheered when the guilty verdicts were announced.

The cheers continued as Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly praised the investigators and prosecutors at her side.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
5:24 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Rich Reads: Historical Fiction Fit For A Queen

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 10:33 am

I have always loved a great story set in the past. Give me a high-powered historical plot, and I will keep turning those pages until my eyes cross. Kings or consuls, functionaries or janissaries, it doesn't matter, only that it pounds onward to the conclusion — volcano explosion, battle or market crash. It's literary dessert, and I devour every bite.

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U.S.
5:23 am
Sat June 23, 2012

What Title IX Didn't Change: Stigma About Shop Class

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 12:05 pm

Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon signed Title IX, which said no person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from any education program or activity. Vocational education courses that barred girls — such as auto mechanics, carpentry and plumbing — became available for everyone. But it's still hard to find girls in classes once viewed as "for boys only."

Zoe Shipley, 15, has a passion for cars and tinkering with engines.

"It's just kind of cool to learn how to fix a car or learn about it," she says.

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Movies
5:23 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Shirley Clarke's 'Connection': Will It Click At Last?

In The Connection, Leach (Warren Finnerty, right) and his friends wait around for their heroin fix, which eventually comes courtesy of Cowboy (Carl Lee). The controversial film was shut down in New York after two screenings in 1962.
Milestone Film

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 10:07 am

Fifty years ago, a movie called The Connection opened in New York — then closed after two showings. Police shut down the theater and arrested the projectionist.

The movie is about drug addicts, and the language is sometimes frank — too frank for 1962 standards. The director was an independent pioneer named Shirley Clarke, whose movie has been restored and is back in theaters, soon to be followed by restorations of nearly all her work.

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Author Interviews
5:23 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Lessons For Europe From 'The Second World War'

STF AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 11:47 am

For most people, the start of World War II means German soldiers marching into Poland. Historian Antony Beevor begins and ends his new book, The Second World War with something different: the story of a German soldier who was actually Korean, was captured in Normandy, and wound up living in Illinois.

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Science
5:22 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Rio+20 Summit Sustains Little More Than Sentiment

U.N. General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's Secretary of the Conference Luis Figueiredo Machado and Rio+20 Secretary General Sha Zukang attend the closing ceremony of the Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.
Andre Penner AP

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 10:15 pm

The Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development was the biggest United Nations conference ever, but it may be one of the biggest duds. It produced no major agreements — just a vaguely worded declaration that has been widely derided.

More than 45,000 people registered for the event in Rio de Janeiro, but diplomats couldn't even agree about the meeting's objective until 2:45 a.m. on Tuesday, just before heads of state and other high-level delegates started arriving in Rio.

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Around the Nation
5:03 am
Sat June 23, 2012

On This Stage, Jesus Is A Robber; The Devil's A Rapist

David Sonnier Jr., from Jeanerette, La., plays the Devil in Angola Prison's production of The Life of Jesus Christ. He was convicted of aggravated rape and is serving a life sentence.
Deborah Luster for NPR

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 10:07 am

There are more than 5,300 inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Nearly 4,000 of them are serving life without parole. Last month, the Angola Prison Drama Club staged a play unlike any other in the prison's experience.

The Life of Jesus Christ featured 70 inmates, men and women acting together for the first time — in costume, with a real camel, performing for the general public. For the untrained actors, this production held special meaning as they saw pieces of their own lives revealed in the characters they played.

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The Two-Way
5:28 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Paraguay's Congress Votes To Oust President

Paraguay's congress impeached President Fernando Lugo on Friday over his handling of a deadly land dispute.
Jose Cabezas AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 9:11 am

Paraguay's congress voted to remove President Fernando Lugo. The impeachment proceeding was a lightening process in which with both chambers approved his destitution in a little more than 24 hours.

Paraguay's La Nacíon reports that Vice President Federico Franco will assume the presidency after Lugo was found guilty of "performing his duties badly."

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Around the Nation
5:02 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

A Century-Old Grotto That Might Out-Glitter Vegas

Father Paul Dobberstein began building the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa, 100 years ago. It's covered with stones, rocks, petrified wood and seashells.
Denise Krebs via Flickr

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 5:11 pm

The Midwest is known for its roadside attractions — world's largest ear of corn, heaviest ball of twine, biggest truck stop.

But it's also home to one of the largest collections of grottoes in the world. Most of these man-made caves were created by immigrant priests at the beginning of the 20th century. And the mother of them all — encrusted in $6 million worth of semiprecious stones — is in West Bend, Iowa.

This weekend, the Grotto of the Redemption turns 100.

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