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4:26 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

From The Ruins Of A Tsunami, A Rebuilt Aceh Rises Anew

A man rides a motorcycle near houses that were rebuilt in an area in Banda Aceh, the capital of Indonesia's Aceh province, that was devastated by the tsunami that hit on Dec. 26, 2004.
Heri Juanda AP

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 9:09 pm

As survivors of Haiyan — November's super typhoon in the Philippines — slowly put their lives back together, the rest of Asia has been marking the anniversary of another disaster.

Shortly after Christmas nine years ago, a huge tsunami swept across the region, killing at least a quarter of a million people.

Some of the worst damage was in the Indonesian province of Aceh, where whole villages were swept away by a wall of water so powerful it picked up ships and left them several miles inland.

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Business
4:26 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

How NAFTA Helped The Mexican Billionaires' Club

Carlos Slim Helu (left) talks with Steve Forbes of Forbes magazine. The magazine lists the Mexican telecom mogul as the world's richest man, with a net worth of $73 billion.
Jeremy Piper AP

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 3:50 pm

When the North American Free Trade Agreement was being negotiated, supporters promised it would increase the income of Mexicans. And the middle class did grow in Mexico over the past two decades. But it's clear that Mexico's ultrarich are among its big winners.

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The Salt
4:16 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Let Them Eat Sandwiches: USDA Eases School Lunch Restrictions

After the the school lunch program was overhauled in 2012 to curb childhood obesity, lots of kids began complaining that lunches were too skimpy.

Why? Because in some cases, schools had to limit healthy foods — such as sandwiches served on whole-grain bread or salads topped with grilled chicken — due to restrictions the U.S. Department of Agriculture set on the amount of grains and protein that could be served at meal-time.

In some districts, program participation dropped as more kids decided to brown-bag it and bring their own food to school.

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The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Obama Administration Moves To Alter Gun-Buying Rules

President Obama speaks in April after the Senate rejected a bill that would expand background checks on guns. The White House is seeking to clarify rules that bar firearm possession due to mental health problems.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 6:58 pm

Federal agencies are proposing new rules for handling gun buyers' background checks, in changes the Obama administration says will "keep guns out of potentially dangerous hands." The changes include a clarification of rules barring firearm possession due to mental health problems.

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Code Switch
3:15 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

2014: The Year We Weren't Shocked That People Of Color Watch Films?

The latest installment of Paranormal Activity has Latino themes and a Latino cast.
Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 8:27 pm

One of the stories of 2013 was that every time a movie with people of color in prominent roles got giant ratings, people were shocked. You could almost set your watch to this phenomenon, which Linda Holmes once memorably described as "fluke-ifying."

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It's All Politics
2:42 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Clay Aiken's Political Reality: Results Mixed For Stars Like Him

Clay Aiken performs a special one night only concert at the Progress Energy Performing Arts Center in Raleigh, N.C., in March 2010.
Jim R. Bounds AP

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 3:19 pm

Reality television star Clay Aiken set the political class chattering Friday with rumors that he may run for Congress.

Frozen in time as the elfin man-child of American Idol fame, the runner-up from a decade ago is reportedly considering running as a Democrat in his home state of North Carolina.

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Couples Urge Sotomayor To Deny Utah's Bid To Block Gay Marriage

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 2:48 pm

Attorneys for same-sex couples say Utah officials who want to block gay marriages "cannot meet their burden" of showing either an error by a lower court or serious damage if the ceremonies continue, according to papers filed with the Supreme Court Friday. The filing urges the court to deny a request to halt the unions in Utah.

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Book Reviews
2:40 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

A Critic Tours 'Echo Spring,' Home Of Beloved Boozy Writers

nito100 iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 4:19 pm

It's the quintessential "dog bites man" story. I'm talking about a new book I just read about a group of famous writers who — get this -- drank too much! I know, right? That's pretty much the equivalent of saying I just read a book about a group of famous writers who used commas in their sentences.

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The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Everyone Poops, But Dogs Do It With Magnetism

Can a pup get a little privacy, please?
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 8:10 am

Dog owners have all been there when walking their canine companions.

Fido sniffs the ground and maybe turns around a few times. He searches. "No, not that patch," he seems to say. "Maybe this one. ... Or over here. ... Umm, maybe not."

Then, finally, he gets into position to ... well, let's just say leave that deposit that you'll have to pick up.

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It's All Politics
1:22 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

7 Political Dates To Watch In 2014

Vice President Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio applaud President Obama as he gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Feb. 12, 2013.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 6:01 pm

With November midterm elections looming, 2014 promises much more political catnip than 2013.

It's a year with a full roster of House, Senate and gubernatorial races, but 2014 is also likely to prove to be another critical period for the Affordable Care Act as an important deadline comes early and the Supreme Court takes up another aspect of the health law.

Here are some of the most important dates to watch:

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