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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Passenger Train Derails Near Paris, 'Many Casualties' Feared

One of the cars that derailed Friday at a train station near Paris.
Kenzo Tribouillard AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 4:56 pm

A passenger train with several hundred people on board "has derailed in the southern Paris suburb of Brétigny, with authorities reporting 'many casualties,'" France 24 reports. Officials are still sorting through what French media are calling their country's worst rail accident in 25 years.

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Business
12:00 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Does The Canadian Rail Explosion Make Pipelines Look Safer?

A police photograph shows burned and wrecked crude oil carrying rail tankers piled up in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, on Monday. Dozens of people died in the disaster.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:48 pm

When an oil-laden train derailed last weekend, it turned into an inferno that killed dozens in Lac-Megantic, a small town in Quebec.

This week, the Canadian tragedy is morphing into something very different. It is becoming Exhibit A in the political case for building pipelines — as well as for opposing them.

How could the same tragedy prove opposite points? Listen in to the debate:

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NPR Story
11:55 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Listener Letters: Politicians And Australian Bands

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 2:45 pm

Today we read and listen to several comments about our interviews with Congressman Mo Brooks and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, and our stories about Bangladesh factory safety and Australian bands.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Let Women Ride In The Tour De France, Cyclists Say In Petition

A woman takes a picture of a little girl posing in a cyclist cutout at the 2013 Tour de France. A new petition calls for including women in the epic race.
Jeff Pachoud AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 1:13 pm

Calling road cycling "one of the worst offenders" in gender inequity, four elite female athletes have created a petition to ask the sport's hallmark event, the Tour de France, to include women next year. Citing the inclusion of women at the world's top marathons, the petition's authors say, "After a century, it is about time women are allowed to race the Tour de France, too."

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NPR Story
11:50 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Plans Underway For 'American Writers Museum'

The museum's design plan says "we will utilize large touch-wall technology at the entrance of each of the themed galleries." (American Writers Museum Foundation)

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

View slideshow

There are estimated to be well over 17,000 museums in the United States. Philadelphia has the Mutter Museum of Medical History, there's a Spam museum in Austin, Minnesota, and La Crosse, Kansas, has a museum devoted to barbed wire — to name a few.

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NPR Story
11:45 am
Fri July 12, 2013

New Evidence May Give 'Boston Strangler' A Name

Albert DeSalvo, 35, is surrounded by police after his capture in Lynn on Feb. 25, 1967. DeSalvo was nabbed in a store a day after he escaped from Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane. (AP)

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 2:45 pm

After almost 50 years, law enforcement officials say they have new evidence proving who killed the last victim in the infamous Boston Strangler case, a string of murders in the 1960s.

But questions are being asked about the new evidence and the way it was obtained.

WBUR’s Bruce Gellerman reports on the latest developments in this cold case.

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Shots - Health News
11:40 am
Fri July 12, 2013

3-D Casts So Cool That You'll Almost Want To Break A Bone

The waterproof material of the Cortex cast may hold up better in high-stress areas, such as hands.
Courtesy of Jake Evill

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 8:11 am

Anybody who has ever worn a cast knows that it can really cramp your style. You itch. After a while, you stink. At times, it seems like the cast needs even more care than you do. Keep it dry or else!

Other than the addition of garish colors of fiberglass, there hasn't been much innovation in cast technology in what seems like forever. But down in New Zealand, designer Jake Evill is bringing the latest in 3-D printing to orthopedics.

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Russia Reportedly Goes Retro To Keep Kremlin Secrets

A Russian state service in charge of safeguarding Kremlin communications is reportedly looking to purchase an array of old-fashioned typewriters to prevent leaks from computer hardware.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 2:00 pm

The Russian agency charged with safeguarding Kremlin communications is said to be opting for a low-tech solution to secure top-secret messages in the wake of the NSA surveillance scandal: typewriters.

Izvestia reports that the Federal Guard Agency, known by the acronym FSO, has placed an order for $15,000 worth of electric typewriters.

Izvestia quotes an unnamed source in Russia:

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The Salt
11:12 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Heavy Rains Send Iowa's Precious Soil Downriver

Soil erosion after five inches or more of rain fell in one hour across portions of Western Iowa in 2013.
USDA Natural Resources Conservation

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 12:33 pm

What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, the Midwest was heading into one of the worst droughts in decades. Now much of the region is soggy.

But the biggest loser from this year's heavy rains? The land itself.

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It's All Politics
11:10 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Remembering A Scholar Who Reshaped States

For an academic, Alan Rosenthal had unusual political clout at the Capitol in New Jersey, his home state.
Tim Larsen AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 11:54 am

You've probably never heard of Alan Rosenthal, but few people have done more over the past half-century not only to describe state governments, but redefine how they operate.

Rosenthal, a longtime political scientist at Rutgers University and a giant in his field, died Wednesday at age 81, after battling cancer. He wrote nearly 20 books, but his value was not purely academic.

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