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3:07 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

China Pledges Reforms To Labor Camps, But Offers Few Details

Ren Jianyu poses for a photograph at a restaurant in Chongqing, China, on Nov. 19, 2012, after being freed from a labor camp. The village official was sentenced to a "re-education through labor" camp after he criticized the government.
STR Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 7:23 pm

China has indicated that it will stop handing down sentences to its controversial labor camps, which allow detention without trial for up to four years. According to Chinese media, some 160,000 prisoners were held in "re-education centers" at the end of 2008.

Critics of the system greeted the announcement — which was slim on details — with cautious optimism.

Pressure to change the system has been mounting after a number of high-profile cases, including that of Ren Jianyu, who had been a young village official.

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

'Gun Appreciation Day' Is Jan. 19, Conservative Groups Declare

At the Great Southern Gun and Knife Show in Birmingham, Ala., over the weekend, rows of weapons drew a record crowd.
Joe Songer AL.COM /Landov

Saying they're following the example of last year's Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, a coalition of "gun rights" activists announced today that they're calling on like-minded Americans to visit gun stores, gun ranges and gun shows on Jan. 19 in a show of unity they're calling "Gun Appreciation Day."

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The Salt
2:25 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Sandwich Monday: Steak And Kidney Pie

You say Steak & Kidney Pie, I say Gravy Volcano.
NPR

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 2:16 pm

[Note: Peter sends this disgusting dispatch from a family vacation in London.]

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The Two-Way
2:12 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Aurora Shooting Suspect Looked Like A Fellow Officer, Police Say

James Holmes faces multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder in the July 20 theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. Here, he's seen in a photo from the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office.
AP

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 5:19 pm

Moments after a deadly attack that turned an Aurora, Colo., movie theater into a scene of panic and tragedy, the police officer who found suspect James Holmes at first took him for a fellow police officer, due to the body armor Holmes was wearing.

But he noticed that Holmes was "just standing there" and had no sense of urgency — despite the pandemonium at the theater, as people continued to stream out.

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Kilograms With Weight Problems May Get High-Tech Cleanings

Back in 2009, as Morning Edition reported, some scientists were worried that the small metal cylinder used as the world's standard for what a kilogram should be might be losing weight.

But there were also those who thought the problem might have nothing to do with that carefully sealed away cylinder in Paris — that the real problem might be that the 40 replicas sent around the world are gaining weight.

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Europe
1:46 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Berlusconi Plots His Comeback: 'You Italians Need Me'

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (left) has returned to Italy's political scene in advance of next month's election. Also in the race is the current Prime Minister Mario Monti (right). They are shown here in November 2011 as Monti took over for Berlusconi.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 5:19 pm

With elections in Italy just weeks away, polls show leftist parties with a comfortable lead. Yet attention is focused on the battle between the former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, and the current prime minister, Mario Monti, an austere technocrat.

Monti's platform calls for continued austerity, budget cutting and labor reforms.

While Berlusconi and Monti are the two big names in next month's race, the expected winner is the leader of the leftist Democratic Party, Pier Luigi Bersani.

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This Is NPR
1:17 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Help for Job Searching with Social Media

Betsy Martin NPR

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 6:07 pm

Update: Here are the the six questions we'll be addressing during the #NPRTwitterChat at 5-6pm EST on Thursday, January 31. To join in, just follow the #NPRTwitterChat hashtag on Twitter. Then check back on the This is NPR blog next week for a post recapping the conversation and the tips shared.

#NPRTwitterChat Questions

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Tiny Desk Concerts
1:16 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Lucius: Tiny Desk Concert

Lucius Tiny Desk Concert
Lauren Rock NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 5:45 pm

We brought Lucius to the Tiny Desk because I fell in love with one joyous, catchy song: "Don't Just Sit There." That's all I had to go on — I'd never seen the group live — and though I expected fun, we also got fabulous. Not only are Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig a winning singing duo, but their charisma and charm helps turn good pop songwriting into an endearing performance.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:16 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Seismic Change At 'Downton Abbey,' As Heard In 'The Waltz'

The cast of Season 3 of the worldwide smash series Downton Abbey.
Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE/PBS

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 12:09 pm

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
1:15 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Resolving To Be A Better Person This Year? It'll Take More Than Good Intentions

Now that the party is over, are you ready to make good on your New Year's resolutions?
Kurt Desplenter AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 12:22 pm

It's a brand new year for 13.7 (our 4th!), and I'm pleased to kick off our 2013 return to regular posting with some thoughts on the human propensity to say (or think) one thing and do another.

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