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The Two-Way
6:07 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Manhattan Says Goodbye To Its Last Single-Space Parking Meter

Surely, it's not an extinction that will cause many tears: This afternoon Department of Transportation crews ripped out the last single-space parking meter in Manhattan. You know, the kind of meter that sits atop poll and takes quarters.

The New York Times paid its respects, yesterday, with a long obit:

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Middle East
5:23 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

With Police Lurking, Dissidents Meet In Syria

More than 300 Syrian dissidents met near Damascus on Sunday, and afterward they held a news conference and called for more protests to oust President Bashar Assad's government. From left: Rajaa Nasser, Hussein Awdat, Hassan Abdul Azim, Saleh Mohammed and Samir Aita.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

It was an unprecedented gathering in Syria: The security police were monitoring, but they did not break up, a six-hour meeting of more than 300 dissidents at a farmhouse outside the capital Damascus.

Syria's traditional dissidents, men and women who have spent years in jail, have met before. For the first time, they sat together Sunday with young street organizers of the current unrest.

Samir Aita, an opposition figure who lives in Paris, attended the gathering and talked about the significance when he reached Beirut.

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Presidential Race
5:22 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Will Tough Talk On Immigration Repel Latino Voters?

Republican presidential candidates (from left) Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry cover their hearts during the playing of the national anthem before a Republican presidential debate on Sept. 12.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 6:56 pm

Wherever he goes, GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry proudly waves the flag of conservatism, often introducing himself with, "I simply want to get America working again and make Washington, D.C., as inconsequential in your life as I can."

But the Texas governor, a favorite of conservatives overall, is taking criticism for being too moderate when it comes to immigration. The reason: In 2001, his first full year in office, he signed legislation that grants in-state tuition rates at Texas colleges and universities to some illegal immigrants.

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Politics
5:09 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Tax Winners And Losers Under Obama's Deficit Plan

Specialists on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange watch President Obama's televised speech on debt reduction Monday. Obama wants to require investment fund managers to pay at least the same percentage in taxes as middle-income Americans.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 9:20 pm

If enacted, President Obama's deficit-reduction plan would increase tax revenues by about $1.5 trillion over the coming decade. The wealthiest taxpayers could see significantly higher taxes, but the vast majority of Americans would pay less, at least through 2012.

These are some of the groups that could see higher tax bills starting in 2013:

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Shots - Health Blog
5:02 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Gamers Solve Stubborn Viral Mystery: The Shape Of A Key Enzyme

A screenshot from the Foldit puzzle for an enzyme found in HIV-like viruses.
UW Center for Game Science

See, Mom? Playing online video games can pay off.

An online group of gamers has correctly deduced the structure of an enzyme that AIDS-like viruses use for reproduction. By playing the online-game Foldit, the group figured out the structure of an important viral protein that has baffled scientists for more than a decade.

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The Two-Way
4:55 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Yankees' Mariano Rivera Becomes Top Closer In Baseball History

Alex Peluso, right, and his friend Chris Filomio, of Wappinger Falls, N.Y. show their support for New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera during batting practice.
Kathy Kmonicek AP

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 5:02 pm

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera earned his 602nd career save, today, making him the top closer in baseball history. In a drama-free, 1-2-3 inning, Rivera surpassed Trevor Hoffman as the new record holder for most saves.

ESPN reports:

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Justice Department Expresses Concern Over Texas Redistricting Plan

The United States Justice Department expressed concern Monday about whether new Texas redistricting plans for four U.S. House seats comply with the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which protects the interests of minority voters.

In a filing with a special three-judge court panel in Washington D.C., civil rights lawyers at Justice wrote that they doubted new boundaries for the House seats "maintain or increase the ability of minority voters to elect their candidate of choice."

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Education
4:05 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Parents Fight Over Pledging Allegiance In Schools

Martin Rosenthal, a parent in Brookline, Mass., says he willingly pledges allegiance to the flag but has filed a measure that he says would protect public school students from being pressured into saying the pledge in their classrooms.
Tovia Smith NPR

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 6:01 pm

Residents are waving the flag in Brookline, Mass., both for — and against — the Pledge of Allegiance.

Courts have ruled that public schools cannot compel students to recite the pledge, so in Brookline, as elsewhere, the pledge is voluntary.

But critics say there's still pressure on students to conform, and they want the pledge out of the classroom altogether.

A Concern About Peer Pressure

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The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Pirate Party Wins Seats In Berlin Elections

Deputies of the Pirate Party pose in the House of Representatives in Berlin today. Free wireless Internet and public transport; voting rights for over-14s are just some of the policies of the "Pirate Party."
Hannibal Hanschke AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 4:01 pm

Germany's state parliament now has representatives from a brand new political party that focuses heavily on Internet freedoms. The Pirate Party won 8.5 percent of the vote for the Berlin state parliament and ousted the Free Democrats, which is part of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition.

And who are the party members? Here's how Der Spiegel opens their story today:

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Damaged By 1928 Flood, Pompeii Painting By John Martin Now Restored

A museum employee looked at John Martin's recently restored The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, at the Tate Britain in central London on Monday (Sept. 19, 2011).
Andrew Winning Reuters/Landov

"A painting considered beyond repair after being submerged in filthy floodwater when the Thames breached its banks in 1928 will be seen in something approaching its wild and lurid former glory on Tuesday when it goes on public display for the first time in a century," The Guardian writes.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:37 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

To Cut Deficit, Obama Takes A Scalpel To Health Programs

President Barack Obama describes his plan to reduce the deficit in remarks delivered Monday in the White House Rose Garden.
Susan Walsh AP

President Obama's plan to cut the deficit doesn't exactly spare Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health programs. But he also doesn't propose the sweeping sorts of changes envisioned by House Republicans earlier this year.

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Around the Nation
12:01 am
Mon September 19, 2011

Man's Call To America: Turn Off That Air Conditioner

Stan Cox has air conditioning in his Kansas house — but he only runs the unit about once a year, he says.
Bryan Thompson Kansas Public Radio

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 12:01 am

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this summer has been the second-hottest ever recorded in the United States, helping to push power demand in homes to record levels. As some worry that the growing use of fossil fuels to produce electricity for cooling is unsustainable, one man is urging Americans to live without air conditioning.

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Three Books...
9:51 am
Tue September 6, 2011

What's In Store: 3 Tales Of A Terrifying Future

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 9:53 pm

When I was a kid, I assumed that in the future things would get better and better until we were all driving flying cars and playing badminton with space aliens on top of 500-story buildings. Frankly, I kind of counted on this happening. But now I don't assume that we'll just keep going up anymore.

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