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August 28, 2014 | NPR · James Tomsheck was pushed out of his job as internal affairs chief for Customs and Border Protection in June. He warns the agency has become a paramilitary organization with little accountability.
 
August 28, 2014 | NPR · U.S. and Russian experts recently met on neutral territory, on an island in Finland, to try to work through issues that have been building up ever since Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin.
 
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August 28, 2014 | NPR · Foster Farms has been accused of poisoning its customers with salmonella bacteria. But in recent months, the company has become a leader in the poultry industry's fight against the foodborne pathogen.
 

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August 28, 2014 | NPR · The pay is generous — $1,000 a month. The risks are enormous. They collect the body of an Ebola victim, avoiding any contact that could infect them. They wear safety garb. And they pray.
 
August 28, 2014 | NPR · The Syrian civil war has flared up in the south of the country, near the Israeli border. A group of Islamist fighters have now captured a border crossing between Syria and Israel on the Golan Heights.
 
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August 28, 2014 | NPR · The protests following Michael Brown's death have rekindled long-standing complaints about racist policing in the St. Louis area. Cops there are now becoming more outspoken in their own defense.
 

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August 23, 2014 | NPR · Nearly 1,500 people have died in the Ebola outbreak, and more nations in the region are closing their borders. NPR's Scott Simon speaks to Africa correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton about the epidemic.
 

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August 24, 2014 | NPR · In the wake of violent clashes between protesters and police in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama is ordering a review of the federal programs that help local police departments purchase military gear.
 

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Essays

Jan 6, 2013 — What attracts people to fantasy? Is it the orcs and the elves, or the rich worlds they inhabit? Author Saladin Ahmed says world-building — the craft of building a believable fictional world — provides "an almost physical sense of getting lost somewhere that isn't home, but which comes to be home."
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Oct 20, 2012 — Amazon is expanding its top 100 lists to rank writers, not just books. The new list features a funky mix of authors, from big names to children's classics to Ayn Rand. Essayist Amanda Katz wonders whether the list is silly, useful, a play for world domination, or possibly all three?
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Aug 8, 2012 — Commentator Amanda Katz muses on some seriously unbeachy beach book choices, from the guy in a Palm Springs pool reading a book on string theory, to the woman curled up on the lounge chair with William Styron's memoir of depression, Darkness Visible.
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Jun 21, 2012 — An old copy of The War of the Worlds, once belonging to rocket scientist Robert Goddard, prompts essayist Amanda Katz to muse on what we lose when we stop reading — and passing along — physical books.
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May 9, 2012 — A baby is snatched away by goblins in Maurice Sendak's unsettling children's book, Outside Over There. Commentator Amanda Katz says she loved this book as a child, and only later understood why it made adults so uncomfortable.
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Apr 20, 2012 — Some of the best poets of spring are masters of the minor key. So it's no surprise that the famously dour Philip Larkin wrote two of the finest spring poems of the last century, according to critic David Orr — who offers his appreciation.
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Apr 17, 2012To Kill a Mockingbird and Valley of the Dolls have more in common than you think. In his new book Hit Lit, mystery writer James Hall argues that best-sellers from the past century share 12 features.
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Apr 12, 2012 — The Department of Justice's lawsuit against Apple and five major publishers for e-book price fixing sent shivers through the industry — but Jason Boog says this fraught relationship between American publishers, retailers and the DOJ goes back to the Great Depression.
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Mar 13, 2012 — Sky looking a little slatchy to you? Want another helping of slang-jang? The final volume of the Dictionary of American Regional English, a 50-year project to document English across the U.S., is a treasure trove of history and local color.
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Feb 13, 2012 — Valentine's Day is a tricky occasion for poets. Granted, it's hard not to be happy about a holiday on which poems are thought to be genuinely useful. But love poetry's record as an aphrodisiac is mixed. Critic David Orr offers advice for romantic rhymers.
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