Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 11:56 am
We have been exploring our increasingly smartphone-aided interactions and what they're doing to the old-fashioned ways of being together, like talking face to face. Hundreds of you wrote in with your thoughts, which tend to be a variation on a theme All Tech reader Cassie Anderson laid out:
A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly promised that the Kremlin would withdraw some troops from near the border with Ukraine, the head of NATO says he's seen no movement as yet.
As we reported, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office said on Monday that Putin had told her of the impending troop movement, which seemed designed to ratchet down tensions in the region after Russia's annexation of Crimea last month.
Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 10:58 am
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A shot fired by a British Army sniper at a suspected Taliban fighter in Afghanistan last December ended up killing not just the man in the marksman's sights but also five other men who were thought to be militant soldiers, The Telegraph reports.
"The head of the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has raised the possibility that no wreckage from the passenger jet may ever be found, revealing authorities have a very poor understanding about how fast or far it traveled," The Sydney Morning Herald writes.
San Francisco in the summer of the 1876, between the Gold Rush and the smallpox epidemic, is the setting for Emma Donoghue's boisterous new novel, Frog Music.
There's real frog music in these pages, the riveting cries of the creatures hunted by Jenny Bonnet, one of the two main characters. She's a pistol-packing, pants-wearing gal in a town where pants on women are one of the few cardinal sins, and she scratches out a living catching frogs and selling them to local restaurants.
Here's a more immediate issue. Egypt says it will hold presidential elections in May. The likely winner is General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. He led the military coup last summer which overthrew the elected government.
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And I'm David Greene. Good morning. The biggest extinction the Earth has ever seen took place 250 million years ago and it remains something of a mystery. Scientists suspected giant volcanoes or perhaps an asteroid caused it, but NPR's Christopher Joyce has seen new research suggesting the cause might not have been so cataclysmic - maybe something much more subtle.
Bad planning plus a tough economy left many states struggling to pay retirement and health benefits to public workers. New Jersey was behind on its payments for years before Governor Chris Christie pushed public pension reform in 2011. Now the governor is calling for another round of reform, saying the system is still broken. Here's Jessica Gould of member station WNYC.
Before Bette Midler was in movies like Beaches and Down and Out in Beverly Hills, the actress and singer wore masks and costumes on stage, playing scantily clad, scandalous characters like a wheelchair-riding mermaid and, of course, the Divine Miss M â€” Midler's early stage persona.
Midler wrote about her early career in A View From a Broad, a memoir she published in 1980. A new edition of that book was recently released with a brand new introduction in which Midler writes:
Misha Kostin, a 21-year-old construction engineer in eastern Ukraine, loves The Simpsons. He's loved it for 10 years. He says the animated series "illustrates everyday life problems in humorous ways, and offers a useful moral at the end of each episode."
And though Kostin and most of the people in eastern Ukraine are native Russian speakers, he prefers to download episodes dubbed not in Russian but in his second language, Ukrainian. All his friends in the city of Donetsk prefer the version dubbed in Ukrainian.
Russia's takeover of Crimea sent shivers through Latvia.
The tiny Baltic state was itself taken over by the Soviet Union in 1940 and did not regain its independence until the Soviet breakup in 1991. Latvia has a population of just 2 million, and roughly a quarter of those are ethnic Russians.
Given this history, Latvia was eager to align itself with the West. In 2004, under then-president Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Latvia joined both the European Union and NATO and is counting on those allies for protection.