Fri August 19, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

HIV In The Middle East And North Africa: Hidden 'Behind A Veil'?

Pakistani NGO workers protest at a rally on World AIDS Day in Peshawar in 2006.
Tariq Mahmood/AFP Getty Images

HIV epidemics are emerging among men who have sex with men in the Middle East and North Africa, researchers say. It's a region where HIV/AIDS isn't well understood, or studied.

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Fri August 19, 2011

Libyan Rebels Celebrate Takeover Of Another Key City

Two Libyan rebel fighters battle with snipers holed up in a hotel at the main square of Zawiya, a city 30 miles west of Tripoli, on Aug. 18. The rebels entered the key coastal city this week.
Marc Hofer AFP/Getty Images

The Libyan rebels have been on the move this week.

In Gheryan, an important city south of the capital Tripoli, it seemed everyone was celebrating Friday. Women, children, young men, older men and even white-haired grandfathers.

They jumped into trucks and cars and flashed the victory sign to each other in an impromptu parade. The city, which straddles the main road south from Tripoli, was a garrison for Moammar Gadhafi's forces for the past six months. From Gheryan, the military would resupply forces for the frequent battles in the country's Western Mountains.

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Fri August 19, 2011

Gadhafi's Former No. 2 Defected, Libyan Rebels Say

Originally published on Fri August 19, 2011 3:48 pm

Libyan rebels say a close Moammar Gadhafi associate who was once the No. 2 top regime official has defected in another blow to the increasingly isolated Libyan leader.

Abdel Salam Jalloud helped Gadhafi stage the 1969 coup that propelled him to power and transformed Libya from a monarchy to a republic. He was Gadhafi's most trusted deputy for two decades but began to clash with the leader starting in the 1990s.

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Fri August 19, 2011
Music Interviews

Amy LaVere: Shaking Heartbreak

Amy LaVere's new album is called Stranger Me.
Courtesy of the artist

In 2009, it was a difficult year for singer-songwriter Amy LaVere: Her producer died, her guitarist quit, and she split up with longtime boyfriend Paul Tyler, who had also been her drummer. LaVere poured her emotion into her writing, and the album that resulted was this year's Stranger Me.

"I went into this [album] probably with more insecurity than I have ever had," LaVere tells NPR's Laura Sullivan. "Just even the title of the record, Stranger Me, is me saying I don't really know who I am in this."

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Fri August 19, 2011

The Healing Power Of Blues Dancing

A couple dances at the Polish Club in San Francisco, which hosts a night of blues dancing every Monday.
Alexis Estrada

Blues was once called the devil's music, but for many, it has transformative, healing power. Every Monday night in San Francisco's Mission District, devout blues followers descend upon the Polish Club for a night of dancing in an unconventional style.

Blues dancing, which requires participants to appear to be in love with their dancing partners — including strangers — has helped some at the Polish Club to turn their lives around. Click the link at the top of the page to hear the story of three dancers who say they've felt changed by power of the blues.

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Fri August 19, 2011
Middle East

Syria's Crackdown Provokes Sharp Debate

In a photo taken during a guided government tour, Syrian soldiers raise their weapons while holding a picture of President Bashar Assad as they leave the eastern city of Deir al-Zour on Aug. 16, following a 10-day military operation.
- AFP/Getty Images

Over the past five months, the Syrian military has repeatedly used tanks and heavy weaponry on cities and towns that are centers of protest.

As has been the case most every Friday since March, demonstrators turned out in huge numbers after the midday prayers, and there was more violence. Activists said that Syrian security forces fired at protesters across the country, reportedly killing at least 20.

Assessing whether this Syrian strategy is working depends on who you ask — and what version of the military crackdown in Syria you accept.

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Fri August 19, 2011
NPR Story

Summer Sounds: Panting

Commentator Andrei Codrescu adds to our arsenal of Summer Sounds with an essay about the panting of his two dogs. They have very different personalities, but share the panting gene.


Fri August 19, 2011

Target Takes Aim At Walmart, With Some Success

Originally published on Sat August 20, 2011 10:04 am

Christian Hernandez stocks shelves earlier this month at a Target store in Miami. Target reported strong profit numbers in the second quarter of 2011 in its continued battle with Walmart stores over discount retail dominance.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Target has Walmart's price-conscious customer base in its sights, and its aim is improving, analysts say.

Minneapolis-based Target Corp., the nation's third-largest retailer, reported profits up 3.7 percent to $704 million for the quarter ending July 30 over the same quarter last year. Although profits for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. were even better — profits for the quarter were $3.8 billion, up 5.7 percent from a year ago — the company's sales at U.S. stores open for more than a year fell for the ninth consecutive quarter.

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Fri August 19, 2011
The Two-Way

High Profile Law Firm Withdraws From John Edwards' Defense Team

Former U.S. senator and presidential candidate John Edwards, indicted for alleged campaign violations, is losing part of his trial team. The high profile Wall Street law firm that has led his defense is withdrawing.

Until now, Edwards has been represented by former White House Counsel Gregory Craig and former Associate White House Counsel Cliff Sloan from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. But apparently for both financial and tactical reasons, Edwards is switching lawyers.

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Fri August 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Baseball's Clemens Should Be Tried Again, Prosecutors Argue

"Prosecutors in the Roger Clemens perjury case say they made an honest mistake in showing jurors inadmissible evidence and the baseball star should face another trial," The Associated Press reports.

Back in July, on the second day of proceedings, federal Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial. As NPR's Nina Totenberg reported:

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