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1:32pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Music Reviews

Mates Of State: Reaching Surprising New 'Mountaintops'

Mates of State's newest album is Mountaintops.
Glynis Selina Arban

Mates of State's members are literally mates: Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel have been a duo since 1996, married since 2001, and parents on tour since 2004. Their basic concept is two strong voices, Gardner's slightly predominant, over her keyboards and Hammel's drums. Over the years, the band has expanded its instrumental range and brought in guests for sonic color. But nothing in the pair's catalog anticipated "Palomino," the opening track from the new Mountaintops.

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12:55pm

Thu September 29, 2011
The Two-Way

China Launches 'Heavenly Palace 1' Into Space; Takes Step Toward Station

With a nighttime liftoff from a launch pad on the edge of the Gobi Desert, China today put its unmanned Tiangong-1 ("Heavenly Palace-1") module into orbit and started a decade-long project aimed at constructing its own space station.

The module will "conduct surveys of Chinese farmland using special cameras, along with experiments involving growing crystals in zero gravity," The Associated Press says. Then, in coming years:

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12:53pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Middle East

In Saudi Arabia, Only Men Vote, And Not Often

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 6:16 pm

Saudi men wait to cast their votes in municipal elections in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday. Turnout appeared to be low. King Abdullah says that women will be allowed to vote in the next municipal elections, in 2015.
Hassan Ammar AP

In Saudi Arabia, where King Abdullah has the only vote that really counts, elections are still a novelty.

Municipal elections on Thursday marked just the third ballot in the kingdom's history. Only men could vote in polls to fill half the seats on some 300 municipal councils. The other half are appointed by the government.

Even before the polls closed, Saudi officials declared the election a success. But turnout appeared low at many voting stations, including in the capital, Riyadh.

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12:50pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Middle East

Americans Seek Answers As New Egypt Emerges

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands with Egypt's Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr during a joint press conference in Washington on Wednesday. Amr sought to assure the U.S. that Egypt is moving toward democracy.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

As Egypt tries to figure out a path forward following its revolution, the country's foreign minister was in Washington this week attempting to reassure the Obama administration that all is going well.

For the Americans, the two big issues are the status of Egypt's elections and the state of Egypt's relations with Israel. There are unanswered questions on both fronts.

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12:15pm

Thu September 29, 2011
World Cafe

Peter Gabriel On World Cafe

Peter Gabriel.
Courtesy of the artist

Peter Gabriel's 12th studio album, New Blood, contains re-imaginings of some of his best-known songs — including "Solsbury Hill," "Red Rain" and "Don't Give Up" — using orchestral arrangements and ambient sound. The album continues a career reinvention he began on Scratch My Back, a covers album with the attached expectation that the covered artists would reciprocate.

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