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7:48am

Tue May 31, 2011
Opinion

New Republic: Optimism Spells Democracy's Decline

Joshua Kurlantzick is Fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. This article originally ran in the June 9, 2011, issue of the magazine.

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7:48am

Tue May 31, 2011
The Two-Way

Rental Homes For Joplin Victims; Obama Taps New Joint Chiefs Chairman

Good morning.

If you're just getting going after the holiday weekend and need a quick recap of the top news:

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7:32am

Tue May 31, 2011
The Two-Way

In Syria, The Death Of 13-Year-Old Hamza Creates A Child Martyr

From a Facebook page created about Hamza.
Facebook.com/hamza.alshaheed

A video showing a 13-year-old boy's mutilated corpse has shocked many Syrians and is turning the victim, Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, into a martyr. Many of those demanding the end of President Bashar Assad's regime say his death will strengthen their resolve and inspire others to come to their cause.

Too graphic for us to post, but not hard to find, the video, as The New York Times writes:

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6:50am

Tue May 31, 2011
Religion

Vatican Cracks Down On Rome Monastery

Officials at the Vatican have shut down a monastery attached to one of Rome's oldest churches. Santa Croce is known these days for more contemporary methods of worship. Like the nun who was once a lap dancer performing a suggestive "Holy Dance."

6:45am

Tue May 31, 2011
Europe

Head Over Heels For Cheese

About 200 people gathered in England Monday for the traditional cheese rolling contest. The idea is to slip and somersault to the bottom of Cooper's Hill, near Gloucester in pursuit of a wheel of Double Gloucester cheese. Police had canceled the event out of concerns over safety and ticket prices, but rebel cheese rollers still turned up.

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