Tue March 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Australia's Heron Island: A Canary In The Coal Mine For Coral Reefs?

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 9:02 am

Heron Island is located on the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, about 25 miles off the northeast coast of Australia.
Ted Mead Getty Images

NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 1: Richard gets a hefty dose of bad news.

I've seen the future, and it isn't pretty.

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Sun March 17, 2013
Music Interviews

For Aussie Ensemble, 'A Is For Alpine' — As Well As Austin

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 1:04 pm

The Melbourne-based band Alpine performs at Red 7 during SXSW 2013.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Alpine is a band from Melbourne, Australia, that will make their U.S. debut with A Is for Alpine, an album coming out later this spring.

The band, formerly known as Swiss, was chosen as the iTunes Australian alternative album of the year, and now the group is building buzz in the U.S., including this past week at the South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.

Alpine's Phoebe Baker and Lou James say that their first gig at SXSW was at a club called Bourbon Girl, where the vibe was electric.

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Fri March 15, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Pacific Island, Bigger Than Manhattan, Vanishes

Auckland Museum flickr

You can see it on this Google Map — a little spit of land, sitting between Australia (on the left) and French-governed New Caledonia (on the right).

It's called "Sandy Island." In the Times Atlas of the World it's called "Sable Island." On both maps it's a conspicuous land mass, roughly 15 miles long from north to south, three miles across. Altogether, that's about 45 square miles — about one and a half times the size of Manhattan.

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Mon February 18, 2013
The Two-Way

Israel's 'Prisoner X' May Have Passed State Secrets

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 6:49 am

The story of "Prisoner X" is dominating the media in both Australia and Israel.
William West AFP/Getty Images

Last week we told you about "Prisoner X," the mysterious Israeli-Australian citizen who worked for Israel's spy agency Mossad. Australian media broke the story of how the man identified as Ben Zygier languished for months in an Israeli prison until he was found dead of an apparent suicide. Now we have new details on the case.

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Thu February 14, 2013
The Two-Way

'Prisoner X' Mystery Puts Spotlight On Israel's Spy Agency

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 7:40 am

The "prisoner x" story is front page news in Australia.
William West AFP/Getty Images

This sounds like something from a spy novel, but it's the top of a real-life Associated Press story today:

"He was known as Prisoner X, his crimes unknown. For months he languished in an Israeli prison until he was he was found dead in his cell in an apparent suicide. Later, rumors would swirl that he was an Australian-Israeli who worked for the Israeli secret service Mossad.

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