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Around the Nation
5:07 am
Sun June 9, 2013

Lessons From Cicadas: A New Jersey Community's Experience

A member of Brood II alights on a New Jersey shrub.
Fred Mogul NPR

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 12:58 pm

Ten-year-old Markus Gokan has mixed feelings about the cicadas scattered around the yards and sidewalks of Summit, N.J.

"There's tons of them just squashed, just these flat, pancake cicadas that don't look very appetizing," Gokan says.

Yet he's not afraid to touch and handle un-squashed cicadas — to serve a higher purpose.

"I did pick up a few, and I threw them at some people I don't like," he explains.

They screamed, he says, so for him his mission was successful.

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Around the Nation
5:05 am
Sun June 9, 2013

A Year Later, Few Residents Have Rebuilt After Colorado Fire

The High Park wildfire swept through the rural area northwest of Fort Colins, Colo., last June, leaving one person dead.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 12:58 pm

Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of the High Park fire northwest of Fort Collins, Colo. The blaze consumed 259 homes in the rural area, but so far only 10 households have finished rebuilding a year later.

As Gary and Martha Lemert sort through photographs from the High Park fire, it takes just one before and after shot to convey the complete devastation of their 10-acre property.

All they had left after the fire was a green roof that looked like it had been melted on top of gray rubble. All told, the Lemerts lost eight buildings, including a garage and a guest house.

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Parallels
5:05 am
Sun June 9, 2013

'Arab Idol' Finalist Delivers Sweet Music, Palestinian Pride

Palestinian performer Mohammad Assaf is a finalist on Arab Idol, which is filmed in the Lebanese city of Jounieh north of the capital Beirut.
Anwar Amro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 8:18 am

In Palestinian territory, Mohammad Assaf's face is easy to find. Big posters of the dark-haired 23-year-old dreamboat smile at you along boulevards in Ramallah. And in Gaza, a giant banner of Assaf billows outside his family home.

Assaf's dad, Jabar Assaf, is bursting with pride.

"I'm very, very, very proud of my son. Besides singing so well, he is very polite, and he is studying at the university," Jabar Assaf says. "He's no street kid. I'm very proud."

So are many other Palestinians — including 16-year-old Abeer Ali.

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The Two-Way
7:36 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Construction Worker In Custody For Phila. Building Collapse

Sean Benschop, 42, is facing charges in connection with a fatal building collapse in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
Philadelphia Police Department

A construction worker has turned himself in to police in connection with Wednesday's building collapse in Philadelphia. The incident killed six people and wounded more than a dozen.

"Sean Benschop was demolishing a four-story building next to a Salvation Army thrift store, when part of the structure collapsed onto the store," WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler tells our Newscast Desk.

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Science
6:03 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Aquarium Sculptors Create Coral For Conservation Awareness

Projected image of the complete Blacktip Reef exhibit.
Courtesy of the National Aquarium

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 10:42 pm

Most aquarium visitors are there to see sharks, sea turtles, fish and other marine life. But at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, there's another star attraction: Coral.

The Aquarium's Blacktip Reef exhibit will open later this summer, and give visitors a look at an Indo-Pacific coral reef. But curators can't just carve a chunk out of a wild reef to put in the vast tank, that would destroy the very ecosystem for which they hope to raise conservation awareness. And corals take hundreds of years to develop into a reef, so the aquarium can't grow its own in-house.

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