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Parallels
1:33 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

As The Clock Ticks, U.S. Forces Scale Back Afghan Goals

The gray line in the upper left comes from an aerial view of Afghanistan's crucial Highway 1, the main route between Kabul and Kandahar, the two biggest cities. U.S. forces are still working to secure the route which runs through lush farm valleys and the high desert terrain.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:15 pm

As the American military winds down its efforts in Afghanistan, grand plans for nation building are giving way to limited, practical steps: building up the Afghan forces and denying the Taliban key terrain, especially the approaches to Kabul.

About an hour south of the capital Kabul, one Green Beret team returned to a village where American forces had pulled out.

Lt. Col. Brad Moses, who was in the Sayed Abad district four years ago, wandered around the government center and expressed disappointment at the scene.

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Shots - Health News
12:56 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Immigrants Subsidize, Rather Than Drain, Medicare

Patients wait in line at Nuestra Clinica Del Valle in San Juan, Texas, in September 2012 file photo. A study released on Wednesday finds that immigrants, particularly noncitizens, heavily subsidize Medicare, and that policies that restrict immigration may deplete Medicare's financial resources.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 8:42 am

As Congress mulls changing America's border and naturalization rules, a study finds that immigrant workers are helping buttress Medicare's finances.

Immigrants contribute tens of billions of dollars a year more than immigrant retirees use in medical services.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Texas Man To Serve 25 Years In Plot To Kill Saudi Ambassador

A 2001 photo shows Manssor Arbab Arbabsiar in a mug shot. Arbabsiar has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for plotting to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 1:58 pm

Manssor Arbabsiar, a naturalized U.S. citizen who has lived in Texas for three decades, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for conspiring to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States.

Last October, Arbabsiar pleaded guilty to plotting to kill the ambassador. He also admitted to working with Iranian military officials on the plan.

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Another Letter Sent To The President Being Tested For Ricin

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:40 pm

A letter mailed to President Obama that is similar in some way to two possibly ricin-laced letters sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was intercepted Thursday at a mail-handling facility, the Secret Service and other law enforcement authorities confirm.

Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary says in an email to NPR that:

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Smelted In Space? Ancient Iron Beads Linked To Meteorite

The metal in an Egyptian iron bead dating from around 3,300 BC has been found to have originated from space, according to analysis. Here, the bead is seen in (clockwise from top left) a photograph, a CT cross-section view, a model of nickel oxides, and a model in which blue areas represent the rich presence of nickel inside the bead.
The Open University/University of Manchester

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 12:25 pm

Since it was found in 1911, an Egyptian iron bead has sparked wonder and debate over how it was produced — made around 3,300 BC, it predates the region's first known iron smelting by thousands of years. Now, researchers say the iron was made in space and delivered to Earth via meteorite.

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