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4:10 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

A Close-Up Of Syria's Alawites, Loyalists Of A Troubled Regime

Director Nidal Hassan spent a year filming in Tartous, a Syrian beach town made up mostly of Alawites who still support embattled President Bashar Assad.
Khaled Al-Hariri Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 9:59 pm

The film on Syria's Alawite community isn't finished yet, but filmmaker Nidal Hassan's favorite scenes are beginning to take shape.

It opens with fireworks on New Year's Eve in Tartous, Syria. "May God preserve the president for us," one young man yells in a reference to Syrian leader Bashar Assad.

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Around the Nation
3:55 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Struggling W.Va. Town Hopes Boy Scout Camp Brings New Life

Mount Hope, W.Va., population 1,400, was once a thriving coal town. Today, many of the storefronts in its tiny downtown sit empty.
Noah Adams NPR

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 9:59 pm

Picture a tiny town set along a creek in West Virginia. A mountain rises from the town's eastern edge, overlooking the 1,400 people living below. Then, July comes — and 50,000 people arrive on that mountain for the National Scout Jamboree.

The town is called Mount Hope. I've heard some call it "Mount Hopeless." The town went through the long, downward slump from the boom days of deep-mine coal, when it was a grand, small-town capital of coal mining.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Webster Celebrates College Chess Title, As New Hire Pays Off

Webster University chess coach Susan Polgar, second from left, won two national titles at Texas Tech. When Webster hired Polgar last year, the entire Tech team followed her to St. Louis.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

If there's no such thing as bad publicity, how much is good publicity worth? Webster University wants to find out.

Last year, the university didn't have a chess team. On Sunday, its team took home the national college championship, the President's Cup, after winning what is often called the "Final Four" of chess.

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The Two-Way
3:32 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

After Tumultuous Three Years, Seattle Police Chief John Diaz Will Step Down

Seattle Police Chief John Diaz in 2009.
Ted S. Warren AP

With his department under the watch of the federal government, Seattle Police Chief John Diaz announced today he was stepping down.

The Seattle Times reports:

"Diaz, who has been with the Seattle Police Department for more than 30 years, didn't say why he decided to retire now.

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It's All Politics
3:04 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Searching For The Sequester In The Middle Of Ohio

In Columbus, Ohio, signs of the sequester were hard to find.
Kiichiro Sato AP

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 9:59 pm

It's been a little more than a month since the start of the sequester — the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that kicked in because Congress couldn't agree on something better.

Before it hit, there were dire and at times very specific predictions of job losses, furloughs and program cuts — many of them from the Obama administration.

Of course, it's still early. Everything you hear today about the effects of the sequester could and probably will change over the coming weeks and months.

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