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Africa
3:36 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Outmanned And Outgunned, Libya Struggles To Fix Its Broken Army

Soldiers march during a graduation ceremony for recruits of the Libyan army in Tripoli, the capital, on Jan. 16. The military, gutted by years under Moammar Gadhafi and by NATO attacks, faces multiple challenges as it tries to rebuild.
Ismail Zitouny Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 11:34 am

In Libya, disputes are settled by guns.

On a recent day, just west of Tripoli, the Libyan capital, gunfire erupts, a battle between two families. It builds for hours; people run for cover. No one intervenes — even though a Libyan army base is just a mile away.

Inside that military camp in a town called Zawiya are 230 young men from across the North African nation, part of the government effort to address the country's most glaring problem: an almost nonexistent security force.

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Around the Nation
3:35 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Push To Change Custody Laws: What's Best For Kids?

Children do better — in school and emotionally — when they have enough time with both parents, according to a fathers' rights group pushing for joint-custody laws.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 11:43 am

Fathers today spend more time than ever with their kids, experiencing just as much stress as women in balancing work and family, if not more. But when couples divorce and a custody dispute hits the courts, too many judges award custody to Mom, according to fathers' rights groups.

Ned Holstein, head of the National Parents Organization, formerly called Fathers and Families, says research shows that children do better academically and emotionally when they see a lot of each parent.

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Religion
3:35 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Ardent Atheists Spread Their Reverence For Disbelief

The San Diego Coalition of Reason opened this booth in Balboa Park to support the atheist community and to evangelize nonbelief to religious people.
Claire Trageser NPR

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 11:20 am

Stroll through the plaza of Balboa Park in San Diego, and you'll pass religious groups spreading their beliefs and looking for converts.

But you'll also see a table draped with a large banner that reads, "Relax, Hell Does Not Exist." Approach, and you'll hear evangelical atheist Rob Hudson engaged in religious arguments.

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The Two-Way
9:44 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Solitary Confinement Costs $78K Per Inmate And Should Be Curbed, Critics Say

The U.S. holds more prisoners in solitary confinement than any other democratic country, according to critics of the treatment. Here, an immigrant detainee makes a call from his "segregation cell" at a detention facility in Adelanto, Calif., last November.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 7:43 am

Former prisoners spoke about the effects of solitary confinement Tuesday, in a congressional hearing aimed at banning the treatment for some inmates. The federal push to reduce solitary confinement is being led by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who calls it "a human rights issue we can't ignore."

Inmates who are held in solitary confinement spend 23 hours a day in small windowless cells, receiving their food on trays that are pushed through a slot in the cell's door.

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Book Reviews
8:29 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Comedian Ages With Humor — And Effort

Courtesy of Blue Rider Press

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 10:28 am

What is it about comedians itching to get between the covers — book covers, that is? Annabelle Gurwitch's I See You Made An Effort, a seriously funny collection of essays about teetering over the edge of 50, makes it clear that the draw isn't strictly literary. To tweak Peter Steiner's classic New Yorker cartoon: On the page, nobody knows how old you are.

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