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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

Smithsonian Names Its New Panda Cub 'Bao Bao'

Bao Bao, the Smithsonian's giant panda cub, on Nov. 29.
Abby Wood Smithsonian Institution

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 2:38 pm

The 100-day-old female panda cub at the National Zoo in Washington, now has a name: Bao Bao (宝宝) — meaning precious or treasure — was the most popular of the five names put up for a popular vote by Zoo.

The name was announced during a ceremony at the Zoo on Sunday afternoon.

Cui Tiankai, ambassador of the People's Republic of China, wrote the name in calligraphy on scrolls, which were unfurled at the ceremony.

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The Two-Way
12:03 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

In Shocking Upset, Auburn Beats Alabama With A Historic Play

Auburn fans react at the end of a win over Alabama during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday.
Jay Sailors AP
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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Sun December 1, 2013

HealthCare.gov Is Now Working Smoothly, White House Says

The HealthCare.gov website.
Jon Elswick ap

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 11:07 am

White House officials say the government's health insurance website, which has been plagued with problems ever since it launched in October, is now working smoothly for most users.

"The site is now stable and operating at its intended capacity with greatly improved performance," Jeffrey Zients, the president's appointee to fix the site, said during a telephone conference with reporters on Sunday. The bottom line, said Zients, is that Healthcare.gov is "night and day" from what it was at launch.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Commuter Train Derails In The Bronx Killing 4

First responders gather around the derailment of a Metro North passenger train in the Bronx borough of New York on Sunday.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 3:51 am

(This post was last updated at 5:02 p.m. ET.)

A Metro-North commuter train derailed on Sunday in the Bronx borough of New York City, killing four passengers, and injuring 63.

WABC-TV in New York reports the train derailed at about 7:20 a.m., while navigating a curve just outside the Spuyten Duyvil station.

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Middle East
8:13 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Palestinian Refugees On Losing Side Of UN Budget Crunch

Palestinian refugee Lawahez Burghal stuffs tripe with rice and garbanzo beans for her family in their home in the Amari refugee camp in the West Bank. Many refugees still depend on the United Nations for food, health care and education.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 8:17 am

The United Nations agency that provides basic health care and education to Palestinian refugees doesn't have enough money to pay local salaries this month.

The shortfall could directly affect 30,000 teachers, doctors and social workers, as well as the people using their services in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the Palestinian territories.

Filling Basic Needs

Sit for an hour in the United Nations Relief and Works Agency office in the al-Amari camp for Palestinian refugees, and you get a sense of what people expect the agency to provide.

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Paul Walker, Star Of 'Fast and Furious,' Dies In Car Crash

Actor Paul Walker attends the World Premiere of 'Fast & Furious 6' in London, England.
Tim P. Whitby Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 5:43 pm

Paul Walker, the star of the stunningly successful The Fast and the Furious film franchise, was killed in a car accident on Saturday, the actor's representative told the AP.

On Walker's Facebook page, his team explained that he was a passenger in a friend's car and that he was in Valencia, Calif. attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide.

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Parallels
5:24 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Five Things You May Not Know About Child Marriage

Arinafe Makwiti, 13, says her parents forced her to drop out of school and get married to an older man last year to help with the family finances. Makwiti has divorced her husband, but now has a 9-month-old daughter.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 10:40 am

NPR's Jennifer Ludden recently traveled to the African nation of Malawi, one of many countries in the developing world where child marriage remains prevalent. She found girls like Christina Asima, who was married at 12 and became a mother at 13. She is now divorced and caring for her infant son on her own. You can read Jennifer's full report here. Below are a few more things she learned while reporting on child marriage.

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Animals
5:21 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Saving The Native Prairie — One Black-Footed Ferret At A Time

Biologist Travis Livieri checks a briefly sedated ferret's health status inside an improvised trailer clinic.
Elizabeth Shogren NPR

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 2:25 pm

American pioneers saw the endless stretches of grassland of the Great Plains as a place to produce grain and beef for a growing country. But one casualty was the native prairie ecosystem and animals that thrived only there.

Some biologists are trying to save the prairies and they've picked a hero to help them: the black-footed ferret. In trying to save this long skinny predator with a raccoon-like mask, the biologists believe they have a chance to right a wrong that nearly wiped a species off the planet.

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Parallels
2:40 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Restoring The Mausoleum That Helped Inspire The Taj Mahal

Elaborate scaffolding was erected to complete the work on the exterior of Humayun's Tomb.
Courtesy of the AKTC

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 2:25 pm

Think Taj Mahal and then try to imagine what came before it. What was the inspiration for that masterpiece?

Archaeologists and architects say a 16th century tomb tucked in the southeast corner of Delhi presaged the jewel of Muslim art in India.

The recent restoration of the mausoleum built to memorialize the Muslim emperor Humayun has created a sensation in the city, drawing sightseers, schoolchildren and history buffs to the site that is now a showcase for India's architectural patrimony.

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Around the Nation
12:52 am
Sun December 1, 2013

'Fast & Furious' Star Dies In Car Crash

Actor Paul Walker in March.
Joel Ryan AP

Paul Walker, the star of the "Fast & Furious" movie series, died Saturday in a car crash that killed one other person north of Los Angeles, his publicist said. He was 40.

Walker died Saturday afternoon, Ame Van Iden told the Associated Press.

A statement on the actor's Facebook page said he was a passenger in a friend's car, and that Walker was in the area to attend a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide.

"We ... are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news," the statement said.

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