Middle East
11:21 am
Sun October 14, 2012

A Defection Hints At Cracks Among Syria's Alawites

In a new YouTube video, a Syrian colonel defects from the army, denounces President Bashar Assad and publicly joins the rebels of the Free Syrian Army.

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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Sun October 14, 2012

Syrian Forces Using Cluster Bombs, Rights Group Says

Syrians deliver an injured civilian to a hospital in the northern city of Aleppo on Saturday, following shelling by government forces.
Tauseef Mustafa AFP/Getty Images

The Syrian government indiscriminately used cluster bombs in last week's attacks on civilian areas, according to a Human Rights Watch report released Sunday.

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Election 2012
5:45 am
Sun October 14, 2012

Strict Private School Prepped Romney To 'Aim High'

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lived in Stevens Hall while he was attending Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 1:14 pm

From now until November, President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. In this installment of NPR's "Parallel Lives" series, a look at Romney's time at Cranbrook, an all-boys prep school in Michigan.

Cranbrook has been coed since the mid-1980s, its overall diversity is quite evident and the dress code is casual. None of that was true when Mitt Romney, class of 1965, was a student there.

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Science
5:45 am
Sun October 14, 2012

A Human-Powered Helicopter: Straight Up Difficult

Kyle Glusenkamp pilots Gamera, a human-powered helicopter.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:00 am

"I grew up wanting to fly," says Graham Bowen-Davies. "I guess I just settled for being an engineer."

He's standing on an indoor track in southern Maryland, watching a giant helicopter take flight. At the end of each of its four spindly arms — arms he helped design and build — a giant rotor churns the air. In the cockpit sits the engine: a 0.7-horsepower, 135-pound graduate student named Kyle Gluesenkamp.

Gluesenkamp is pedaling like crazy to keep the rotors spinning and the craft aloft.

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Sports
5:15 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

A Shifting Playing Field: Coming Out As A Gay Athlete

Boxer Orlando Cruz hits a speed bag at a public gym in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 4. He said publicly that he is gay earlier this month.
Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo AP

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 10:07 am

These days, we're more likely to see professional athletes on products than protest lines. But it wasn't always this way. In the 1960s, sports stars were often as famous for what they believed as for their home runs.

Back then, many athletes spoke out about civil rights. Muhammad Ali was stripped of his heavyweight title and threatened with imprisonment for refusing to fight in Vietnam, on the grounds of racial discrimination.

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