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Education
2:29 pm
Sun February 10, 2013

Rise Early And Shine: Teachers And Students Try Out Longer School Days

Students walk in the hallway as they enter the lunch line of the cafeteria at Draper Middle School in Rotterdam, N.Y. Five states announced in December that they will add at least 300 hours of learning time to the calendar in some schools starting in 2013.
Hans Pennink AP

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 3:58 pm

It's 7:30 a.m. on a recent weekday, the sun is still rising and the kids at Pulaski Elementary School in Meriden, Conn., are already dancing.

They are stomping, hopping, clapping and generally "getting the shakies out," as fifth-grader Jaelinne Davis puts it.

"If we're like hyper, if we do this, then we can get better at, like, staying mellow and stuff like that," she says.

By 9 a.m., Jaelinne will be back at her normal school day with its core curriculum that is graded by a state test at the end of the year.

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Author Interviews
2:28 pm
Sun February 10, 2013

Small Objects Reveal 'The Real Jane Austen'

Harper Collins

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 3:58 pm

Flotsam and Jetsam: of such things are stories made. Writers use objects to give their stories weight, attachment and verisimilitude, like Gary Paulsen's The Hatchet; Jean Shepherd's Red Ryder BB Gun inspired A Christmas Story; and how about Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon?

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Politics
9:13 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Eerie Echoes From The First State Of The Union

This print shows George Washington holding a proposed plan for the new capital city of Washington.
Edward Savage Library of Congress

Guns, immigration, support for diplomats abroad, and the nation's financial situation.

These are key issues facing President Obama as he delivers the first State of the Union address of his second term on Tuesday night, Feb. 12.

Surprisingly, these were also key issues facing President George Washington some 223 years ago, when he gave the very first state of the union speech.

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The Two-Way
9:02 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Chinese 'Pingpong Diplomacy' Player Dies

The Chinese table tennis player who was instrumental in the pingpong diplomacy that paved the way for President Nixon's groundbreaking visit to China has died. Zhuang Zedong was 73.

Here's more from the BBC about the 1971 incident that led to pingpong diplomacy:

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Islamists Make Sufi Shrines A Target In North Africa

A woman tries to salvage items from a burnt out Sufi shrine outside the Tunisian capital, Tunis, last October. Hard-line Islamists, known as Salafists, have attacked many Sufi shrines in Tunisia recently.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

When radical Islamists lash out at cultural sites they consider un-Islamic, a frequent target is Sufi Islam shrines.

Islamists in Tunisia have attacked almost 40 Sufi shrines in recent months, Sufi officials told AFP.

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