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Afghanistan
5:09 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Disarming Afghan IEDs: Big Job, Too Few Trained

A student takes part in an exercise to disarm IEDs in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 10:58 am

Improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, remain one of the biggest killers in Afghanistan. As NATO forces prepare to withdraw from the country, Afghans are learning the special skills needed to find and disarm these deadly weapons.

The training area near the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif is a large expanse of dirt and gravel, dotted with a few beat-up old taxis and scattered bunkers.

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Election 2012
4:59 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Does Sen. Thune Have The Right Stuff For Romney?

Mitt Romney gets a kick out of South Dakota Sen. John Thune's comments during a January rally in Dubuque, Iowa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 10:47 am

Mike Lee is one of the most conservative members of the Senate. The freshman Utah Republican was elected with strong Tea Party backing and, like Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, he's a man of the West.

Mention the possibility that Thune, 51, might team up with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and Lee's eyes light up: "I love John," he says. "He's articulate, passionate, collegial. I mean ... I think he'd be great."

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Americandy: Sweet Land Of Liberty
4:59 am
Sun July 29, 2012

In New Mexico, A Brittle Treat That Smolders

Nut brittles from the Las Cruces Candy Company are studded with pecans, pistachios and almonds, and infused with New Mexico's signature chili peppers — both green and red.
Melisa Goh NPR

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 10:20 am

New Mexicans can get a little carried away with their chile peppers. There's chile beer, chile pizza, chile ice cream — you can find the smoldering flavors of chile peppers in just about anything.

And then there's chile brittle. Luis Flores, owner of chili brittle purveyor Las Cruces Candy Company, beats the summer heat by getting up at 3 a.m. to prepare his specialties.

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Europe
4:58 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Spain's Crisis Pushes Educated Into 'Economic Exile'

Government employees demonstrate against the Spanish government's austerity measures in Madrid, on Friday. The economic situation has forced some Spaniards to leave the country for work.
Pierre-Philippe Marcou AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 8:48 pm

In Spain, the growing crisis — debt, austerity and joblessness — has prompted more people to vote with their feet. In the first six months of 2012, emigration from Spain is up more than 44 percent from the same period last year.

The Spanish government denies it, but the "brain drain" has become something of a flood with more and more educated, skilled Spaniards moving abroad.

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Politics
4:57 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Forget The Debt Ceiling? The 'Avalanche' Is Coming

If Congress doesn't make a deal before January, massive spending cuts will go into effect automatically in 2013.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 1:21 pm

In August, lawmakers will be heading home to their districts for the month's recess. Last summer, things weren't quite so calm.

A year ago at this time, Congress was in a nasty and protracted battle over whether to raise the debt ceiling. If they didn't make a decision, the government was going to go into default. It's a fight that cost Congress its already waning public support, and cost American taxpayers $1.3 billion.

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