Parallels
3:43 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

From The Ruins Of A Tsunami, A Rebuilt Aceh Rises Anew

A man rides a motorcycle near houses that were rebuilt in an area in Banda Aceh, the capital of Indonesia's Aceh province, that was devastated by the tsunami that hit on Dec. 26, 2004.
Heri Juanda AP

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 8:09 pm

As survivors of Haiyan — November's super typhoon in the Philippines — slowly put their lives back together, the rest of Asia has been marking the anniversary of another disaster.

Shortly after Christmas nine years ago, a huge tsunami swept across the region, killing at least a quarter of a million people.

Some of the worst damage was in the Indonesian province of Aceh, where whole villages were swept away by a wall of water so powerful it picked up ships and left them several miles inland.

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World Views
1:36 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Attacks In Russia Could Undermine Safety And Security During Olympics

Russian President Vladimir Putin inspects ski jumping slides at one of the sites for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Credit Press and Information Office of the President of Russia / kremlin.ru

The Russian city of Volgograd is still reeling from two suicide bombings this week at the main railway station and on a city trolleybus that killed dozens and wounded scores more.

No claim of responsibility has been made for either attack, but they come a few months after the leader of an Islamic insurgency in Russia's south called for attacks in the run-up to February's Winter Olympics in the resort city of Sochi.

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World Views
10:58 am
Fri January 3, 2014

How Syria’s Civil War Continues To Grow Into A Region-Wide Conflict

A protester shouts slogans as others wave Syrian opposition flags during a demonstration organized by Lebanese and Syrians living in Lebanon, against Assad and to express solidarity with Syria's anti-government protesters - April 2012.
Credit Freedom House / Flickr Creative Commons

Lebanon and Iraq have been hit by a wave of bombings in recent months as the civil war in Syria increasingly spills over into its neighbors, further stoking sectarian tensions that are already running high because of the war next door.

Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and a leading analysts of Syria, says the arrest of a member of Iraq’s parliament for encouraging anti-government demonstrations in Ramadi has enflamed a sense of indignity among Sunnis in the region.

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Math and Science
8:48 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Two Oklahoma Teachers Receive Presidential Math, Science Honor

Credit comedy_nose / Flickr Creative Commons

The 2014 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is being presented to two Oklahoma teachers — including one who died Dec. 5.

Teachers Diane Reece of Bokoshe Elementary and Carol Huett of Kelley Elementary in Moore have been announced as the Oklahoma recipients of the award.

Reece died Dec. 5 after a disease that affects bone marrow and blood cells developed into leukemia.

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Fri January 3, 2014

In Israel, Ariel Sharon's Family Gathers At His Bedside

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001.
Philippe Desmazes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 7:19 am

Doctors in Israel say that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's "already critical medical condition is deteriorating further as key bodily organs continue to decline," The Associated Press writes.

Dr. Zeev Rotstein, director of Tel Hashomer hospital near Tel Aviv, told reporters that members of the 85-year-old Sharon's family are by his bedside, the AP adds.

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Shots - Health News
7:43 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Why Ending Malaria May Be More About Backhoes Than Bed Nets

Yonta, 6, rests with her brother Leakhena, 4 months, under a mosquito bed net in the Pailin province of Cambodia, where deaths from malaria have decreased sharply in the past two decades.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 7:16 am

Wiping out malaria is a top goal for many leaders in global health.

Fewer people are dying now from the mosquito-borne disease than at any other time in history. "And there's a very, very strong belief now that malaria can be eliminated," says Joy Phumaphi, who chairs the African Leaders Malaria Alliance.

But when you look at the overall numbers on malaria, eradication almost seems like a pipe dream.

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Theater
7:26 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Broadway's 'Spider-Man' Musical Turns Off The Lights At Last

Reeve Carney (right) handed off the lead role in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark to successor Justin Matthew Sargent in September 2013. The show closes Jan. 4, and the Smithsonian Institution announced today that it's acquiring Carney's costume.
Rob Kim Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 8:23 am

Regardless of how critics and audiences eventually responded, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was always going to be one of the most-discussed shows in Broadway history. It had songs by U2's Bono and the Edge; it was directed by The Lion King's Julie Taymor; it was based on a hit Marvel franchise; there were going to be flying stunts right over the audience's heads.

And then somehow it all went very wrong, from injured actors to huge cost overruns.

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Architecture
7:25 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Bjarke Ingels: An Architect For A Moment Or An Era?

Ingels stands in the middle of what will become a giant, twisted wedge of an apartment building in New York City.
Dan Bobkoff For NPR

In a business that's often poorly paid and anonymous, 39-year-old Bjarke Ingels has become something rare, especially at his age: a "starchitect" in demand.

Now, the Danish architect, who has museums, apartment buildings and parks around the world, is taking his talents to New York City.

'Cracks In The Asphalt'

Models fill his firm's New York City office, including a design for a public pier in Brooklyn that looks like a sea creature.

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Afraid Her Views Would Be Twisted
6:27 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Barresi Won't Meet With Oklahoma Education Association

Credit OSDE / Flickr.com

State Superintendent Janet Barresi says she has no plans to meet with an Oklahoma association that represents about 35,000 teachers, school staff and retirees.

Oklahoma Education Association President Linda Hampton said Thursday she was surprised to learn Barresi had turned down the group's request to have her speak to their members. In a press release on Wednesday, Barresi said she didn't want to have her views "filtered through the lens of liberal union bosses."

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Energy
5:01 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

A Sharp Rise In Earthquakes Puts Oklahomans On Edge

Chad Devereaux cleans up bricks that fell from his in-laws' home in Sparks, Okla., in November 2011, after two earthquakes hit the area in less than 24 hours.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 6:29 am

For the past three decades, Oklahoma averaged about 50 earthquakes a year. But that number has skyrocketed in the past few years. In 2013 — the state's most seismically active year ever — there were almost 3,000.

The quakes are small, and they're concentrated in the central part of the state, where the Erwins live.

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