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President Obama's time in office has not been defined by terrorism as President George W. Bush's was. Yet incidents like the one in Boston have been a regular, painful through line of his presidency.

When a new administration walks into the White House, nobody provides a handbook on how to respond to a terrorist attack. So the Obama administration has been on a steady learning curve.

Scientists have digitized and analyzed imagery taken by one of the first U.S. weather satellites to create a montage showing the extent of polar sea ice in 1964 so they can compare it to more recent satellite photos.

Black and Latino homebuyers pay more for housing than whites and Asians, according to a study released this week by Duke University. The price difference is about 3.5 percent.

That may not sound like a lot. But Patrick Bayer, a Duke economics professor who led the study, says when you do the math, that percentage can translate to about $5,000 or $10,000 per housing sale.

(Andy Carvin, NPR's senior strategist for social media, sends us this dispatch about a Twitter account that may hold clues in understanding the surviving Boston bombing suspect.)

With all the other news demanding our attention in the past week, we missed an interesting dispatch from Nevada: Just as the state Senate began moving toward repealing a ban on same-sex marriage, a state senator surprised his colleagues with an announcement.

Surviving Tragedy: The Various Paths Beyond

Apr 24, 2013

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When Conscience Conflicts With Constituents

Apr 24, 2013

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This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Sanford trails in South Carolina, the Democrats get it on in Massachusetts, and the lady from Maine scoffs at sequestration. It's Wednesday and time for a...

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS: Manufactured crisis...

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David Sedaris writes personal stories, funny tales about his life growing up in a Greek family outside of Raleigh, N.C., about working as an elf in Santa's workshop at Christmastime, and about living abroad with his longtime partner, Hugh.

Now that it's spring, maybe you've decided it's time to clean out the medicine cabinet. Maybe you'd rather your teenagers not be tempted by those dusty bottles of Vicodin or other forgotten prescription drugs.

But we're told not to flush medications down the toilet because the drugs can taint rivers and lakes. Traces can also get into drinking water.

You think you're so smart. You think it's easy being the president of the United States. OK, pal — here's your chance.

One of the attractions of the new George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas — scheduled to be dedicated on Thursday — is Decision Points Theater, an interactive experience. The venue allows visitors to participate in a simplified simulation of the presidential decision-making process.

Spring in the Golan Heights is beautiful. The hills are light yellow-green. The scrawny arms of young cherry trees are covered with small blossoms almost all the way back to their thin trunks.

Apples, from last season, are ridiculously cheap and starting to soften, but if you put your nose close to a bagful and inhale you'll breathe their fragrance. The views are uncluttered by desert dust.

Equilateral is a weird little novel, but any reader familiar with Ken Kalfus expects his writing to go off-road. Kalfus wrote one of the best and certainly the least sentimental novels about New York City post-9/11. I loved A Disorder Peculiar to the Country, but I stopped assigning it to students in my New York lit class because they were usually turned off by its black humor and lack of uplift. Equilateral doesn't run that same risk of being in bad taste as social commentary because, at first, it doesn't seem to have anything to do with current events.

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Help Wanted, But Only Part Time

Apr 24, 2013

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This may not surprise fans of HBO's The Wire:

China says Japan's decision to participate in joint military exercises with the United States will not dampen its resolve to defend its claim to a disputed island chain that has been a recurring source of tension between the Asian neighbors.

In reference to the joint drills, planned for June, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said "foreign pressure" cannot sway China from protecting its territorial sovereignty in the East China Sea.

More than 85 people are dead and scores injured in Bangladesh after the collapse of an eight-story building on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka.

The building, called Rana Plaza, housed several garment factories in the town of Savar. A firefighter at the scene told Reuters that about 2,000 people were inside when the upper floors jolted down on top of each other Wednesday.

Update at 10:50 a.m. ET: Boeing to resume deliveries of 787s

Boeing, which had delivered about 50 of its new passenger aircraft before battery failures in January grounded the plane, says it will resume deliveries to airline customers in early May, The Associated Press reports.

Rectify, a new drama series from the Sundance Channel, wants to stand out from the pack — and it certainly succeeds at that. It's a six-hour limited series, more along the British model of TV than ours here in the States. If these first six installments catch on enough, the story will continue. If not, that's it.

And Rectify is so unusual a show, with its own deliberate pace and premise and approach, that it may not build enough viewership to keep going. But that doesn't mean it's not a worthwhile show, or a memorable one — because it is.

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