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1:41 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Israeli Election Rekindles Debate Over Military Service

Ultra-Orthodox Jews are not required to perform military service in Israel, and the issue is subject to intense debate following the country's election last week. Here, ultra-Orthodox men sign up for alternate civilian service earlier this month.
Baz Ratner Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 11:51 am

The rise of a new Israeli political party after last week's elections has set the stage for renewed conflict over the country's military draft.

That new party, Yesh Atid, or "There is a Future," campaigned on a promise to draft thousands of ultra-Orthodox students who are currently exempt from military service.

And with the number of ultra-Orthodox students in Israel on the rise given the community's high birth rates, this longstanding debate has become a critical post-election issue.

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Around the Nation
1:41 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Boy Scouts' Repeal Of Gay Ban Mirrors Its Approach To Racial Integration

The Supreme Court upheld the Boy Scouts' right to discriminate in 2000, but the issue roiled for years after. Scott Cozza (right) leads a protest outside the National Council Conference of the Boy Scouts of America in Philadelphia in 2003.
Mark Stehle AP

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 6:10 pm

As Boy Scouts of America mull over whether to allow gay members to openly join, their approach might mirror the leave-it-to-the-locals tack the organization once took in deciding how to tackle the issue of desegregating its Scout troops.

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It's All Politics
1:40 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Lifting Boy Scout Ban On Gays: One Legal Perspective

A statue of a Boy Scout stands in front of the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas.
LM Otero AP

The Boy Scouts of America as early as next week may drop its ban against openly gay members and leaders, just a dozen years after it successfully took its fight to maintain the policy all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

It would mark a seismic shift for the organization, which counts more than 3.3 million youth members who participate in troops largely sponsored by civic and church groups.

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Politics
1:03 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Immigration, Gun Legislation And The Shakeup In Iowa

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 1:27 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. An African-American governor appoints an African-American senator; immigration moves to the front burner, and Bobby Jindal scolds the GOP. It's Wednesday and time for a...

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL: The stupid party...

CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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Asia
1:03 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

The Role For The U.S. In The East China Sea Dispute

The Senkaku Islands, as they are called in Japan, sit in a strategic location between Okinawa and Taiwan.
Matt Stiles/NPR

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 2:57 pm

The dispute between Japan and China over small islands in the East China Sea is escalating. The two nations first dispatched unarmed vessels to stake their claims, then patrol boats, and then, unarmed aircraft.

Most recently, both countries sent fighter jets to the islands — known as the Senkaku in Japan, and the Diaoyu in China. The islands are uninhabited, but sit in a strategic location between Japan and Taiwan.

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