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It's All Politics
12:07 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Arizona Democrat Kirkpatrick Making Capitol Hill Comeback

Rep.-elect Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., enters a room full of supporters on Election Day, Nov. 6, in Flagstaff, Ariz.
Ralph Freso AP

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 6:55 pm

She won. She lost. She won again.

Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick will represent Arizona's 1st Congressional District when she returns to Washington this week after sitting out a term. This time around, Kirkpatrick hopes to strengthen her foothold in a swing district, but she's dealing with a tricky electorate.

First elected to the House in 2008, Kirkpatrick turned a red district blue. Then in 2010, the backlash against President Obama and his health care plan hurt her. So, a Republican dentist from Flagstaff took her seat for a term.

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The Salt
12:00 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Why We Toast: Uncorking A New Year's Tradition

A happy-looking 1930s couple toasts.
Fox Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 12:42 pm

The act of toasting feels natural: You lift your arms in affirmation and drink in honor of an occasion or a loved one.

It's what millions will do this week as they ring in the New Year, but why? Like shaking hands or saluting, toasting is a habit with incredibly foggy beginnings, so we here at The Salt decided to dig into it, for the sake of science.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Mon December 31, 2012

China Kicks Out 'New York Times' Reporter

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 12:56 pm

China has effectively expelled a reporter working for The New York Times by refusing to extend his media credentials, the newspaper said Monday.

The reporter, Chris Buckley, has been forced to leave China, New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson said in a statement.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:26 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Another Year And I'm Still Here: A New Year's Meditation

Rogier Wieland Vimeo

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 11:17 am

Updated Jan. 1, 2013: I've added a postscript to this post. You can find it at the bottom of this page.

Look at yourself. Right now.

You are muscle,skin, bone, brain, blood, warmed by energy, and all of you, every cell, even the subsets of those cells, all trillions and trillions of them, are going to tire, waste and depart. In 10 years almost every bit of you will have been replaced by new bits.

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Books
11:16 am
Mon December 31, 2012

A Child Of The Slums Becomes A "Queen" Of Chess

Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 1:22 pm

Phiona Mutesi is a teenager living in Katwe, the biggest and possibly toughest slum in Uganda's capital city. She's also a rising star in competitive chess.

Her story is told in the book The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess and One Extraordinary Girl's Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster.

But when she first started the game, Mutesi wasn't hungry for glory; she was just hungry. A local chapter of a Christian charity hosted a chess program, and it lured Mutesi, her brother and other children with the promise of a meal.

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