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3:14 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

For Chinese Dissidents, Exile Can Mean Irrelevancy

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng and his wife, Yuan Weijing, arrive at an apartment complex in New York on Saturday. A number of Chinese activists have become far less prominent after leaving their homeland, but Chen hopes to continue his work and remain relevant in China.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 7:21 pm

U.S. diplomats were relieved this weekend when China allowed a prominent dissident, Chen Guangcheng, to fly to New York with his family.

China, too, is presumably happy that Chen is no longer in the country doing his advocacy work. Chinese exiles tend to fade into obscurity when they leave the country, and Beijing might be counting on that to happen with Chen.

But social media may be changing this equation.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:13 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Katie Beckett Defied The Odds, Helped Other Disabled Kids Live Longer

Katie Beckett fits herself with a vibrating vest that helps clear mucous from her lungs. A nurse comes over to her apartment in Cedar Rapids to help her do this twice a day. On the wall to the right are pictures of Katie as a child with Ronald Reagan. This story starts twenty-nine years ago with an angry President Ronald Reagan. <> We just recently received word of a little girl who has spent most of her life in a hospital. <> The little girl in the hospital was three-year-old Katie Beckett. Because of a brain infection, she needed to be hooked to a ventilator at night to breathe. Her parents wanted her home. Her doctors said she'd be better off at home. And it'd be cheaper, too: Just one-sixth the cost.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:46 am

A few years ago, I asked a 13-year-old girl who was receiving care for cystic fibrosis on a Medicaid program known as the "Katie Beckett waiver" if she knew who Katie Beckett was. "Probably some kind of doctor," the girl said.

It was a logical guess. But Beckett was another child with a significant disability, and she changed health care policy for hundreds of thousands of other children with complex medical needs. On Friday, Beckett, at age 34, died in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, of complications from her disability.

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The Salt
3:12 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Hail The Conquering Chicken! A Story Of Dinner Plate Domination

Timothy Archibald Courtesy Smithsonian magazine

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 11:23 am

Why did the chicken cross the road? That's just about the only bit of chicken-related trivia not answered by the cover story in Smithsonian magazine's new food issue this month.

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Music
2:58 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Idina Menzel: From Broadway To The Symphony

Idina Menzel, the Tony Award-winning actress and singer, is known for her roles in Rent and Wicked.
Robin Wong Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 4:30 pm

Idina Menzel is touring the nation, performing "No Day But Today," her signature song from the musical Rent. That show made Menzel, playing the flirtatious performance artist Maureen Johnson, famous in the late-1990s. She followed with her Tony Award-winning role as the green-faced Wicked Witch of the West in the musical Wicked. More recently, she's had a recurring spot on the TV show Glee.

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It's All Politics
2:54 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Booker, Bain, Romney & Obama: Ad Wars Go Full Circle And Then Some

Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J.
Bennett Raglin Getty Images for Macy's

This is a classic chain of events that never seems to go out of style in an election year.

First one of the presidential campaigns put out videos that it says are informational but critics say are attack ads. This time, it's President Obama's team and the target is Republican rival Mitt Romney. The point of the spots, such as this one, is to make the case that when Romney ran Bain Capital, some of the companies the investment firm took over ended up shedding jobs rather than creating them.

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