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2:07 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

China Pledges Reforms To Labor Camps, But Offers Few Details

Ren Jianyu poses for a photograph at a restaurant in Chongqing, China, on Nov. 19, 2012, after being freed from a labor camp. The village official was sentenced to a "re-education through labor" camp after he criticized the government.
STR Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 6:23 pm

China has indicated that it will stop handing down sentences to its controversial labor camps, which allow detention without trial for up to four years. According to Chinese media, some 160,000 prisoners were held in "re-education centers" at the end of 2008.

Critics of the system greeted the announcement — which was slim on details — with cautious optimism.

Pressure to change the system has been mounting after a number of high-profile cases, including that of Ren Jianyu, who had been a young village official.

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

'Gun Appreciation Day' Is Jan. 19, Conservative Groups Declare

At the Great Southern Gun and Knife Show in Birmingham, Ala., over the weekend, rows of weapons drew a record crowd.
Joe Songer AL.COM /Landov

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 1:45 pm

Saying they're following the example of last year's Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, a coalition of "gun rights" activists announced today that they're calling on like-minded Americans to visit gun stores, gun ranges and gun shows on Jan. 19 in a show of unity they're calling "Gun Appreciation Day."

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The Salt
12:58 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Sandwich Monday: Steak And Kidney Pie

You say Steak & Kidney Pie, I say Gravy Volcano.
NPR

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 1:16 pm

[Note: Peter sends this disgusting dispatch from a family vacation in London.]

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Kilograms With Weight Problems May Get High-Tech Cleanings

Back in 2009, as Morning Edition reported, some scientists were worried that the small metal cylinder used as the world's standard for what a kilogram should be might be losing weight.

But there were also those who thought the problem might have nothing to do with that carefully sealed away cylinder in Paris — that the real problem might be that the 40 replicas sent around the world are gaining weight.

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Europe
12:46 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Berlusconi Plots His Comeback: 'You Italians Need Me'

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (left) has returned to Italy's political scene in advance of next month's election. Also in the race is the current Prime Minister Mario Monti (right). They are shown here in November 2011 as Monti took over for Berlusconi.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 4:19 pm

With elections in Italy just weeks away, polls show leftist parties with a comfortable lead. Yet attention is focused on the battle between the former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, and the current prime minister, Mario Monti, an austere technocrat.

Monti's platform calls for continued austerity, budget cutting and labor reforms.

While Berlusconi and Monti are the two big names in next month's race, the expected winner is the leader of the leftist Democratic Party, Pier Luigi Bersani.

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