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U.S.
2:26 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Senate Passes Plan To Keep Post Offices Running

Hikers arrive at the post office in Caratunk, Maine, in 2011. Some of the rural post offices the U.S. Postal Service may close are relied on by Appalachian Trail hikers for supply drops on their trip from Georgia to Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 6:28 pm

The U.S. Postal Service is so much a part of this country, it's in the Constitution. And yet with so much written communication now delivered via email, text messages and the Internet, the Postal Service is steadily losing business and operating in the red.

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Music Reviews
2:24 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

The Sound Man Behind The Soul Of The Nation's Capital

Eccentric Soul: A Red Black Green Production (the cover detail of the album is above) revisits the influence of producer Robert Williams on the 1970s soul scene in Washington, D.C.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 8:07 pm

Most people wouldn't think of Washington, D.C., as one of R&B's great cities. Despite the fact that soul music greats Marvin Gaye and Roberta Flack grew up in D.C. neighborhoods, the city never had the equivalent of Detroit's Berry Gordy and Motown, or Memphis' Willie Mitchell and Hi Records. But in the early 1970s, D.C. did have producer Robert Williams and his Red, Black and Green Productions. A new compilation album called Eccentric Soul: A Red Black Green Production revisits Williams' influence on the sound of R&B in D.C.

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Business
2:14 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

The Wal-Mart Dilemma: When Is A Payment A Bribe?

A shopper examines produce at a Wal-Mart store in Mexico City. Wal-Mart's expansion into Mexico has been a major success, but its business practices have raised new questions.
Daniel Aguilar Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 8:10 am

Allegations that Wal-Mart officials in Mexico paid local authorities to speed up permits to build new stores could result in a trial and a huge financial penalty under a U.S. anti-corruption law. But legal experts who spoke to NPR have their doubts it will ever come to that.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:04 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Doctor Pay: Where The Specialists Are All Above Average

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 2:42 pm

Making a living practicing medicine is more complicated and frustrating than ever. But it still pays. And pretty well.

A survey of more than 24,000 doctors conducted online for Medscape, a doctor-oriented information service of WebMD, finds that their average annual pay ranges from $156,000 for pediatricians, the lowest-paid specialty, to $315,000 for the top earners.

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Africa
1:32 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Charles Taylor Faces Verdict From Brutal African War

Members of a civil war amputee soccer team practice on a beach in Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital, in April 2006. Rebel groups, allegedly aided by former Liberian President Charles Taylor during Sierra Leone's brutal 1991-2002 civil war, were known for their gruesome practice of hacking off limbs.
Issouf Sanogo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 11:12 am

A court in the Netherlands is set to deliver a verdict Thursday in a case involving a former head of state charged with international war crimes.

Charles Taylor, former president of Liberia, is on trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague, Netherlands. He is charged with 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity — including murder, rape, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers — in neighboring Sierra Leone.

Tens of thousands died during Sierra Leone's vicious civil war, one that was infamous for the brutal hacking off of limbs.

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