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Politics
3:00 am
Sat November 19, 2011

With Defense Budget Cuts Come Challenging Costs

The congressional supercommittee has only a few days left to come up with a plan to cut $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit. One of the areas on the chopping block is the nation's defense budget, and Pentagon officials are pushing back against any cuts beyond the $450 billion they've already been asked to make.

The defense budget is an easy target when it comes to cutting the deficit, because it makes up half of the federal government's entire discretionary budget, says Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

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Author Interviews
12:57 am
Sat November 19, 2011

Speak, Memory: 'An Ending' That Uncovers The Past

The Sense of an Ending, winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize, might be — paradoxically — Julian Barnes' slenderest and most emotionally forthcoming book to date. In his previous novels and short stories, emotion has been stifled, concealed or tucked behind technical devices (as in Flaubert's Parrot). In this latest book, feeling is laid bare and imbued into Barnes' longstanding intellectual preoccupations with authorship, authenticity and mortality.

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Politics
10:40 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Foreign Policy Funding A Top Candidate For Cuts

Workers take a break in front of the cooling towers of a coal-fired power plant in Dadong, Shanxi province, China. At a House hearing on Tuesday, Nisha Biswal defended USAID's programs in China, saying the money goes to efforts that include reducing harmful emissions from the country's power plants.
Andy Wong AP

Should the United States give aid to China? Given America's trade imbalance with China, few politicians think it's a good idea.

That's why a hearing over $4 million that the U.S. Agency for International Development intends to spend on environmental programs in China drew such heat on Capitol Hill this week.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers lined up at a House hearing on Tuesday to denounce the program as "an insult to the American taxpayer" that would pour "U.S. taxpayer dollars down the toilet."

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The Two-Way
4:43 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Cool Photo: Scientists Present 'Lightest Material On Earth'

Researchers created a "micro-lattice" structure of interconnected hollow tubes with a wall thickness of 100 nanometers, 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.
Dan Little HRL Laboratories

We were stunned when we saw this image:

According to HRL Laboratories that is an "ultralight metallic microlattice" sitting atop a dandelion. The material was developed by scientists at HRL, The California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Irvine.

The material is 99.99 percent air and 100 times lighter than styrofoam.

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Music Interviews
4:26 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Peggy Sue: Mining The Dark And The Discordant

Peggy Sue's new album is Acrobats.
Patrick Ford

There's no Peggy Sue — or even a Margaret or a Susan, for that matter — in the British folk-rock band Peggy Sue. There is, however, a hard-driving group that has just released its second album, Acrobats. Peggy Sue is the trio of singers and guitarists Rosa Slade and Katy Young, and drummer Olly Joyce.

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