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Religion
3:56 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Snake-Handling Preachers Open Up About 'Takin' Up Serpents'

Andrew Hamblin preaches while holding a snake above his head, LaFollette, Tenn.
Ciaran Flannery NGT

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:35 pm

Snake handlers dwell at the edge of the spiritual frontier — a community of people who are willing to die for their faith three times a week in church. Members of the Pentecostal Holiness Church take up venomous serpents to prove their faith in God. The practice is still widespread in Appalachia, though mostly hidden.

Pastor Jamie Coots warns about the scent in the snake room behind his house in Middlesboro, Ky.

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Google Vs. Facebook: A Map Of Global Conquest

Google is red; Facebook blue.
Mark Graham/Stefano De Sabbata Internet Geographies at the Oxford Internet Institute

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 5:14 pm

The U.K.'s Oxford Internet Institute has put together an interesting illustration of the most popular websites around the world. Not surprising, Google and Facebook dominate the globe.

We're not quite sure what the data mean, if anything, but you can be the judge.

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The Government Shutdown
3:51 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

The 'Faux Friday' Jobs Report: What Economists Can Guesstimate

Even without official Labor Department data, economists estimated jobs grew moderately last month.
Andrey Popov iStockphoto.com

Thanks to the federal government's partial shutdown, the Bureau of Labor Statistics skipped its monthly Big Reveal at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

There was no September employment report.

Without access to the BLS numbers, data junkies were left to scrounge around for lesser reports. Maybe if they could suck in enough small hits of other statistics, they could feel that old familiar rush?

Nope. Nothing can replace that BLS high.

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It's All Politics
3:23 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Obama's Lunch: Sandwich With A Side Of Shutdown Messaging

President Obama and Vice President Biden at Taylor Gourmet sandwich shop near the White House on Friday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:59 pm

Before President Obama canceled his Asia trip, some of us wondered how he could possibly leave the U.S., especially for the exotic resort island of Bali, during the federal government shutdown.

Forget the logistical complications caused by having so many staffers unable to work the trip. What about the optics of having the president at a lush tourist destination while hundreds of thousands of government workers were furloughed and worried about missing paychecks?

Obama solved that potential problem by canceling his overseas trip, which would have started Saturday evening.

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Shots - Health News
3:19 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

The Last Word On Hormone Therapy From the Women's Health Initiative

Once hailed as a feminine fountain of youth, then vilified, hormone replacement therapy may finally be finding its place as a short-term treatment for menopause symptoms.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 6:37 pm

Back in 2002, a research study blew apart the widely held belief that hormone replacement therapy protected women from heart disease and other chronic ills.

Instead, the Women's Health Initiative study found that taking estrogen plus progestin hormone replacement therapy — HRT — actually increased a woman's risk of heart disease and breast cancer.

The study had a huge effect: Within months the number of women using HRT dropped by almost half.

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The Salt
2:40 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Of Goats And Gardens: Making Sense Of Urban Agriculture In LA

A garden in Santa Monica, Calif.
Courtesy of Cultivate LA

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 9:12 am

Until recently, if you wanted to find out the rules for raising goats in Hollywood, bees in Bel Air or squash in a community garden in South Central Los Angeles, it would have been pretty tough — like standing in various lines at the DMV.

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Movie Interviews
1:55 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Sandra Bullock, Boxed In On The Set Of 'Gravity'

Many of the special effects in the action-adventure film Gravity were generated by computers — but star Sandra Bullock also had to put in a good deal of work, with choreographed movements simulating weightlessness.
Warner Bros.

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:24 pm

The eye-popping new movie Gravity will make you very grateful you're planted on terra firma. It's a thriller directed by Alfonso Cuaron, in which shuttle astronauts on a spacewalk are stranded after a collision with a vast cloud of space debris.

And one of those astronauts — played by Sandra Bullock — is left on her own, hundreds of miles above Earth. She's running out of oxygen and tumbling untethered through the void of space.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Embattled Alex Rodriguez Sues Major League Baseball

He's waiting to hear his fate: New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
John Angelillo UPI /Landov

Alex Rodriguez, the embattled Yankees' third baseman, is suing Major League Baseball, claiming they have gone on a "witch hunt" to destroy his reputation and career.

The New York Times reports:

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The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Giant Hornets Kill Dozens In China; Warm Temps Might Be Cause

The Asian Giant Hornet. Attacks on humans in central China have claimed more than 40 lives in recent months.
Scott Camazine Photo Researchers RM/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 1:32 pm

Asian Giant Hornets have killed more than 40 people and injured 1,600 in central China in recent months, forcing the government there to mobilize a special medical response team.

Xinhua News Agency reports that the attacks have occurred in Shaanxi province. In the city of Ankang, 19 people have died, with 22 others killed in attacks in two adjacent cities.

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The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Officials Detail Shutdown's Chilling Effect On National Security

National Intelligence Director James Clapper waits for a hearing of the Senate Judiciary on Wednesday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:42 pm

James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told Congress this week that the partial federal government shutdown has forced the furlough of some 70 percent of employees throughout the intelligence community.

"I've never seen anything like this," said Clapper, a 50-year veteran of intelligence work.

So what impact is all this having on the spy world?

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