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The Two-Way
2:36 am
Sun June 28, 2015

Nearly 500 Burned In Taiwan As Fire Erupts In Water Park

Police investigators inspect the stage area after an accidental explosion during a music concert at the Formosa Water Park in New Taipei City, Taiwan, early Sunday. The resulting fire injured more than 500 concert-goers.
AP

Originally published on Sun June 28, 2015 10:29 am

Nearly 500 people were injured at a water park in Taiwan after an accidental explosion at a musical event caused fire to break out Saturday night.

The fire started during an evening rap performance in New Taipei City, NPR's Frank Langfitt, reporting from Shanghai, tells our Newscast unit. The accident at Formosa Fun Coast was caught on cell phone video.

"At one point, green powder shot out from the stage over the audience," Frank says. "The powder quickly ignited, enveloping fans. Some people staggered around on fire, while others collapsed to the ground."

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Environment
2:12 am
Sun June 28, 2015

Wildlife Forensics Lab Uses Tech To Sniff, Identify Illegal Wood

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab Director Ken Goddard holds a wood sample used in the lab's forensic work in Ashland, Ore.
Jes Burns OPB/EarthFix

Before you prosecute thieves, you have to know what they stole. It's the same for crimes against nature.

The world's only wildlife forensic lab is in southern Oregon. The lab usually specializes in endangered animal cases, but armed with a high-tech device, it's now helping track shipments of contraband wood.

There's a small woodshop at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab. But there's no sawdust, or power tools. The shop is more like an archive, containing samples of some of the rarest woods on the planet — African mahogany, Brazilian ebony and more.

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It's All Politics
2:10 am
Sun June 28, 2015

Presidential Aspiration Born From A Modest, And Tragic, Beginning

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. announces his candidacy for president in Central, S.C. on June 1.
Jessica McGowan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 28, 2015 6:40 am

Greg Demetri hit the jackpot. When he picked the location for Villa Toscana, his nearly one-year-old Italian restaurant on the main stretch of businesses in Central, S.C., he had no idea that the building had once been owned by the town's most famous resident, Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Graham, a South Carolina native who announced recently that he would seek the Republican party's nomination for president, first lived in a room behind his family's business, the Sanitary Café — a bar and pool hall on Main Street — before moving into the house that now holds Demetri's restaurant.

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NPR History Dept.
4:17 pm
Sat June 27, 2015

The Cherry Sisters: Worst Act Ever?

The Cherry Sisters: Three of the siblings strike a theatrical pose.
The History Center

Originally published on Sun June 28, 2015 5:37 am

In the early 20th century, the Cherry Sisters — a family of performers from Marion, Iowa — were like a meme.

Simply invoking the name — the Cherry Sisters — was shorthand for anything awful. As Anthony Slide wrote in the Encyclopedia of Vaudeville, the onstage siblings became "synonymous with any act devoid of talent."

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Around the Nation
3:09 pm
Sat June 27, 2015

What Right Do Muralists Have To The Buildings They Paint On?

A Philadelphia mural entitled You Go Girl by Jetsonorama and Ursula Rucker. This is just one of many murals that the city's Mural Arts Program helped to create.
Steve Weinik Courtesy of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

It took artist Katherine Craig about a year to create her nine-story mural on 2937 E. Grand Blvd. in Detroit. Most people who drive around the city have seen it — one side of the Albert Kahn-designed building is covered in a blanket of electric blue, and a flowing waterfall of multicolored paint splatters descend from the roof line. It stands in stark contrast to the rest of the landscape of low buildings and muted Midwestern colors.

It's called "The Illuminated Mural" and it's become emblematic of Detroit's North End neighborhood.

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