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Middle East
1:39 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

A Syrian Defector Confronts A Sectarian Divide

Syria's ongoing fighting is increasingly a sectarian conflict with the majority Sunni Muslims facing off against the Alawites who make up most of the country's ruling elite. Here, government opponents rally in the northern town of Mareh on June 29.
Vedat Xhymshit AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 5:16 pm

The violence in Syria is increasingly being called a civil war, and it can also be called a sectarian war, because much of the fighting pits the majority Sunni Muslims against the minority Alawites who make up much of the country's leadership.

Yet not everyone fits neatly into a category. There are some Alawites who have joined the uprising.

One 30-year-old Alawite man, who doesn't want his name revealed, is nervous as he lights another cigarette and tells the story of how he came to side with the opposition and turned his back on the Alawite rulers.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Kitty Wells, 'Queen Of Country,' Dead At Age 92

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 3:21 pm

Kitty Wells, who paved the way for women in country music and was known as the "Queen of Country," has died, the AP reports. She was 92.

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Economy
1:09 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Call Me Maybe When Your School Loan Is Paid In Full

Some young adults say their student loan debt affects their dating and marriage potential. A few have had partners break up with them over debt, while other couples forge ahead, but keep finances separate and avoid legal marriage.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 2:12 pm

The increasing debt load of college graduates has affected young people's lives in untold ways, from career choices to living arrangements. Now add another impact on a key part of young adult life: dating and marriage.

Rachel Bingham, an art teacher in Portland, Maine, learned this a few years back, when a guy broke it off after four months of a budding relationship. Among other reasons, he cited her $80,000 in student loan debt.

"He said it scared him," she recalls, "that it really made him anxious. And he just did not want to take on my responsibility."

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Law
1:06 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Even Scalia's Dissenting Opinions Get Major Scrutiny

Justice Antonin Scalia testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Oct. 5, 2011.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 7:01 pm

As legal observers have sifted through the ashes and the tea leaves of the recent Supreme Court term, one justice has stood out for his dissents.

Justice Antonin Scalia was the first name on the joint dissent filed by four justices in the health care case. But it was Scalia's dissent in the Arizona immigration case, written for himself alone, that drew particular attention, and especially harsh criticism.

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The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

For Some British Creatures, Wet Conditions 'Almost Apocalyptic'

Puffins on Farne Islands where many puffin burrows have drowned.
National Trust

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 12:43 pm

Record rainfall in England has battered some wildlife. The country's National Trust says the conditions — record rain in April and June and a very wet July — has been "almost apocalyptic."

Here's how the BBC describes the situation:

"The breeding season has been particularly catastrophic, with sea birds being blown off cliffs by gales and garden birds unable to find food for their young.

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