Syrian President Issues New Stamps, But Can't Deliver The Mail

The set of three stamps commemorates Bashar Assad's recent presidential election victory. But what seems like a mundane occurrence says a lot about power in the war-torn country.

When Federal Privacy Laws Protect Hospitals Instead Of Patients

A 1996 law has been cited to scold a mom taking a picture of her son in a hospital and to keep information away from police investigating a possible rape at a nursing home.

Ukraine's Prime Minister Quits After Allies Withdraw From Coalition

The Svoboda and Udar parties pulled out of the governing coalition, prompting Arseniy Yatsenyuk's decision. Parliament's speaker said it was up to the two parties to name a temporary prime minister.

European Court Rules Against Poland In CIA 'Black Sites' Case

The European Court of Human Rights said Poland broke the European human rights convention by allowing the CIA to imprison and torture two terrorism suspects in secret prisons on its soil.

U.S. Database Glitch Delays Passport, Visa Processing

The problem in the U.S. State Department system could cause problems for millions of people worldwide who are awaiting travel documents.

Shades Of The Middle Ages: The Plague Popped Up In China And Colorado

Is this 2014 or 1348? The plague — yes, the infamous Black Death — was reported in China and Colorado. It's the same disease as the Middle Ages pandemic. Only now we know how to treat it.

Israeli Artillery Hits U.N.-Run School In Gaza

More than a dozen people have been killed at the school used as a shelter in Beit Hanoun, according to Palestinian officials.

Montana Sen. Walsh Says PTSD May Have Played A Role In His Plagiarism

Sen. John Walsh lifted at least a quarter of his United States Army War College master's thesis, according to a report in The New York Times. Walsh was appointed to the Senate in February.

Iraq Elects Kurdish Politician To Ceremonial Post Of President

Fouad Massoum, who has a long history in Iraqi politics, took the oath of office vowing to protect the constitution and the unity of the country.

A Simple Way To Reduce Stroke Risk: Take Your Pulse

Most people can't tell when they're having the irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation that puts them at risk of stroke. Simply learning to take your own pulse could help, researchers say.

What The Petunia Knows

July 24, 2014
Orchid (Galileo55/Flickr)

We’ll look at the new science of what plants feel, smell, see – and remember.

Author Explores US’s Perplexing ‘Seafood Deficit’

July 23, 2014
Author Paul Greenberg writes about the United State's perplexing seafood deficit. Even though the U.S. controls more ocean than any other country, it imports 90 percent of its seafood. (Matthew Ebel/Flickr)

Author Paul Greenberg explores the ecological impacts of the U.S. import-export deficit in seafood.

Patrick Sides With Chiefs On Gun Bill Provision

July 23, 2014

Gov. Deval Patrick says he agrees with police chiefs and gun safety activists who support giving the chiefs discretion over issuing firearms identification cards needed to buy rifles or shotguns.

The 'Elephant Whisperer' Of World War II

July 22, 2014
Lt. Col. James Howard Williams, aka "Elephant Bill," is the hero of Vicki Constantine Croke's new book, "Elephant Company." (Courtesy Random House)

We’ll travel to the jungles of Burma for the remarkable true story of Billy Williams—aka “the elephant whisperer”—and his World War II heroism.

Weston Mother Deals With Daughter’s Death In Unconventional Way

July 21, 2014
The Forbes family in San Francisco in 2004, before Charlotte's death. (Photo courtesy Kersti Malvre)

Weston-based author Sukey Forbes tells the story of the sudden loss of her 6-year-old daughter Charlotte and her unusual method of coping with grief.

Boxing Attracts More Than Would-Be Fighters

July 21, 2014
Springs Toledo, right, watches boxers at The Ring Boxing Club. (Emiko Tamagawa/Here & Now)

At the Ring Boxing Club, boxers range in age, are both men and women, and include an award-winning author.

Revisiting Ali, Frazier And Foreman In Richard Hoffer’s ‘Bouts of Mania’

July 19, 2014

Richard Hoffer’s ‘Bouts of Mania’ chronicles the “Golden Age” of heavyweight boxing as well as the era’s three main figures: Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman. Hoffer joins Bill Littlefield.

Boston Gets Its First Pop-Up Library

July 18, 2014
Adults and children explore the pop-up reading room at the Wharf District Park. (Photo courtesy Sam Davol)

Nestled under the birch trees between India and Milk streets on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, you’ll find the Uni Project’s wooden book kiosk, surrounded by little plastic benches.

Florida Crime Fiction And The New Face Of America

July 17, 2014
The Miami skyline as seen from Miami Beach. (Stefano Giudici/Flickr)

The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik joins us on the seedy, wacky face of Sunshine State crime fiction.

‘To Cook Is To Love’ Is Not Your Grandmother’s Cookbook

July 16, 2014
John Verlinden's bacalaitos (salt cod fritters), empanadas de carne (beef turnovers) and platanitos (plantain chips). (Amory Sivertson/WBUR)

“To Cook is To Love” is inspired by John Verlinden’s mother-in-law, who he refers to lovingly as “Mami Aida.”

Deborah Harkness Brings Her ‘All Souls’ Trilogy To A Close

July 16, 2014
Author Deborah Harkness has just released "The Book of Life," the final book in her bestselling "All Souls" trilogy. (Marion Ettlinger)

Readers have been eagerly awaiting the conclusion of the series that began with “A Discovery of Witches.”

Why We Lie

July 16, 2014
The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves (cover photo)

Why we lie. Why we cheat. Psychology has a new theory of the case.

Light Pollution And 'The End Of Night'

July 16, 2014
(John M. Cropper/Flickr)

A walk on the dark side with Paul Bogard, passionate critic of artificial light and author of “The End of Night.”

‘Rory Flynn’ Dives Deep Into Boston’s Drugs, Cops, Corruption In ‘Third Rail’

July 15, 2014
In his new novel, "Rory Flynn" describes Boston this way: "Brahmins and boyos, students and start-ups, numb-nuts and Nobel laureates -- all jammed together." (Josh Reynolds/AP)

Boston is no stranger to crime stories, both real and imagined. Now, writer “Rory Flynn” has set the story of drug cop Eddy Harkness in the city.

‘Rocks Off’: The Stones Keep Rolling

July 15, 2014
The Rolling Stones members Keith Richards (L) and Mick Jagger perform on stage at San Siro Stadium on July 11, 2006 in Milan, Italy. (Getty Images)

Author Bill Janovitz shares a listening guide to the songs that sum up the Rolling Stone’s tumultuous and far-reaching career.

Margaret Fuller: Journalist, Critic, Transcendentalist

July 15, 2014
The only known daguerreotype of Margaret Fuller, by John Plumbe, 1846. (Wikimedia Commons)

America’s first feminist. The 19th Century’s journalist, critic, transcendentalist, adventurer, Margaret Fuller.

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