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2:51am

Wed September 5, 2012
Middle East

A Syrian Village Is Oasis Of Calm Amid Conflict

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:58 am

Dr. Mahmoud Hasson, a specialist in internal medicine, runs a new hospital in the Syrian village of Kfar Ghan, a protected area along the border with Turkey. The Turkish government warned that any Syrian military aircraft near the border would be a target.
Deborah Amos NPR

Driving into Kfar Ghan, you notice the difference right away: The shops are open, there are kids on the street, there's even a row of open-air vegetable stalls and a crowd of shoppers.

There is a full spread of watermelon, eggplants, peppers and tomatoes. All the farmers from the area have brought their produce to the market in this Syrian village, about a mile from the Turkish border.

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2:24am

Wed September 5, 2012
Around the Nation

The Strange Story Of The Man Behind 'Strange Fruit'

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 2:37 pm

Abel Meeropol watches as his sons, Robert and Michael, play with a train set.
Courtesy of Robert and Michael Meeropol

One of Billie Holiday's most iconic songs is "Strange Fruit," a haunting protest against the inhumanity of racism. Many people know that the man who wrote the song was inspired by a photograph of a lynching. But they might not realize that he's also tied to another watershed moment in America's history.

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2:23am

Wed September 5, 2012
All Tech Considered

Web-Based Subscription Businesses Surf A New Wave

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:43 pm

Customers of Dollar Shave Club say that the company's sense of humor — as seen in an absurdist video of CEO Michael Dubin in his warehouse — has helped win them over.
YouTube

2:20am

Wed September 5, 2012
Education

Florida Schools In Session, But Teachers Absent

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 3:46 am

Thousands of students in Florida are starting the school year without permanent teachers.
iStockphoto.com

Schools have been open for a couple of weeks across much of Florida, but not all of the students know who their teachers are yet. There's typically a lot of teacher turnover during the summer break, and schools can't always get vacant teaching positions filled by the time school starts.

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1:47am

Wed September 5, 2012
It's All Politics

Payroll Tax Holiday May Not Survive Year's End

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 3:46 am

The Social Security tax rate is scheduled to revert to 6.2 percent next year, up from the temporary reduction — to 4.2 percent on an employee's first $110,000 in wages — which has been in effect since January 2011.
iStockphoto.com

An occasional series, Fiscal Cliff Notes breaks down the looming "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts and deep automatic spending cuts set to hit around the first of year.

If you work, you've probably been getting this tax break: Since January 2011, the government has knocked 2 percentage points off the payroll tax.

For someone making $50,000 a year, the payroll tax holiday works out to about $20 a week.

"We definitely notice it," says Steve Warner of Winter Haven, Fla., while on vacation with his family recently in the nation's capital.

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