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2:59am

Mon August 1, 2011
Arts & Life

Life-Like Mannequins Inspire Real-Life Shoppers

Originally published on Mon August 1, 2011 10:41 pm

These sculpted clay heads reflect the variety of realistic and abstract designs in today's mannequins.
Grace Hood for NPR

A mannequin maker in Colorado is helping retailers boost clothing sales by creating more life-like models. These are custom-made mannequins that look like the real people who shop in stores — or the way shoppers imagine themselves.

In a Disney Store in Southern California, an employee helps a young customer wave a purple wand at a talking mirror. It's part of the store's redesign, which includes playful child-size mannequins that encourage shoppers to interact with the merchandise. The mannequins appear to curtsy and jump after balloons.

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2:59am

Mon August 1, 2011
Middle East

Protests In Israel Target High Housing Costs

A tent camp has been set up on the promenade that lines Rothschild Boulevard, one of Tel Aviv's most expensive residential streets.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

Domestic protests have dominated the headlines in Israel in recent weeks, as strikes over the high cost of living have spread across the country. But while the local media have termed it Israel's own Arab Spring, the protesters say they are far from calling for revolution.

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2:59am

Mon August 1, 2011
Books News & Features

Brattleboro: Vermont's Hotbed Of Fictional Crime

Archer Mayor exposes the seedy underbelly of Brattleboro, Vt., in his mystery novels. But it's a challenge to bring out the dark side; Brattleboro, and Vermont in general, the author says, are "inordinately pleasant" places.
Ken Gallager

Brattleboro, Vt., is a bucolic town — pricked with picturesque church steeples — and home to a vibrant arts community. So it's an unlikely setting for gruesome murder and gritty crime, but that's just what goes on in Archer Mayor's Brattleboro-based Joe Gunther detective series.

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2:45am

Mon August 1, 2011
Politics

Path Ahead For Debt Legislation Remains Uncertain

After weeks of mounting anxiety and collapsed deals, Congressional leaders and President Obama reached an agreement Sunday night to end the debt ceiling crisis. Those leaders will attempt to sell that deal to fellow lawmakers Monday, and if all goes well, a bill increasing the debt ceiling by nearly a trillion dollars could await the president's signature Tuesday.

That's the day the Treasury Department had said the nation's first-ever default could occur if Congress failed to act.

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2:00am

Mon August 1, 2011
Middle East

Syrian Forces Attack Anti-Government Demonstrations

In a sharp escalation of violence in Syria, government troops Sunday moved into the central city of Hama, killing dozens, in a bid to regain control of a major hub of the country's opposition movement.

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