Washington D.C.

7:18am

Sat August 24, 2013
National

Thousands Gather In D.C. To Mark 1963 Civil Rights March

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 1:13 pm

People hold signs as they gather to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

(This post last updated at 2:20 p.m. ET)

Tens of thousands of people assembled on the National Mall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 March on Washington, best known as the venue for the iconic "I Have a Dream" speech that helped galvanize the civil rights movement.

Organizers, including the Rev. Al Sharpton and King's son, Martin Luther King III, had hoped to attract 100,000 people to attend Saturday's events leading up the official Aug. 28 anniversary.

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4:12pm

Fri August 23, 2013
The Two-Way

Mei Xiang, Giant Panda At National Zoo, Gives Birth To A Cub

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:35 pm

Mei Xiang, who gave birth Friday, enjoying a piece of fruit on Dec. 19, 2011, at the National Zoo.
Fang Zhe Xinhua /Landov

The Smithsonian National Zoo has some happy news this evening: Mei Xiang, a giant panda, gave birth to a cub at 5:32 p.m. ET.

In some ways this was a surprise, as the zoo did not know the panda was pregnant until earlier this month, when she began to act like she was expecting.

The zoo says their panda team heard the cub vocalize and saw Mei Xiang cradle her cub.

The zoo reports in a press release:

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8:56am

Fri August 23, 2013
The Two-Way

Book News: This Town, That Town. A Squabble Worthy Of Washington

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

N.B. — Book News is going on vacation next week. Your faithful correspondent will be in California sans laptop and praying that Jonathan Franzen doesn't choose this week to reignite any feuds with daytime talk show hosts. In the meantime, as always, leave your hot tips, scurrilous attacks and existential questions in the comments section or direct them to @annalisa_quinn on Twitter.

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3:28pm

Thu August 22, 2013
Science

The World's Most Precise Clock Could Prove Einstein Wrong

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 5:00 pm

This may look like a mad scientist's garage sale, but it's actually the most precise clock ever built.
Jim Burrus NIST

What a makes a good clock? Andrew Ludlow, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, says one of the most important criteria is stability.

"If you could imagine a grandfather clock and see the pendulum swinging back and forth, ideally that pendulum would swing back and forth very uniformly," Ludlow says. "Each swing would take exactly the same amount of time."

That's stability. But what if something perturbs the system, like a mischievous toddler?

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8:06am

Tue August 20, 2013
Shots - Health News

More Options This Fall For Some Small-Business Workers

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 11:58 am

NPR Staff

Workers at small companies are generally starved for choice when it comes to health insurance.

If their employers offer health coverage at all — and only about a third of companies with fewer than 50 workers do — chances are there will be just one plan on the menu.

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