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We don't usually point out opinion pieces on this blog. But Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-born and U.S.-based journalist, is making a statement worth noting. She wrote a cover essay titled "Why Do They Hate Us?" for this month's Foreign Policy.

The retrial of baseball great Roger Clemens began in earnest Monday after a week of jury selection. Clemens is charged with lying in 2008 to a congressional committee when he denied ever using steroids or human growth hormone.

He will be judged by a jury of 10 women and 6 men — 12 jurors and 4 alternates — who will decide whether Clemens lied under oath about using the drugs when he testified before a congressional committee investigating the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.

The Oscar-and Grammy Award-winning artist Jennifer Hudson took the stand today during the trial of the man accused of killing her mother, brother and seven-year-old nephew.

Reporting from Chicago, NPR's Cheryl Corley filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Hudson began crying when a prosecutor asked her about the last time she saw her family. She answered it was the Sunday before their slaying in October of 2008. The man accused of killing them, William Balfour, was Hudson's brother-in-law at the time.

With US Airways breathing down its neck, making nice with its unions as well as its creditors, American Airlines came to New York City on Monday to ask a federal bankruptcy judge for relief. Mostly, American wants relief from its unions — 13,000 jobs would be eliminated under its reorganization proposal. American has been hemorrhaging money for years and wants to lower its costs to compete.

Egypt's election commission is expected to announce the final list of candidates this week for next month's presidential elections. But which candidate will win is far from clear.

A recent Egyptian poll shows nearly 40 percent of voters have no idea who to support. Another 30 percent who had decided will be forced to select someone else because their preferred candidates were among the 10 barred by election officials recently.

As a result, Egyptian voters who were once excited about the prospect of their first free presidential election are growing frustrated.

Like a mirror that reflects one's ideology back at the viewer, and no more so than during a general-election year, the political players saw what they wanted, and what they thought was most politically useful to their side, in the reports Monday by the Social Security and Medicare trustees on the long-term prospects for those two entitlement programs.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh on Monday, a day before Pennsylvania and four other states hold their primary contests.

Romney isn't concerned about the primary, but Pennsylvania will likely be an important swing state in the general election. And Monday also offered a chance to audition a potential running mate: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Israel's highest court has already ruled that the Jewish settler outpost of Ulpana in the West Bank was built on privately owned Palestinian land.

And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government had pledged to meet a May 1 deadline to dismantle the outpost, which has about 30 homes.

But over the weekend, Netanyahu established a special committee to see how permits could be provided to keep the outpost from being torn down.

This has touched off yet another controversy over settlements, one of the most contentious issues between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Social networking sites have been at the vanguard of the Arab uprisings over the past year. Egyptians used online pages to organize protests, and Syrian activists have posted frequent YouTube videos showing government forces shelling civilian areas.

The same growing Arab online awareness that made the Internet part of the pro-democracy movements has also created a mini-revolution for Arab technological business.

Due to regulation, limited infrastructure and governments wary of the Internet, the Middle East has not been the easiest place to launch a tech startup.

For 50 years, the taco has been a staple of American life. It's in school lunches and Michelin-star restaurants. It even helped launch the food truck craze. So how did the taco come to loom so large in American bellies?

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The historic wave of migration from Mexico to the United States, which over four decades brought 12 million immigrants to the country, has come to a standstill. That's what a new Pew Hispanic Center study released today found.

Three years ago, just moments before sledgehammers ripped through an abandoned home in Chicago, the head of a demolition crew decided to save the contents of an old steamer trunk stored in the attic.

"They were about to demolish it because they couldn't get it down the stairs," says Rufus McDonald, who gathered what was inside the steamer trunk — documents and old books — and took them to a rare-book dealer in Chicago.

"He said, 'Do you know who this is?' I said, 'Nah, who is it?' He said, 'It's Richard Theodore Greener," McDonald recalls. "I said, 'Who is he?' "

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Even if you've never heard the name Bert Weedon before, his death on Friday, at the age of 91, deserves a salute: a chiming, perfectly fingered D major chord salute.

Journalists make for a pretty tough crowd.

But Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, fired up hundreds of them at the annual meeting of Association of Health Care Journalists over the weekend with a no-holds-barred critique of the U.S. health system.

There were lots of comments on this blog regarding my recent stories about making salads safer. Many of those comments argued that the solution is to grow your own. Or at least buy from local farmers.

Which raises an interesting question: Are salad greens from your local farmer's market actually safer than packaged lettuce from thousands of miles away? And should the same safety rules apply to both?

Six men wearing bright orange prison jumpsuits appeared in a D.C. courtroom today, seeking to overturn their decades-old convictions in a brutal murder by arguing the Justice Department failed to turn over critical evidence that could have helped them assert their innocence.

The new issue of The Atlantic asks: Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? The jury's out, though signs point to maybe.

Facebook didn't necessarily make Tanja Hollander lonely, per se, but it did make her curious. It was a little over two years ago when she looked at that number representing "friends," 626 in her case, and started to analyze it.

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The trustees in charge of nation's Social Security program said a sagging economy has hit the program hard. The program's trust fund, which goes mostly to retirees, said the trustees, will run dry by 2033.

The AP reports "Medicare's finances have stabilized but the program's hospital insurance fund is still projected to run out of money in 2024."

Mitt Romney on Monday endorsed the idea of extending a law that curbs interest rates paid by some recipients of federal student loans, a cause that President Obama has made a campaign issue.

Esther Cepeda recently learned a new word: "Hispandering." And, she writes in an op-ed for The Washington Post writers group, "it perfectly captures the spirit of the moment" in presidential politics.

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It's hard out there for a college grad.

The AP analyzed government data and came up with this stunning figure: "Half of young college graduates [are] either jobless or underemployed in positions that don't fully use their skills and knowledge."

The whole story is worth a read, so we encourage you to click over, but here is the meat of the AP's analysis:

President Obama announced a set of new sanctions that target "Syria and Iran and the 'digital guns for hire' who help them oppress their people with surveillance software and monitoring technology," the AFP reports.

The president made the announcement during a visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. His visit was the first as president.

DARPA Explains Crash Of Hypersonic Glider

Apr 23, 2012

The forces on the unmanned hypersonic glider tested last summer by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) were so great that large parts of its skin peeled off causing its emergency system to plunge it into the ocean.

As we reported last August, the Falcon HTV-2 "was shot up on a rocket and right at the edge of space, it separated and glided through the atmosphere at 13,000 mph."

If you're into images of Earth taken from space, NASA has a new video for you. Called Walking on Air, it "features a series of time lapse sequences photographed by the Expedition 30 crew aboard the International Space Station" and is set to the song Walking in the Air by Howard Blake.

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