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mayor.baltimorecity.gov

News Wrap: Upton Public Safety Forum; Contest for Local Business

On Monday morning, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake took a “Crime and Grime” walk with community members of Baltimore’s Upton neighborhood. While there, she invited residents to attend the next Public Safety Forum, which is in the Central District this week.
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NPR News

Weddings and baby showers are real life milestones to spend with your actual loved ones. True, but in South Korea, a cottage industry exists to help real people find fake friends to fill seats at such life rituals.

At a recent wedding in June, Kim Seyeon showed up as a guest even though she is a total stranger to the bride and groom. She makes about $20 per wedding she attends as a pretend friend.

"When it's the peak wedding season in Korea, sometimes I do two or three acts a day, every weekend," Kim says.

The College Board has just released the latest curriculum framework for its Advanced Placement U.S. history course, and it appears to have satisfied many of the old framework's critics.

The re-write comes after anger over its 2014 framework sent the College Board, which administers the AP exam, back to the drawing board.

An 'Island Tax' Could Harm One Bright Spot In Greek Economy

38 minutes ago

For years, hotels, shops and restaurants on the far-flung Greek islands kept costs low thanks to a big tax break. And tourism has been one bright spot in Greece's barely functioning economy.

The Greek islands are still enjoying record numbers of tourists this summer.
But now the country's creditors are demanding those islands raise their taxes to the same level as everywhere else in Greece.

If you're looking for a way to gauge the health of the U.S. economy this summer, consider regional amusement parks — parks that you can drive to within a few hours. Some 260 million people spend about $10 billion annually at regional theme parks, and this year is shaping up to be a record-breaker.

To understand what's driving those numbers, there are few better people to spend a day at a park with than Martin Lewison.

"As of today, I've been on 1,306 different roller coasters," Lewison says.

It's the summer session at the Al Salam School in Reyhanli, a town in southern Turkey, just across the border from Syria. A group of girls are practicing their shots on the outdoor basketball court. A class of 8-year-olds is busy with English language drills. The computer lab is open.

Many of these Syrian refugees live in desperate conditions, but for a few hours a day there is the familiar world of school.

It's a story that could have been taken from a breaking news report: A soldier, gravely wounded in a brutal battle, flees the fighting to try and make his way home. Only this story is set during the Civil War.

One of the world's most prominent free divers is missing off the coast of an island called Formentera, near Ibiza, Spain. Natalia Molchanova of Russia was on a recreational dive on Sunday when she was separated from companions, according to AIDA, the worldwide federation for free diving. The organization calls her the most accomplished and most famous female free diver in the world.

Almost as soon as it was unveiled, opponents were lining up to oppose President Obama's new plan to limit carbon emissions. The new rules would require states to lower their carbon emissions by nearly a third over the next decade and a half.

The rules will deal a big blow to some energy sectors — especially coal. But there are also industries that will benefit from the plan.

This post was updated at 7:15 p.m.

The final polls are in and the stage is set for Thursday night's first Republican presidential debate.

Those who made the cut, according to Fox News: businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

It's earnings season on Wall Street, and investors are again looking to quarterly reports to gauge the health of companies. Some environmentalists are looking to so-called "sustainability reports" — how companies are improving their ecological footprints. But not all environmentalists are putting so much stock in these reports.

Andrew Hoffman, at the University of Michigan, breaks environmentalists into two colors, or rather shades of a color. First, the perspective of the "dark greens":

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Music News

7Summers
https://shaunmartin.bandcamp.com/album/seven-summers

August CD: Shaun Martin's "7 Summers"

I continue to marvel at the progression of the art form of jazz with the next generation of musicians and composers. What seems to be a growing trend are the multi-genre artists who play in various bands in which one minute they can play straight ahead, then segue into contemporary jazz, and from time to time even stretch out into some R&B. Such is the case for the debut release of multi-Grammy-award-winning keyboardist and composer Shaun Martin.
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