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Stories for July 6, 2013

The New World Of Firefighting: Politics, Climate And Humans

July 6
Liz Halloran / NPR
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Writer and photojournalist Michael Kodas has been documenting firefighting and firefighters for more than a decade. His current book project, Megafire, an examination of the new world faced by firefighters, will be released in 2014. Kodas, also the author of High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed, lives in Boulder, Colo. He traveled to Arizona after 19 elite Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighters from Prescott died June 30 battling a lightning-sparked wildfire in nearby Yarnell.

Despite Hefty Payouts, Fire Insurance Costs Hold Steady

July 6
Kirk Siegler / NPR
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Wildfires have already destroyed hundreds of homes in the American West this year. The insurance industry is once again poised to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to cover those losses, as it already has for homeowners who lost their houses during last year's fire season.

Big Personalities Are Front And Center In NYC Mayoral Race

July 6
Joel Rose / NPR
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Everything about the New York City mayor's race is supersized.

Developing: Boeing 777 Crashes At San Francisco International

July 6
Mark Memmott / NPR
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A Boeing 777 that news outlets say was inbound from Seoul, South Korea, is on the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport with smoke billowing from its fuselage. It appears the jet broke into at least two large pieces.

Year Later, 'Aaron's Last Wish' To Leave A $500 Tip Lives On

July 6
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Sunday brings a sad memory for the family of Aaron Collins. It marks one year since the 30-year-old Kentucky man died.

Sacramento's Farm-To-Fork Food Bank Changes Lives

July 6
Tracie Cone / Associated Press
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The Sacramento Food Bank once was one of those standard food distribution centers where bags of processed foods, carbohydrate-laden government commodities and day-old breads and sweets were bagged and handed to people who stood in line for hours to get it.

Giffords Reaches 'Responsible Gun Owners' At Firing Ranges

July 6
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who survived a January 2011 attack by a gunman that left 6 people dead and 13 others wounded (including the Arizona Democrat), has been in the news this week as she and her husband Mark Kelly take their "Americans for Responsible Solutions" campaign around the nation.

Defense Contractors See Their Futures In Developing World

July 6
Larry Abramson / NPR
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Defense manufacturers worldwide are facing tough times ahead, as tight budgets force Western governments to cut spending. But while the West is cutting back, developing countries around the world are spending more on defense -- a lot more.

One Garden's Climate Struggle (And How To Save Yours)

July 6
NPR Staff / NPR
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At the Hillwood Estate gardens in Washington, D.C., the new norm is: "Expect the unexpected." So says volunteer coordinator Bill Johnson, who has worked on property belonging to the heiress of the Post cereal fortune for 30 years.

With Bullets Scarce, More Shooters Make Their Own

July 6
Scott Graf / NPR
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Gun stores around the country have had difficulty keeping up with demand for ammunition in recent months. Fears of government tightening of gun and ammunition controls have meant that retailers, from Wal-Mart to mom-and-pop gun shops, haven't been able to keep bullets on the shelves.

Review: 'La Camioneta'

July 6
By Rebecca Romani
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Guest blogger Rebecca Romani recommends "La Camioneta" (back for an encore screening at the Digital Gym), which follows a typical American yellow school bus as it travels down to Guatemala to start its new life.

Growing The Latest In 16th-Century Medicine

July 6
Margot Adler / NPR
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The Renaissance Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, a recreation of a 16th-century medicinal garden, is so lush and colorful, it only takes a stroll through to absorb its good medicine.