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The Salt
3:08 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Candy Sales Are Flat; The Industry Blames The Weather

Halloween candy is offered for sale at a Walgreens store on September 19, 2013 in Wheeling, Illinois.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Halloween candy sales have been flat over the last few years. And candy makers point to several reasons, including one I hadn't thought of: bad weather.

"The past two years have been plagued with major weather disruptions in key celebration regions," Jenn Ellek of the National Confectioners Association tells us in an email.

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The Protojournalist
3:04 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Peak Halloween: Is The Holiday Over The Hill?

Barbara Helgason iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 5:13 pm

Is Halloween — our national October obsession with candy, costumes and decorations — over and done?

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The Picture Show
2:59 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

On The Devil's Promenade, Searching For The Spook Light

spooklight007.jpg
Lara Shipley and Antone Dolezal

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 6:16 pm

In a certain region of the Missouri Ozarks called Devil's Promenade, there are tales of a "spook light." According to local accounts, it's a mysterious orb-like light that appears in the woods — but only on chance nights. And, as many local legends are, this one is shrouded in mystery: Is the spook light real? What is it? Is it evil? Is it good?

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Book Reviews
2:53 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Dickensian Ambition And Emotion Make 'Goldfinch' Worth The Wait

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:39 pm

"Dickensian" is one of those literary modifiers that's overused. But before I officially retire this ruined adjective (or exile it to Australia, as Dickens himself would have done), I want to give it one final outing, because no other word will do. Here goes: Donna Tartt's grand new novel, The Goldfinch, is Dickensian both in the ambition of its jumbo, coincidence-laced plot, as well as in its symphonic range of emotions.

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Hitler's Gestapo Chief Lies In Jewish Cemetery, Scholar Says

Dating to the 17th century, this Jewish cemetery may be the final resting place of Heinrich Mueller, the head of Adolf Hitler's Gestapo. A German historian says he has traced Mueller to the cemetery.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:12 pm

The fate of Nazi war criminal Heinrich Mueller, who led Adolf Hitler's Gestapo, has long been a mystery. Now a historian says he has traced Mueller to a Jewish cemetery in Berlin. If confirmed, the discovery would end 68 years of uncertainty about the man who ran the secret police.

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The Two-Way
2:48 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Capt. James Kirk To Command Navy's New 'Stealth Destroyer'

The USS Zumwalt, the first in a new class of "stealth" destroyers.
U.S. Navy/General Dynamics

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 5:00 pm

Capt. James Kirk always got the latest, most advanced ship in Starfleet, so it seems only fitting that the Navy's new stealth destroyer, the USS Zumwalt, is slated to be commanded by none other than Capt. James A. Kirk, USN.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Police Have Video That Led To Claim Toronto Mayor Used Crack

When he emerged from his home Thursday morning, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford found reporters in his driveway. As they peppered him with questions, he shouted that they had to get out of his way. He didn't respond to questions about a video that allegedly shows him smoking crack.
Mark Blinch Reuters /Landov

Last spring, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was compelled to say that "I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine" because of reports about a video that allegedly showed him doing just that.

Now he's back in the same uncomfortable spotlight.

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Code Switch
1:09 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Code Switch Roundup: Status Symbols, Sriracha And Soul Food

The maker of the popular Thai hot sauce Sriracha hot sauce is under fire — get it? — for allegedly fouling the air around its Southern California production site.
Nick Ut ASSOCIATED PRESS

Here are some things we've been musing on over the last few days. Share yours on Twitter or shout us out in the comments below.

"We shine because they hate us/floss 'cuz they degrade us." After two young, black customers accused the high-end retailer Barneys of racially profiling them after they made expensive purchases there, those customers themselves came in for criticism. Just why were these kids who probably aren't rich spending their money so recklessly?

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Parallels
1:08 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

As Iraq's Leader Meets Obama, Here's Why The Stakes Are High

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is welcomed by Vice President Biden in Washington on Wednesday. Maliki is asking for U.S. military hardware to fight radical groups behind a recent surge in violence in Iraq.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:26 pm

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki last came to the U.S. in 2011 as American troops were pulling out of his country. But with violence again on the rise in Iraq, there's much at stake as he prepares to sit down with President Obama at the White House on Friday.

Here's a primer:

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

'I Was Very Shocked,' Says Driver Ticketed For Wearing Google Glass

A California driver who received a ticket for wearing a Google Glass headset this week says the existing laws are unclear.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 1:54 pm

The Google Glass is a hands-free device, but that didn't stop a California driver from getting a ticket for wearing the headset during a traffic stop this week. Cecilia Abadie, who's in Google's Explorer program of people testing Glass before its official launch, got a ticket for speeding — and for wearing a device that could block her view of the road.

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