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A federal jury has found Marq Vincent Perez, 26, guilty of a hate crime in the arson attack on a mosque in Victoria, Texas, in January 2017. Perez, who is set to be sentenced in October, faces up to 40 years in prison.

When fire devastated the Victoria Islamic Center last year, an outpouring of support followed, with neighboring Jewish and Christian congregations offering to host Muslim services in their buildings.

Iraqi officials flew to Tehran this week to try to cut a deal with Iran for electricity, attempting to defuse potentially destabilizing anti-government demonstrations spreading through the country's southern provinces.

The protests started a week ago amid anger over unemployment, corruption and lack of access to basic services such as power. Iraq's health ministry announced Monday that eight demonstrators had been killed in the unrest. Iraqi police say dozens of security forces have been wounded.

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In 1966 psychologist Ken Holden was hired as a consultant to help gubernatorial candidate Ronald Reagan improve his speech-making skills. He and a fellow clinical psychologist spent three days with Reagan away from the press and the candidate's "handlers" getting to know the future president and coaching him.

Local author Erin Lindsay McCabe was inspired by the letters of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, a private in the 153rd New York State Volunteers, a woman who fought in the Civil War dressed as a man. The author created a fictional character, Rosetta Wakefield, who follows her husband Jeremiah into battle. In researching her historical novel, Erin McCabe visited battlefields such as Antietam.

Durham resident Frank Fox was born in Oklahoma where times were hard during the days of the Dust Bowl. He was an orphan and his life had many ups and downs over the years, but through it all he felt protected by God as if inside a bubble. In 1949 he married his wife Juanita and they have shared a life together for 65 years.

Part diary, part travelogue, A Million Steps is a journey within a journey. After retiring from his job as a sales executive with a technology company, Kurt Koontz walked nearly 500 miles across Spain to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. While following the yellow arrows that mark the pilgrimage route, he also navigates through his personal history of addiction, recovery, and love. He embraces the beauty of the countryside and joyful connections to other pilgrims from around the world.

Dan Barnett, book reviewer for the Chico Enterprise-Record whose "Biblio File" column appears in the Sunday Arts section, is Nancy's guest as they discuss 2013 local authors like Douglas Keister, Dick Cory, John Rudderow, Zigrid Vidners, Jay Fuller, and others.

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Science Book Picks for 2013

Dec 16, 2013

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. If you tuned into "Jeopardy!" in 2011, you might have heard an exchange like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JEOPARDY!")

ALEX TREBEK: Watson, start us, please.

WATSON: The European Union for $200.

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With our new series Since You Asked, we're turning to YOU. What have you always wondered about the North State? What questions do you have about this place we call home?

Blue Dot, named after Carl Sagan's famous speech about our place in the universe, features interviews with guests from all over the regional, national and worldwide scientific communities.

On Cultivating Place, we speak with people passionate about plants, gardens, and natural history. We explore what gardens mean to us and how they speak to us.

Each week host Nancy Wiegman talks to local, regional and national writers about their latest projects.

There’s still time to head up the road for a late-summer adventure. Plan a trip with help from this new map of California destinations featured by Kim Weir on her show Up the Road on NSPR.

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