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It's All Politics
11:16 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Bridge Scandal Creates Unique Hurdles For Christie

Democratic New Jersey Assemblymen (from left) Lou Greenwald, John S. Wisniewski and Vincent Prieto take questions at a news conference announcing a renewed investigation into the George Washington Bridge scandal.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 12:23 pm

By most accounts, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie passed the leadership challenge posed by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

But the political storm created by the George Washington Bridge scandal is testing him in different ways, fueled by a combination of factors that make it difficult even for a politician as manifestly self-assured as Christie.

Christie will have a promising opportunity Tuesday to move beyond the mess caused by the politically inspired closing of toll lanes on the nation's busiest bridge in his State of the State speech.

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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Tue January 14, 2014

U.K. Aided India In Raid On Sikh Shrine, Documents Suggest

A Sikh devotee takes a holy dip in the sacred pond at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, on Jan. 1. Official British documents released Tuesday suggest the U.K. helped India plan the deadly 1984 raid on the shrine where militants had holed up.
Sanjeev Syal AP

Thirty years ago, the Indian government was trying to suppress a bloody separatist rebellion by Sikh militants. Then-Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi ordered the army to raid the Golden Temple to remove militants holed up in Sikhism's holiest shrine. The move cost her her life, and its repercussions are still felt in Indian politics.

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Shots - Health News
10:58 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Ill-Defined Coverage Muddles Insurance For Developmentally Disabled

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:56 pm

A little remarked upon requirement in the federal health law expands treatments for people with cerebral palsy, autism and other developmental disabilities. But some advocates and policy experts are concerned that insurers may find ways to sidestep the mandate.

The health law requires that individual and small group plans sold on or off the health insurance marketplaces cover 10 essential health benefits, including "rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices."

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Pope's Harley Goes Up For Auction To Help Rome Soup Kitchen

Pope Francis stands by a Harley-Davidson he was given, at the Vatican in June. The bike is to be sold at auction to raise money for charity.
uncredited AP

The Vatican plans to auction off one of Pope Francis' two Harley-Davidson motorcycles and donate the proceeds to a soup kitchen that feeds the homeless in Rome.

In June, the pontiff was given two of the iconic motorcycles by the Milwaukee-based manufacturer. At the time, he also blessed a thundering parade of the bikes in Rome in an event to mark Harley-Davidson's 110th anniversary.

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Tue January 14, 2014

20 Million DirecTV Customers Just Lost The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore reporting from Manhattan's Battery Park during Hurricane Irene in August 2011.
Jonathan Saruk/The Weather Channel Getty Images

What was already a stormy relationship between The Weather Channel and DirectTV has now become something of a Category 3 communications catastrophe.

Twenty million DirecTV customers can't see The Weather Channel today because the two sides didn't reach an agreement on a new distribution deal before a midnight Monday deadline.

According to The Associated Press, "the two companies pointed fingers at each other":

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The Two-Way
9:20 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Hundreds Fleeing South Sudan's Fighting Drown In Nile River

Civilians who fled the recent fighting stack their belongings up outside the gate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan compound, in the provincial capital of Bentiu, west of Malakal, on Sunday.
Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:34 pm

At least 200 refugees, mostly women and children, have drowned in South Sudan after a ferry sank as they were trying to cross the Nile River to escape fighting near the northern town of Malakal.

Army spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said the group was in an "overloaded" boat. The New York Times, which places the number of dead at between 200 and 300, reports that it is the worst such ferry accident to date as tens of thousands of residents have sought refuge.

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The Two-Way
9:06 am
Tue January 14, 2014

'Absolutely Crazy': Man Killed In Movie Theater For Texting?

Did an argument over texting in a darkened theater escalate?
NPR

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 1:37 pm

Click here for our latest update.

The early reports about what happened Monday afternoon inside a movie theater near Tampa are certainly disturbing:

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The Two-Way
8:24 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Congress Poised To Pass $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a $1.1 trillion spending bill that would fund the federal government into October and bring to an end, for now at least, the bitter partisan battles that have led to one government shutdown and threatened to push the U.S. into defaulting on its bills.

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Book News: Prize-Winning Mystery Writer Is Also A Murderer

Cuts Through Bone, by Alaric Hunt, is published by Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books.
us.macmillan.com

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Egyptians Go To Polls With Opposition Largely Silenced

A woman casts her ballot Tuesday at a polling station in Nasr City, Cairo.
Amru Salahuddien Xinhua/Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Leila Fadel talks with Renee Montagne about the voting in Egypt

As Egyptians begin voting on a new constitution, the opposition to the huge role that nation's military plays in life there has been pushed to the side, NPR's Leila Fadel reported Tuesday from Cairo.

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All Tech Considered
3:36 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Security Experts Say Data Thieves Are Getting Harder To Fight

Target Co. estimates that at least 70 million individuals may have had information including their "names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses" stolen in a recent data breach.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 8:53 am

The recent disclosure that a large trove of customer information was stolen from Target, and now also from Neiman Marcus, points to growing vulnerabilities in cybersecurity. And experts say the problem is becoming more difficult to combat.

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Parallels
3:35 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Some Brits Not Ready To Say 'Ta-Ra' To Iconic Telephone Box

Though most people rely on cellphones, not pay phones these days, the telephone boxes aren't obsolete. During an art exhibit in summer 2012, artist Benjamin Shine transformed one into a work called Box Lounger, on display here in Central St. Giles in London.
Dave Catchpole/Flickr

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 10:14 am

People in the United Kingdom are racing to save a beloved icon, in a mission that in some ways resembles efforts to save the giant panda in China, or the polar bear in the Arctic.

But this icon isn't threatened by habitat loss or climate change. The problem here comes from companies like Apple, Samsung and Nokia.

"Mobiles have taken over," laments Mark Johnson, the man in charge of pay phones for BT (formerly known as British Telecom).

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It's All Politics
3:34 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Political Groups Aim Early Attacks At New Hampshire Senator

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in the U.S. Capitol building May 14, 2013. Groups are creating ads in New Hampshire to attack Shaheen 10 months before the midterm congressional elections.
Allison Shelley Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 7:32 am

Even with 10 months to go before the midterm congressional elections, some political and ideological groups are already on the air, attacking incumbents they hope to take down in November.

One race that's attracting early advertisers is in New Hampshire, where Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is seeking a second term, and two tax-exempt social welfare organizations are buying ads against her.

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Shots - Health News
3:33 am
Tue January 14, 2014

California Hospital Workers Pitch Obamacare To ER Patients

O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, Calif., is encouraging uninsured patients to sign up for coverage in the emergency room.
Sarah Varney for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 11:10 am

Angela Felan is sitting in the ER waiting room at O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, Calif. A blue surgical mask covers her nose and mouth, and a sweatshirt is pulled snug over her head.

She first came into the emergency room a few days ago with what she thought was bronchitis. The doctor prescribed an inhaler that cost her $56.

Felan, 31, works part time in retail and hasn't had insurance for at least a decade because she hasn't been able to afford it. "Unfortunately even not having insurance is just as expensive," she says.

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The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
3:32 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Discovering Grief And Freedom In A Family's History Of Slavery

"Michael Goings, a man of colour personally appearing in Court and producing satisfactory evidence of his freedom. It is ordered that the following be entered as his Register. To wit, aged 23 years 5 feet 11 1/2 inches high of light complexion. No scars no marks perceivable all of which is ordered to be certified."
Courtesy of Robert Goins

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 11:40 am

NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often, NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
9:33 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Lawyers Seek Justice Department Records On Would-Be Bomber

Lawyers for a young Portland man convicted of trying to blow up a Christmas tree ceremony are asking a judge to order the Justice Department to open its files and share "facts and circumstances" of electronic surveillance that prosecutors disclosed only months after his conviction.

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Around the Nation
8:53 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

The Big Impact Of A Little-Known Chemical In W.Va. Spill

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:06 am

The chemical that was found last week to be contaminating the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of West Virginians is used to clean coal. But very little is known about how toxic it is to people or to the environment when it spills.

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The Two-Way
8:15 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Water Bans Lifted In Several West Virginia Areas

In West Virginia, a ban on water use has been lifted in at least three areas affected by a chemical spill. Here, Al Jones of the state's General Services department tests the water as he flushes a faucet and opens a restroom on the first floor of the Capitol in Charleston on Monday.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:10 am

A ban on using tap water has been lifted in at least three areas affected by a chemical spill in West Virginia, where some 300,000 water customers received "do not use" advisories Thursday. Since then, water has been trucked in to the affected area, which includes nine counties.

West Virginia American Water residents were told they should use the water only for flushing toilets — not for drinking, cooking or washing.

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Race
8:15 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Nearly Six Decades Later, Integration Remains A Work In Progress

Students in Central High School walk through the hallways between classes.
Debbie Elliot NPR

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 1:30 pm

A federal judge in Little Rock, Ark., approved a settlement today that ends decades of litigation over school desegregation there.

The city was one of the first tests of the U.S. Supreme Court's historic Brown v. Board of Education, when President Eisenhower sent federal troops to integrate Central High School in 1957.

Just about anyone you speak to about the Little Rock desegregation case says it's time for the contentious and ongoing litigation to be over. But no one is really celebrating either.

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The Two-Way
6:53 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Desegregation Pact Gets Judge's Approval In Arkansas

A long-running school desegregation fight in Arkansas is over, after a federal judge accepted a settlement reached by the state, lawyers for black students, and three school districts in and around Little Rock. Under the deal, the state will no longer have to send payments — around $70 million this year — to aid desegregation.

According to the terms of the deal, those payments can stop after the 2017-2018 school year. They had been mandated by a court-ordered program that also included forming magnet schools and shifting students between school districts.

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The Salt
5:56 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Coffee Myth-Busting: Cup Of Joe May Help Hydration And Memory

A barista makes coffee using the pour-over method at Artifact Coffee in Baltimore.
Benjamin Morris NPR

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 3:51 pm

Despite caffeine's many benefits, there's a belief out there that a daily coffee habit can cause dehydration.

So is it true? Not according to the findings of a new study.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. studied the fluid levels of 50 men who had a habit of consuming about three to six cups of coffee each day.

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All Tech Considered
5:52 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Game Over For Nintendo? Not If Mario And Zelda Fans Keep Playing

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 5:09 pm

Some analysts say that Nintendo's days are numbered. Holiday sales of its new console, the Wii U, have been lackluster compared to Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4.

But since Nintendo still offers some of the most popular game franchises, the love of Zelda and Mario may keep the company going for a long time.

In preparation for this story, I put out a call to talk to die-hard Nintendo fans. I was inundated with responses. Among them, Brian White, 30, grew up playing the Zelda games.

Now he's got a daughter. "We named her Zelda," he says.

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The Two-Way
5:50 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Federal Health Care Enrollees: Older Outnumber Younger

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 9:10 pm

For the first time, we are getting some demographic information about the more than 2 million people who have signed up for private health insurance through the exchanges set up by the federal government.

The New York Times reports that the Obama administration said older, less healthy enrollees outnumber healthy, younger ones. The Times adds:

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All Tech Considered
5:36 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Google Buys Nest, May Soon Know How Cool You Like Your Home

The Nest Learning Thermostat. The four-year-old company is now owned by Google.
Courtesy of Nest

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 8:14 pm

As further evidence that this is perhaps the year the Internet of everything really becomes a thing, Google paid $3.2 billion in cash for Nest, the home automation company that pioneered smart thermostats and lately,

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