Business
4:59 am
Wed March 5, 2014

The Town Where Everyone Talks About Death

Downtown La Crosse, Wisconsin.
J. Stephen Conn Flickr

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 12:05 pm

George Phillips has his death planned out. His wife Betty has planned hers. They have filled out an advance directive, outlining how they want to die.

Their neighbors across the street have filled out the same paperwork, as has the family next door. In fact, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, you're unusual if you don't have a plan for your death. Some 96 percent of people who die in La Crosse have an advance directive or similar documentation. Nationally, only about 30 percent of adults have a document like that.

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Politics
4:16 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Hagel To Defend Pentagon Budget Before Senate Panel

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

The Pentagon's budget for next year would cut the size of the Armed Forces and begin to rein in expensive benefits, including health care. The Army would be reduced to its lowest level in years.

Business
3:13 am
Wed March 5, 2014

House Approves Measure To Ease Flood Insurance Hikes

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The House overwhelmingly passed legislation last night to undo flood insurance reform that Congress passed less than two years ago. When homeowners started calling lawmakers about sharp premium hikes, both chambers moved swiftly to ease the pain.

NPR's Ailsa Chang reports.

AILSA CHNAG, BYLINE: In 2012, Democrat Maxine Waters of California put her name on a bill that was meant to help the National Flood Insurance Program dig itself out of huge debt. Last night, she said she made a big mistake.

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Europe
3:06 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Ukranian Soldiers Trapped In Crimea Standoff

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

Ukrainian troops have been inside their bases in Crimea with sizable numbers of Russian troops and Crimean self-defense units blocking the entrances.

Europe
3:05 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Before Paris Stop, Kerry Talks To Protesters In Kiev

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

The stage is set today for what could be a very tense meeting in Paris between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.

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Latin America
3:02 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Preview: Steve Inskeep Travels U.S.-Mexico Border

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 11:59 am

Steve Inskeep has begun a journey along the U.S.-Mexico border — from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. NPR reporters are also pursuing stories of people, goods and culture crossing the border. Over the next two weeks, the team will be sharing impressions at NPR's On The Road blog as it prepares stories to broadcast on Morning Edition and other NPR programs in late March.

Africa
3:02 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Nigeria Pressed To Do More For Civilians Caught In Insurgency

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

Militants seeking to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria have killed 150 people in attacks in the last 4 days. The Boko Haram sect launched its uprising in 2009 but has ramped up its violence.

Latin America
3:02 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Venezuela Marks 1 Year Since President Chavez's Death

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

The government tries to control protests fueled by middle-class Venezuelans, who blame Chavez for inflation, food shortages and crime. David Greene talks to Girish Gupta, a reporter based in Caracas.

World
3:02 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Zello App Gains Popularity With World's Protesters

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

From Caracas to Kiev, protesters are organizing with the help of a social media tool called Zello. The walkie-talkie-like app allows smartphone users to send short voice messages from person to person or to a small group of people. And one key factor that's making Zello the go-to app among protesters, anonymity, something they don't get from Facebook or Twitter.

BILL MOORE: We've had multiple requests from authorities for information. And one way to solve it, in fact the way we solve is we just don't, we don't retain information.

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Europe
3:02 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Will Scotland Go Independent? A Primer On The Secession Vote

A bakery in Edinburgh recently launched an independence referendum poll using Yes, No and Undecided cupcakes.
Andrew Milligan PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 9:06 am

An intense campaign is underway for the future of the United Kingdom. On Sept. 18, the people of Scotland will vote on whether to become an independent country. Here are answers to a few key questions about the issue.

1. Why would Scotland want to leave the U.K.?

There are some reasons grounded in logic and others based in emotion.

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