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All Tech Considered
3:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Tech Fit For The Showroom, But The Runway Might Have To Wait

The Navigate Jacket from Wearable Experiments uses GPS navigation and a mapping app on the wearer's smartphone to signal directions. It's part of a new trend of wearable tech that some speculate will be a billion-dollar industry.
Rupert Kaldor Wearable Experiments

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:27 am

The human body is a limited piece of real estate.

For years, tech companies raced to make the smartphone a beautiful device with soft curves and bright screens. Now, the industry is racing to make clothes that free up your hands from the phone while still connecting you to streams of digital information.

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Iraq
3:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

The Pentagon Weighs Its Options In Syria And Iraq

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:40 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour with the rising violence in both Syria and Iraq and American military options in the region. A group linked to al-Qaida has been fighting in Syria, battling the regime of Bashar al-Assad. That group has also crossed the border into Iraq where it is fighting for control of Ramadi and Fallujah, cities where hundreds of Americans died years ago.

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Iraq
3:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Fallujah Veterans Ask Hard Questions About Their Sacrifices

A U.S. Army soldier guards the remains of a burned-out military ammunition truck after it was attacked in Fallujah, Iraq, on Oct. 19, 2003. Fallujah and its surrounds were the site of some of the bloodiest fighting for U.S. troops during the Iraq war.
Khalid Mohammed AP

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 7:17 am

Will Walsh got to know the Iraqi city of Fallujah while running across its bridges in the middle of the night, under fire, looking for IEDs. That was nearly 10 years ago.

Last weekend, the former Army captain heard the news that Fallujah had fallen, again, to al-Qaida-linked groups.

"The question I have to ask myself is was that effort in vain?" he says now. "Was all the work that we did, all the sacrifice that we had, what is the benefit?"

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Shots - Health News
3:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

50 Years After Landmark Warning, 8 Million Fewer Smoking Deaths

Tobacco companies incorporated doctors in their ads, such as this 1930 Lucky Strike campaign, to convince the public that smoking wasn't harmful.
Stanford University

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 1:22 pm

Saturday marks an important milestone in public health – the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health.

Few if any documents have had the impact of this one — both on the amount of disease and death prevented, and on the very scope of public health.

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Law
3:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Some Of New York's Finest Are Embroiled In Fraud

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:40 pm

In New York City, 80 police officers and fire fighters are facing fraud charges. They're accused of a massive scheme to defraud the Social Security Administration. The scheme ran for over a decade and allegedly cost US taxpayers millions of dollars in false claims.

Law
3:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

For Bernard Madoff's Victims, A Massive Settlement Of Their Own

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:40 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In a separate action, the-court appointed trustee who's charged with recovering what he can for the investors who were fleeced by Bernard Madoff, today, announced a proposed settlement of his claims against JPMorgan. Trustee Irving Picard submitted two agreements to the bankruptcy court, agreements that add up to $543 million.

Joining us from New York are Mr. Picard and his counsel, David Sheehan. Welcome back to the program.

IRVING PICARD: Thank you very much.

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Law
3:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

JPMorgan Settles With U.S. Government Over Role In Madoff Schemes

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:40 pm

JPMorgan Chase has agreed with the U.S. government to settle criminal charges that it failed to report suspicious activity in Bernard Madoff's accounts. The settlement comes to $2.6 billion, but a representative for Madoff's victims says the amount is too small. Madoff bilked investors out of many billions of dollars while JP Morgan Chase was his primary bank.

Around the Nation
3:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

LA County Sheriff Retires Amid Controversy

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:40 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca made a surprise announcement today. He is resigning at the end of the month. A series of department scandals in the past few years and the prospect of a bruising re-election race may have been factors, as NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates reports.

KAREN GRIGSBY BATES, BYLINE: Ramrod straight, impeccably creased with the five stars of his rank glittering on his collar, Sheriff Lee Baca squinted into the sunlight and told reporters his decision to leave office after 15 years was exactly that, his decision.

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Sports
3:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Skiing Siblings Hope To Make It To Sochi, Together

Sadie Bjornsen in the 2013 Nordic World Championships at Val di Fiemme, Italy. She is on the U.S. Olympic team.
Sarah Brunson U.S. Ski Team

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 7:03 pm

As snowboarders, skiers and skaters finish their qualifying events to get to the Winter Olympics next month, cross-country skiing siblings Erik and Sadie Bjornsen are waiting to find out if their special edge — each other — will get them both to the games.

Sadie has secured a spot on the Nordic team based on her good season; for Erik, the next two weeks will be the clincher.

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The Two-Way
2:48 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

With Department Steeped In Scandal, L.A. County Sheriff Will Retire

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announces his unexpected retirement on Tuesday in Los Angeles, Calif.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 4:55 pm

With his department steeped in scandal, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announced he would retire at the end of the month.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Baca said he would not seek reelection for a fifth term as sheriff.

"The reasons for doing so are so many. Some are most personal and private, but the prevailing one is the negative perception this upcoming campaign has brought to the exemplary service provided to the men and women of the Sheriff's Department," Baca said.

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The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Ex-Defense Secretary Gates Takes Aim At Obama In New Book

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and President Obama salute during a farewell ceremony for Gates on June 30, 2011.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 4:37 pm

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in a book due out later this month, describes President Obama as "a man of personal integrity" who nonetheless was skeptical of his administration's "surge" strategy in Afghanistan and openly distrustful of the military leadership, The Washington Post and

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Shots - Health News
1:48 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Mindfulness Meditation Can Help Relieve Anxiety And Depression

Western medicine has questioned the medical benefits of meditation.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 7:38 am

People are increasingly turning to mindfulness mediation to manage health issues, and meditation classes are being offered through schools and hospitals.

But doctors have questioned whether this ancient Eastern practice really offers measurable health benefits. A fresh review of the evidence should help sort that out.

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It's All Politics
1:07 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

GOP's 2014 Resolution: Keep Pounding Democrats On Obamacare

Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee chairman, said Tuesday the GOP will continue to point the finger of blame for the Affordable Care Act at vulnerable Democrats.
Damian Dovarganes AP

When a reporter asked Reince Priebus Tuesday if Republicans would respond to a question about any issue by somehow directing the conversation back to the Affordable Care Act, the Republican National Committee chairman answered tongue-in-cheek.

"The answer is Obamacare," he said. "No, I'm just kidding."

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All Songs Considered
1:05 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

New Year, New Mix: St. Vincent, Bruce Springsteen, Damien Jurado, More

Clockwise from upper left: St. Vincent, Bruce Springsteen, Damien Jurado, Maria Linden of I Break Horses
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 10:58 am

Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are back from their holiday journey to the heartland, rested and ready to celebrate the new year with a batch of new music from some of their favorite artists, and latest discoveries.

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Venezuelan Beauty Queen, Telenovela Star Killed In Robbery

The former Miss Venezuela and telenovela star Mónica Spear and her husband were killed after gunman opened fire during what police say was an attempted robbery in Venezuela on Tuesday.

The AP reports:

"It said the couple's 5-year-old daughter was in stable condition after getting medical attention for unspecified injuries."

"The family lived in the United States and was on vacation. Local news reports said they were awaiting a tow truck."

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Shots - Health News
12:23 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Drinking Too Much? Don't Count On Your Doctor To Ask

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Most of the people who have problems with drinking aren't alcoholics, and having a brief chat with a doctor is often all it takes to prompt excessive drinkers to cut back.

But, it turns out, doctors aren't bringing the topic up. More than 80 percent of adults say they've never discussed alcohol use with a health professional, a survey finds.

Young people and binge drinkers were most likely to be asked about alcohol use, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Around the Nation
12:22 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

It's So Cold That You Might Need A Sweater To Read This

Passengers wait on a train platform in Chicago in below-zero temperatures.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 2:36 pm

It was in the single digits in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday morning, and that seems warm compared with some places around the country. Cities in the northern part of the country, like Minneapolis, saw the temperature dip well below zero — and coupled with wind chills, it felt like minus 60 in some places.

Around the country, flights have been canceled and schools have closed. Even activities people might take for granted in some towns are suffering. Because of the polar vortex:

1. It's hard to ski in Minnesota

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Business
12:19 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

JPMorgan Chase Settles Madoff Case For $1.7 Billion

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 4:56 am

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle criminal charges accusing the bank of ignoring obvious warning signs of Bernard Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme.

The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Extreme Cold Convinces Escaped Convict To Give Up: VIDEO

Robert Vick, in an undated photo provided by Kentucky Department of Corrections. After a cold night and day, he asked to be put back in prison.
AP

Sunday night, 42-year-old Robert Vick escaped from the minimum security Blackburn Correction Complex in Kentucky.

By Monday evening, he'd apparently had enough of the sub-zero temperatures gripping the Bluegrass State and much of the rest of the nation. Vick showed up at the office of the Sunset Motel in Lexington and asked the clerk to call the authorities.

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Monkey See
11:20 am
Tue January 7, 2014

A Hong Kong Film Titan, With A Reach Well Beyond His Roots

Run Run Shaw, pictured with his wife and daughter in London, was knighted in 1978 for his philanthropic endeavors.
Central Press Getty Images

The Hong Kong entertainment magnate and philanthropist Run Run Shaw, who died today at 106 or 107, isn't that well known in the West. But his fans, from Quentin Tarantino to the Wu-Tang Clan, sure are.

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Scores Of Retired NYC Officers, Firefighters Charged In Fraud Case

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 4:16 pm

Eighty former New York City police officers and firefighters were charged on Tuesday in connection to a fraudulent scheme that prosecutors allege led to undeserved Social Security payments.

Authorities said the public servants falsely claimed that their actions in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, left them unable to work because of psychiatric conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

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Code Switch
10:52 am
Tue January 7, 2014

8 Reasons Why The Rent Is Too Damn High

Housing costs keep climbing, and outpacing many people's ability to afford them. But the reasons why are complex and interrelated, which means it's a problem with no simple solution.
Kevin Dooley Flickr

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 4:09 pm

In the comments section of a recent Code Switch post, a reader named Aboubacar Ndiaye gave a long but thoughtful explanation for the many reasons why housing costs are rising, and why there's no easy solution to the problem. He was gracious enough to expand on his thoughts in this commentary.

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Tue January 7, 2014

U.N. Suspends Counting Deaths In Syria's Civil War

Syrians inspect the rubble of destroyed buildings following a government airstrike in Aleppo, in this image provided Monday that was taken by a citizen journalist.
AP

The United Nations says it can no longer verify the death toll in Syria's civil war and, as of Tuesday, will leave the figure at 100,000, where it stood in late July.

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Author Interviews
10:38 am
Tue January 7, 2014

'You Can't Be This Furry' And Other Life Lessons From Gary Shteyngart

Gary Shteyngart's work has been translated into 26 languages.
Brigitte Lacombe Courtesy of Random House

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 12:56 pm

Novelist Gary Shteyngart was a wheezing, asthmatic and fearful 7-year-old when he and his parents emigrated from the Soviet Union to Queens, New York, in 1979. (This was soon after America negotiated a trade deal with the Soviets that included allowing Jews to immigrate to Israel, Canada or the U. S.) He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that his health was a deciding factor in his parents' decision to move.

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A Blog Supreme
10:31 am
Tue January 7, 2014

The Jazz Men And Women We Lost In 2013

The late documentary filmmaker Jean Bach stands next to an enlarged 1958 photograph of many jazz musicians titled "A Great Day in Harlem." Her documentary about the photo shoot was nominated for an Academy Award in 1995.
Thomas Monaster/New York Daily News Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 5:21 pm

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The Two-Way
10:22 am
Tue January 7, 2014

What Is The Polar Vortex And Why Is It Doing This To Us?

Ice has built up along Lake Michigan in Chicago as temperatures have plunged in recent days. A dip in the polar vortex is to blame.
Scott Olson Getty Images
  • On 'Morning Edition': science writer Andrew Freedman talks with NPR's David Greene about the polar vortex

We've mentioned the polar vortex several times in recent days.

We've said, for instance, that it's "a low pressure system that's usually whirling around the North Pole but has weakened and come south."

But we're still getting asked this question:

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The Two-Way
10:13 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Frolicking Fido, Cozy Cats: How Your Pets Are Chilling Out

Izzy Haywood/Instagram

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 9:10 am

We asked you for photos of how your pets are dealing with the frigid weather — and you folks sure did deliver. Here are some of the images you tagged #nprfrostypaws on Instagram.

Just a reminder, though, that we are seeing record-breaking low temperatures in some places, so please keep your pets warm.

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The Salt
9:57 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Smithfield Prods Its Pork Suppliers To Dump Pig Crates

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 2:55 pm

Smithfield, the world's largest hog and pork buyer, announced Tuesday that it's asking the independent farmers with whom it has contracts to get rid of stalls for pregnant sows to improve the animals' living conditions.

To nudge these farmers to make the changes to their facilities by 2022, Smithfield is offering to extend their contracts once they've converted their gestational stalls into group houses, which are generally considered more humane.

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Tue January 7, 2014

First Batch Of Chemical Weapons Material Shipped Out Of Syria

The first batch of chemical weapons material from Syria's stockpile has been loaded onto a Danish commercial ship and is now in international waters, a United Nations official said Tuesday.

Sigrid Kaag, special coordinator for the U.N. and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, told reporters that the ship was loaded with "priority chemicals," that eventually will be destroyed.

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Sports
9:40 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Chris Kluwe On What Cost Him His Job With The Minnesota Vikings

Genevieve Ross AP

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 1:15 pm

Just before a big playoff weekend, the sports website Deadspin published an open letter by former Minnesota Viking Chris Kluwe, titled "I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot." Kluwe, a straight man, says his outspoken support of same-sex marriage cost him his job.

"In my mind, there's no logical conclusion that can be drawn, other than that I was fired for my activism," Kluwe tells Michel Martin, host of NPR's Tell Me More.

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