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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Gay Marriages Take Place In Hawaii As New Law Takes Hold

Saralyn Morales (center left) and Isajah Morales walk down the aisle at the Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu shortly after Hawaii's new gay marriage law took effect Monday.
Marco Garcia AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 9:36 am

Six same-sex couples got married in Hawaii shortly after midnight Monday morning, taking advantage of a new law in the first hours of the first day it took effect. The state's Legislature approved the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act in a recent special session.

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Protesters Block Government Buildings In Ukraine

A woman walks past a giant European Union flag hung on the gates of the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers building in Kiev on Monday.
Sergei Supinsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 9:11 am

A day after the largest protest since the Orange Revolution, protesters in the Ukraine blocked government buildings on Monday in an attempt to oust President Viktor Yanukovich.

Demonstrators are angry because Yanukovich abandoned a trade deal with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia. As Reuters explains, many in the Ukraine have yearned to become part of the EU to escape the grip of Moscow.

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Shots - Health News
8:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Uninsured Fret About Getting Health Coverage By New Year's Day

For Tambra Momi, who has Dercum's disease, health coverage can't come soon enough.
Courtesy of Tambra Momi

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:07 am

Tambra Momi has been eagerly awaiting the promise of guaranteed health insurance.

Since 2011, she has battled Dercum's disease, a rare and painful condition in which noncancerous tumors sprout throughout her body, pressing against nerves.

Jobless and in a wheelchair, Momi needs nine different drugs, including one costing $380 a month, to control the pain and side effects. No insurer has been willing to cover her, she says, except a few that have taken her money and then refused to pay for her medications.

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Mon December 2, 2013

For The First Time, China Launches A Moon Rover Mission

The Long March-3B carrier rocket carrying China's Chang'e-3 lunar probe blasts off from the launch pad at Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province on Monday.
Li Gang Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:03 am

Early this morning, China successfully launched what it hopes will become its first rover mission on the moon, the official state news agency Xinhua reported.

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Delivery By Drone? Amazon Says A New Era Looms

In an image taken of a test flight, an Amazon Prime Air drone carries a package. The online retailer could begin 30-minute deliveries within four to five years, CEO Jeff Bezos told 60 Minutes Sunday.
Amazon

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:21 am

Amazon is looking at drastically reducing its delivery times — to 30 minutes or less — as it plans a new service called Prime Air that it says could debut in a few years. In an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes, CEO Jeff Bezos said the giant online retailer plans to use semi-autonomous drones to carry purchases to customers.

That's got tech experts buzzing about whether the idea will fly.

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Europe
5:40 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Swedish Inmate Escapes To Go To The Dentist

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

The prisoner complained of a toothache but says he couldn't get anyone to help him treat it. So, according to Swedish media, the 51-year-old man escaped, and went to a dentist. He had his tooth pulled and then turned himself in to authorities.

The Two-Way
5:36 am
Mon December 2, 2013

NYC Commuter Train Was Well Above Speed Limit Before Crash

Search and rescue teams work at the scene of Sunday's passenger train crash in the Bronx. The train crash killed four people and injured dozens more.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 4:53 pm

Update at 6:50 p.m. ET. Speeding Into Curve; A Mile Or More To Safely Stop:

A commuter train headed into New York City was traveling at 82 mph Sunday morning when it entered a curve where the speed limit was supposed to be 30 mph and derailed, National Transportation Safety Board investigators have concluded. Four people on the train were killed and at least 60 others were injured.

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Animals
5:34 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Elwood, World's Ugliest Dog, Dies

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 6:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

We remember this morning, Elwood. He was a good dog. But cute, he was not; tiny, hairless except for a tufty Mohawk, with hooded eyes and a red tongue that stuck out. Six years ago, Elwood shot to fame when he was named the world's ugliest dog. He died on Thanksgiving Day but is immortalized in a popular children's book written by owner Karen Quigley. "Everyone Loves Elwood" is about how it's OK to be different.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
5:30 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Book News: Leaked Salinger Stories Pose An Ethical Dilemma

A photo of J.D. Salinger taken in September 1961.
AP

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

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Politics
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

White House Confident Insurance Website Is Working Better

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

In this, the first week of December, the Obama administration says it has met its self-imposed deadline of fixing the troubled healthcare.gov web site. And it says people should be able to sign up for health insurance. So, is it fixed and when will we know for sure?

Politics
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Avoiding Another Government Shutdown Moves To Front Burner

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

The end of Thanksgiving weekend brings us closer to another deadline. The budget chairs of the Senate and the House, here in Washington, are continuing talks to set spending levels for the coming year and maybe beyond. They're leading a conference committee setup as part of the deal to end the partial government shutdown this past fall.

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Business
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Companies Revisit 'Rank And Yank' of 1980s

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Longtime General Electric CEO and management icon Jack Welch popularized a management style in the 1980s that critics dubbed "rank and yank." The system ranks employees — with under-performers getting yanked from their jobs or the company. This old practice is in the news again. Microsoft recently did away with it. But other companies are embracing it.

Business
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Besides The Olympics, What Will $50 Billion Get You?

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's try to put that nearly $50 billion price tag for the Sochi games in context. And we've turned to the website BuzzFeed for help with this. Our last word in business today is: $50 billion.

That's enough to buy all 32 NFL teams, we're told.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Or it's more than the entire economy of Costa Rica.

INSKEEP: It is almost five times Hollywood's domestic box office.

MONTAGNE: It's enough for 18 Oprahs.

INSKEEP: Although, can you really put a price tag on Oprah? I don't think so.

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Business
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Russian Companies Fret Over Cost Of Sochi Games

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In just a couple of months, the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi will host the Winter Olympics. Russia is reportedly spending nearly $50 billion on those games, which would be an Olympic record. To finance venues and housing, one of Russia's state-owned banks lent about $7.5 billion to an elite group of industrialists who are helping bankroll the games. Now, those investors are getting a little nervous.

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Business
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Coast Guard Proposes Rule For Transporting Fracking Leftovers By Barge

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with fracking leftovers.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Fracking, I said fracking. The controversial process used to extract natural gas produces millions of gallons of wastewater. Now to cut costs, energy companies want to transport that leftover water on barges. But, the U.S. Coast Guard has concerns.

Katie Colaneri of member station WHYY reports.

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Business
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Planet Money Explores The Economics Of T-Shirts

NPR

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 12:19 pm

Our Planet Money team is making a T-shirt and following the shirt around the world as it gets manufactured — from the farms where the cotton is grown to the factories where the shirts are sewn together. All this week on Morning Edition and All Things Considered we'll be hearing stories about the fascinating world behind that T-shirt.

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Europe
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Violence Erupts Over Ukraine President's Pro-Russia Move

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Demonstrations, often violent, are happening across Ukraine after its president refused to sign a trade agreement with the European Union. His decision came under heavy pressure from Russia, which in the past has cut off critical gas supplies to Ukraine to show its dissatisfaction. For more, Renee Montagne talks to journalist David Stern in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

Environment
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Australia Disapproves Of Seeds In Katy Perry CD

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Singer Katy Perry's new album has been adored in some reviews, but one critic is the Australian Department of Agriculture. Seeds included in the CD could pose a threat to the environment there.

Movies
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

'Best Man Holiday' Resonates Across Racial Lines

The Best Man Holiday is Malcolm Lee's sequel to his film Best Man.
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 5:36 pm

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Around the Nation
1:48 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Deadly Derailment Is Latest Accident For N.Y. Commuter Train Line

The wreckage of a Metro-North commuter train, which derailed Sunday just north of the Spuyten Duyvil station in Bronx, N.Y., lies on its side. The train was heading to Grand Central Terminal along the Hudson River.
Christopher Gregory Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 1:30 pm

A commuter train crash that left four people dead and dozens injured Sunday in the Bronx is the most serious among a number of incidents in the past year for Metro-North Railroad.

As the investigation into what caused the derailment continued Monday, thousands of commuters were looking for alternate ways in and out of New York City.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:57 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Yuja Wang: Rooted In Diligence, Inspired By Improvisation

Yuja Wang at NPR's studio in Washington, D.C.
Denise DeBelius NPR

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 8:56 am

Sergei Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3 — "Rach 3," as fans fondly call it — is one of the most famously difficult pieces of music there is. The sheet music goes on and on, with notes so dense the pages start to look like modern art. The piece is so challenging that some noted pianists have declined to perform it — but Yuja Wang has recorded it for her newest album.

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Business
12:56 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Could Hawaii Become A Same-Sex Wedding Destination?

Sunset on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Starting Monday, same-sex marriage is legal in Hawaii. The state has long been a destination for weddings and honeymoons. And now state officials, as well as hotels and restaurants, are hoping the latest marriage-equality law will spur a new market for wedding tourism.

Wedding planner Keane Akao is showing off a secluded beach wedding site, one of several on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

"You can use the beach for pictures," he tells a couple, "and this is actually called Secret Beach."

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Shots - Health News
12:54 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Parents Of Sleep-Deprived Teens Push For Later School Start Times

Maggie Starbard / NPR

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 3:32 pm

Cristina Sevin knows the drill. Her 15-year-old son Isaac's first alarm goes off at 6:05 a.m.

When he sleeps right through it, Mom starts the nudging. But she also has to wake up 16-year-old Lily. She flips on the bedroom lights. "Lily, you gotta get up!"

They have to be out the door before 6:35 a.m. in their Annapolis, Md., neighborhood in order to catch the bus for a 7:17 school start. "I wish I didn't have to be awake right now," says Lily.

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Shots - Health News
12:53 am
Mon December 2, 2013

School Stress Takes A Toll On Health, Teens And Parents Say

Colleen Frainey, 16, of Tualatin, Ore., cut back on advanced placement classes in her junior year because the stress was making her physically ill.
Toni Greaves for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 3:35 pm

When high school junior Nora Huynh got her report card, she was devastated to see that she didn't get a perfect 4.0.

Nora "had a total meltdown, cried for hours," her mother, Jennie Huynh of Alameda, Calif., says. "I couldn't believe her reaction."

Nora is doing college-level work, her mother says, but many of her friends are taking enough advanced classes to boost their grade-point averages above 4.0. "It breaks my heart to see her upset when she's doing so awesome and going above and beyond."

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Music Interviews
3:45 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

Ben Allison: Leading A Stellar Band Far Beyond The World

The Stars Look Very Different Today, the new album from bassist and composer Ben Allison (far right) and his band, comes out Dec. 3.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 5:55 pm

Most music fans will recognize the title of Ben Allison's new album, The Stars Look Very Different Today, as a reference to the song "Space Oddity," itself a reference to the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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Business
3:44 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

Bentley, Once An Exclusive Car, Trying To Become 'Mainstream'

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 5:55 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THING CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

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Around the Nation
3:44 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

Shifting Gears: Commuting Aboard The L.A. Bike Trains

L.A. Bike Trains brings together groups of five to 10 cyclists who commute en masse.
Courtesy of Bruce Chan

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:04 am

One of the largest obstacles in getting people to bike to work is their fear of getting hit by a car. A new grass-roots project in Los Angeles is helping folks navigate the ins and outs of traffic.

It's 6:45 a.m. and Barbara Insua is busy packing a bag. She will ride seven miles from her home in Pasadena to NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, where she works as a graphic designer. She only started doing this ride a few months ago.

"It was kind of daunting," she says, "because seven miles to the lab — I didn't know how to do it. I'm not an avid cyclist."

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Around the Nation
3:43 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

The Latest From The New York Train Derailment

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 5:55 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

A commuter train derailed as it was heading into Manhattan this morning, killing four people and injuring more than 60. Witnesses say the train appeared to be going too fast as it rounded a curve just north of a train station in the Bronx. The National Transportation Safety Board is trying to piece together what happened.

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All Tech Considered
3:43 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

The Key Test For HealthCare.gov Is The Part You Can't See

The consumer-facing part of HealthCare.gov is working more smoothly, but how well the invisible back-end is working is unclear.
NPR

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 5:55 pm

Calling the improvements "night and day" from October, the Obama administration says it has met its goal of getting the troubled HealthCare.gov site working for a "vast majority" of users. But that's only part of a complex technology system that is designed to end with insurance companies providing coverage for millions of consumers.

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