U.S. News

The Two-Way
6:56 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Winter Storm 'Q' Barrels Through Nation's Midsection

Snow-packed morning commute in Wichita on Wednesday.
Wichita Eagle MCT via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 12:02 pm

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET. State of emergency in Missouri.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency due to the heavy snowfall. The declaration allows state agencies to work directly with county and city emergency responders.

Jennifer Davidson of member station KSMU reports that about 40 people are staying at The Salvation Army in Springfield, which provides beds, blankets, and food for families in need.

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Shots - Health News
4:33 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

In Reversal, Florida Gov. Scott Agrees To Medicaid Expansion

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, long a foe of the administration's health overhaul, reversed course and agree to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid in the state.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 5:25 am

Perhaps Florida Gov. Rick Scott's motto should be "never say never."

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U.S.
4:11 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Georgia Death Penalty Under Renewed Scrutiny After 11th-Hour Stay

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 5:05 pm

A Georgia inmate's execution was halted Tuesday night with less than an hour to go. Prison officials had already given Warren Lee Hill one of the drugs when a federal appeals court stepped in.

Hill has an IQ of 70 and his attorneys have long claimed that he's mentally impaired. His case is now raising questions about Georgia's law, which makes it difficult for defendants to prove they should be exempt from execution.

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U.S.
3:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

As Sequestration Looms, Defense Civilians Face Furloughs

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:11 pm

Pentagon officials notified Congress on Wednesday that they will furlough some 800,000 defense civilians for one day per week should automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, kick in next month.

Shots - Health News
3:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Arizona Seeks To Balance Patients And Profits With Home Care

Luz Sepada, 59, lives in South Tucson, Ariz. Before the University of Arizona Health Plan assumed control of her medical care, Sepada was hospitalized 10 times in one year. After she was assigned a UAHP case manager, Sepada has been able to stay at home with no trips to the emergency department.
Sarah Varney KHN

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:11 pm

Can for-profit health insurance companies be trusted to take care of the nation's sickest and most expensive patients?

Many states, under an initiative supported by the Obama administration, are planning to let the companies manage health care for those elderly and disabled people covered by both Medicare and Medicaid.

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Business
3:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Office Depot Announces Plans To Merge With OfficeMax

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block, with this accounting of the rapid pace of deal making in corporate America. This month alone, U.S. Airways and American Airlines merged, Comcast bought up NBC Universal, Warren Buffett teamed up with a Brazilian firm to buy the Heinz Company, and Michael Dell helped take the public company that bears his name private.

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U.S.
3:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Breakthrough Prize Awards Research To Cure Disease

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:11 pm

Melissa Block speaks with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Apple chairman Art Levinson about the multimillion-dollar prize they've created with other Silicon Valley illuminati to award advancements in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life. Eleven scientists have been named winners of the Breakthrough Prize this year.

Law
3:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Jesse Jackson Jr. Pleads Guilty To Misusing Campaign Cash

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:11 pm

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. pleaded guilty Wednesday to using about $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use.

U.S.
3:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Kerry: Budget Cuts Threaten Foreign Policy Agenda

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:11 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry gave his first major foreign policy speech Wednesday at the University of Virginia. His comments come days before he leaves on his first trip as America's top diplomat. He's traveling to Europe and the Middle East.

It's All Politics
2:45 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Republicans Make 'Benghazi' A Frequent Refrain

Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., confer at the start of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last week on the appointments of military leaders. McCain and Graham have been among the Republicans pushing the Obama administration for answers about the Benghazi attack.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 4:02 pm

The White House hopes the Senate will confirm Chuck Hagel next week as defense secretary.

Republicans delayed the vote for the same reason they scuttled Susan Rice's bid to be secretary of state: Benghazi.

The attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last September killed four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya. And Benghazi has since become a rallying cry for Republicans.

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Sports
1:39 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

NASCAR Champ Finds Fans With Beer, Tweets And Bangin' Fenders

Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, gets out of his car after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona on Feb. 17.
Jonathan Ferrey Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:11 pm

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All Tech Considered
1:23 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Google's Glass Project: Can You Make The Grade?

This view from Google Glass shows the wearable technology's perspective. Selected applicants will be chosen via social media and given the opportunity to try them.
Google

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 2:35 pm

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Nation's West, Midwest In Path Of Massive Winter Storm

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 4:44 am

As many as 30 million people living from Oklahoma to the Ohio Valley are in the path of a storm moving east out of California that could dump several inches of snow in some areas and freezing rain and sleet elsewhere in the next few days.

According to the Weather Channel, the storm is caused by an "upper-level dip in the jet stream," on Wednesday.

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Pop Culture
10:03 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Should Lena Dunham Be Playing Ping Pong Naked?

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 3:57 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, Aristotle and Dante are the names of two important philosophers from history, but they're also the names of the principle characters in an award-winning new young adult novel about two Mexican-American boys and their journey of self-discovery. We'll hear from the author of "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe." That is just ahead.

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The Salt
8:18 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Calorie Counts: Fatally Flawed, Or Our Best Defense Against Pudge?

Could it all be wrong? Some scientists say calorie counts are too inaccurate to be trusted.
Ed Ou AP

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Wed February 20, 2013

'It Felt Like An Earthquake': One Still Missing After Kansas City Explosion

Fire fighters and utility workers at the scene of a massive gas explosion and fire Tuesday night in Kansas City, Mo.
Orlin Wagner AP

"It sounded like thunder, but it felt like an earthquake," Tracey Truitt, a lawyer who was working in a nearby building, tells the Kansas City Star about an explosion Tuesday evening that leveled a restaurant in the city's Country Club Plaza.

At least 16 people were injured and as of early this morning one person remained missing, the Star says.

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Working Late: Older Americans On The Job
1:08 am
Wed February 20, 2013

When A Bad Economy Means Working 'Forever'

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The recession put a dent in Sims-Wood's savings, and she expects she'll have to stay in the workforce "forever."
Gabriella Demczuk NPR

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 6:34 pm

Increasingly, people are continuing to work past 65. Almost a third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 are working, and among those older than 75, about 7 percent are still on the job. In Working Late, a series for Morning Edition, NPR profiles older adults who are still in the workforce.

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Shots - Health News
1:06 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Money Replaces Willpower In Programs Promoting Weight Loss

Peggy Renzi (middle) talks with her teammates Erika Hersey (left) and Erica Webster. The three are part of a team of nurses in the Bowie Health Center emergency room in Bowie, Md., who are working together to lose weight.
Gabriella Demczuk NPR

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:23 pm

Sticking to a diet is a challenge for many people, but starting next year, Americans may have an even bigger, financial incentive to keep their weight in check. The new health care law includes a provision that would allow employers with more than 50 employees to require overweight workers who do not exercise to pay more to cover their insurance costs.

Some employers, inspired in part by the success of shows like The Biggest Loser, are already designing weight-loss programs that use money to succeed where willpower has failed.

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Reminders Flood In: Athletes Are People, Not Heroes

Oscar Pistorius, seen here winning a gold medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, faces charges that he murdered his girlfriend. Pistorius also competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 2:08 pm

These have certainly been dispiriting times for those who admire athletes, who proclaim that sports build character. The horrendous shooting by Oscar Pistorius is of course, in a category mercifully unapproached since the O.J. Simpson case, but the Whole Earth Catalog of recent examples of athletic character-building is certainly noteworthy.

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Shots - Health News
4:18 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

How The Sequester Could Affect Health Care

On Tuesday, President Obama urged congressional action to prevent automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin on March 1.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:56 pm

It's looking increasingly likely that $85 billion of automatic federal budget cuts known as a sequester will come to pass if Congress doesn't act by March 1.

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It's All Politics
3:30 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Supreme Court Takes Case That Could Puncture A Key Campaign Cash Limit

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to campaign-finance laws that could open the door to further money in politics beyond what Citizens United achieved.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:48 pm

Barely three years after the Supreme Court's landmark Citizens United ruling, which liberated corporations to spend freely in elections, the justices say they'll take up another campaign finance case — this time aiming at one of the limits on the "hard money" that goes directly to candidates and party committees.

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Movie Interviews
3:24 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

In 'Kings Point,' The Sunny Promise Of Retirement Gathers Clouds

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 4:01 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This week on our program, we're going to hear from the directors of the five films nominated for Best Short Documentary at the Oscars, from life in the throes of breast cancer to life as a can collector on the streets of New York.

My co-host Audie Cornish begins with a conversation with the filmmaker of "Kings Point," a documentary about the not-so-golden times in a retirement community in Florida.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "KINGS POINT")

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Education
3:24 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Some 'Cyber Schools' Falling Short Of Their Sales Pitch

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And now some news from the world of online education. So-called cyber schools appear to be falling short of their sales pitch. The largest are run by a for-profit company called K12, which has made a big business of virtual education. Now, poor standardized test scores have captured the attention of state lawmakers around the country. Blake Farmer of member station WPLN in Nashville has this story about K12's failing grades.

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Law
3:24 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Gun Control An Emotional Issue For Citizens, Lawmakers In Colorado

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:42 pm

Colorado's Legislature is poised to pass sweeping gun reform. The House passed bills that limit high-capacity magazines and require background checks on private gun sales. The bills will now be debated in the Senate, which promises bills of its own. Colorado has experienced two of the worst mass shootings in the nation, the latest in July 2012.

Around the Nation
3:24 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Ex-LAPD Officer May Have Stalked Targets Before Killing Spree

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

We're learning more about the actions of Christopher Dorner, the former police officer turned fugitive in Southern California. Today, police in Los Angeles said they believe he stalked LAPD officers and their families before he began his alleged killing rampage. Authorities say Dorner killed himself last week during a violent standoff in the mountains east of L.A. NPR's Kirk Siegler has this update.

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National Security
3:24 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Gen. John Allen To Retire, Not Pursue NATO Commander Nomination

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. The Marine general poised to lead all NATO forces has decided to resign. General John Allen served 38 years in the military, including as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. But his long career will also be remembered for his peripheral role in a recent scandal. Here's NPR's Tom Bowman.

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It's All Politics
3:08 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Whose Sequester Is It Anyway?

President Obama, accompanied by emergency responders — workers the White House says could be affected if state and local governments lose federal money as a result of budget cuts — speaks in the Eisenhower Executive Office building in Washington on Tuesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:02 pm

By now, it's widely accepted that indiscriminate spending cuts in defense and domestic programs due to start March 1 are likely to occur owing to the failure of President Obama and the Republican-led House to reach an agreement to avoid the budgetary cleaver.

So now, the contest boils down to each side scampering for the higher ground of moral indignation.

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Economy
2:56 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

End Of Winter Drives Nation's Gas Prices Uphill

Reports indicate that gas pump prices are at their highest level on record for this period of the year, but consumers might see a break in the near future — if all goes well.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:42 pm

If you've been behind the wheel recently, you already know gasoline prices are up.

The national average price for regular gas rose to nearly $3.75 a gallon Tuesday, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

"Retail prices have gone up for each of the last 33 or so days — dating back to about Jan. 17," says Denton Cinquegrana, executive editor at the Oil Price Information Service.

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Around the Nation
2:09 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Cold War Bunker Network Repurposed For 21st Century Threats

WBT radio's bomb shelter in Charlotte, N.C., part of a government-funded emergency communications network, as it looked in 1963.
Courtesy of Jerry Dowd

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:42 pm

There's an underground bunker at a radio station in Charlotte, N.C., where time has stopped. Built decades ago to provide safety and vital communications in the event of a nuclear attack, it's now a perfectly preserved relic of Cold War fear that's gained new relevance.

The secret bunker is part of the office lore that old-timers at WBT Radio whisper to the newbies. That's how radio host Mike Collins learned of it back in the 1980s.

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Music
9:58 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Al Roker 'Jazzed' By The A-Team Theme Song

When NBC Today show weatherman Al Roker needs to get pumped up for his work day, he turns to the theme song for the television show The A-Team. During Tell Me More's 'In Your Ear' series, Roker shares why the song, and Mister T, get him 'jazzed.'

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