U.S. News

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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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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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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Law
9:40 am
Tue January 7, 2014

New Law Allows Transgender Students To Choose Bathrooms And Sports Teams

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

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
6:24 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Hang In There Another Day Or So — Warmer Air Is Coming

Dealing with it in Detroit: A woman protects her face from the cold on Monday.
Joshua Lott Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 9:20 am

Yes, it's going to be awfully cold again Tuesday for 150 million or so Americans.

But if below-zero temperatures aren't to your liking, take heart:

"Bitterly cold air over the eastern two-thirds of the country will slowly moderate through Wednesday," the National Weather Service says.

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The Two-Way
5:14 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Florida State Wins A Thriller To Take College Championship

The winning catch: Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin of the Florida State Seminoles catches the 2-yard pass for a touchdown that put his team ahead for good with just 13 seconds left in the game.
Harry How Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 10:34 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Goldman on the championship game

Florida State and Auburn put on a show Monday night with a college football championship game that went down to the wire and ended with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston throwing a touchdown pass with just 13 seconds to go to bring Florida State the crown.

At one point, the Seminoles were behind by 18 points.

The final score: Florida State 34, Auburn 31.

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Around the Nation
12:57 am
Tue January 7, 2014

The Secret Burglary That Exposed J. Edgar Hoover's FBI

FBI director J. Edgar Hoover is seen in his Washington office, May 20, 1963. The 1971 burglary of one of the bureau's offices revealed the agency's domestic surveillance program.
William J. Smith AP

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 12:23 pm

More than 40 years ago, on the evening of March 8, 1971, a group of burglars carried out an audacious plan. They pried open the door of an FBI office in Pennsylvania and stole files about the bureau's surveillance of anti-war groups and civil rights organizations.

Hundreds of agents tried to identify the culprits, but the crime went unsolved. Until now.

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The Two-Way
6:57 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Texas Hires Coach Charlie Strong, And History Is Close At Hand

Incoming Texas Longhorns football coach Charlie Strong is embraced by Edith Royal, widow of famed Texas coach Darrell Royal, Monday.
University of Texas

The University of Texas introduced Charlie Strong as the school's new head football coach Monday, hoping to usher in a new winning era by hiring a man known for strong recruiting and stubborn defenses.

As he moves from Louisville to Austin, Strong becomes the first black coach of a men's team at Texas. For some, his hiring brings to mind how things have changed at a school that, during the 1960s, fielded teams made up of only white players.

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The Two-Way
6:55 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Funding Could Dry Up For Kentucky's Noah's Ark Theme Park

Mike Zovath, co-founder of Answers in Genesis ministries, poses for photos at the Ark Encounter headquarters in Hebron, Ky., in July 2011.
Dylan Lovan AP

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:00 am

Plans for a Christian theme park in Northern Kentucky featuring a 510-foot-long replica of Noah's Ark are likely to sink unless the project raises millions of dollars from investors in the coming weeks.

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It's All Politics
5:12 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Letter From Gracie Mansion: The New Mayor Meets His City

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio poses for pictures with visitors at Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the mayor, during an open house and photo opportunity with the public as part of the inauguration ceremonies on Sunday.
John Minchillo AP

I've always wondered what it would have been like to be at the White House in 1829 when President Andrew Jackson was inaugurated. He threw open the White House to the public and some 20,000 people stomped through, apparently causing a rowdy mob scene.

So I was intrigued with the fact that New York's new progressive mayor, Bill de Blasio, planned to open Gracie Mansion to the public this past Sunday. He kept calling the official mayoral residence, "The People's House." I decided to go.

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The Two-Way
4:47 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Senate Confirms Janet Yellen As Federal Reserve Chair

The Senate has approved Janet Yellen as the next head of the Federal Reserve. At a ceremony commemorating the Fed's centennial last month, Yellen sat with (from left-to-right) former chairmen Paul Volker and Alan Greenspan, and current Fed leader Ben Bernanke.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 5:13 pm

The Senate has voted to approve the nomination of Janet Yellen as the next leader of the U.S. Federal Reserve. With Monday's vote, Yellen, 67, will become the first woman to serve as America's banking chief, heading an institution that was established in 1913.

Update at 6:31 p.m. ET: Some Senators Left Out

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Politics
4:17 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Tighter Access To 'Death Master File' Has Researchers Worried

To help cut down on fraud, Congress is limiting access to the Social Security Administration's data about people who die in the United States each year.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 8:51 am

The "Death Master File." It sounds like a ledger the Grim Reaper might keep, but in reality, it's a computerized list containing some 86 million names and other data kept by the Social Security Administration.

An obscure provision tucked into the budget deal that Congress approved last month would limit access to the list — and that has everyone from genealogists to bankers concerned.

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Shots - Health News
3:30 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Health Care Costs Grew More Slowly Than The Economy In 2012

NPR

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

Health care spending grew at a record slow pace for the fourth straight year in 2012, according to a new government report. But the federal officials who compiled the report disagree with their bosses in the Obama administration about why.

The annual report from the actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, published in the journal Health Affairs, found total U.S. health spending totaled $2.8 trillion in 2012, or $8,915 per person.

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It's All Politics
3:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Democrats Tackle Politics Of Income Inequality

White House National Economic Council Chairman Gene Sperling speaks during the daily briefing at the White House on Monday. With Congress back, the Senate is expected to work on a three-month extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 12:26 pm

President Obama and fellow Democrats, just back from a long holiday break, are immediately embracing a legislative agenda that would increase the minimum wage and extend unemployment insurance benefits to an estimated 1.3 million long-term jobless in America.

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It's All Politics
3:09 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

4 Lessons From Liz Cheney's Ill-Fated Senate Run

Liz Cheney campaigns in Casper, Wyo., on July 17, one day after announcing her GOP primary challenge to Sen. Mike Enzi.
Matt Young AP

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 5:26 am

Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, ended her Wyoming Senate primary challenge Monday, saying in a statement that a family health situation is responsible for her decision. (ABC News reports that sources close to Cheney said one of her daughters has diabetes.)

Even before family health issues arose, Cheney's apparently dimming prospects against GOP Sen. Mike Enzi would have been enough to give pause to many candidates.

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Around the Nation
2:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Dangerously Low Wind Chills Pummel Much Of U.S.

"Historic" — that's one of the terms being used to describe the brutally cold temperatures across the Midwest and other parts of the country. Some temperatures are the lowest recorded in two decades, many in the single digits or below zero with wind chills predicted as low as minus 50.

NPR News Investigations
2:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Army Takes On Its Own Toxic Leaders

NPR interviewed dozens of current or former soldiers who said they have struggled under toxic leaders.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 9:15 am

Top commanders in the U.S. Army have announced publicly that they have a problem: They have too many "toxic leaders" — the kind of bosses who make their employees miserable. Many corporations share a similar problem, but in the Army's case, destructive leadership can potentially have life or death consequences. So, some Army researchers are wondering if toxic officers have contributed to soldiers' mental health problems.

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Sports
2:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Many Fans Not Sad To See End Of Bowl Championship Series

On Monday night, Florida State and Auburn battle for the national college football title. It will be the last championship under the much maligned Bowl Championship Series, or BCS. A new playoff system kicks off next season, but will it be better?

Around the Nation
2:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Powerful 'Polar Vortex' Makes Rare Appearance In U.S.

Jason Samenow, The Washington Post's weather editor and chief meteorologist of the Capital Weather Gang, tells Robert Siegel about the weather phenomenon known as the "polar vortex." It means frigid temperatures and wind chill in much of the country.

Education
2:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

UNC May Have Passed Football Players With 'Phantom' Classes

The University of North Carolina is embroiled in an academic fraud case involving students who received high grades for classes that were never held. Many of those students happen to be football players. The case has resulted in the indictment of a professor, who was a department chair. Audie Cornish talks to Dan Kane, an investigative journalist at The News & Observer newspaper in Raleigh.

Law
2:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Halts Gay Marriages In Utah

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously granted a stay in the Utah gay marriage case, putting a stop to the weddings until an intermediate appeals court has heard and ruled on the matter. It could be a potentially precedent-setting case.

Around the Nation
2:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Forest Service May Try To Recoup Rim Fire Costs With Logging

The U.S. Forest Service has proposed a large salvage logging operation in the area affected by last year's historic Rim Fire, which burned 410-square miles of California's Sierra Nevada. The proposal is meeting stiff opposition from environmental groups who say the land is better left untouched.

Around the Nation
2:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Giving Up Info To Drive A Worthy Risk For Maryland's Undocumented

Maryland has just become one of several states that allow undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses. Such licenses are issued as long as the immigrants show some form of legal ID — such as a passport — and they will have to take road exams. But critics worry about security risks, and costs to the state.

Shots - Health News
1:08 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Frostbite Tips For Novices: Skip Whiskey And Shed Your Rings

Jenny Hackett walks across a street in St. Louis, Mo., on Sunday. Subzero temperatures are predicted there Monday, with bitter cold sweeping east.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:38 am

Frostbite isn't usually a major worry here in Washington, D.C., but with wind chills below zero forecast for half of the Lower 48 by Tuesday morning, millions of people from the Plains to the East Coast will have to start thinking like Arctic explorers while waiting for a school bus or heading to work.

Noses, fingers, toes and ears face the biggest risk. Those body parts have less blood flowing through them and a lot less mass than the body's core. They're also more likely to be exposed to the elements. Obviously, bundling up those tender parts is key.

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Nation Turns Blue As Temperatures Continue To Plunge

Alison Mueller skies to work through several inches of snow in Detroit as the area deals Monday with record-breaking freezing weather. Wind chill has driven temperatures in Michigan and much of the Midwest down to 50-70 degrees below zero.
Joshua Lott Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 3:55 pm

One weather map tells the story.

Check out the National Weather Service's map of the Lower 48 for Monday night. If you need to know just how much of the nation's going to be freezing (or well below!), it offers a bone-chilling picture. Anywhere in the blue-to-purple shades is going to be cold — and that's before accounting for wind chills.

What is the Weather Service forecasting?

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NPR Story
3:10 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Dangerously Cold Weather Felt Across Much Of U.S.

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 6:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Here's news many of you know already: It's cold, really cold, even dangerously so in much of the United States, and another Arctic blast is expected. We are talking about temperatures 25-below zero in North Dakota. And the South isn't being spared, its single digits in some spots in Georgia and Alabama.

Chuck Quirmbach from Wisconsin Public Radio reports.

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