Another 940,000 people signed up for health insurance in February under the Affordable Care Act, bringing the total to 4.2 million since the troubled HealthCare.gov website was launched, the Department of Health and Human Services reports. The number is still well short of the administration's goal for March 31, when open enrollment ends.
To reach 6 million sign ups under the ACA, as the White House had hoped for, another 1.8 million people would need to enroll by the end of the month.
Eliot Ness, the famed Prohibition-era agent often credited with bringing down the empire of Chicago mobster Al Capone, is perhaps best known to many from fictional portrayals on the big and small screens.
Although Ness is a legendary figure, some politicians are debating whether the headquarters of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Washington should bear his name.
Ness began his career as a Prohibition agent in 1926. Four years later, he was the special agent in charge of going after Capone's bootlegging operation.
General Motors is coming under mounting criticism for its handling of a serious defect. Last month, the company recalled 1.6 million vehicles because of faulty ignition switches linked to 13 deaths. The cars, made from 2003-2007, could stall or fail to deploy their airbags.
It's an issue GM has known about for a while, and now Congress wants to know why it took the automaker almost a decade to warn the public about it.
A plan in New York state to eliminate all wild mute swans there by 2025 has drawn protests and petitions on all sides. While some see elegant white birds gliding across the water, others see a dangerous aggressor destroying the local ecosystem.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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I'm Robert Siegel.
In Washington today, a remarkable dispute between the CIA and the lawmakers who oversee its operations. California Democrat Dianne Feinstein accused the agency of thwarting a Senate investigation into the torture of detainees by snooping on her staff's computers.
A dramatically different version of events is emerging about the path of Malaysia Airline's Flight 370. Malaysian authorities now say the jetliner made a sharp change in course, heading from northeast to west, and they say the last sign of the plane came an hour later than previously stated. The Boeing 777 disappeared early Saturday morning local time en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.
People who got off to a rough start with Obamacare or haven't picked a plan still have options. But they better hop to it. The open enrollment period ends March 31.
Those who were unable to sign up for a marketplace plan because of the glitches with federal or state websites can receive coverage retroactive to the date they originally applied. There are also retroactive premium tax credits and subsidies, the federal government said in late February.
This is Hungerford, a large female snowy owl. Last summer she was just a hatchling — a gray ball of fuzz in the middle of the Arctic tundra. In the fall, newly equipped with adult plumage, she flew thousands of miles south until she reached the coast of Maryland. And this winter, she became an important part of an unprecedented research project.
One of the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing is the appearance of two men on the flight manifest who were apparently traveling with stolen passports.
On U.S.-bound flights there are safeguards aimed at preventing that from happening. Interpol, the international police organization, issued a statement criticizing Malaysia for allowing the passengers to board the flight.
America used to have a robust college education system for prison inmates. It was seen as a way to rehabilitate men and women behind bars by helping them go straight when they got out.
Those taxpayer-funded college classes were defunded in the 1990s. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo would like to bring them back in the state, prompting a fierce new debate over higher education in state prisons.
Uber, Lyft, and similar companies that pair people who pay for a car ride with drivers who operate outside the traditional taxi system are facing new limits in Seattle, where the City Council's Taxi Committee recently voted to cap the number of "ride-share" drivers.
The full council had been scheduled to vote on a limit of 150 drivers per ride-share company today; the vote, which has sparked intense interest in the city, has been postponed until next Monday.
Short selling a stock - betting that it will go down instead of up - is common on Wall Street. But what about placing a bet against a company and then trying to get the government to do things that would drive down the company's share price?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
I'm Robert Siegel.
And we begin this hour with the latest on the standoff over Ukraine. Today, Russian forces seized the Ukrainian naval post, military hospital and a missile unit in Crimea. At the same time, Moscow accused Kiev of encouraging right-wing groups and creating lawlessness in eastern Ukraine. This all complicates things on the diplomatic front.
MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden addressed a large American audience today. He spoke through a video link from Russia where he was given temporary asylum after he leaked thousands of classified NSA documents. The crowd was a friendly one at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference in Austin, Texas. Snowden took some questions and he said technology companies can do more to prevent sweeping surveillance by the U.S. government.
As NPR's Steve Henn reports, the event was moderated by Snowden's attorney.
When it comes to getting ahead in the world, a lack of savings can be a big hurdle, especially for low-income families. Most don't have enough money set aside for emergencies, let alone for college or a house. Some people think the answer is to make savings more fun, like the lottery, with the chance to win big prizes.
It's called prize-linked savings, something that's been available in Great Britain for decades. Now, it's starting to catch on in the United States.
Rebecca Weld of Potsdam, N.Y., makes her living as an architect. But during her free time, she's hunched over the kitchen counter, like an alchemist, dripping food coloring drop by drop into icing to achieve the perfect color.
"I use rich colors for that dated, antique feel," Weld says.
Antique? Perhaps. But certainly not old school. Weld's cookie designs are astonishingly intricate — including a scene from an Adirondacks lake that looks like you could dive right into it.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 12:19 pm
Our bodies may help us remember our lives, fixing experiences in place. By using virtual reality, scientists can make people feel like they're outside their own bodies. And when they do, the brain struggles to remember what happened.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden will speak via videoconference to the attendees of South by Southwest Interactive later this morning, and you can bet a much wider audience than just those here in Austin will be watching.
It's an hour before suppertime, and the line outside Lone Oak First Baptist Church in Paducah, Ky., is wrapped around the building. The people are waiting for more than a Bible sermon; there's a raffle tonight. Twenty-five guns are up for grabs.
There's nothing new about gun raffles in Kentucky, even at a church. Last year, there were 50 events like this one in the state. The Kentucky Baptist Convention says it's a surefire way to get new people through church doors.