U.S. News

The Two-Way
3:46 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Health Care Enrollments Up, But Still Well Short Of Goal

The HealthCare.gov website has been a source of delays and confusion for those trying to sign up for health insurance under the ACA.
Jon Elswick AP

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.

As The Associated Press reports:

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U.S.
3:39 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Move To Honor Prohibition-Era 'Untouchable' Hits A Snag

Eliot Ness is credited with assembling a team of federal agents who took down Al Capone in Chicago in the 1930s.
The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 6:14 pm

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.

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Business
3:39 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Delayed Safety Recall May Haunt GM As It Continues Its Makeover

The Chevrolet Cobalt is one of the GM models being recalled for faulty ignition switches.
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 pm

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.

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Shots - Health News
3:13 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Whole Genome Scans Aren't Quite Ready For Your Doctor's Office

Interpreting the results from a genome scan takes a lot of people time. And the databases used to interpret the results aren't infallible.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 2:08 pm

For more than a decade scientists have been saying that a genomic revolution will transform medicine, making it possible to scan all of a person's DNA to predict risk and customize medical care.

Well, we've got the machines. Where's the revolution?

Getting closer, say researchers at Stanford University, who tested the technology on 12 people. But not quite ready for every doctor's office.

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Environment
2:32 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

A Plan To Eliminate Wild Mute Swans Draws Vocal Opposition

The latest move to eradicate invasive species has put the mute swan in the cross hairs in New York.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 9:02 am

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.

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Politics
2:32 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Christie Aides Refuse To Comply With Subpoenas

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 pm

Two key aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are now trying to convince a judge not to force them to testify. They're citing their fifth amendment rights in order to avoid complying with subpoenas.

News
2:32 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

On Senate Floor, Rift Opens Between Lawmakers And CIA

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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.

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Business
2:32 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Theories And Disputes Eddy Around Missing Malaysian Airliner

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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.

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History
2:32 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

A World Without World War I, Featuring Health-Nut Hitler

Vladimir Lenin in 1900. In our counterfactual history, his career as the producer of the musical Pins and Needles is only a few years away.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 2:43 pm

This is part of an All Things Considered series that imagines a counterfactual history of World War I.

This summer marks 100 years since the start of World War I. Many argue that the conflict was inevitable — but what if it wasn't?

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Politics
2:00 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Outside Groups Lay Millions On Florida Special Election

Republican David Jolly thanks supporters during a campaign rally in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla.
Steve Nesius AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 pm

The campaign for a congressional seat in St. Petersburg, Fla., will have seen some $10 million in spending by candidates and outside groups. Where did all of this money go?

Shots - Health News
11:50 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Tiny In-Nose Filters Aim To Keep Allergies At Bay

The glasses aren't going to help with your allergies. But some inventors think that a tiny dust-blocking device might.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 6:23 am

For the millions of people with allergies, spring can mean months of antihistamines, nasal steroids and avoiding nature.

So we were intrigued when we came across the concept of nasal filters – tiny devices that claim to block pollen and other allergens from ever entering nasal passages.

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U.S.
9:39 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Fight Against Military Sexual Assault Hits New Milestone

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 10:50 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
9:04 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Deadline Nears To Buy Or Switch Obamacare Coverage

Janelle Arevalo, an insurance agent with Sunshine Life and Health Advisors, makes a house call in Miami to sign up Sandra Berrios (left) for an insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

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.

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Science
3:28 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Trapping And Tracking The Mysterious Snowy Owl

Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 5:04 pm

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.

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National Security
1:26 am
Tue March 11, 2014

U.S. Checks For Stolen Passports, But Other Nations Fall Short

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:28 am

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.

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Around the Nation
1:08 am
Tue March 11, 2014

N.Y. Governor Says College For Inmates Will Pay Off For Taxpayers

Inmates at New York's Coxsackie Correctional Facility. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says reinstating state-funded prison college programs will ultimately save taxpayers money.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:28 am

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.

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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Seattle Moves To Curb Uber, Other Ride-Share Services

Seattle's government has given early approval to caps on ride-share companies such as Uber. Here, Peter Faris, whose company's drivers use Uber to find customers, holds a smartphone with the ride-sharing company's app in Washington, D.C.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

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.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Colorado Collected $2.1 Million In January Taxes On Recreational Pot

Marijuana is stored in bins for trimming and packaging in preparation to be sold retail at 3D Cannabis Center, in Denver.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 4:38 pm

For the first time since it legalized recreational marijuana, Colorado is releasing revenue figures: The state made $3.5 million in taxes and fees in January.

As KUSA-TV reports, $2.1 million of that came from the sale of recreational pot and $1.4 million came from medical marijuana.

KUSA adds:

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History
3:10 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

QUIZ: What Came Out Of World War I?

World War I was when the old world became the new. Here, a German cavalryman wears a gas mask and carries a long spear or pole, from two different ages of war.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

World War I shook up the world in a dramatic way — and from that chaos emerged inventions, words and other things we still use today.

Can you identify them all?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Space
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Earthbound Tensions Don't Reach Russian-American Space Partnership

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 3:20 pm

U.S. astronaut Mike Hopkins is expected to land in Kazakhstan, and despite diplomatic tensions the Russians plan to pick him up. It's another sign that U.S. and Russia remain tied at the hip in space.

Around the Nation
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Social Distrust Blooms Among Millennials, But Where Are Its Roots?

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:59 pm

A Pew Study finds that the milliennial generation has a low level of social trust. There are several possible causes for this distrust, including a skewed social media culture and a faltering economy.

Sports
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

After A Marathon Game, Two Hockey Teams Split One Trophy

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:59 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Politics
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Hedge Fund Turns To Lobbying To Back Up Its Billion-Dollar Bet

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:59 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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?

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Europe
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Pending Russian Response, Kerry's Travel Plans Are Up In The Air

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:59 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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.

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News
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Keep Austin Wary: Snowden Streams Warnings To Tech Conference

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 7:33 am

Transcript

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.

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Your Money
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Groups Use Cash Prizes To Encourage Saving

Maya Gaines, of the Baltimore CASH Campaign, tries to encourage people to put aside some of their tax refunds into savings. She rings bells, cheers and dances every time someone decides to do that.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 12:16 pm

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.

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The Salt
2:02 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Freshly Baked Art: Cookies That Are A Feast For The Eyes

Rebecca Weld (aka The Cookie Architect) nabbed the Oscar of the cookie world for this series of Nantucket-themed biscuits.
Courtesy of Rebecca Weld via Cookie Connection

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 11:52 am

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.

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Shots - Health News
1:48 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Memories Can Go Astray When We Step Outside Our Bodies

The illusion of an out-of-body experience made it harder for people to remember what happened.
iStockphoto

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.

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All Tech Considered
1:29 am
Mon March 10, 2014

SXSW: Snowden Speech Has Conference Buzzing, Congressman Stewing

SXSW Interactive Festival attendees crowd the Austin Convention Center at the 2013 event. The festival's typically sprawling range of topics this year took a turn toward online privacy and surveillance implications.
Jack Plunkett AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:59 am

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.

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Religion
1:02 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Kentucky Southern Baptists Draw Crowds With Gun Giveaways

Twenty-five guns were up for grabs at the event. Raffle winners must pass a background check to claim their prize.
Blake Farmer WPLN

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:59 am

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.

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