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Economy
5:51 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Reduced Foodstamps Payouts Could Hurt The Economy

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:49 pm

Food stamp recipients will see a cut in their benefits starting Friday. For the hungry and unemployed, more cuts may be coming. That's a challenge for the affected families, but it could also be a drain on the broader economy.

The Salt
5:30 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Kraft Dims Artificial Orange Glow Of Its Mac And Cheese

Some Kraft Macaroni and Cheese will no longer be so ... orange.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:35 pm

One of the iconic foods of American childhood is becoming a bit less startlingly orange.

Kraft Foods plans to remove artificial food coloring from mac and cheese products that are marketed for children, starting early next year.

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The Two-Way
5:30 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Appeals Court Sides With Employers On Covering Birth Control

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:06 pm

A federal appeals court has sided with the owners of a fruit and vegetable distributor who challenged part of the 2010 health care law requiring employers to provide insurance coverage for birth control. Federal courts have split on the issue, which is the subject of dozens of similar cases.

According to the National Women's Law Center, "a total of 88 lawsuits have been filed" over the issue of contraceptive coverage. Of that number, 63 cases are still pending; the other 25 have been closed.

NPR's Julie Rovner reports for our Newscast unit:

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Shots - Health News
5:19 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Feds To Ease Restrictions On Flexible Spending Accounts

Where did the money for those glasses come from?
iStockphoto.com

The Treasury Department is scrapping the rule that requires people to use or lose the money they set aside each year in accounts to cover health care expenses that are otherwise unreimbursed.

Instead, the department plans to allow people to carry over up to $500 of unused money to the following year, at their employer's discretion. That could start as early as the end of this year.

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NPR Story
5:06 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Rather Than Bet On Your Favorite NFL Player, Invest

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:49 pm

Sports marketing and management firm Fantex has reached a deal with San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis for an initial public stock offering. Fantex is paying Davis $4 million for the rights to 10 percent of his earnings, and the company is also creating a tracking stock linked specifically to the football player's economic performance. Davis is the second player to try this arrangement with Fantex. Sportswriter Fatsis joins Robert Siegel to explain how this is all supposed to work — and why he's dubious.

NPR Story
5:06 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

An East L.A. Football Rivalry, Unchanged For 79 Years

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:49 pm

An East Los Angeles rivalry has become the largest high school football game west of the Mississippi. The football teams of Garfield High School and Roosevelt High School will meet on the gridiron Friday night for the 79th year. The game is expected to draw 20,000 fans.

All Tech Considered
5:06 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

HealthCare.gov's Rocky First Month Leaves Plenty Of Questions

Suzanne Cloud on the first day the health exchange marketplace opened, Oct 1. Because of problems with the HealthCare.gov website, she's now planning to use a paper application.
Elana Gordon WHYY

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:49 pm

When the federal health exchange marketplace opened Oct. 1, we visited jazz musician Suzanne Cloud in Philadelphia. She tried to start an account early in the morning, but technology thwarted her plans.

She wasn't alone, as it became clear quickly that the unprecedented system for Americans in 36 states to shop and enroll for health insurance was broken in several places. A week into her failed attempts, Cloud stayed positive.

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NPR Story
4:55 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

'Ender's Game' Director Says Focus On The Message, Not The Author

Asa Butterfield (left) plays Ender Wiggin and Harrison Ford (right) plays Colonel Graff in the new film "Ender's Game." (Richard Foreman Jr., SMPSP, © 2013 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All Rights Reserved.)
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NPR Story
4:55 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Microbiologist Says To Avoid The Flu, Go Outside

A microbiologist recommends spending time outside in order to avoid getting sick this flu season. (Maxwell GS/Flickr)

Want to avoid catching the flu or your co-worker’s cold this year? 

Get some fresh air and wash your hands with soap and water, microbiologist Jack Gilbert tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

Gilbert says we’ve created an urban world complete with air conditioning, filtration and windows that don’t open, leading to an environment of homogeneous microbes.

Add a healthy dose of bacteria from the outdoors, and you may just be fine. Getting a dog could help, too.

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NPR Story
4:55 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Suspected Gunman In Custody After LAX Shooting

A still image from NBC LA shows a person being loaded into an ambulance at Los Angeles International Airport. (Joseph Weisenthal/Twitter)

Update 4:23 p.m.: Law enforcement officials identify LAX shooting suspect as 23-year-old Paul Ciancia.

Update 2:49 p.m.: Union official: TSA agent killed in LAX shooting.

Update 2:20 p.m.: Police say 3 shot, including TSA agent, by gunman with semi-automatic weapon at LAX.

A suspected gunman was in custody Friday following a shooting at Los Angeles airport that left multiple people wounded and disrupted flights nationwide.

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Movie Reviews
4:25 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Matthew McConaughey, Fiercely Committed To This 'Club'

In Dallas Buyers Club, Matthew McConaughey takes on the role of Ron Woodroof, a Texas man who, diagnosed with AIDS in the 1980s, begins to smuggle experimental drugs in from Mexico.
Anne Marie Fox Focus Features

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:49 pm

Texas good ol' boy Ron Woodroof was a player — drugs, alcohol, women, gambling. As Dallas Buyers Club starts, he's at a rodeo, snorting cocaine, with a fistful of bets, when he gets it on with two prostitutes. Not a "healthy" lifestyle — one that's left him gaunt, weak, coughing.

With the advantage of hindsight, what's ailing him seems obvious now. Back in 1986, it didn't, until doctors did a blood test and told him he had 30 days to live.

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The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Rule Change Allows Rollover For Flexible Spending Accounts

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:43 pm

Workers who put money into "use it or lose it" Flexible Spending Accounts each year could benefit from a new Treasury Department rule change letting them roll over up to $500 at the end of each year.

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The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Pakistani Taliban Chief Killed In U.S. Drone Strike

Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud (left) with his commander Wali-ur Rehman in South Waziristan, in October 2009.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 7:01 pm

The head of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, has been killed in a U.S. drone strike, U.S. and Taliban officials tell NPR and other news organizations.

"We confirm with great sorrow that our esteemed leader was martyred in a drone attack," a senior Taliban commander was quoted by Reuters as saying.

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Parallels
3:04 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

How One Kenyan Tribe Produces The World's Best Runners

Runners train in Ngong, Kenya, in 2012. The country has produced the world's best distance runners for decades, and most belong to the Kalenjin people.
Michael Steele Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 8:35 pm

Kenyan Wilson Kipsang won this year's Berlin Marathon in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 23 seconds — an average of 4:42 per mile. It was easily the fastest marathon time ever recorded, an incredible feat for another powerful Kenyan runner.

But perhaps equally remarkable was that his fellow Kenyans also came in second, third, fourth and fifth place in this major international race. On the women's side, Kenyans placed first, second and fourth.

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Germany Offers Third Gender Option On Birth Certificates

Germany will allow parents to choose a third indeterminate option for newborn babies, under a new law that takes effect Friday.
Deshakalyan Chowdhury AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 3:14 pm

A German law takes effect today that establishes a third gender option for parents filling out birth certificates for newborn babies. They can choose "indeterminate" if the child shows both male and female characteristics.

The parents will make that choice by leaving the boxes for male and female genders blank. The new law is meant to avoid the need to label an intersex baby as male or female before the child is old enough to decide.

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