National

Business
5:04 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Auto Industry Challenged By Falling Gas Prices

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 8:21 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Back At Base
3:35 am
Tue January 13, 2015

VA Data Show Disparities In Veteran Benefits Spending

George Murray, who served in Vietnam, was able to access his medical benefits from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs relatively easily while living in Boston. But veterans living in other parts of Massachusetts, like Cape Cod, have more difficulty. Across the U.S., VA data show the unevenness in its benefit spending.
Jesse Costa WBUR

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 11:30 am

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base." This is the first of a three-part series about veteran benefits (Part 2 / Part 3).

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Economy
3:34 am
Tue January 13, 2015

'Kings When It's Good': Oklahoma Braces For Possible Crude Crash

An oil and gas facility in Roger Mills County in far-western Oklahoma. The governor is warning state agencies that low oil prices could stall the state economy.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 12:26 pm

The sign on the front door of Pecan Creek Catering in New Cordell, Okla., may say closed, but this kitchen is open for business. It used to be a cafe, but owner Chad Igo closed the restaurant years ago to focus on catering exclusively to the oil industry.

"We're kings when it's good. They love us. But as soon as it gets tight, we're the first one to get cut," he says.

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Animals
3:33 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Good News For Bats! Things Are Looking Up For Stemming Disease Spread

This October 2008 photo, provided by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, shows a brown bat with its nose crusted in fungus.
Ryan von Linden AP

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 8:01 am

The bat disease known as white-nose syndrome has been spreading fast, killing millions of animals. But for the first time, scientists are seeing hopeful signs that some bat colonies are recovering and new breakthroughs could help researchers develop better strategies for helping bats survive.

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Your Money
3:32 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Consumer Agency Launches Tool To Help You Find A Cheaper Mortgage

A sign announces that a Los Angeles house is for sale in November.
Richard Vogel AP

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 3:41 pm

Many Americans love a good deal, shopping around to save $10 or $20 on a pair of pants or winter coats for the kids — but when finding mortgages, nearly half don't even call around to different banks. Three-fourths only fill out an application with one lender.

Richard Cordray, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, says there may be a few reasons consumers aren't comparison shopping for loans.

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The Two-Way
11:02 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Smoke-Filled Subway Train Leaves 1 Dead, 84 Hospitalized In D.C.

Smoke inhalation victims walk past a firefighter towards a medical aid bus Monday after passengers on the Washington, D.C., subway were injured when smoke filled the L'Enfant Plaza station during the afternoon rush hour.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 12:32 pm

One subway passenger died and more 84 were taken to the hospital, including two still in critical condition, when a Washington, D.C., train filled with smoke late Monday afternoon, WAMU reports.

The train halted in a tunnel just outside L'Enfant Plaza station, a major junction in the system, and then the power went out and smoke flooded into the car, NPR employee Luis Clemens told the radio station.

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Code Switch
6:29 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

The Story Behind '40 Acres And A Mule'

The Green-Meldrim House in Savannah, Ga., is where Gen. William T. Sherman held meetings with local black leaders, creating the plan later known as "40 acres and a mule."
Sarah McCammon NPR

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 2:30 pm

As the Civil War was winding down 150 years ago, Union leaders gathered a group of black ministers in Savannah, Ga. The goal was to help the thousands of newly freed slaves.

From that meeting came Gen. William T. Sherman's Special Field Order 15. It set aside land along the Southeast coast so that "each family shall have a plot of not more than forty acres of tillable ground."

That plan later became known by a signature phrase: "40 acres and a mule."

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The Salt
6:20 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Minifasting: How Occasionally Skipping Meals May Boost Health

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 7:32 am

If you've ever gone to sleep hungry and then dreamed of chocolate croissants, the idea of fasting may seem completely unappealing.

But what if the payoff for a 16-hour fast — which might involve skipping dinner, save a bowl of broth — is a boost in energy and a decreased appetite?

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Around the Nation
5:32 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

An Exhibit Offers A Different Angle On Life In Public Housing

Ephraim Benton, a former resident of Tompkins Houses in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, is now an actor. Benton started a community-based organization called Beyond Influencing Da Hood, which puts on health fairs, film festivals and various free community events in his old housing project. This photo was taken in front of his old building in Tompkins Houses.
Courtesy of Shino Yanagawa

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 6:44 pm

Life in public housing sometimes can be difficult, but it's also a lot like life anywhere — made up mostly of work, school, family and friends. Still, many who don't live in public housing have a negative image of those who do.

Two former residents are trying to change that.

Rico Washington is one of them. The 38-year-old with long dreadlocks and a neatly trimmed beard grew up in Kimberly Gardens public housing apartments in Laurel, Md. When he was younger he was embarrassed about where he lived, he says, and would have co-workers drop him off down the street.

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Shots - Health News
5:28 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Imagining A Future When The Doctor's Office Is In Your Home

Visitors check out wireless blood pressure monitors at the Consumer Electronics Show in Los Angeles.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 10:57 am

Extracting medical care from the health care system is all too often an expensive exercise in frustration. Dr. Eric Topol says your smartphone could make it cheaper, faster, better and safer.

That's the gist of his new book, The Patient Will See You Now. Lots of people are bullish on the future of mobile health to transform health care, but Topol gets extra cred because of his major medical chops: Former head of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic and present director of the Scripps Translations Science Institute in La Jolla, Calif.

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Law
4:18 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

In South Carolina, Class Action Lawsuit Pits Foster Kids Against State

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 12:32 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Politics
4:18 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Obama: 'If We're Going To Be Connected, Then We Need To Be Protected'

The president spoke about one measure aimed at the data collected in schools, through increasingly popular educational software. "Michelle and I are like parents everywhere," Obama said. "We want to be sure our children are being smart and safe online."
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 6:02 pm

President Obama said Monday he wants the federal government to do more to prevent cyber attacks. He outlined a series of proposals designed to safeguard personal data — steps he'll talk more about in next week's State of the Union address.

The same day, the government itself became a target.

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Law
4:18 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

In Battle Over Church Signs, Is Ariz. Town Being 'A Little Unreasonable'?

Political signs in Gilbert, Ariz. are permitted to be larger and stay up longer than "directional" signs like those pointing residents to local church services.
Bruce Ellefson ADF

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 6:21 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday wrestled with what the constitutional rules should be for local governments seeking to limit sign clutter on public property.

Sign regulation is a thorn in the side of local governments. Too little regulation and they get sued for traffic safety problems, sign clutter, and degraded property values. Too much regulation and they get sued for First Amendment violations. So like Goldilocks, local governments, work hard to get it "just right."

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Around the Nation
4:18 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

New York City ID Could Open Up Doors — And Privacy Concerns

Veronica Ramirez holds her 15-month-old son, Lora, as she waits in line Monday to apply for a new municipal identification card at the Bronx Library Center in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 6:41 pm

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio made a pitch for a piece of plastic on Monday — a new ID card for New York City residents, regardless of immigration status.

"One piece of plastic, but it's going to open so many doors for our fellow New Yorkers. It's going to make their lives better," de Blasio said.

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Goats and Soda
3:51 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Donating A Single Rollerblade Is Not Going To Help Disaster Victims

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 7:09 am

Five years ago today, a massive earthquake rocked the island nation of Haiti. Within hours, Partners in Health, the largest provider of health care in the country and the organization for which I work, was delivering care in Port-au-Prince. The outpouring of support overwhelmed us. By some estimates, half of all American households contributed to the relief effort.

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The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

U.Va. Reinstates Fraternity Accused In 'Rolling Stone' Rape Story

The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. The fraternity was at the center of a controversial Rolling Stone article describing an alleged gang rape at the school.
Steve Helber AP

The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the center of a disputed Rolling Stone account of an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia has been reinstated, according to a statement released on the school's website Monday.

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Monkey See
2:57 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

A Few Caveats About The New World Of Television

Transparent creator Jill Soloway (second from left) with actors Jay Duplass, Jeffrey Tambor, and Judith Light. Soloway and Tambor won Golden Globes on Sunday, a first for Amazon.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 5:31 pm

Sunday night's Golden Globes honored television that feels different from what we had before in both content and business model. High honors went to, among others, House Of Cards, a Netflix drama starring an established movie actor; Transparent, an Amazon comedy-drama about a transgender woman with adult children; and Jane The Virgin, an offbeat CW show embracing the telenovela format and featuring a marvelous young lead who is also a woman of color.

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Shots - Health News
2:32 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Why OCD Is 'Miserable': A Science Reporter's Obsession With Contracting HIV

David Adam is a writer and editor at the journal Nature and was a special correspondent at the Guardian, writing about science, medicine and the environment.
Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 10:58 am

If you have an obsessive but irrational fear, it would probably be pretty difficult for anyone to talk you out of it. Because irrational fears, by definition, aren't rational, which is one of the reasons having obsessive-compulsive disorder is such a nightmare.

For science reporter David Adam, he's obsessed with HIV.

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The Salt
12:14 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

What Might Be Missing From MyPlate? Water

The University of California's Nutrition Policy Institute has proposed that MyPlate include an icon for water.
UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Sometime in the next few weeks, we'll be hearing from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The panel of nutrition experts is tasked with reviewing the latest science on nutrition and medicine and making recommendations on how to update the next version of the federal government's guidance on eating.

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Monkey See
11:31 am
Mon January 12, 2015

What Those George Clooney Jokes Know About Red Carpet Culture

Actor George Clooney and his wife Amal looked pretty good on the red carpet.
Jason Merritt Getty Images

At Sunday night's Golden Globes, Tina Fey said this about the new wife of award recipient George Clooney: "Amal [Alamuddin] is a human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, was an advisor to Kofi Annan regarding Syria, and was selected for a three-person U.N. commission investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza Strip. So tonight, her husband is getting a Lifetime Achievement Award."

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Goats and Soda
11:07 am
Mon January 12, 2015

5 Years After Haiti's Earthquake, Where Did The $13.5 Billion Go?

After the earthquake in 2010, about 1,000 people were living in tents on the median of Highway 2, one of Haiti's busiest roads. Five years later, tens of thousands of people in Port-au-Prince still live in tents and other temporary housing.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 8:39 am

Haiti's magnitude 7.0 earthquake of Jan. 12, 2010, left 220,000 people dead, 300,000 injured and rubble nearly everywhere.

The catastrophe also unleashed an unprecedented flood of humanitarian aid — $13.5 billion in donations and pledges, about three-quarters from donor nations and a quarter from private charity.

But today Haiti is a long, long way from realizing the bullish goal of "building back better."

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Shots - Health News
10:46 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Your Online Avatar May Reveal More About You Than You'd Think

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 10:49 am

My Nintendo Wii character, my Mii, looks a lot like me. She has the same haircut, the same skin tone and even the same eyebrow shape. And while my Mii plays tennis slightly better than I do, I designed her to be a real, virtual me (albeit with balls for hands).

But it turns out I might not have needed to mimic my appearance to let people know what I'm like.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Mon January 12, 2015

NYPD Officers Have Faced Light Punishments For Chokeholds, Report Finds

People attend a vigil for Eric Garner near where he died after he was taken into police custody in Staten Island.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 8:27 am

In its first report since it was created, the New York City Police Department's inspector general found that chokeholds, which are banned by the department, were quick to be used by officers, who rarely received significant punishment.

NPR member station WNYC reports:

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Politics
6:22 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Lobbyists Adjust To GOP Majority On Capitol Hill

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 11:05 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
6:11 am
Mon January 12, 2015

35 Years Later, Guy With Metal Detector Finds Lost Class Ring

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 7:45 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Delinquent Mines
5:02 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Regulators Take Action Against Delinquent Mines

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 2:28 pm

Two weeks after NPR and Mine Safety and Health News reported nearly $70 million in delinquent mine safety penalties at more than 4,000 coal and mineral mines, federal regulators suddenly revived a rare approach to force mines to pay.

They cited a delinquent coal mine for failing to pay $30,000 in overdue penalties and gave the mine's owner two weeks to pay. He didn't, so the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) shut down the mine. Within 40 minutes, mine officials agreed to a payment plan and the mine reopened.

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Sports
4:59 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Buckeye Fans Have No Doubt Ohio State Will Win The Championship

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 9:42 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sports
4:59 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Oregon Football Fans Are Confident Their Team Will Beat Ohio State

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 11:30 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
4:59 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Demonstrators In Birmingham, Ala., Rally In Support Of Police

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 6:56 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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The Salt
3:26 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Iowa's Largest City Sues Over Farm Fertilizer Runoff In Rivers

The city of Des Moines, Iowa, sits on the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers. The city's water works says it will sue three neighboring counties for high nitrate levels in these waterways.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 7:09 pm

Des Moines, Iowa, is confronting the farms that surround it over pollution in two rivers that supply the city with drinking water. Des Moines Water Works says it will sue three neighboring counties for high nitrate levels in the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers. It's a novel attempt to control fertilizer runoff from farms, which has been largely unregulated.

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