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Passing major legislation in the United States is a little like solving a Rubik's cube. If you don't solve everything, you've solved nothing, and all the pieces have to come together in the exactly the right way.
GREENE: And the puzzle gets even harder in a time of brutal partisanship. The big question in Washington is whether that Rubik's cube moment has arrived for immigration law.
We're also tracking a story that federal authorities call one of the biggest credit card fraud rings in U.S. history. Eighteen people are alleged to have created an elaborate web of fake identities and sham companies to steal hundreds of millions of dollars.
Leadership of the Boy Scouts of America may take an important vote today. The organization's executive board is wrapping up a meeting in Dallas, and they're talking about whether to drop their policy banning gay leaders and gay scouts. Activists delivered petitions with more than 1.4 million signatures to the national headquarters this week calling for the Boy Scouts to open up the organization.
NPR's Kathy Lohr reports that the issue has ignited a passionate debate about what the 100-year-old group should do.
Although federal data show that fewer Medicare beneficiaries are dying in hospitals that doesn't mean they're getting a lot less medical care in their final days, new research suggests.
Even as deaths in acute-care hospitals declined between 2000 and 2009, the use of intensive care units in the final 30 days of life increased, as did short-term hospice use. The rate of changes to care for these patients, such as transfers within the last three days of life, also increased.
Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 10:39 am
Guys, it may be time to get off the couch and hit the treadmill — especially if you want to have kids.
Okay, we all know that exercise is good for us. It can reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, to name a few benefits. Now researchers say physical activity may also help keep sperm healthy and happy.
The Justice Department may seek as much as $5 billion from Standard and Poor's. In a lawsuit filed Monday night, prosecutors accuse the firm of misleading investors with fraudulent credit ratings on dozens of different mortgage bonds. It's not yet clear whether federal officials plan to file a similar suit against the other big rating firms, Moody's and Fitch. Regulators would like to see the industry be more competitive and less dependent on the firms whose securities they are rating.
In communities around Florida, vigils and other events marked what would've been Trayvon Martin's 18th birthday on Tuesday. Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman has been charged in the teen's death and a judge ruled Tuesday that a June trial will go forward as scheduled.
Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:45 pm
Ann Harada is that rare Asian-American musical theater actress who's never starred in The King and I or Miss Saigon. After a few summer stock stints as Bloody Mary in South Pacific, Harada realized if she was going to make it in theater, it would be as a character actor. In 2003, she originated the role of Christmas Eve in the irreverent puppet musical Avenue Q, a part she played on and off for six years.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Noncitizen meets U.S. citizen, they fall in love, get married. The immigration papers are filed, and a green card arrives in the mailbox. Right? Well, not exactly. Many citizens seeking legal residency for their spouses meet surprises, penalties that can bar their spouses from the U.S. for 10 years, 20 years or for life.
Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 2:15 pm
In the debate on gun control, self-protection and the protection of others are commonly cited justifications for gun ownership. NPR's Neal Conan talks with guests about what happens when a person draws a gun on another individual.