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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Health Care Rules Relaxed Again, 'Backlash' Follows

HealthCare.gov

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 10:06 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: Julie Rovner on the latest changes to the health care program (with an introduction from Jean Cochran)

Word from the Obama administration that Americans who recently had their health insurance canceled will be allowed to buy "catastrophic policies" mostly intended for young adults has upset the insurance industry, NPR's Julie Rovner tells our Newscast desk.

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This Is NPR
8:08 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Post-Game Recap: NPR's Annual Holiday Relay

NPR White House Correspondent Scott Horsely interviews one of the teams after NPR's Holiday Party Relay Challenge.
Amy Ta NPR

The NPR staff likes celebrating the year at our holiday office party just as much as any team of fun-loving employees.

But before we gather to drink warm beverages and mingle over appetizers while festive music plays in the background, we like to... work up our appetites.

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Around the Nation
7:43 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Overturned Truck Spills Holiday Hams

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene. We hope you don't think we ham it up too much on this show, but apologies for this morning's traffic report here at the bottom of the hour. Let's get an update on that interstate ramp outside Atlanta. It was clogged yesterday, not with cars, but ham - 40,000 pounds of it. A semi truck hauling the ham overturned, spilling pork and fuel everywhere. Fortunately the driver was not hurt but that's a lot of wasted holiday ham, unless you like it with a side of diesel.

Latin America
7:43 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Cuba Loosens Restrictions On Buying New Cars

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Visitors to Cuba describe a journey back in time. The government of the Castro brothers restrained the auto market, leaving ancient cars on the streets, many made in the U.S. But the market is loosening.

The Two-Way
7:40 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Book News: 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' Author Dies

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Fri December 20, 2013

'Huge Win For Victims Of Sexual Assault' In Defense Budget

Tim Shaffer Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 8:11 am

"The women of the Senate who led the fight to change how the military deals with sexual assault in its ranks are hailing passage of a comprehensive defense bill that now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature," The Associated Press writes this morning.

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Business
7:05 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Shop On The Web Or In The Store; Each Has Risks

A customer prepares to sign a credit card slip Thursday at a Target store in Miami. The giant retailer says 40 million payment cards nationwide may have been compromised by data theft.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 8:37 am

Back in ye olden days — say, a decade ago — many holiday shoppers worried about using credit cards to buy gifts online. They feared their information would end up in the hands of computer hackers.

Turns out, walking into a store and swiping a credit card can be plenty risky, too.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Fri December 20, 2013

When Obama Takes Questions Today, What Should He Be Asked?

President Obama's most recent news conference at the White House was on Nov. 14.
Fang Zhe Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 10:05 am

Update at 10:02 a.m. ET. News Conference Set For 2 P.M. ET:

The White House just announced that the president will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. ET.

So, we've changed our original headline from "If Obama Takes Questions ..." to "When."

Note: The president's sessions with reporters often get started a little late.

Our original post picks up the story:

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Around the Nation
6:31 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Chicago Moves To Limit Petroleum Coke Storage

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Crude oil from Canada's tar sands is providing a booming business for American refineries, but residents of one Chicago neighborhood complain that a byproduct of that business has become a health hazard. They want towering mounds of a dusty substance known as petroleum coke, or petcoke, moved out of the city. And as NPR's Cheryl Corley reports, Chicago is now requiring one company storing the substance to do just that.

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Krulwich Wonders...
6:27 am
Fri December 20, 2013

One Man. One Cat. Multiplied

Courtesy of Mike Holmes

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 11:08 am

We start with a man called Mike and a cat called Ella. Two creatures.

Nothing odd about them, except that Mike has a beard and Ella is a touch chunky. Otherwise, they could be any cat and guy. Except ...

When you think about it, no one is ordinary. You could put a totally bland cat-and-guy couple in front of a hundred people, ask them to look, and each one would see a very different pair, different in a thousand subtle ways, because everybody looks at everything with different eyes.

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National Security
5:47 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Cybersecurity Forces U.S. To Examine Technological Changes

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

Between now and the end of the year, Morning Edition will have a number of conversations about the future. To begin our series of conversations, Steve Inskeep talks to Peter W. Singer of the Brookings Institution about cybersecurity. Singer co-authored Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know.

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Africa
5:28 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Conflict In South Sudan Grows Worse

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 11:59 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's get an update now on the violence in South Sudan. Forces opposed to that nation's president have taken control of a major town, and killed at least three United Nations peacekeepers. Hundreds of other people are dead. The United States has flown in troops to protect its embassy, and a conflict is leaving the newest nation in the world close to civil war.

NPR's East Africa correspondent Gregory Warner is following the story from Nairobi, Kenya. And, Gregory, what is the conflict? What's behind this?

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Movie Reviews
5:22 am
Fri December 20, 2013

'Her,' Another Quirky Film For Director Spike Jonze

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. You just heard a reference to socializing being good for you. What if you're not socializing? What if you're blocked? That's a subject for the movie director Spike Jonze. He's known for directing quirky, emotionally resonant films like "Being John Malkovich" and "Adaptation." And Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION critic Kenneth Turan reviews his new film, "Her."

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Politics
4:48 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Budget Bill Scales Back Military Pensions In 2015

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Leaders of the Pentagon got something they really wanted in a congressional budget deal. They are restraining future pensions paid to American troops. Cutting veterans benefits is never popular, but on this program last month, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said benefits are getting so costly, it's hard to keep troops ready for war.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED INTERVIEW)

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NPR Story
4:35 am
Fri December 20, 2013

We Say Goodbye To Some NPR Colleagues

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And there's more than a touch of sadness for us in this next story. We're saying good-bye to two of NPR's finest voices.

(SOUNDBITE OF NPR NEWS)

JEAN COCHRAN, BYLINE: From NPR News in Washington, I'm Jean Cochran.

PAUL BROWN, BYLINE: I'm Paul Brown, NPR News, Washington.

GREENE: For years now Paul and Jean have brought you the first draft of history.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now we have news - it's the last day for both.

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NPR Story
4:35 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Russian Amnesty Decision Made Before Start Of Winter Olympics

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Russia has been drawing criticism for its handling of gay rights as that country prepares to host the Winter Olympics. A recent Russian law criminalizes what it calls gay propaganda. It's so broadly written, many gay people fear they could face charges for just living their lives. This week, Russia addressed some human rights issues. It granted amnesty for thousands of prisoners, including two women in the band Pussy Riot.

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NPR Story
4:35 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Minister Defrocked Over Officiating Gay Wedding Will Appeal

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 3:12 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. On Thursday the United Methodist Church defrocked a Pennsylvania pastor who's presided at the wedding of his gay son. That wedding was back in 2007. The pastor is appealing the decision in his church trial, which has become a parable for the divisions in a church with more than eight million members across the United States. From member-station WHYY in Philadelphia, Emma Jacobs reports.

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NPR Story
4:35 am
Fri December 20, 2013

'Duck Dynasty' Attracts Christian Conservatives

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Fans of "Duck Dynasty" know this. It is a popular reality TV show about a family that found success selling products to hunters. Well, now the patriarch of the family has been suspended indefinitely from the show; this is after he made remarks about homosexuality to GQ magazine. The show is a huge hit for the A&E cable channel, spawning a multimillion dollar industry of related products and books. NPR's Lynn Neary has this look at the family and where they might be headed.

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NPR Story
4:35 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Report: West Can Use Science To Forge Ties With Iran

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Western and Iranian negotiators have a tough job to conclude a long-term deal on Iran's nuclear program. Many in the U.S. Congress want tougher sanctions on Iran rather than the reverse. Iranian conservatives argue the United States cannot be trusted. The National Iranian-American Council says it wants to weaken those Iranian hardliners.

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