Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:11 am
A day after the largest protest since the Orange Revolution, protesters in the Ukraine blocked government buildings on Monday in an attempt to oust President Viktor Yanukovich.
Demonstrators are angry because Yanukovich abandoned a trade deal with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia. As Reuters explains, many in the Ukraine have yearned to become part of the EU to escape the grip of Moscow.
Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:36 am
Six same-sex couples got married in Hawaii shortly after midnight Monday morning, taking advantage of a new law in the first hours of the first day it took effect. The state's Legislature approved the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act in a recent special session.
Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 12:07 pm
Tambra Momi has been eagerly awaiting the promise of guaranteed health insurance.
Since 2011, she has battled Dercum's disease, a rare and painful condition in which noncancerous tumors sprout throughout her body, pressing against nerves.
Jobless and in a wheelchair, Momi needs nine different drugs, including one costing $380 a month, to control the pain and side effects. No insurer has been willing to cover her, she says, except a few that have taken her money and then refused to pay for her medications.
Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 12:21 pm
Amazon is looking at drastically reducing its delivery times — to 30 minutes or less — as it plans a new service called Prime Air that it says could debut in a few years. In an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes, CEO Jeff Bezos said the giant online retailer plans to use semi-autonomous drones to carry purchases to customers.
That's got tech experts buzzing about whether the idea will fly.
Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 6:53 pm
Update at 6:50 p.m. ET. Speeding Into Curve; A Mile Or More To Safely Stop:
A commuter train headed into New York City was traveling at 82 mph Sunday morning when it entered a curve where the speed limit was supposed to be 30 mph and derailed, National Transportation Safety Board investigators have concluded. Four people on the train were killed and at least 60 others were injured.
We remember this morning, Elwood. He was a good dog. But cute, he was not; tiny, hairless except for a tufty Mohawk, with hooded eyes and a red tongue that stuck out. Six years ago, Elwood shot to fame when he was named the world's ugliest dog. He died on Thanksgiving Day but is immortalized in a popular children's book written by owner Karen Quigley. "Everyone Loves Elwood" is about how it's OK to be different.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
The end of Thanksgiving weekend brings us closer to another deadline. The budget chairs of the Senate and the House, here in Washington, are continuing talks to set spending levels for the coming year and maybe beyond. They're leading a conference committee setup as part of the deal to end the partial government shutdown this past fall.
Demonstrations, often violent, are happening across Ukraine after its president refused to sign a trade agreement with the European Union. His decision came under heavy pressure from Russia, which in the past has cut off critical gas supplies to Ukraine to show its dissatisfaction. For more, Renee Montagne talks to journalist David Stern in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.
In just a couple of months, the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi will host the Winter Olympics. Russia is reportedly spending nearly $50 billion on those games, which would be an Olympic record. To finance venues and housing, one of Russia's state-owned banks lent about $7.5 billion to an elite group of industrialists who are helping bankroll the games. Now, those investors are getting a little nervous.
NPR's business news starts with fracking leftovers.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: Fracking, I said fracking. The controversial process used to extract natural gas produces millions of gallons of wastewater. Now to cut costs, energy companies want to transport that leftover water on barges. But, the U.S. Coast Guard has concerns.
Longtime General Electric CEO and management icon Jack Welch popularized a management style in the 1980s that critics dubbed "rank and yank." The system ranks employees — with under-performers getting yanked from their jobs or the company. This old practice is in the news again. Microsoft recently did away with it. But other companies are embracing it.
If the government's health insurance website is truly up and running and people feel like they are getting a good deal, would that turn around President Obama's negative polling numbers? And how did an administration that is so tech-savvy and so invested in this health care law allow it to become the biggest problem the president and the Democratic party has had to deal with recently?
In this, the first week of December, the Obama administration says it has met its self-imposed deadline of fixing the troubled healthcare.gov web site. And it says people should be able to sign up for health insurance. So, is it fixed and when will we know for sure?