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Around the Nation
9:08 am
Tue January 8, 2013

2 Years After Giffords Shooting, Much Changed?

It's been two years since the shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that killed six people and injured former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. To learn what has and hasn't changed since then, host Michel Martin talks with Daniel Hernandez Jr., Giffords' former intern who was credited with saving her life, and Carolyn Lukensmeyer of the National Institute for Civil Discourse.

Shots - Health News
8:22 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Young And Doubly Insured: A Modern Health Dilemma

Who's driving? And whose health insurer is calling the shots?
iStockphoto.com

There may be worse problems to have, but overlapping health coverage can be a problem for young people nonetheless.

Many young adults have more health insurance options now that they can stay on their parents' plans until they turn 26 under the administration's health law.

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Gays Separated From Military Since Late '04 To Get Full Discharge Pay

that day was a first of its kind for the Navy." href="/post/gays-separated-military-late-04-get-full-discharge-pay" class="noexit lightbox">
Dec. 21, 2011: Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta, left, kisses her girlfriend of two years, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach, Va. Gaeta's ship had returned from 80 days at sea. Their "first kiss" that day was a first of its kind for the Navy.
Brian J. Clark The Virginian-Pilot/AP

Gays who were forced to leave the U.S. military before 2011's repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy were often given honorable discharges — but were only granted about half of the discharge pay that otherwise would have been due to them.

After the settlement Monday of a class action lawsuit brought in New Mexico, about 181 such men and women will be getting the money that was withheld.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Mystery: How Did Million Dollar Lottery Winner End Up Dead From Cyanide?

Urooj Khan, with his winning lottery ticket. Not long after this photo was taken, he was dead.
AP

One day after the check was issued, million dollar lottery winner Urooj Khan was dead.

The initial report from the Cook County (Ill.) Medical Examiner's office cited natural causes.

But now, authorities say, they've determined that Khan's July 20 death was due to cyanide poisoning. So Chicago police are back on the case.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Richard Ben Cramer, Winner Of Pulitzer Prize And Masterful Reporter, Dies

Richard Ben Cramer
Bill Marr Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 11:22 am

Richard Ben Cramer, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for his reporting from the Middle East for the Philadelphia Inquirer and went on to write critically acclaimed books and magazine pieces, has died.

The Inquirer reports that Cramer, who was 62, "died Monday ... of lung cancer at the Johns Hopkins [Medical Institutions] in Baltimore."

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Tue January 8, 2013

'Enough,' Says Giffords As She Launches Campaign For New Gun Laws

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., during her interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer.
ABCNews.com

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 7:22 am

When children are gunned down in their classrooms, as happened last month in Newtown, Conn., it's time to say "enough," former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., tells ABC News.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Benghazi Attack: Only Man Who Was In Custody Is Now Free, Lawyer Says

A burned vehicle outside the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack.
Esam Omran Al-Fetori Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 7:22 am

Ali Harzi, the only person who had been known to be in custody in connection with last September's attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, has been released by authorities in his native Tunisia, the suspect's lawyer tell The Associated Press.

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Asia
5:23 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Chinese Dad Wants Gamer Son To Get A Job

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. A Chinese man worried his son spent too much playing online video games. He was especially worried because the 23-year-old was out of work. So the father went online and hired virtual assassins to kill his son's avatar. He hoped his son would give up and get a job. A gamer's blog reports the son discovered the plot, asking his attackers why they whacked him every time he logged in. He told his father he's just waiting for the right job. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
5:00 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Lone Wolf From Oregon Roams California

The wolf is called OR7 because he was the seventh gray wolf in Oregon outfitted with a GPS tracking collar. Unlike most gray wolves, he strayed far from home, to California, where he's roamed thousands of miles.

Business
4:06 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Settlements Underscore Damage Done In Housing Crash

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some other news: Some of the biggest banks in the country have agreed to pay more than $18 billion to settle allegations of wrongdoing in their mortgage lending. That's today's "Business Bottom Line."

Bank of America said yesterday it would pay more than $10 billion to the mortgage company Fannie Mae because of bad loans sold during the housing boom. And in a separate settlement, 10 banks agreed to pay more than $8 billion in total, to settle claims that they made errors in foreclosing on people's homes. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Sports
4:06 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Alabama Wins 2nd Consecutive BCS Championship

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 7:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. The good news for Notre Dame fans is that they should be well rested this morning. They had no reason to stay up late last night. Alabama took the fight out of the Irish, 42-14, defeating the previously undefeated team and winning the BCS championship. NPR's Tom Goldman was at the game in Miami.

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Around the Nation
4:06 am
Tue January 8, 2013

How Do gun Bans Affect Violent Crime Rates?

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:28 am

On Monday, Morning Edition explored crime rates in Chicago and how the murder rate went up in 2012. That was against national trends and even against Chicago's long-range decline in crime. We discussed police focus on "hot spots," and the dissolution of gangs. But listeners asked: What about gun bans?

Shots - Health News
1:49 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Can You Get A Flu Shot And Still Get The Flu?

Shea Catlin, a nurse practitioner, doses out flu vaccine to give a shot at a CVS Minute Clinic in Arlington, Va., on Jan. 3.
Barbara L. Salisbury The Washington Times/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 4:06 am

This year's flu season started about a month early, prompting federal health officials to warn it could be one of the worst in years. They're urging everyone to get their flu shots.

But like every flu season, there are lots of reports of people complaining that they got their shot but still got the flu. What's up with that?

Well, as Michael Jhung of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains, there are lots of possible reasons.

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Afghanistan
1:49 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Future Of U.S. Troops Looms Over Afghan Leader's Visit

President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai greet each other during a May 20 meeting at the NATO Summit in Chicago. Karzai is in Washington, D.C., this week to meet Obama and other senior U.S. officials.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 6:06 am

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is in Washington this week for meetings with President Obama and other senior administration officials. The talks are expected to help set the framework for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan after the bulk of American and NATO forces leave at the end of 2014. One of the key issues to be discussed is the number of American troops to remain in Afghanistan after that date.

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Theater
1:47 am
Tue January 8, 2013

A Vet's Haunted Homecoming In 'Water By The Spoonful'

Liza Colon-Zayas plays a troubled character named Odessa Ortiz, who finds her better self online. She's pictured above with Bill Heck, as Fountainhead.
Richard Termine

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 4:06 am

The cliche about writers is they should write what they know, and that old saw has certainly worked for Quiara Alegria Hudes. The 35-year-old playwright has mined her Puerto Rican family's stories into a series of plays, a musical and even a children's book. Now, her Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Water by the Spoonful, is being brought to life in the first New York production of the play, opening off-Broadway on Tuesday evening.

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Latin America
1:42 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Ill In Cuba, Chavez Likely To Miss His Swearing In

A supporter of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez holds a heart-shaped sign that reads in Spanish "I vote for Chavez!" and a picture of Chavez outside the National Assembly in Caracas over the weekend. On Thursday, Chavez is scheduled to be sworn in for a fourth term. Government officials are suggesting the ceremony could be delayed as the president recovers from cancer surgery in Cuba.
Ariana Cubillos AP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 7:10 am

In the Bolivar Plaza of downtown Caracas, supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrive carrying photographs of their leader and singing songs urging him on. Music blares from loudspeakers, repeating over and over, "Chavez, my commander, is here to stay."

Chavez, however, is most definitely not here, and increasingly many Venezuelans wonder if he'll ever be back. He flew to Cuba, Venezuela's closest ally, for an operation that took place on Dec. 11. Before leaving for his fourth cancer surgery, Chavez named a successor.

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Energy
12:38 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Drilling Rig's Thick Hull Helps Prevent Oil Spill

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 4:06 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Shell oil drilling rig that ran aground off Alaska last week is now anchored in a quiet harbor so divers can assess the damage. Wildlife officials say they have seen no evidence of a spill from the vessel, which was carrying tanks of diesel fuel. But the accident does raise questions about Shell's plans to drill for oil in the remote and fragile ecosystem of the Arctic.

NPR's Richard Harris reports.

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Music News
12:03 am
Tue January 8, 2013

2 Pi: Rhymes And Radii

Jake Scott (a.k.a. 2 Pi), with student.
Courtesy of Jake Scott

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:29 pm

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Shots - Health News
4:13 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Health Spending Increases Remain At Record Lows

Orcea David iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 4:57 pm

For the third straight year, spending on health care in 2011 grew at a historically slow rate, government researchers report.

According to a study published in the January issue of the policy journal Health Affairs, U.S. health spending rose 3.9 percent in 2011. That's statistically almost identical to the rate of increase in each of the two previous years.

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U.S.
4:09 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

New Regulations Could Treat Virginia Abortion Clinics Like Hospitals

Protesters appeal to members of the Virginia Board of Health after their decision to impose new building regulations on abortion clinics in Richmond, Va., on Sept. 14.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 8:00 am

This month marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the famed and widely cited case that legalized abortion. Yet across the country, states are continuing to approve restrictions.

With little fanfare, Virginia and Michigan Republican governors recently signed new abortion bills into law. Virginia's Bob McDonnell, in particular, quietly approved clinic regulations adopted by the state's Board of Health three months ago that hold abortion clinics to the same building standards as hospitals.

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All Tech Considered
3:45 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Why Is Google Exec Interested In North Korea?

Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt (left) arrives at Pyongyang International Airport on Monday. There is speculation that Schmidt's presence in North Korea could have an upside for Google by positioning Schmidt as the company's global ambassador.
David Guttenfelder AP

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 4:39 pm

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, has landed in North Korea. His trip there is a bit of a mystery.

Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, has been a vocal proponent of providing people around the world with Internet access and technology. North Korea doesn't even let its citizens access the open Internet, and its population is overwhelmingly poor — so it's not exactly a coveted audience for advertisers.

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The Salt
3:45 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

The $1.76 Million Tuna: Great For Publicity, Bad For The Species

Sushi chain owner Kiyoshi Kimura poses with a bluefin tuna in front of his Sushi Zanmai restaurant in Tokyo on Saturday. He paid more than $1.7 million for the fish.
Shuji Kajiyama AP

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 3:52 pm

It's become an annual tradition: bidding up an outrageous price for a Pacific bluefin tuna during the first auction of the new year at Toyko's Tsukiji fish market.

And on Saturday, a bluefin tuna big enough to serve up about 10,000 pieces of sushi fetched a mind-boggling price: $1.76 million. That's about three times as much as last year's tuna and equates to about $3,600 per pound for the 489-pound fish.

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It's All Politics
3:42 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Why Hagel? Let Us Count The Reasons

President Obama nominates former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to be defense secretary Monday at the White House.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 7:02 am

So why did President Obama choose Chuck Hagel to be his new defense secretary?

First, Hagel is Obama's kind of Republican. The former senator from Nebraska is a realist and pragmatist who hasn't been afraid to buck the orthodoxy of his chosen party, for instance when Hagel opposed the Iraq War.

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Shots - Health News
3:38 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Why Didn't Your Doctor Prescribe A Generic? Look In The Mirror.

Generic or brand?
iStockphoto.com

We're living in the golden age of generic drugs.

Eight in 10 prescriptions are filled with generics rather than brand-name drugs these days.

The generics are usually inexpensive. Think $4 for a month's supply of the depression drug fluoxetine (or Prozac) at Wal-Mart. If you have insurance that covers pharmaceuticals, your copay will be lower with a generic than a brand-name drug, too.

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The Two-Way
3:38 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

'Latin@' Offers A Gender-Neutral Choice; But How To Pronounce It?

In Spanish, most nouns default to masculine or feminine, as do the adjectives that describe them. So if you're referring to a group of people that includes a man, the word you'd use for that group would be masculine — even if that group is mostly made up of women.

(For a handy explainer on how words in languages become gendered, check out the "When Nouns Grow Genitals" episode of Slate's Lexicon Valley.)

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National Security
3:34 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

CIA Nominee Brennan Has Obama's 'Complete Trust'

John Brennan speaks in the East Room of the White House on Monday, after President Obama announced his nomination of Brennan to run the CIA. Obama also announced his choice of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (left) to head the Department of Defense.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 4:19 pm

President Obama's choice of John Brennan to lead the CIA appears to be less controversial than his decision to nominate former Sen. Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense.

The top Republican on the House intelligence committee, Rep. Mike Rogers, said in a statement Monday that he looks forward to working with Brennan at the CIA. Still, the Brennan nomination will raise questions about Obama's national security policy.

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Afghanistan
2:58 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

As Karzai Visits U.S., What Are The Prospects For Afghan Peace?

Afghan President Hamid Karzai will meet with President Obama and other senior U.S. officials in Washington this week. Many analysts remain skeptical about the prospects for a negotiated peace in Afghanistan. He's shown here speaking in Kabul last month.
Massoud Hossani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 5:16 pm

As Afghan President Hamid Karzai comes to Washington to meet with President Obama and other U.S. officials this week, there is renewed discussion in Afghanistan about the possibility of a negotiated end to the country's war.

Recent talks hosted by France have rekindled hopes for some sort of reconciliation between the Taliban and Karzai's government. But given the decades of war in Afghanistan, many think the prospect of a peace deal remains nothing but talk.

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Commentary
2:48 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Online 'Shaming' A New Level Of Cyberbullying For Girls

Sixteen-year-old Rookie Reporter Temitayo Fagbenle says at her school girls are often the victims of "slut shaming," having explicit photos and videos of themselves posted online and shared with their peers.
Joerg Koch AP

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 4:19 pm

Many teenagers are living half their lives on social media sites, and they're writing the rules as they go. One online trend 16-year-old Temitayo Fagbenle finds disturbing is something she calls "slut shaming" — using photos and videos to turn a girl's private life inside out. Temitayo reported this story as part of the Radio Rookies program at member station WNYC.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

What Lance Armstrong, And The USADA, Might Gain From A Confession

Lance Armstrong, seen here at a LIVESTRONG Challenge Ride in October 2012, might be willing to confess to doping — in exchange for an easing of his lifetime ban, according to reports.
Cooper Neill Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 7:23 am

The news that disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong might be willing to confess to the doping charges he spent years denying has reopened interest in his case — and in the question of whether his lifetime ban from competitive sports could be eased in exchange for Armstrong's cooperation.

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Asia
2:07 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

China Pledges Reforms To Labor Camps, But Offers Few Details

Ren Jianyu poses for a photograph at a restaurant in Chongqing, China, on Nov. 19, 2012, after being freed from a labor camp. The village official was sentenced to a "re-education through labor" camp after he criticized the government.
STR Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 6:23 pm

China has indicated that it will stop handing down sentences to its controversial labor camps, which allow detention without trial for up to four years. According to Chinese media, some 160,000 prisoners were held in "re-education centers" at the end of 2008.

Critics of the system greeted the announcement — which was slim on details — with cautious optimism.

Pressure to change the system has been mounting after a number of high-profile cases, including that of Ren Jianyu, who had been a young village official.

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