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Laura Lane met Paquita Williams, a New York City subway conductor, when their train was stopped underground for two hours. Generally, Paquita says, most passengers are nice, but "there's times if the train breaks down, people think that's my fault."

While the health law's insurance markets are still struggling to get off the ground, the Obama administration is moving ahead with its second year of meting out bonuses and penalties to hospitals based on the quality of their care. This year, there are more losers than winners.

Medicare has raised payment rates to 1,231 hospitals based on two-dozen quality measurements, including surveys of patient satisfaction and — for the first time — death rates. Another 1,451 hospitals are being paid less for each Medicare patient they treat for the year that began Oct. 1.

What's A Bubble?

Nov 15, 2013

Robert Shiller was surprised when he got the call telling him he'd won the Nobel Memorial Prize in economics — surprised that he'd won (of course), but also surprised that he was sharing the award with Eugene Fama.

"He and I seem to have very different views," Shiller told me. "It's like we're different religions."

In particular, they have very different views about economic bubbles.

"The word 'bubble' drives me nuts, frankly," Fama told me.

Trout fishing is a magnet that draws people from around the world to places like Ovando, Mont. Just ask the owner of Blackfoot Angler and Supplies, Kathy Schoendoerfer.

"Every state in the nation has been through this little shop in Ovando, Montana, population 50," says Schoendoerfer with a mix of pride and perhaps a little fatigue. "And we've also had everybody from Russia, Latvia. We get a lot of Canadians, France, Finland, Brazil, Scotland, Germany, South Africa. We get a lot of business out here. You know, fly-fishing is huge."

The city of Oakland, Calif., is in the middle of a robbery epidemic. In response, some residents in several Oakland neighborhoods are taking matters into their own hands, hiring private security companies to patrol their neighborhoods.

Overall, robberies in Oakland are up 24 percent over the past year, with armed robberies up 45 percent. Since the recession dried up local tax revenues, the Oakland Police Department has been hamstrung by the loss of more than 200 officers and can't respond to all the calls it receives for help.

Evolution is relentless process that seems to keep going and going, even when creatures live in a stable, unchanging world.

That's the latest surprise from a unique experiment that's been underway for more than a quarter-century.

Happy Birthday Prince Charles

Nov 14, 2013



Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Never having taken the job he was destined for, Prince Charles is ready to retire. Today the prince turns 65, making him eligible for his government pension. Now a grandfather, Charles is the longest reigning heir in Britain's history, even longer than Queen Victoria's son Bertie, or Edward VII. Obviously Charles won't be living on his pension of $175 a week. The prince says he will donate it to charity. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.



Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Dunkin Donuts offers a discount for police. That plays off a stereotype, but gives little thanks for their service. The trouble came when a Florida cop seemed to overuse the privilege. He showed a badge, returned several times, and even brought his family before the manager began suspecting that Charles Chuck Berry was no cop. Real police set up surveillance and caught the impersonator with a badge, a gun and presumably powdered sugar on his hands.



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


And I'm Steve Inskeep. Let's hear next from a defender of Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act. Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman of California is on the line. Congressman, welcome back to the program.

REPRESENTATIVE HENRY WAXMAN: Thank you. Pleased to be with you.

The official death toll from the typhoon is expected to keep rising — thousands are still missing. Aid continues to come into the Philippines from around the world, but its flow is being hampered by poor logistics. The central government is being blamed for not doing more.

The first woman to be nominated to head the Federal Reserve takes the witness chair on Capitol Hill Thursday morning for her confirmation hearing. Janet Yellen's challenge will be to reassure her Democratic supporters that she's focused on job creation, while convincing at least a few Republicans that she'll keep inflation in check.



Stories of survival are emerging from the Philippines after the devastation brought by Typhoon Haiyan. Twenty-three-year-old Marcelo Maloon(ph) was studying nursing in Tacloban, the city hardest hit by the storm. And on the day of the typhoon, Maloon took shelter in a hotel with friends.


Lashkar Gah is the capital of the volatile province that alone grows half of Afghanistan's opium poppy. Cultivation here grew by 34 percent over last year.

On Fridays, hundreds of men gather at the bazaar along the Helmand River, the lifeblood of this arid province. Vendors sell everything from livestock to boxes of artisanal medicine.

There's no sign of poppy here. In fact, the farmers we talk to like 26-year-old Khairullah, who goes by one name, say they are actually too poor to grow it.

The Obama administration says just about 100,000 people managed to choose health plans through the federal and state health exchanges during their first month of the program. Critics say that shows the law is failing. But most analysts say the first month's numbers wouldn't have meant very much, even if the federal website had been working properly.

This week, we've been reporting on the sharing economy — a term that describes the couch-surfing, car-sharing and community-garden-growing world where so many people are using their existing talents, space or tools.

In the mountain streams of the American West, the trout rules. People don't just catch this fish; they honor it. And spend lots of money pursuing it.

But some western trout may be in trouble. Rivers and streams are getting warmer and there's often less water in them. Scientists suspect a changing climate is threatening this iconic fish.

I joined two such scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey as they drove up a mountain road in Montana, in the northern Rockies, a place dense with stands of Douglas fir and aspen trees and braided with mountain streams.

Technology helps police solve crimes every day. But some innovations can also present new public safety concerns — and such is the case with guns built using 3-D printers.

As technical problems with the government's new health insurance marketplace slow the pace of sign-up, a variety of "fixes" have been proposed. But some of these would create their own challenges. In rough order from least to most disruptive, here are some of the ideas:

1) Fix the website on schedule
This is everyone's favorite idea. The Obama administration says it hopes to have working smoothly for most users by the end of November, though it's not clear that target will be met.

The growing Syrian diaspora streaming out of a country being torn apart includes one of its most popular singers: Omar Souleyman. The musician combines songs of love and desire with driving techno beats, performed on a synthesizer.

The Singapore man's father is named Suparman. The father named him Batman so that according to local custom he would be called Batman son of Superman — or Batman bin Suparman.

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Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

It's the moment many victims of former Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger have been waiting decades for: In federal court in Boston, relatives of those killed by Bulger will face the former gangster and describe their pain.

Bulger was convicted in August of taking part in 11 murders while running a massive criminal enterprise for decades. There is little suspense around Bulger's sentencing — even the minimum would be enough to send the 84-year-old away for the rest of his life.

To many victims, Wednesday's sentencing hearing is less about Bulger than it is about them.

To Merge, American, U.S. Airways Must Give Up Slots

Nov 13, 2013

The Justice Department said the new, combined airline will hand over some slots at key airports to low-cost competitors to assuage antitrust concerns.

The Atlanta Braves will abandon downtown for a new stadium in suburban Cobb County. The Braves have played in the city for almost 50 years, and the news came as a big shock to residents.

Not surprisingly, in the explosive revelations about the Miami Dolphins team turmoil, most attention has been paid to the fact that, in the midst of a locker room predominately composed of African-American players, a white, Richie Incognito, slurred a black teammate, Jonathan Martin, with the ugliest racial epithet –– and was actually publicly supported by some blacks on the team. Incognito's sadistic employment of the word has not only sickened but also astounded most of us.

This story is part of an ongoing project on commuting in America.

What's known as the "last mile" of a commute can be the Holy Grail for many city transportation planners. How do you get people from their major mode of transportation – like a train station – to their final destination?

This story is part of a project on commuting in America.

We all know what it's like to be stuck in traffic. But what about paddling under it?

For kayak commuter Stephen Linaweaver, there is no rush hour or gnarly gridlock. His biggest commute worry is a really big ship.

Linaweaver kayaks from Oakland, Calif., to his job as a sustainability consultant in San Francisco. His hourlong commute begins at the Port of Oakland each morning at 7.

Heavy Rotation is a monthly sampler of public radio hosts' favorite songs. Check out past editions here.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit





We have two perspectives now on the destruction a typhoon left behind in the Philippines. The first is the view from the air. It comes from U.S. Marine Brigadier General Paul Kennedy, who is coordinating an American military effort to help typhoon survivors. Not long ago, General Kennedy stepped on board a helicopter for what he called reconnaissance. He flew over a wide strip of land struck by one of the strongest storms on record.



Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with an update on the knish shortage. A factory on New York's Long Island produces the Jewish pastry, often stuffed with potatoes. A fire in September disrupted production. The AP quotes a Knish fan saying, My heart is broken. Now the knish makers say they'll be back in production by the start of Hanukah. In the meantime, a chef at Katz's Delicatessen in Manhattan says of the shortage, quote: Get over it. Get a life. It's just a knish. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.