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8:28 am
Tue February 11, 2014

House Sets Vote On Raising Debt Limit

House leaders have had weeks to come up with a plan to deal with the nation's debt limit. Now, the day before they want to leave town for a break, it appears they've essentially decided to throw in the towel. They plan to put a bill on the House floor raising the debt ceiling for a year without any conditions attached.

The Two-Way
8:11 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Obama Will Travel To France For D-Day Anniversary

President Obama gestures toward French President Francois Hollande during their joint news conference on Tuesday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:27 am

During a joint press conference with French President François Hollande on Tuesday, President Obama said he had accepted an invitation to travel to France to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Both Obama and Hollande spent a good deal of time talking about the historic bonds between the two countries and both of them said the two countries agree on most issues of substance, including what's best in Syria, Iran, Mali as well as issues like climate change.

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The Two-Way
6:58 am
Tue February 11, 2014

China, Taiwan Hold First Direct Talks Since 1949

Wang Yu-chi, head of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, left, shakes hands with Zhang Zhijun, director of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, right, before their meeting in Nanjing, China.
Alexander F. Yuan AP

Representatives from China and Taiwan held face-to-face meetings in Nanjing on Tuesday.

This was a historic development; the two sides haven't held direct talks since the country split after a civil war in 1949.

Reuters reports that Taiwan was represented by Mainland Affairs Minister Wang Yu-chi and China sent Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun.

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Shots - Health News
6:15 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Despite Federal Rules, Some States Deny Family Policies For Same-Sex Couples

Even after marriage, some same-sex couple can't get family health insurance policies.
Diana Lundin iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 12:11 pm

Carl Bechdel and Dan Miller started looking for a family plan on the Pennsylvania health insurance marketplace last fall.

After submitting their application for a bronze-level plan to Highmark Blue Shield in early December, the couple became concerned when the end of the month approached and they hadn't heard from the insurer.

Bechdel called customer service and finally learned the reason: The company doesn't offer family coverage to same-sex couples.

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The Protojournalist
6:13 am
Tue February 11, 2014

We Are Just Not Here Anymore

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 11:56 am

At weddings, guests tweet real-time photos of the festivities to friends far away. At sporting events, fans follow scores of games in other cities. In classrooms, students text with friends in other classes and parents out in the world. At funerals, mourners send out selfies to pals in other places.

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It's All Politics
6:12 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Immigration Turbulence Buffets Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio gestures while speaking during a Feb. 6 news conference on Capitol Hill.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Will the real John Boehner please stand up?

Just a dozen days ago, Speaker Boehner and his GOP leadership team embraced a set of principles for updating the nation's immigration laws.

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The Salt
5:54 am
Tue February 11, 2014

N.Y. Immigrants Find They Can Earn Bread And Butter From Baking

Hot Bread Almacen, the retail shop of Hot Bread Kitchen, is located in the historic La Marqueta building in East Harlem, New York.
Daniel Krieger for Hot Bread Kitchen

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:31 am

In the heart of New York City's Spanish Harlem, women from Morocco to Mexico arrive before dawn to crank up the ovens at Hot Bread Kitchen.

Despite their different cultures and languages, this non-profit training bakery says most of its participants have one thing in common: they all grew up learning how to bake traditional breads.

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All Tech Considered
5:40 am
Tue February 11, 2014

The Internet Flexes Political Muscle With Anti-NSA Protest

Thousands of websites participating in the "Day We Fight Back" will show this banner, or something similar, to site visitors.
Courtesy of Demand Progress

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:27 am

Reddit, Tumblr and Mozilla are among nearly 6,000 websites participating in "The Day We Fight Back," an online protest Tuesday against government surveillance.

The goal of the protest, organizers say, is partly to pass a federal bill called the USA Freedom Act, which is intended to rein in the mass surveillance programs by the National Security Agency that were exposed by Edward Snowden.

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It's All Politics
5:31 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Holder Calls For Restoring Felons' Voting Rights

Eric Holder, attorney general of the United States, speaks at a Feb. 7 reception for baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron in Washington.
Nick Wass AP

Attorney General Eric Holder called on 11 states to repeal "counterproductive" laws that bar convicted felons from "the single most basic right of American citizenship-the right to vote."

In a speech Tuesday at Georgetown University law school, Holder used his bully pulpit to note that 5.8 million people are prohibited from voting because of current or former felony convictions, including 1-in-5 black adults in Florida, Kentucky and Virginia.

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The Two-Way
5:31 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Boehner Agrees To Bring Clean Debt Ceiling Bill To The Floor

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio arrives for a news conference Thursday on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:41 am

Congress seems poised to avoid another dramatic and potentially costly confrontation over the debt ceiling.

In a private meeting with Republican lawmakers, Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, said he would bring a bill that raises the debt ceiling without any strings attached. That means that a coalition of Democrats and Republicans are likely to vote to raise the amount of money the country is allowed to borrow.

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The Edge
5:25 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Female Ski Jumpers Finally Make Their Olympic Debut

Lindsey Van trains in Sochi on Sunday. Van has spent the past decade fighting for female ski jumpers to be allowed to compete at the Olympics.
Lars Baron Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 11:53 am

Update at 4:15 p.m. ET: Leaping Into History

When American Sarah Hendrickson launched herself down the 90-meter jumping hill in Sochi, she flew into history, becoming the first woman to ski jump in Olympic competition. She ultimately finished in 21st place.

Carina Vogt from Germany brought home the gold. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria took silver, and France's Coline Mattel, 18, won bronze.

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The Two-Way
5:14 am
Tue February 11, 2014

'Mind-Boggling,' Historic Ice Storm Headed For Deep South

This car was navigating a snowy road early Tuesday in Fort Payne, Ala. The wicked winter weather there is spreading across the Deep South.
Hal Yeager AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 3:50 pm

This is not our language. It comes from the forecasters at the National Weather Service, who we have to hope do not say things such as this unless they really mean it:

"Mind-boggling if not historical" ice accumulations are expected Wednesday and Thursday across a wide swath of the Deep South that includes Atlanta, other parts of Georgia, Columbia, S.C., and up to Raleigh/Durham, N.C. The forecasters are warning of a half-inch to an inch of ice.

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The Two-Way
4:07 am
Tue February 11, 2014

No Change In Fed Policy, Yellen Signals

Fed Chair Janet Yellen.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Since every word that the head of the Federal Reserve utters is closely watched by those in the financial markets, it's worth noting that in her first appearance before Congress since being confirmed Fed Chair Janet Yellen plans to say Tuesday that:

"I expect a great deal of continuity in the FOMC's approach to monetary policy."

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Parallels
3:53 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Who's Going To Be Afghanistan's Next President?

Afghan presidential candidates Qayum Karzai (from left), Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah take part in a televised debate in Kabul on Saturday. With President Hamid Karzai stepping down, the presidential election set for April 5 will mark the first time the country has changed leaders at the ballot box.
Wakil Kohsar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:49 am

The United States is winding down more than 12 years of military involvement in Afghanistan, and for most Americans, the country is rapidly fading into the background.

At the same time, Afghans are entering uncharted territory. President Hamid Karzai, who has led Afghanistan since shortly after the Taliban were ousted in 2001, is barred from running for a third term.

So Afghanistan is poised to do what it's never done before: change leaders through a democratic election.

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The Salt
3:14 am
Tue February 11, 2014

How Caffeinated Are Our Kids? Coffee Consumption Jumps

According to the pediatrics study, about three-fourths of children in the U.S. consume caffeine on a given day.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 3:34 am

Energy drinks tend to get a bad rap. The Food and Drug Administration has investigated reports of deaths and sicknesses linked to them. Hospitals have reported increased ER visits.

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The Two-Way
1:59 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Shirley Temple Dies; Childhood Movie Star Became Diplomat

Shirley Temple when she was the nation's biggest movie star.
AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 5:55 am

  • 'Morning Edition' looks back at the life of Shirley Temple
  • A bit of 'On the Good Ship Lollipop'

Shirley Temple, who charmed the nation as a child movie star in the 1930s and went on to become one of the nation's diplomats in posts that included ambassador to Czechoslovakia during the Cold War, has died.

She was 85.

The Associated Press writes that publicist Cheryl Kagan says the actress, known as Shirley Temple Black in her private life, died late Monday evening at her home near San Francisco. Kagan tells the AP that Temple's family and caregivers were with her.

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Remembrances
1:28 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Shirley Temple Black Dies At 85

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:28 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some other news here this morning. Shirley Temple Black has died. She was 85. She spent her entire life in a way as a child star because of early films that made her so famous and a face of hope during the Great Depression. Alison Bryce reports.

ALISON BRYCE, BYLINE: A bigger star never came in a package so small. She sang and danced her way to super-stardom by the impossible age of six years old. In the year 1934, she acted in nine films, one called "Stand Up And Cheer."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

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NPR Story
11:55 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Study: Stereotypes Drive Perceptions Of Race

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 9:27 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Governments, schools and companies all keep track of your race. The stats they collect are used to track the proportion of blacks and whites who graduate from school, for example. They tell us how many people identify themselves as Native American or Asian. They help us to measure health disparities between races. But there's a problem with all of those statistics and with the deeper way that we think about race. NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam is here to explain. Hi, Shankar.

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NPR Story
11:55 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Local Economy Suffers After Afghan Housing Bubble Bursts

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:28 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Most Americans who own a house know something about housing bubbles. This country is still recovering from the last one.

MONTAGNE: In Afghanistan, a housing bubble created by the influx of international organizations and their thousands of workers over the past 12 years, is bursting, and it's taking a big bite out of the local economy. NPR's Sean Carberry can hear the last gasp of that bubble on his own street.

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NPR Story
11:55 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Have A Lot Of Free Time? Watch All Of NBC's Olympic Coverage

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:28 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NBC says its coverage of the Winter Olympics drew more than 100 million viewers over the last weekend of the Games. That indicates lots of interest, which will fill more than 1,500 hours of coverage across all of NBC's platforms - broadcast network, cable channels and online. With all this coverage and so many ways to watch, we turn to NPR television critic now, Eric Deggans for some tips. Good morning.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: How are fans getting their Olympics coverage these days - for the most part?

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Around the Nation
10:55 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

With An Air Bag, Help During An Avalanche Is A Cord-Yank Away

Derick Noffsinger models a deployed avalanche air bag pack made by Black Diamond at an industry market in Salt Lake City last month.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 6:03 am

Let's say you're skiing in the backcountry, looking for some powder — but instead, you trigger an avalanche.

If you have an avalanche air bag pack strapped to your back, you just yank the cord. That deploys the air bag, which keeps you close to the surface and easier to dig out, says Andy Wenberg with Backcountry Access, one of several companies making the devices. When deployed, his company's version of the air bag comes out like wings.

"The whole idea when you deploy that thing in an avalanche is you're avoiding burial death," he says.

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The Edge
10:45 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

U.S. And Canadian Women's Hockey Brings Plenty Of Heat To The Ice

The rival teams have already clashed during a Sochi Olympics preparation game last December. They will face each other in an early round game Wednesday.
Abelimages Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:28 am

Wednesday, the American women's hockey team meets its arch rival Canada on the ice in Sochi at the Winter Olympics. It's an early round game, but when it comes to these two teams, which are expected to meet in the gold medal game, there's no such thing as a low-stakes match.

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The Edge
2:59 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

The Norwegian Athlete Who's One Medal Away From History

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway practices in Sochi on Monday.
Harry How Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 10:55 am

On Monday, Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen came a ski-length away from winning a 13th Olympic medal and becoming the most decorated athlete ever at the Winter Games.

The biathlon pursuit Olympic event — cross-country skiing with rifle shooting — is a pretty devious race. The fastest man goes first, and then everyone else in the race tries to catch him before the finish line. And in Monday's competition, Bjoerndalen went first.

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The Edge
1:42 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Slopestyle Skier Devin Logan Keeps It Cool, But She's 'All In'

Devin Logan practices during a ski slopestyle training session in Sochi on Friday. She says she doesn't stress about competing, even on a course that some have called dangerous. "What we do is scary in general," she says. "But we know how to do it."
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 2:01 pm

Much of the attention on the slopestyle events in Sochi has been focused on snowboarders like Shaun White. But Devin Logan and her other American teammates twist and soar down mountains, too — on skis.

I first met Logan at an Olympic qualifier event in Colorado back in December. We were hanging out at the base of the halfpipe watching the competition. She's 20. She smiles a lot. We bonded over Instagram and 2 Chainz. I told her I'd look for her in Sochi — but she didn't know then if she'd even make the U.S. team.

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The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

U.S. Resets Obamacare Deadline For Some Businesses To 2016

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 3:50 pm

The Obama administration says businesses employing 50-99 people now have until Jan. 1, 2016, to provide health insurance, rolling back part of the requirement known as the employer mandate. Under the Affordable Care Act, larger companies must offer the coverage in 2015.

NPR's Julie Rovner filed this update for our Newscast desk:

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Health Care
12:58 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Health Law's Employer Mandate Hits Another Speed Bump

Still waiting for job-linked health insurance? Check the size of your company.
Vasilyev iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 10:55 am

The Obama administration is, again, delaying implementation of a part of the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide health insurance to their workers (or, potentially, face penalties). But this time it's not the entire "employer mandate" that's being delayed (as it was in 2013) — just part of it.

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Around the Nation
12:58 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Looking To Escape The Polar Vortex? Head North To Alaska

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 10:55 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Deep South is preparing for another blast of wintry weather. Snow, ice and freezing rain are expected in parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, over the next day. In Alaska, people are watching with envy. That's because the state is enduring the opposite: record high temperatures and very little snow. Organizers of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race are considering moving the starting line from Anchorage, hundreds of miles north to Fairbanks. And the weather has also made life difficult for the state's avid skiers.

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Middle East
12:58 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Building Pressure May Mean Progress In Israeli Peace Talks

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 10:55 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

There is a fake John Kerry wandering around Jerusalem these days. He stars in several satirical videos criticizing the U.S. effort to negotiate a peace agreement between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. The State Department suggests it is just the latest sign that Kerry has put real pressure on Israel to move toward a peace deal. NPR's Emily Harris reports.

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Politics
12:58 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Legislators Make A Field Trip To Investigate W.Va Spill

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 10:55 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Officials in Charleston, West Virginia, testified today that the water there is now suitable for drinking and bathing, but nobody seemed ready or willing to call it safe. The testimony came at a field hearing held by members of Congress one month after a chemical in spill in the Elk River tainted the water for some 300,000 people. NPR's Brian Naylor was there today and he filed this report.

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Author Interviews
12:58 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Sounds Intriguing: The World's Most Interesting Noises

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 10:55 am

Trevor Cox has heard it all. He's a professor of acoustic engineering at the University of Salford in England, and he delights in discovering unusual noises. He's also author of The Sound Book: The Science of the Sonic Wonders of the World, which describes some of what he's found.

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