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1:06 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Will Obamacare Play Big In 2014? Keep An Eye On N.H. Senate Race

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., on Capitol Hill earlier this year.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 6:54 am

With a new White House push to promote the Affordable Care Act well underway, the question is whether an improved HealthCare.gov site and onslaught of positive talking points will be enough to bolster Senate Democrats facing tough races in 2014.

One re-election fight to watch is Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's in New Hampshire, where she's been taking heat for supporting the new health care law.

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Shots - Health News
1:06 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Epilepsy Patients Help Decode The Brain's Hidden Signals

Scientists say that epilepsy patients like Bennett have helped them learn how the brain controls movement and emotion.
Amy Standen NPR

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 8:29 am

Patients with severe epilepsy are giving scientists the chance to see the human brain in action, a view they could never get with an MRI or other high-tech tools.

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NPR Story
1:06 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Other-Than-Honorable Discharge Burdens Like A Scarlet Letter

Reed Holway spent 13 months in Iraq. He says PTSD brought on a drinking problem when he returned to the States — and that eventually led to a bad-conduct discharge. Vets with "bad paper" have trouble getting any VA health benefits — even for PTSD.
Quil Lawrence NPR

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 6:21 am

Eric Highfill spent five years in the Navy, fixing airplanes for special operations forces. His discharge papers show an Iraq campaign medal and an Afghanistan campaign medal, a good-conduct medal, and that he's a marksman with a pistol and sharpshooter with a rifle.

None of that matters, because at the bottom of the page it reads "Discharged: under other than honorable conditions."

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Monkey See
1:06 am
Mon December 9, 2013

After A Full Fall, A Few New TV Choices To Tide You Over

TNT's new period drama Mob City, from The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, is one of several shows and miniseries premiering this month.
Scott Garfield TNT

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 3:18 am

As the holiday season approaches, the TV cupboard may seem a bit bare; the industry winds down like everything else, filling cable and broadcast networks with holiday specials, reruns and also-ran reality shows.

But there are bright gifts, too: TNT offers Mob City, a three-week, lavishly produced noir-ish TV show about cops and crooks vying for control of 1947-era Los Angeles, airing Wednesdays.

On Dec. 8 and 9, A&E presents a four-hour miniseries on Bonnie and Clyde, retelling the story of the Depression-era outlaws and lovers.

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Music
1:06 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Remembering The Singing 'Mayor Of MacDougal Street'

Dave Van Ronk performs onstage in 1970 in New York.
Sherry Rayn Barnett Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 3:18 am

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Author Interviews
1:13 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

'Getting Away With Murder': A Study Of Benazir Bhutto's Death

In 2007, Benazir Bhutto — twice prime minister of Pakistan and then-leader of the Pakistan People's Party — was killed in a suicide bombing attack that claimed 38 lives. The factors at play in her assassination, however, reached deeper than many imagined.

In his new book, Getting Away With Murder, Heraldo Munoz portrays the tense political climate that surrounded Bhutto's return to politics and examines the circumstances of her death.

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Code Switch
12:29 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Don't You Dare Call Me A Hipster! I, Sir, Am A 'Hep Cat'

Jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong signs autographs in the Blue Note nightclub in Chicago in 1948.
Edward S. Kitch AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 4:54 am

Aside from racial and ethnic slurs, there aren't many words that prompt a more immediate and visceral response than "hipster." Many associate the term with craft beer, smugness and, of course, Brooklyn. Modern-day hipsters have inspired a huge number of Tumblrs, memes and trend pieces in the media.

It may seem like hipsters sprang up out of nowhere sometime in the late 1990s, but the original hipsters were around several generations before that. And they were strongly associated with another uniquely American phenomenon — jazz.

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Television
12:06 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

The Intended Madness Of Comic Eric Andre's 'Anti-Talk Show'

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 1:12 pm

Late-night comedy show hosts are known for opening their programs in a certain style. David Letterman takes to the stage with a wave and a smile. Jay Leno comes out and shakes hands with the audience.

Eric Andre takes quite a different approach: flying into an uncontrollable rage as soon as the band plays him on and smashing nearly everything on the set.

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Music Interviews
12:06 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Why Would Nick Lowe Make A Christmas Album? Ask Nick Lowe

Nick Lowe's Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family is an album of original holiday songs and some reworked classics.
Zoran Orlic Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 1:12 pm

Not long ago, Nick Lowe was approached by his American record label about releasing a Christmas album. The esteemed UK songwriter, who gave the world "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" and "Cruel to Be Kind," says the idea seemed laughable.

"But I was confused by how snooty I felt when they asked me about doing it," Lowe says. "I think it's a Brit thing, really: Making Christmas records is seen as a not very cool thing to do. And I thinkg it's all bound up with strange ideas from the 1960s, about selling out and things like that."

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Around the Nation
12:06 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Temperatures Dip From Sea To Icy Sea

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 1:12 pm

Frigid weather and freezing rain have beset large swaths of the country. Those below-average temperatures are expected to stay well into the week.

The Two-Way
11:43 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Lawmaker Says Snowden May Testify Before EU Parliament

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 7:54 am

A European lawmaker says former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is set to testify before a civil liberties committee of the European Parliament later this month.

Snowden, of course, is expected to talk about the surveillance activities of United States' National Security Agency. Reporter Teri Schultz filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Report Details ATF's Use Of Mentally Disabled In Gun Stings

The seal of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives photographed in 2007.
AFP/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel just published a blockbuster story that's today's must read: Based on court records, police reports and dozens of interviews, the paper details how the ATF used "rogue" tactics — including providing underage youths with alcohol and allowing them to smoke pot — to run storefront gun and drug stings across the country.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Is Mining On The Moon's Horizon?

Alexander Klein AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 1:27 pm

A U.S. company is taking what it hopes to be a small step toward eventually mining the moon.

Moon Express, based in Mountain View, Calif., just unveiled the design for a small robot spacecraft about the size of a coffee table that it says could move about the moon's surface powered only by solar panels and hydrogen peroxide.

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It's All Politics
9:06 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Debate On Wage And Wealth Gap Heats Up; Solutions Elusive

Protesters in Boston march in the parking lot of a Burger King as part of a nation-wide protest supporting higher wages for workers in the fast-food industry.
Stephan Savoia AP

The national debate about income equality and low-wage labor ramped up this week as fast-food workers across the country rallied for better pay and President Obama assailed the nation's growing income gap as the "defining challenge of our time."

Meanwhile, an $11.50 minimum wage bill was approved in the nation's capital, and giant discount retailer Wal-Mart opened its first Washington stores — accompanied by a flurry of ads defending the company's often-criticized pay and benefits practices.

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Around the Nation
8:19 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Go Ahead And Mail Your Boring Holiday Cards

After he and his son Simon encountered both Santa Claus and Superman in an ice cream parlor, NPR's Alan Greenblatt sent out this holiday photo in 2010.
Courtesy Alan Greenblatt

It's always chic to make fun of holiday letters. People can't win, whether they earnestly recount their fellowship missions to poor countries (self-important), brag about European vacations (must be nice) or simply bore with accounts of school plays or travails in their gardens.

The habit of knocking holiday letters is now not just snark shared between friends, but has become an annual journalistic tradition.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Sun December 8, 2013

WATCH: U.S. Air Force Band Stages A 'Holiday Flash Mob'

Col. Larry H. Lang conducts the Band's first-ever flash mob at the National Air and Space Museum on Dec. 3.
U.S. Air Force

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 5:26 am

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The Two-Way
7:18 am
Sun December 8, 2013

In Kiev, Protesters Topple Statue Of Vladimir Lenin

Ukrainians break a monument of Vladimir Lenin in center Kiev, Ukraine, on Sunday.
Efrem Lukatsky AP

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 10:06 am

Anti-government protesters in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev have toppled a statue of Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin.

Instagram user Arthur_potachik posted this video of the moment:

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All Tech Considered
6:27 am
Sun December 8, 2013

TEDWomen 2013: In Innovation, Age Is Nothing But A Number

Record-breaking long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad speaks at the TEDWomen conference in San Francisco on Thursday.
Marla Aufmuth TED

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 7:38 am

Some women are notoriously sensitive about their age. Not Diana Nyad.

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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Sun December 8, 2013

World Leaders Heading To South Africa To Mourn Mandela

A man holds a portrait of Nelson Mandela outside his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Sunday.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 9:51 am

More than 60 heads of state have confirmed that they will attend services for Nelson Mandela in South Africa next week, the country's foreign ministry tells Reuters.

The South African government says that includes all living American presidents — except George H.W. Bush — as well as 26 members of Congress.

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Parallels
4:44 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Nelson Mandela And The Virtue Of Compromise

In 1995, South African rugby captain Francios Pienaar receives the Rugby World Cup from President Nelson Mandela, who wears the green Springbok jersey.
Ross Setford AP

The same scene played out repeatedly at political rallies in South Africa's dusty black townships two decades ago: Nelson Mandela's then-wife, Winnie, would electrify the crowd by lashing out at the white government. She would fire up the young men with her heated rhetoric, tapping into their grievances and leading them into frenzied chants and songs of liberation.

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The Two-Way
4:23 am
Sun December 8, 2013

U.N. Inspectors Visit Iranian Plant Linked To Nuclear Program

UN experts are inspecting the heavy water production plant in Arak, Iran, on Sunday. The visit is the first test of an interim deal Iran struck with the West in November.
Hamid Foroutan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 9:28 am

Inspectors for the United Nations nuclear watchdog visited an Iranian plant linked to the country's nuclear program on Sunday.

The visit to Iran's Arak heavy water production plant — the first by international inspectors in more than two years — is the first real-world test of an interim deal Iran struck with the West in November.

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The Two-Way
3:10 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Countering China, S. Korea Expands Its Own Air Defense Zone

Japanese Coast Guard vessels sail near a group of disputed islands called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan.
Emily Wang AP

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 9:19 am

Another diplomatic shot was fired in the spate unfolding over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea on Sunday: Countering China, South Korea announced that it was expanding its air defense zone to partially cover some of the same area China laid claim to in November.

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Africa
2:58 am
Sun December 8, 2013

South Africans Celebrate Mandela On National Day Of Prayer

A sea of tributes grows outside the home of former President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Sunday.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 10:53 am

The day of prayer and reflection for Nelson Mandela began Sunday morning at the African Gospel Church in Orlando, an area of Soweto, Mandela's hometown.

The anti-apartheid icon died Thursday night of complications from a lung infection. He was 95 years old.

Fleur Nomthandazo has been coming to this church, her great-grandfather's church, every Sunday for the past six months to pray for Nelson Mandela's recovery. Today, she's here to pray for his family.

"We never cry when somebody dies," Nomthandazo says. "We celebrate the life that they lived."

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Around the Nation
2:40 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Help Is Hard To Get For Veterans After A Bad Discharge

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 6:21 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Economy
12:35 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Economists Toast 20 Years Of NAFTA; Critics Sit Out The Party

A truck bearing Mexican and U.S. flags approaches the border crossing into the U.S., in Laredo, Texas.
Reuters /Landov

Twenty years ago, millions of Americans were cocking their ears — waiting to hear a "giant sucking sound."

They feared Mexico would begin vacuuming up U.S. manufacturing jobs as soon as President Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, on Dec. 8, 1993.

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The Salt
12:34 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Between Pigs And Anchovies: Where Humans Rank On The Food Chain

An animal's ranking on the food chain depends on where its meals place on the ladder. That puts plants on the bottom (they make all their food), polar bears on top and people somewhere between pigs and anchovies.
Lisa Brown for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 5:28 am

When it comes to making food yummy and pleasurable, humans clearly outshine their fellow animals on Earth. After all, you don't see rabbits caramelizing carrots or polar bears slow-roasting seal.

But in terms of the global food chain, Homo sapiens are definitely not the head honchos.

Instead, we sit somewhere between pigs and anchovies, scientists reported recently. That puts us right in the middle of the chain, with polar bears and orca whales occupying the highest position.

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The Two-Way
9:53 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

Winter Storm Moves Into Mid-Atlantic

Tractor trailers sit on I-35 north of Dallas on Saturday.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 5:28 am

Freezing rain has been creeping across Tennessee on its way to the mid-Atlantic as the stunning cold, snow and ice that gripped Texas and the west on Saturday advance eastward.

The storm is expected to turn Virginia and Pennsylvania into an icy mess today and scrabble north into New York and southern New England tonight.

Roads will be perilous in many places by this evening and forecasters warned travelers and holiday shoppers to stay home.

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Africa
12:33 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

Mandela's Path, In His Own Words

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 1:33 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Nelson Mandela served as president of South Africa for five years, elected in the country's first free election with voters from all races. But Mandela decided not to run for a second term. Instead, he set the stage for new elections and a modern democracy. So in June 1999, South Africans and world leaders gathered to inaugurate Thabo Mbeki, the second freely elected president of South Africa. Here are excerpts from Mandela's words that day.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Africa
12:33 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

To Better Remember Nelson Mandela, Get To Know This 'Country'

A file photo dated 1961 of South African anti-apartheid leader and African National Congress (ANC) member Nelson Mandela.
STF/AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 6:02 am

Since the death of anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela, tributes and memorials have poured in from around the globe. Mourners count among their number leaders from dozens of countries, including American presidents and Iran's Hassan Rouhani.

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Africa
12:33 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

Mandela's Young Days Marked By More Radical Activism

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 1:33 pm

A writer who has studied Nelson Mandela's life as a young man says the leader known for his grace and forgiveness, and for helping South Africa end apartheid while avoiding civil war, was once seen in a much different light. At one point, he even trained in guerrilla warfare.

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