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Shots - Health News
6:02 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Canceled In California: People Eye Health Plans Off Exchange

Shoppers get ready to pay at Costco Wholesale in Mountain View, Calif. For the next couple of weeks, Californians whose insurance was canceled have some unusual options, including an Aetna plan available only at Costco.
Paul Sakuma AP

Some Californians whose policies have been canceled are finding relief in a surprising place: from insurance companies that aren't offering plans on the new Covered California marketplace.

Earlier this year, Aetna announced it would bow out of the state's individual market, effective Dec. 31. Cigna is staying, but isn't offering any products on the exchange. Right now, both companies are accepting new customers into pre-Affordable Care Act plans.

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Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013
5:49 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Near Mandela's Soweto Home, A Gathering Of Mourners

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. This morning, in Soweto, South Africa, crowds continue to congregate around the family home of Nelson Mandela, who died yesterday. During the struggle against apartheid, Soweto became a symbol of the separation of the races, both physically and economically.

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Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013
5:49 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Songwriter Clegg On Mandela, South Africans' 'Bridge'

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ASIMBONANGA")

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We're hearing a song that was popular in South Africa in the 1980s, popular even though it was banned. The song was called "Asimbonanga," which means "We Have Not Seen Him." He was Nelson Mandela, who by then had been in prison for more than two decades. This morning we reached the writer of that song, Johnny Clegg, in South Africa.

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It's All Politics
5:34 am
Fri December 6, 2013

How Two Similar States Ended Up Worlds Apart In Politics

In this June 2008 photo, the bridge spanning the Mississippi River between Winona, Minn., and the Wisconsin side of the river is closed to traffic.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 6:21 am

Like a lot of neighbors who were once close, Minnesota and Wisconsin have drifted apart over time. Their politics and policy directions are now about as disparate as can be.

That's surprising, not just because the two states share a common climate and culture, but because neither party can claim a big majority of the vote in either state.

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The Salt
4:08 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Meat And Booze With A Side Of Still Life: American Painters On Food

tk

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 12:29 pm

In the age of celebrity chef fetishism and competitive ingredient sourcing, it can be hard to remember that there was a time when restaurants didn't exist in America.

Before the Civil War, most people ate at home, consuming mostly what they could forage, barter, butcher or grow in the backyard. But just because food choices were simpler back then doesn't mean our relationship to what we ate was any less complicated.

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The Two-Way
3:55 am
Fri December 6, 2013

LISTEN: Two Mandela Speeches That Made History

South African National Congress President Nelson Mandela delivers an address in 1990.
Trevor Samson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 7:46 am

There were two speeches Nelson Mandela delivered that changed the course of history and cemented his legacy as one of the most revered leaders of our time.

The first happened in 1964, when Mandela was put on trial for sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the state. The second is the speech Mandela gave in 1994 when he was inaugurated as president.

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The Two-Way
3:55 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Eyes Turn To The Fed As Unemployment Rate Falls To 5-Year Low

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 6:41 am

(This post was updated at 10:15 a.m. ET)

The nation's unemployment rate dropped to 7 percent — the lowest mark in five years — and employers added 203,000 jobs to payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The latest data could build anticipation that the Federal Reserve might taper its stimulus program.

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Africa
2:48 am
Fri December 6, 2013

For Much Of His Life, Mandela Was A Controversial Figure

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 5:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Nelson Mandela is universally admired today, but was a controversial figure for much of his life. To reconstruct what that controversy was about, we turn to Bill Keller. He's a New York Times columnist and former executive editor who once covered South Africa and wrote a youth biography of Mandela. He's on the line.

Mr. Keller, welcome back to the program.

BILL KELLER: Thank you. Nice to be here.

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Around the Nation
2:48 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Calif. Health Exchange Encourages 'Gift Of Health'

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 5:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Around the Nation
2:48 am
Fri December 6, 2013

L.A. Costco Misfiles Ron Burgundy Autobiography

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 5:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

If Ron Burgundy says it, it's the truth.

MONTAGNE: Especially at Costco. Will Ferrell's "Anchorman" character is out with an autobiography, which wound up in the non-fiction aisle at a Los Angeles area store. The L.A. Times first noticed the misplacement of "Ron Burgundy: Let Me Off at the Top." This after Costco caused a stir last month when a store displayed the Bible in the fiction section.

INSKEEP: You stay classy, Costco.

The Two-Way
2:44 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Snow, Freezing Rain Move East To Put A Chill On The Weekend

Snow and ice will hit a broad area from Texas to the Ohio Valley on Friday and Saturday, the National Weather Service says. This composite satellite image was taken at 6:15 a.m. ET Friday.
NOAA

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 3:48 pm

(This story was updated at 8:30 p.m. ET)

Wind-whipped freezing rain were moving through large parts of the nation on Friday, with the major winter storm blamed for a traffic death in Dallas and the deaths of four people from hypothermia in California.

The Associated Press says "more than a thousand flights have been canceled, football and basketball games postponed and holiday celebrations including town tree lightings and parades curtailed."

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The Two-Way
1:15 am
Fri December 6, 2013

A Mix Of Joy, Sadness: South Africans Mourn, Celebrate Mandela

A woman prays outside the house of former South African President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg on Friday, the day after his death.
Stephane de Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 8:20 am

As the sun rose over South Africa on Friday, the country began to come to terms with the loss of Nelson Mandela, whom President Jacob Zuma called the father of the nation.

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Sports
12:07 am
Fri December 6, 2013

FSU Quarterback Jameis Winston Won't Be Charged With Rape

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 5:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Tomorrow night, star quarterback Jameis Winston will lead the Florida State Seminoles against Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game. It's a big deal, mainly because Winston's participation was in doubt. Until yesterday. That's when a Florida prosecutor announced he would not charge Jameis Winston with a felony. A young woman had accused the player of rape after a sexual encounter a year ago. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Never has so much been said about something that didn't happen.

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Africa
12:07 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Why Music Played An Important Role In Mandela's Life

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 5:49 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ASIMBONANGA")

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We're hearing a song that was popular in South Africa in the 1980s, popular even though it was banned. The song was called "Asimbonanga," which means "We Have Not Seen Him." He was Nelson Mandela, who by then had been in prison for more than two decades. This morning we reached the writer of that song, Johnny Clegg, in South Africa.

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Africa
12:07 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Renee Montagne Reflects On Covering Mandela

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 5:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Listen if you would with us to this archival tape from Mandela's inauguration as president of South Africa in 1994. We're about to hear a reporter who was in the crowd for that event.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Parallels
10:30 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Plan Calls For Syria's Chemical Arsenal To Be Destroyed At Sea

If a plan taking shape is finalized, the MV Cape Ray, managed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, will be turned into a floating chemical weapons disposal plant.
U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 5:49 am

The world wants Syria's chemical arsenal destroyed. But so far, no country has offered to do the dirty work on its soil. Over the past week, an alternative has gained ground: Carry out the destruction at sea. The plan taking shape is complicated and untested, but it just might work.

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StoryCorps
10:28 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Adrift In Frigid Water, Not Caring 'If You Live Or Die'

On a visit to StoryCorps in Ohio, Dennis Hale recounted his experience surviving a shipwreck on Lake Huron to his wife, Barbara.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 5:49 am

It was 1966, and a ship called the Daniel J. Morrell was making its last run of the season, hauling steel across Lake Huron. The crew was eager to head home for Christmas. But one night, caught in a severe storm, the ship broke apart and sank.

Only a few of the crew members made it to a life raft, and only one of them, watchman Dennis Hale, survived.

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Planet Money
10:27 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

The Giant Book That Creates And Destroys Entire Industries

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PLANET MONEY MAKES A T-SHIRT: How to send a shirt around the world for pennies
NPR

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 5:49 am

"There's our ship!" says Officer Lisa Sacco.

We're standing at the Port of Miami, where Sacco works for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Our ship, the Hansa Kirkenes, left Cartagena, Colombia, about a week earlier carrying all 6,078 of the Planet Money women's T-shirts.

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Remembrances
2:47 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Freed From Prison, Mandela Preached Harmony, Equality

On Feb. 11, 1990, upon his release from prison, Nelson Mandela stood on the steps of City Hall in Cape Town, South Africa. He told the gather crowd of more than 100,000 people to seize what he called "a decisive moment." In the audio above, you can listen to a segment of that speech.

Remembrances
2:47 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Former Robben Island Inmate Recalls Mandela's Discipline, Courage

For 27 years, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island for his fight against South Africa's apartheid regime. Saki Macozoma served time on Robben Island alongside Mandela in the 1970s, and he joins Robert Siegel to remember Mandela, who died Thursday at age 95.

Remembrances
2:47 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Former NPR Correspondent Remembers Working For Mandela

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 6:57 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

NPR's former longtime correspondent in South Africa, John Mattison, knew Nelson Mandela. He covered him, and later, he actually worked for him. He's just outside Cape Town and joins us now. John, tell me what your most vivid memory of this great historic figure is.

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Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013
12:55 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela, Inspiration To World, Dies At 95

Former South African President Nelson Mandela, one of the world's most respected statesmen, died Thursday at 95.
Denis Farrell AP

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 6:57 am

Nelson Mandela, who was born in a country that viewed him as a second-class citizen, died Thursday as one of the most respected statesmen in the world. He was 95.

President Jacob Zuma announced the death in a televised speech.

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NPR Story
12:55 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Obama: World Lost A Profoundly Good Man In Nelson Mandela's Death

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 6:57 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Tributes are pouring in from around the globe on news that Nelson Mandela, the man who led South Africa out of apartheid, has died. He was 95 and had been ill for a long time. His death marks the passing of an era and President Obama spoke a short time after hearing the news. President Obama held Mandela up as an inspiration to his own leadership.

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NPR Story
12:55 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Wash. Judge Rules Towns Failed Poor Defendents

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 6:57 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Code Switch
12:55 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

How 'Black Nativity' Made Its Way To The Big Screen

Black Nativity is an adaptation of Langston Hughes' play of the same name.
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 6:57 am

This season, Fox Searchlight has served audiences a three-course menu of movies with African-American casts and themes.

First, it served an appetizer in September, with the romantic comedy Baggage Claim, starring Paula Patton as a flight attendant looking for a husband in a hurry.

Then, in October, the studio set out a substantial main course with 12 Years A Slave. The sweeping epic by director Steve McQueen is already an Academy Award shoo-in.

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Parallels
12:51 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Mandela: A Rare Success As Liberation Leader And President

South Africa's Nelson Mandela was one of the few figures who managed to make the transition from liberation leader to successful politician and president.
Thomas White Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 1:56 pm

There are many examples of triumphant liberation leaders and successful political leaders, but it's rare to find someone who has managed the transition from one to the other.

George Washington did it in the 18th century. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk of Turkey did it after World War I. And Nelson Mandela also belongs to this exclusive club.

"It is hard enough to find someone courageous enough to lead a revolution, rarer still for them to have remarkable leadership skills," says Jack Goldstone, director of the Center for Global Policy at George Mason University.

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Politics
12:48 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

To Fix Social Security, Some Democrats Want To Lift Wage Cap

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D- Mass., listens to testimony during a Banking Committee hearing on Nov. 12. In a Senate floor speech on Social Security last month, Warren said, "With some modest adjustments, we can keep the system solvent for many more years, and we could even increase benefits."
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 2:39 pm

For the past three years, there's been a shortfall in the payroll taxes collected for Social Security. And as more baby boomers join the ranks of the 57 million people already receiving benefits, that deficit is bound to keep growing.

At the same time, the overall share of wages being taxed for Social Security is shrinking as the higher wages that are exempt have soared. The Social Security Board of Trustees predicts a nearly $3 trillion trust fund built up over decades will vanish within 20 years.

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Code Switch
12:46 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

The First Time I Heard The Name 'Mandela'

People gather to leave messages of support for Nelson Mandela outside his hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, earlier this year. Mandela has died at the age of 95.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 2:07 pm

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It's All Politics
12:22 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

For Biden, All The World's A Stage For Possible 2016 Run

Vice President Biden chats with his Chinese counterpart Li Yuanchao before heading to their luncheon at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Thursday.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 1:27 pm

Vice President Biden hasn't announced his 2016 presidential plans. It's far too early for that; we haven't even hit the first anniversary of President Obama's second inaugural, after all.

But as Biden traveled this week to Japan, China and South Korea where he met top leaders, he certainly gave the impression of a man doing a full dress rehearsal for the presidency.

Of course, if Hillary Clinton decides to run for president, rehearsing for the presidency may be as close as Biden gets to the Democratic nomination.

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Illinois Governor Signs Pension Rescue Plan

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 1:52 pm

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed into law a sweeping overhaul in the state's underfunded pension system that's aimed at closing a $100 billion shortfall.

As we reported earlier this week, the legislation is almost certain to face legal obstacles from public employee unions that oppose it.

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