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Shots - Health News
12:16 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Poll: Americans Favor Age Restrictions On Morning-After Pill

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 11:50 am

Emergency contraception has been embroiled in controversy pretty much from the start.

But this year the legal wrangling over who can buy the Plan B One-Step morning-after pill without a prescription came to an end. A federal judge in New York ruled in April that the morning-after pill also had to be made available over the counter to girls 16 and under.

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It's All Politics
11:34 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Charles Rangel, Longtime Harlem Congressman, To Seek Re-Election

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said Thursday he will seek re-election to the Harlem-area seat he has held since 1971.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 11:49 am

Rep. Charles Rangel, the third-longest-serving member of Congress, announced Thursday he will seek a 23rd term in office next year.

There had been speculation that the New York Democrat, a veteran member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, would retire at the end of this term. But the 83-year-old Rangel, who could face a tough primary, said he still has "unfinished business" to tend to in the House.

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Dozens Hurt In Ceiling Collapse At London's Apollo Theatre

A rescue operation is underway at the Apollo Theatre in London after part of the roof collapsed during a performance, trapping people inside.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 2:17 pm

(This post was updated at 6:00 p.m. ET)

London's emergency services personnel say 88 people have been injured, several of them seriously, in the collapse of part of the ceiling at the Apollo Theatre in central London during an evening performance. Officials say there have been no fatalities.

Emergency services officials tell news agencies that seven of those are seriously hurt. The BBC quotes a spokesman for the theater as saying 720 theatergoers were in attendance at the time of the collapse.

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Around the Nation
11:33 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Hackers Stole 40 Million Credit, Debit Card Numbers From Target

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 12:42 pm

Right in the middle of holiday shopping season, some 40 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen in a major breach of Target customer data. The thefts occurred in stores, not online. Target says it's working with a forensics company to investigate and prevent similar data thefts from occurring in the future. Security experts say one way to limit them is to switch from magnetic stripes on cards to embedded chips.

Around the Nation
11:33 am
Thu December 19, 2013

One Ohio Mall Store Offers Nothing For Sale, Just Faith And Cheer

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 12:42 pm

Christmas is less than a week away and shoppers continue their quest for the perfect gift at the perfect price. But at one shop in a southwest Ohio mall, Roman Catholic friars are offering their presence for free.

NPR Story
11:33 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Lawmaker Retirement Season Starts Ahead Of 2014 Midterm Elections

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 12:42 pm

It's the start of retirement season in the House as members head home after a long, difficult year. Three House members — two Republicans and a Democrat — announced their retirements from Congress this week, ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

Politics
11:33 am
Thu December 19, 2013

How The Government Spent $2 Billion Paying Workers To Not Work

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 12:42 pm

Two billion — that's the number of dollars the federal government lost during the partial government shutdown, paying furloughed employees not to work.

The Two-Way
11:22 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Dennis Rodman In North Korea 'To Open Doors For America'

Former U.S. basketball superstar Dennis Rodman arrives in Pyongyang on Thursday.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 12:07 pm

Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Thursday for his third visit this year to the hard-line Stalinist country, saying he will train the country's national basketball team and see his "friend," leader Kim Jong Un.

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Code Switch
10:50 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Is A 'Pathway To Citizenship' The Right Concern?

Immigrants hold miniature U.S. flags as they listen to a video broadcast from President Obama during a naturalization ceremony in New York City.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Much of the debate over whether and how to overhaul the country's immigration policy has hinged on whether and how to create a pathway to citizenship. But a majority of Latinos now say that's less important for unauthorized immigrants than giving them relief from the threat of deportation.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Obama Issues Year-End Commutations For Drug Crimes

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 11:28 am

President Obama has commuted the sentences of eight people convicted of drug crimes, saying their terms were unusually harsh due to a system that treated crack cocaine as a more serious offense than powder cocaine.

The president also pardoned 13 others convicted of various other offenses.

The commutations come after the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which is aimed at reducing disparities in the way the law treats cocaine possession.

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Shots - Health News
9:36 am
Thu December 19, 2013

How To Make Sense Of Confusing, New Blood Pressure Advice

Some people with only slightly elevated blood pressure might be able to relax a bit, if they're doctors go along new treatment guidelines.
iStockphoto

If you're confused about the latest recommendations for treating high blood pressure, take heart. Doctors are confused, too.

On Wednesday, a panel of specialists called the Eighth Joint National Committee published guidelines saying that many people over 60 don't need to start taking medications to lower blood pressure until it's above 150/90 millimeters of mercury.

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Thu December 19, 2013

New Mexico's High Court OKs Same-Sex Marriage

Gail Stockman, 60 (left), and Beth Black, 58, of Albuquerque, N.M., prepare to marry at a massive wedding in August, along with other same-sex couples.
Russell Contreras AP

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 1:22 pm

New Mexico's Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that same-sex marriage is legal, validating initiatives in several counties allowing the practice in the absence of a specific state law.

The ruling on Thursday means that New Mexico joins 16 states and the District of Columbia in allowing gay marriage.

The Associated Press says:

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Jurors Hear Kate Middleton's Voicemails; Some From William

The Duchess of Cambridge (formerly Kate Middleton).
Facundo Arrizabalaga EPA/LANDOV

The hacking scandal in the U.K. has now gone really royal.

"Voicemails left for Kate Middleton by [then-boyfriend] Prince William were hacked by the News of the World, the phone-hacking trial has heard," the BBC writes. "In one message William used the pet name 'babykins.' "

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The Salt
8:36 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Geeky Gamers Feast Upon Settlers Of Catan Cookbook

The deconstructed, hexagonal salad nicoise: perfect for all your gourmand geek friends.
Courtesy of Chris-Rachel Oseland

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 5:15 am

We've discovered a text that could rank among the geekiest of all cookbooks. It's based on Settlers of Catan, that German civilization-building board game with the cult following.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Methodist Minister Who Officiated At Gay Wedding Is Defrocked

Accompanied by his wife Brigitte, right, Rev. Frank Schaefer of Lebanon, Pa., departs Thursday after meeting with officials at the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church in Norristown, Pa.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 9:02 am

Leaders of the United Methodist Church have defrocked a Pennsylvania minister who officiated at the wedding of his son to another man, NPR's John Burnett tells our Newscast Desk.

John reports that:

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The Salt
7:33 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Hold The Cheese: Israelis Sway Domino's To Make Vegan Pizza

Watch out Crazy Cheese: Vegan pizza is coming.
Dan Lev Domino's

In the U.S., Big Pizza is locked in a battle that's as much a testament to gluttony as it is to food science: How much cheese can you possibly stuff inside of wheat dough?

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Economy
7:25 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Why Congress Didn't Extend Unemployment Benefits

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Education
7:25 am
Thu December 19, 2013

School Leaders On What Determines Student Success

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, it is the season of giving - along with really corny ads reminding you about that. In a few minutes, we'll talk about the best and worst of charity video campaigns according to one advocacy group. That's coming up.

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It's All Politics
7:17 am
Thu December 19, 2013

How To Master The Fine Art Of Political Symbolism

Supporters of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott fan themselves to cope with the heat during a July 14 event to announce Abbott's 2014 campaign for governor in San Antonio.
Darren Abate AP

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 9:19 am

Texas Republicans can't get hold of enough guns.

Greg Abbott, the party's front-runner for governor, posed for a recent cover of Texas Monthly with a rifle over his shoulder. Nearly every other GOP statewide candidate has put out pictures or videos proudly displaying firearms.

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NPR Story
7:11 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Target Warns Customers After Card Security Breach

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with Target customers who are being targeted.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: OK. If you did any holiday shopping at Target recently, you might want to take a careful look at your credit and debit card statements. The company has confirmed that up to 40 million customers could be affected by a major credit card data breach. NPR's Elise Hu has been following the story, and joins us in the studio. And, Elise, who's affected by this?

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Michigan Man Will Stand Trial For Porch Shooting

Theodore Wafer, who will be tried for second-degree murder.
Paul Sancya AP

A case that put race relations in the spotlight once again — the shooting death of a 19-year-old African-American girl from Detroit on the porch of a white man's home in suburban Dearborn Heights — will be going to court.

The Detroit News writes that:

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The Protojournalist
6:45 am
Thu December 19, 2013

100 Years Of Solvitude: A Reported Crossword Puzzle

Word-Cross creator, 1938.
Bettmann/Corbis

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 10:17 am

Created by a British-American wordsmith, the very first Word-Cross appeared in the New York World on Dec. 21, 1913.

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Economy
6:05 am
Thu December 19, 2013

The Washington Two-Step: Dancing Back To Normal

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., unveil a budget deal Dec. 10 in Washington.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 8:24 am

Time and again, business leaders say the one thing they want out of Washington is more certainty.

But rarely do they get their wish.

In recent years, business owners have found themselves wondering whether their government would default on its debts, shut down national parks, change tax rules, cancel supplier contracts, confirm key leaders at federal agencies or hike interest rates.

Finally on Wednesday, they saw policymakers take two big steps toward a more certain future.

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The Two-Way
4:54 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Neighboring Crises In South Sudan, Central African Republic

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 12:39 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Michele Kelemen reports from the Central African Republic

There's disturbing news this morning from neighboring nations in Africa:

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The Two-Way
3:58 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Existing Home Sales Dip, But Prices Rise

A "sale pending" sign in front of a home in San Anselmo, Calif., earlier this year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 5:33 am

Update at 10:30 a.m. ET: The day's second major economic indicator is another good news/bad news report.

The good news is that prices of existing homes continue to rise, the National Association of Realtors says.

"The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $196,300 in November, up 9.4 percent from November 2012," according to NAR.

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The Two-Way
3:28 am
Thu December 19, 2013

'Duck Dynasty' Dad Doubles Down; Palin Defends Him

Four of the stars of Duck Dynasty, from left to right: Phil Robertson, Jase Robertson (Phil's son), Si Robertson (Phil's brother) and Willie Robertson (Phil's son).
Zach Dilgard AP

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 11:36 am

Saying that his mission "is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together," Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson isn't backing away from the comments he's made about gays that have led A&E to suspend him from the popular show indefinitely.

Robertson, in a statement to Fox News' FOX411, goes on to say:

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The Two-Way
3:26 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Book News: Memoir Coming From Obama's Half-Brother

Mark Obama Ndesandjo. His half-brother is President Obama.
Vincent Yu AP

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 9:31 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Around the Nation
2:01 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Handcuffed Suspect Proposes To Girlfriend, She Says 'Yes'

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 7:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

In Elk City, Oklahoma, you have the right to remain silent or make a proposal of marriage. A man being arrested for allegedly writing bad checks asked the officer if he could have a moment because he had been just about to propose to his girlfriend. The cop said he couldn't remove the man's handcuffs, but he did help him out by getting the ring from his coat pocket. Police Chiefs Eddie Holland called the incident, quote, policing with a heart. And in case you were wondering, the woman said yes.

Around the Nation
1:58 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Chicago TV Anchor Wrestles With Alligator Story

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 7:08 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. A Miami man tried to join the barter economy. He captured a small alligator, took it to a store, offered to trade it for a 12-pack. His attempt made news on Chicago TV, where the anchor tried to tell the story.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV NEWSCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: He tried to trade it for beer.

INSKEEP: But has to pause 44 seconds, laughing.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV NEWSCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: I think he's lost it.

The Two-Way
1:47 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Breach At Target Stores May Affect 40 Million Card Accounts

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 4:04 am

Target Corp. acknowledged early Thursday that there was a massive security breach of its customers' credit and debit card accounts starting the day before Thanksgiving and extending at least to Dec. 15 — the heart of the holiday shopping season.

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