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Shots - Health News
2:39 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Utah And 6 Other States Get Feds' OK To Run Insurance Exchanges

Utah got the go-ahead to run its own insurance exchange, but the federal blessing may not last.
iStockphoto.com

In a surprise, the Obama administration said Thursday that it has given Utah a conditional OK to run its own health insurance marketplace.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, has resisted making major changes to the state's existing marketplace, which was built before passage of the federal health law and is geared to small business.

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

DNA Links Bloody Handkerchief To French King's Execution

Scientists have established the authenticity of a cloth dipped in the blood of France's King Louis XVI. A memorial depicts the executed king and Queen Marie-Antoinette at Saint-Denis, near Paris.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:28 pm

In France, a team of scientists says that a piece of cloth that was reputedly dipped in the blood of Louis XVI is genuine. Louis XVI was executed 220 years ago this month, during the French Revolution.

The handkerchief had been stored for years in an ornately decorated gourd, as Tia Ghose writes at Live Science.

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U.S.
1:55 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Hit-And-Run Deaths Increase, But Culprits Hard To Capture

Officers Carol Mitchell and John Hill investigate the death of a disabled teen who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in Los Angeles.
Gloria Hillard for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

Pedestrian and cyclist fatalities are increasing nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Los Angeles and New York City have the highest rates of those deaths.

In Los Angeles, where the car is the major mode of transportation, hit and runs involving pedestrians occur almost daily. But these crimes can be the most difficult for law enforcement to investigate and solve.

People Don't Want To Get Involved

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U.S.
1:49 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

For Many Kids, Winter Break Means Hungry Holidays

Tamara Burney's kindergartners eat lunch in the Hillview Elementary cafeteria in Jefferson County, Ala.
Dan Carsen WBHM

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

Holidays are typically a festive time, with breaks from the routine, meals with loved ones, maybe even some gifts. But for many families across the U.S., the season comes with intense stress: Roughly 1 in 5 families with children are not getting enough food.

For some, free or reduced-price school meals have become a major source of basic nutrition. When schools close for the holidays, many of those families struggle to fill the gap.

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The Salt
1:48 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Drought Puts The Squeeze On Already Struggling Fish Farms

Catfish swim in a tub outside the Osage Catfisheries office.
Kristofor Husted KBIA News

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

This year's drought delivered a pricey punch to US aquaculture, the business of raising fish like bass and catfish for food. Worldwide, aquaculture has grown into a $119 billion industry, but the lack of water and high temperatures in 2012 hurt many U.S. fish farmers who were already struggling to compete on a global scale.

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U.S.
1:20 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

The Phantom Tax That Made The Deficit Look Better

The alternative minimum tax created a "useful fiction," as one analyst says, by appearing to shrink budget deficits.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

As Americans continue to sort out the contents of the fiscal cliff legislative package passed by Congress Tuesday, they are finding elements they like and some they hate.

There's one exception. Everyone is glad Congress finally found a permanent fix for the alternative minimum tax.

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Transocean To Pay $1.4 Billion In Gulf Oil Spill Settlement

The Transocean Discoverer Enterprise drill ship collects oil from the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil well as workers try to stem the flow of the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, June 12, 2010.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig where 11 men died in April 2010, has agreed to pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties to resolve Justice Department allegations over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

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Shots - Health News
1:00 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Pap Tests For Cervical Cancer Often Are Wasted

Cells gathered during a Pap test. Those on the left are normal, and those on the right are infected with human papillomavirus.
Ed Uthman Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 9:10 am

When it comes to testing women for cervical cancer, the nation sure could be doing a better job.

Too many women who don't need them are getting regular Pap tests. Other women who could benefit from the tests aren't getting them, often those are women without health insurance.

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The Salt
12:35 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Hold That Mini-Burger: Restaurants Forecast Food For 2013

Sliders. We're over them, the National Restaurant Association says.
Bob Ingelhart iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 7:42 am

Still ordering gazpacho and sliders at your favorite restaurant? Not pre-screening restaurant menus before you make a reservation? Well, hop in the DeLorean and set the chronometer to 2013: You're really behind the times.

Technology is in and bacon-flavored chocolate is out, says a recent survey of 1,800 chefs across the nation.

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Television
12:02 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

'Downton' Returns With Aristocratic Class And Clash

Social changes, romantic intrigues and financial crises grip the English country estate in the third season of Downton Abbey, starting Sunday on PBS. Shirley MacLaine joins the cast as Cora's wealthy American mother, Martha Levinson.
Nick Briggs Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for Masterpiece

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 12:16 pm

Downton Abbey, the drama series about the residents and servants at a grand estate in early 20th-century England, has done for PBS what the commercial broadcast networks couldn't achieve last year. It generated a hit show — one with an audience that increased over its run and left fans hungry for more. And that's a lot of hunger because when the second season was televised here in the states, it averaged 7 million viewers, more than most TV shows on any network, cable or broadcast.

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Africa
12:02 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Northern Mali: A Violent Islamist Stronghold

A Malian troop member checks bushes after a military raid in the Wagoudou forest.
Serge Daniel AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 12:16 pm

This past spring, Islamic extremists allied with al-Qaida took control of northern Mali after a coup destabilized the country. Adam Nossiter, the West Africa bureau chief for The New York Times, has been reporting on the Islamist takeover in the north — but has had to do so by telephone. The kidnapping threat for reporters covering the conflict is virtually 100 percent, he says.

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The Two-Way
11:47 am
Thu January 3, 2013

FTC Closes Google Inquiry; Tech Giant Makes Changes And Avoids Antitrust Charges

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 12:25 pm

Google has agreed to change some of its business practices, in an agreement made with the Federal Trade Commission that will end the U.S. agency's antitrust probe of the search and technology company.

In the terms of the deal, Google agrees not to appropriate content such as users' reviews from other sites for use in its search and mobile offerings. The company also pledged to make it easier for advertisers to compare the value of running ad campaigns through Google compared to advertising on rivals Yahoo and Microsoft.

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Coming Up: House Selects Its Speaker

A thumbs-up in thanks: Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on the floor of the House today.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 12:29 pm

Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, who has come under criticism from some conservative members of his Republican caucus for — in their opinions — conceding too much in negotiations with the White House, was reelected Thursday as speaker of the House.

The speaker, known for showing his emotions, later choked up several times during a mid-afternoon address to the House. He challenged members to "do the right thing" and come to their jobs "humbled."

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Politics
10:05 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Latinos Shifting Political Trends

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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Politics
10:05 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Will Congress Get Along In 2013?

A new Congress takes office today, after a nail-biting end to the last term. There were reports of choice words from House Speaker John Boehner to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, but Congress came together on a budget agreement. Guest host Celeste Headlee asks how congressional deals are made, and what to expect from the freshman class.

Asia
10:05 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Are Women Safe In India?

The brutal rape and death of a young student in New Delhi is raising concerns about violence against women in India. To find out more about the challenges women face in the world's largest democracy, guest host Celeste Headlee speaks to a women's rights advocate and an Indian author.

The Two-Way
10:04 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Nice Moment: Sen. Mark Kirk Returns To Capitol One Year After Stroke

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., holding a cane. He was helped up the steps of the Capitol by Vice President Biden (behind Kirk) and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., (in red tie). Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., is at right.
C-SPAN

Before lawmakers get back to the business of arguing about taxes, deficits and other issues as they open a new session of Congress today, there was just a nice moment outside the Capitol.

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., who suffered a stroke last Jan. 21, came to the Capitol for the first time since then. And as C-SPAN cameras watched, he made a very public return — slowly walking up the steps of the Capitol with assistance from Vice President Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va.

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Shots - Health News
9:25 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Fire Risk Leads Praxair To Recall Grab 'n Go Oxygen Tanks

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 12:05 pm

When there's a cylinder of medical oxygen in the room, the last thing you want it to do is burst into flames.

So the Food and Drug Administration says Praxair has recalled its Grab 'n Go Vantage portable oxygen units. The product combines an aluminum cylinder with a regulator that releases the oxygen at the right pressure for medical use.

It's a handy combination, but only when the Grab 'n Go is working right.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Putin Grants French Actor Depardieu Russian Citizenship

French actor Gerard Depardieu (left) and Russian leader Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg in December 2010.
Ria Novosti Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 1:12 pm

If French actor Gerard Depardieu really does want to renounce his native land and evade its taxes, he's now got a home land in Russia if he wishes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin today ordered that Depardieu be granted Russian citizenship, the Kremlin announced.

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The Salt
8:59 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Apes Have Food, Will Share For A Social Payoff

Bonobos sharing food and friendship.
JingZhi Tan Duke University

People have been sharing food with strangers since ancient days, offering up the household's finest fare to mysterious travelers. Think Abraham and the three men of Mamre in the Bible and the folks who take in strangers after natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy. That deep tradition of generous hospitality has long been thought uniquely human.

If so, then bonobos, those gregarious African apes, may be more like us than we thought.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

NPR's Michele Norris Returning As Host/Special Correspondent

NPR's Michele Norris.

Stephen Voss

Michele Norris, who stepped away from the hosting duties at All Things Considered during the 2012 presidential election because her husband took a senior position with President Obama's re-election campaign, is returning to NPR "in a new role as host/special correspondent," Margaret Low Smith, senior vice president for news, just announced.

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The Two-Way
8:02 am
Thu January 3, 2013

In India, Five Charged With Rape And Murder In Crime That Shocked Nation

Protests continue, such as in New Delhi today.
Prakash Singh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 2:27 pm

In India today, the public prosecutor formally charged five men with murder and rape in the case of a 23-year-old student whose December assault and death has united the country in anger and sorrow.

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Thu January 3, 2013

This May Blow Your Mind: Video Of New Year's Eve Fireworks In Reverse

In the video, you can watch them disappear.
http://www.youtube.com/jcltay

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 9:27 am

Before the holiday mood completely disappears, take a break if you can to watch this video of the New Year's Eve fireworks in Melbourne, Australia.

The guy who made it, Julian Tay, writes he was:

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Layoffs Have Slowed, Hiring Has Picked Up, But Jobless Claims Are Higher

The scene at a career fair in New York City last fall.
Mike Segar Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:46 am

Update at 8:40 a.m. ET. Jobless Claims Went Up; So Two Out Of Three Reports Were Positive:

There were 372,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 10,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. What's more, that previous week's total was revised up from the previous estimate of 350,000.

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Around the Nation
5:44 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Kid Convinced He Bought $50,000 Car On eBay

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Don't play with the iPad if Mom tells you not to, especially if Mom's a prankster. Eight-year-old Kenyon was looking at a car on eBay. Mom told him he accidentally bought it for $50,000.

KENYON: Is that true? Did I?

MOM: I'm afraid so.

GREENE: She posted his reaction on YouTube.

KENYON: It was a Mustang. I didn't mean to buy it.

Asia
5:38 am
Thu January 3, 2013

In China, Yellow Is The New Red

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

You've seen this happen, maybe done it yourself. You approach an intersection, the light turns yellow, but instead of slowing to a stop, you accelerate and blow through. Chinese authorities have now outlawed this practice. New rules say yellow is the new red. It means stop. The change has prompted vocal protest, even at the official Chinese news agency. One Chinese critic says the new rules are contrary to Newton's First Law about momentum.

The Two-Way
5:34 am
Thu January 3, 2013

With Those Lost In Mind, Sandy Hook Students And Staff Return To Classes

Early Thursday morning, a school bus carrying students from Sandy Hook Elementary headed to their new school.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 12:49 pm

  • Jean Cochran reporting on the NPR Newscast

(Scroll down for updates. Our most recent was at 2:45 p.m. ET.)

Hoping that they have done their best to create "a safe and a secure learning environment for these kids," school officials in Connecticut today welcomed the 500 or so surviving students from Sandy Hook Elementary School and their teachers back to class.

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It's All Politics
4:45 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Was Boehner's Fiscal Cliff End Run Past GOP The New Normal?

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio (right), and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., enter a Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

By letting the House take up the Senate's fiscal cliff-dodging legislation that raises income tax rates on the wealthiest earners, Speaker John Boehner answered affirmatively a question that had been on many minds: Would he allow an up-or-down floor vote on a bill opposed by most fellow House Republicans?

Until the New Year's Day vote, Boehner had generally operated the House under what was known as the Hastert Rule. Named for former Speaker Dennis Hastert, it required a "majority of the majority" to support legislation before the speaker approved a floor vote.

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Around the Nation
4:27 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Mackinac Island Worries About Preserving Main St.

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:47 am

Michigan's Mackinac Island was fought over by France, England and the United States. The 200-year-old city in northern Lake Huron is a popular tourist destination. But the demolition of old buildings has raised a fierce debate about how to hold onto the past while profiting from it.

Business
3:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:35 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And that brings us to today's last word in business: melty money.

The Bank of Canada released new hundred dollar bills in 2011. The high-tech bank notes are made of polymers. They're sort of like plastic bills. The goal was to make them indestructible. They were put through a lot of tests. They were put through the wash, frozen, boiled. But some Canadians who have their hands on the money say the plastic bills melt when subjected to extreme heat.

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