The Two-Way
4:56 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Campaign Finance Transparency Bill Gets Chilly Reception In Senate

A bill that would require transparency by nonprofit groups related to federal elections met with united opposition from Republicans Wednesday, at the first Senate hearing on what its supporters call the Disclose Act.

The legislation would require any politically active group that spends more than $10,000 to list its donors. It was introduced last month, with 52 senators listed as its sponsors or co-sponsors (including the chamber's two independents).

NPR's Peter Overby reports:

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The Salt
4:15 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Can You Trust That Organic Label On Imported Food?

Investigators at the U.S. Department of Agriculture have discovered cases of organic fraud abroad as well as in the U.S. In 2013, 19 farmers or food companies were fined a total of $87 million for misusing the organic label.
Mark Andersen Rubberball/Corbi

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 8:36 pm

Maybe you've wondered, while looking at the price tag on some organic produce, whether that label is telling the truth.

Peter Laufer, a writer and professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, doesn't just wonder. He's an outright skeptic, especially because the organic label seems to him like a license to raise prices. And also because those products are arriving through supply chains that stretch to far corners of the world.

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The Two-Way
3:37 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Obama Declares Emergency As Huge Fires Burn In Washington State

A burned-out car sits in front of a ruined house in this photo taken Sunday near Pateros, Wash. Large fires have destroyed hundreds of homes in the state this month.
Stephen Brashear Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 3:57 pm

Fires are still raging in Washington state, where officials hope rain might help them contain the large fires — but there's also a chance that heavy rainfall could trigger flooding and mudslides.

Fire crews have been battling several major fires in central and eastern Washington for the past two weeks. The blazes have destroyed hundreds of homes and caused wide power outages.

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It's All Politics
3:35 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Insurance For Fake Identities The Latest Skirmish Over Obamacare

Investigators were able to fraudulently sign up for coverage through HealthCare.gov, sparking criticism from Republican lawmakers.
J. David Ake AP

House Republicans went on the attack Wednesday over what they say is the latest bungling of the Affordable Care Act: fake identities used to get insurance.

Undercover investigators were able to get taxpayer-subsidized health insurance from the government's website 11 out of the 18 times they tried, according to a preliminary report from the Government Accountability Office.

Republicans on the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee say fraud and abuse will be rampant and may already be.

Democrats question all the fuss.

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The Salt
3:17 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Summer Program For Hungry Kids Gets Creative With Food Delivery

Logan Kovach, 6, Matthew Kovach, 2, and Allyson Kovach, 5, eat a lunch distributed by the YMCA in Hopkins County, Kentucky.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 2:49 pm

More than 21 million children get free or reduced priced meals during the school year. But in the summer, that number drops to only three million.

The big question is what happens to all the other children. Do they get enough, and the right food, to eat?

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Parallels
3:14 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Common Ground Between Iraq's Rebels May Be Crumbling

People walk by a damaged police station in Mosul on July 15. The militants of the Islamic State are in control of the key city and have acted against former members of Saddam Hussein's regime who helped them drive out the Iraqi army last month.
AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 8:36 pm

Abu Wissam speaks to us by phone from the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. He asks us to use his nickname to protect him, his family and his missing father before he recounts his father's kidnapping.

The men came on evening of July 3, just before Abu Wissam's family was preparing to break their day-long fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

"There were seven of them and before I knew it they were in our kitchen," he says.

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Shots - Health News
2:52 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Federal Health Exchange Stays Busy After Open Enrollment Ends

Even after the open enrollment deadline, HealthCare.gov remained a popular destination.
J. David Ake AP

For months, journalists and politicians fixated on the number of people signing up for health insurance through the federal exchange created as part of the Affordable Care Act. It turned out that more than 5 million people signed up using HealthCare.gov by April 19.

But perhaps more surprising is that, according to federal data released Wednesday to ProPublica, there have been nearly 1 million transactions on the exchange since then. People are allowed to sign up and switch plans after certain life events, such as job changes, moves, the birth of a baby, marriages and divorces.

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Music
2:44 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Finding The Anthropology In Latin Dance Music

Jorge Drexler's new album, Bailar en la Cueva, ventures into new territory for him: dance rhythms.
Thomas Canet Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 8:36 pm

Jorge Drexler's songs have been called introspective and literate. He's been compared to Paul Simon. But a couple years ago, the Uruguayan musician began to wonder what it would take to write dance-oriented music. That's the assignment he gave himself on his latest album, Bailar en la Cueva, or "dancing in the cave."

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Regional
2:28 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

NMSU Creates Nonprofit To Devleop New Revenue Streams

Credit NMSU President Dr. Garrey Carruthers

  New Mexico State University’s Board of Regents approved the creation of Aggie Development Corporation during their regular meeting July 23. The newly formed corporation will allow NMSU to better manage and develop its land, property and water assets.

“The creation of Aggie Development Corporation allows New Mexico State University to operate in a more business-like manner when we look to develop our assets,” said NMSU President Garrey Carruthers. “This makes it easier for us to turn some of our fiscal assets into revenue streams for the university.”

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From Our Listeners
2:23 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Confusion With A Chance Of Clarity: Your Weather Questions, Answered

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 8:36 pm

Many listeners and readers felt a concise explanation of "a 20 percent chance of rain" was missing from this story about weather forecasts and probability, so we followed up with two meteorologists.

From meterologist Eli Jacks, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service:

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