The Two-Way
3:44 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Obama Says 'James Flacco.' The Internet Says, Thank You

Actor James Franco (left), seen here with The Interview co-star Seth Rogen, was called "James Flacco" by President Obama Friday. Afterward, the jokes poured in.
Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 3:49 pm

It was an honest mistake. But when President Obama meant to talk about James Franco and instead said "James Flacco" — on a Friday marking the full-on start of the holidays, no less — the slip was eagerly received by people on Twitter and elsewhere.

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Local Viewpoints
3:16 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Sen. Peter Wirth Files Bill to “Fix” Public Financing of New Mexico Elections

Credit senatorpeterwirth.com

  Sen. Peter Wirth (D- Santa Fe) yesterday pre-filed legislation to fix New Mexico’s Voter Action Act, which currently allows candidates for election to the Public Regulation Commission, Court of Appeals and NM Supreme Court to utilize public funding. It is Senate Bill 58.

Wirth said the “fix” to public financing was needed because of a 2011 court decision striking down a part of the original bill and this year’s misuse of the system by candidates for the PRC.

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Latin America
3:12 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Cubans Eager For More Economic Investment

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 4:58 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Regional
3:11 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Suspected Las Cruces Hit And Run Driver Charged

  The driver suspected in Monday’s hit-and-run crash on Picacho Avenue that injured two teenage girls has been arrested and charged with various offenses.

Rudalfo Villegas, 81, was arrested Thursday evening and is charged with two counts of failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, two counts of failure to render aid, one count of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury, one count of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in great bodily injury and one count of failing to immediately provide notice of an accident.

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Regional
3:06 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

NMSU Receives $853,815 Grant For Integrated Behavioral Health Training

  The New Mexico State University School of Social Work in the College of Health and Social Services has received a three-year Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Health Professionals Training grant, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 

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Global Health
3:04 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

CDC Head: Key Interventions Have Slowed Ebola's Spread

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 4:58 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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NPR Ed
3:04 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

The Fate Of The Administration's College Ratings

Rating colleges isn't easy.
LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 12:21 am

Today, details of the Obama administration's plan known as the Postsecondary Institutional Ratings System, or PIRS, finally saw the light of day. The idea, in this incarnation, was just under three years old.

The president announced its conception during his State of the Union address in 2012.

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The Two-Way
2:50 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

New EPA Standards Label Toxic Coal Ash Non-Hazardous

Smoke rises from the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal burning power plant in in Colstrip, Mont., in September. New EPA guidelines treat toxic coal ash from such plants much the same as common household garbage.
Matt Brown AP

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 3:50 pm

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued new national standards designating coal ash – a nearly ubiquitous byproduct of coal-fired power plants that contains arsenic and lead – as non-hazardous waste.

NPR's Christopher Joyce reports that coal-fired power plants produce more than 130 million tons of the coal ash each year and they have long stored millions of tons of it in giant ponds.

But many of those ponds have failed in recent years, allowing contaminated water to get into rivers and streams, and ultimately into drinking water.

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Regional
2:46 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Court: Texas "Stand Your Ground Trial" Unfair

  A Texas appeals court says a 49-year-old man who was convicted of murder after jurors rejected his "stand your ground" self-defense claim didn't get a fair trial and deserves a new one.

Raul Rodriguez was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the 2010 slaying of a 36-year-old man during an argument over loud music in a rural Harris County neighborhood northeast of Houston.

The 1st Texas Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the instructions given to the jury in Rodriguez's 2012 trial, before deliberations, were too confusing.

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Regional
2:44 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Texas Jobless Rate Drops To 4.9 Percent

The Texas unemployment rate has declined for the third month in a row to 4.9 percent in November as the state continues to add jobs.

The Texas Workforce Commission said Friday that Texas added 34,800 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in November for a total of 441,200 jobs added since last year.

The November seasonally adjusted unemployment was slightly lower from 5.1 percent in October, and down from 6.1 percent a year ago. The rate was 5.2 percent in September and 5.3 percent in August.

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