NPR News

NPR Story
3:19 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Did This Congress Help Your Wallet, Or Just Pass the Buck?

A member of the House of Representatives departs the US Capitol after a vote narrowly approving a $1.1 trillion, nine-month federal spending bill barely two hours before a midnight government shutdown deadline, December 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. The 219-206 vote followed a bruising day of arm-twisting by the White House after dozens of Democrats split with President Barack Obama over the legislation that funds most federal operations through September, the end of fiscal year 2015. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 12:31 pm

Over the past week, lawmakers’ have scrambled to finish the fiscal 2015 budget. Now the 113th Congress is headed out, but before then, economists are looking back at what Congress accomplished for the U.S. economy during its two-year session.

Many say lawmakers did not do much to help your wallet, but the 113th Congress is not without some achievements, such as cutting spending enough to make meaningful progress on the budget deficit and passing a farm bill.

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NPR Ed
3:18 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

There's No Place Like A Dorm Room For The Holidays

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 8:52 am

It's final exam week for lots of college students. No doubt they're stressed right now, but once they hand in that last paper or take that last test, they're done for the semester. Pack up the suitcase and head home for the holidays.

But for some college students — many of whom are former foster youth — that's not quite what happens.

"I have no for-certain home, that's the thing," says Trudy Greer, a 22-year-old sophomore at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich. She says she's had a lot of folks at EMU ask her where she lives, curious to know where her home is.

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Goats and Soda
3:16 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Dr. Kent Brantly: Lessons Learned From Fighting Ebola

Dr. Kent Brantly speaks about the world's response to Ebola during the Overseas Security Advisory Council's Annual Briefing in Washington, D.C. last month.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 11:23 am

Dr. Kent Brantly considers himself a lucky man.

He was diagnosed with Ebola five months ago while working with Christian aid group Samaritan's Purse at a hospital in Liberia's capital, Monrovia. He became so sick that he thought he was going to "quit" breathing.

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World
3:12 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Sydney Residents Rally To Head Off Anti-Muslim Violence

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 4:14 pm

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

Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Nebraska Landowners Sit At The Heart Of Keystone Controversy

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 5:58 pm

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

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Keystone XL - for years now, the pipeline has been tied up in polarizing argument about energy, jobs and the environment. Keystone's been argued in the U.S. Congress, in state court, at protests around the country and on late-night television.

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World
3:12 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Sydney Siege Ends With Two Hostages And Gunman Dead

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

Technology
3:12 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

The Distracting Problem With The Term 'Disruption'

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

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Technology
3:12 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Lawyers Say Sony Can't Keep Media From Reporting Hacked Details

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 11:06 am

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

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Politics
3:12 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Senate Set To Vote On Surgeon General Nominee

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 4:17 pm

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

Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

From Water Cutoffs To An Art Scare, Detroit Has A Tumultuous Year

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

The Two-Way
2:20 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Tennessee Governor Moves To Expand Medicaid Coverage

Gov. Bill Haslam announces his proposal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee at the state Capitol in Nashville Monday.
Erik Schelzig AP

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 10:45 am

Following the lead of other Republican governors, Tennessee's Gov. Bill Haslam is moving to expand Medicaid in his state, using federal funds from the Affordable Care Act. Haslam announced the plan Monday morning; it'll be debated by the legislature next month.

From Nashville, Bobby Allyn of member station WPLN reports:

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Shots - Health News
1:59 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

To Get To The Bottom Of Your Microbiome, Start With A Swab Of Poo

After a quick swipe and online registration, these test tubes were ready to ship back to the lab at the University of Colorado in Boulder for sequencing and analysis.
Katherine Harmon Courage for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 2:53 pm

Understanding the human microbiome takes much more work than just identifying the organisms that live in a person's gut. A genetic census of these microbes is really only the start of figuring out what they have to do with health and disease.

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Search Is On For Gunman Who Left 6 Relatives Dead Near Philadelphia

Police say Bradley William Stone, 35, killed six people in attacks at three locations early Monday.
Montgomery County District Attorney's Office

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 9:54 pm

Police are looking for a man accused of killing six people in Montgomery County, Pa., Monday. Officials say the gunman is Bradley William Stone, 35, who also left one person seriously wounded.

Reports and details are still coming in about this developing situation; we'll update this post as news emerges. While we expecting an official news conference to begin soon, for now we're relying on local media reports and earlier news releases.

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Law
1:16 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Supreme Court Upholds North Carolina Traffic Stop

In 2009, Nicholas Heien and a friend were traveling down a North Carolina highway when they were pulled over for having a broken tail light. A subsequent search of the car found a plastic bag containing cocaine.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 3:20 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that police officers don't necessarily violate a person's constitutional rights when they stop a car based on a mistaken understanding of the law. The ruling prompted a lone dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who warned that the court's decision could exacerbate public suspicion of police in some communities.

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NPR Story
1:15 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Actor Samuel L. Jackson Asks People To Join His Singing Protest

A video of Samuel L. Jackson singing in protest of the choking death of Eric Garner by a white police officer in NYC has gone viral. (Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)

On Saturday, actor Samuel L. Jackson posted a clip on his Facebook page calling on celebrities who participated in the ice bucket challenge to support ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, to now join him in another action: singing in protest of the choking death of Eric Garner by a white police officer in New York City

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NPR Story
1:15 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

As School Fees Rise, So Do Questions Over What Constitutes A Free Education

(ginoroncaglia/Flickr)

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 8:40 am

Only a dozen states allow schools to charge for bus service but the number is expected to grow.

Parents in Indiana have filed a lawsuit, now before the state Supreme Court, arguing that bus fees violate the state’s constitutional guarantee to a free education. But state officials across the country say budget cuts have severely hampered their ability to continue to provide transportation and other services for free.

Indiana officials also say that caps on property taxes approved by voters in 2008 have also cut into school funds.

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NPR Story
1:15 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Canadians Head South Of Their Border For Medical Procedures

CNA Taylor Jasper makes up the bed in a patient room at Northwest Specialty Hospital in Post Falls, Idaho. (Jessica Robinson/ Northwest News Network)

A hospital in north Idaho is marketing itself to Canadian tourists — medical tourists, that is.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Jessica Robinson from the Northwest News Network has the story.

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The Two-Way
11:54 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Denmark Claims Part Of The Arctic, Including The North Pole

A map of the area Denmark is claiming.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 12:51 pm

Denmark, together with Greenland, today will claim around 350,000 square miles of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean, in an area around the North Pole that is slightly larger than the size of Texas and Oklahoma combined.

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Socialists Don't Sit Around — And Other BMJ Christmas Articles

A left-wing protest in Russia on Nov. 8. Apparently, armchair socialists aren't sitting down after all, a new study says.
Artyom Geodakyan ITAR-TASS /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:23 pm

It seems there are fewer armchair socialists — or their right-wing counterparts — than there are armchair centrists according to a study published in BMJ, the former British Medical Journal, as part of its annual tongue-in-cheek Christmas edition.

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Shots - Health News
10:00 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Prolific Prescribers Of Controlled Substances Face Medicare Scrutiny

Number of providers by state who wrote at least 3,000 prescriptions for Schedule 2 controlled substances in 2012 in Medicare Part D.
ProPublica/NPR

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 5:31 am

Despite a national crackdown on prescription drug abuse, doctors churned out an ever-larger number of prescriptions for the most-potent controlled substances to Medicare patients, new data show.

In addition, ProPublica found, the most prolific prescribers of such drugs as oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine and Ritalin often have worrisome records.

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U.S.
8:23 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Is Ted Cruz Running For President ... In 2008?

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on Friday, as the Senate considered a spending bill.
Lauren Victoria Burke AP

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 11:37 am

Yes, we know the 2008 presidential election is years in the past and will not come around again. The question is, does Sen. Ted Cruz know this?

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Code Switch
7:37 am
Mon December 15, 2014

'Half Asian'? 'Half White'? No — 'Hapa'

What you find when you search for "hapa" images on Flickr — "Limited Time"!
istolethetv Flickr

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 9:55 am

She was tall and freckled, with long, dark hair — and we stood out in the same way. As I leaned in to say hi, she yelled over the din, "You're hapa, aren't you?" It was the last word I expected to hear in D.C., but I welcomed the refreshing respite from the constant and inevitable question: "What are you?"

What am I? This is what they're really asking here: What is the particular racial mix that created you? Because YOU don't fit into a single box in my mind, and that confuses me.

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Rare Northern White Rhino Dies At San Diego Zoo

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 10:58 am

One of six northern white rhinos left in the world died at the San Diego Zoo on Sunday.

Angalifu was thought to be 44 years old. He came to the park from Sudan in 1990 and had been treated for a range of age-related ailments.

U-T San Diego reports:

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Latin America
5:16 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Haiti's President Searches For Next Prime Minister

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

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The Two-Way
4:42 am
Mon December 15, 2014

WATCH: Local Coverage Of Australian Hostage Siege

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 12:38 pm

A gunman was holding an unknown number of hostages at a downtown chocolate cafe in Sydney. Early on Tuesday morning, Australian time, police moved in and said the siege was over.

We're following the news here. Below is a feed of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's news coverage. ABC is the country's national public broadcaster:

The Two-Way
4:38 am
Mon December 15, 2014

3 People, Including Gunman, Killed In Sydney Cafe Siege

A hostage runs to armed tactical response police officers for safety after she escaped from a cafe under siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, on Monday.
Rob Griffith AP

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 1:13 pm

(Last updated at 1:48 p.m. ET.)

Just as the siege entered its second day, police stormed a chocolate shop in downtown Sydney, ending a more than 12-hour hostage standoff that began during morning rush hour.

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Europe
4:15 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Element Of Marriage Proposal Damages Building

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:16 am

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

Europe
3:58 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Hallucinogenic Mushrooms Found At Buckingham Palace

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:16 am

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

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Research News
3:01 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Why Some Scientific Collaborations Are More Beneficial Than Others

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 11:09 am

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

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NPR Story
3:01 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Congress Wraps Up Spending Measure Before Holiday Recess

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:16 am

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

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