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Politics
7:18 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Looking Past Website, More Challenges Await Obamacare

An increasing number of people are signing up for health insurance through the government's new exchange, suggesting the Obama administration has made progress in fixing its broken website. But the exchange is just one part of the health care law, which remains politically divisive almost four years after its passage.

Africa
7:18 am
Mon December 9, 2013

French Troops Arrive In Central African Republic

David Greene talks with Sylvain Groulx, head of mission for Doctors without Borders in the Central African Republic, about the state of the violence there and the hopes for peace now that French troops have arrived.

Technology
7:18 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Tech Giants Call On Obama, Congress For Surveillance Changes

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a call for surveillance reform.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Business
7:18 am
Mon December 9, 2013

WTO Nations Say Deal Will Boost Global Trade

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Officials of 159 countries have taken a big step forward in promoting global trade. This happened over the weekend at World Trade Organization talks in Indonesian.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: The countries attending the WTO meeting agreed to a treaty that they say will lower trade barriers and speed up the passage of goods across borders. Officials say the deal could increase global trade by nearly a trillion dollars over time and also create millions of jobs.

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Strange News
7:18 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Napping United Passenger Wakes Up To A Dark, Empty Plane

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Good morning. Good morning, sir. That's what should have been said to a passenger on one United flight but no one woke up Tom Wagner. The passenger was on his way from Louisiana to California to visit his sister. He was napping when his plane landed for a layover in Houston and he awoke locked inside a dark and empty plane.

Sports
7:18 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Broncos' Prater Kicks Record 64-Yard Field Goal

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

Anybody who grew up watching football has seen video of Tom Dempsey's historic field goal. In 1970, the New Orleans Saint kicked a field goal from a record 63 yards to win a game. He did it though he was born with no toes on his right foot. The record stood for decades, sometimes equaled never exceeded, until Sunday. Denver's Matt Prater kicked one from 64 yards, though it was not decisive since his team won by 23 points.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
6:41 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Winter Storm Plows Through Mid-Atlantic To Hit New England

A winter storm is hitting an area from Virginia to New England, snarling traffic and closing schools. On Sunday, heavy snowfall changed the look of an NFL game in Baltimore, Md., where Ravens players stood for the national anthem at 1 p.m.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 7:24 pm

Winter won't officially begin for nearly two more weeks, but a winter storm continued to plow across much of the eastern part of the U.S. on Monday, bringing a dangerous mix of snow, ice and freezing rain. The storm knocked out power in some areas, fouled morning commutes and caused more than a thousand flights to be cancelled.

"Heavy snow fell Sunday in the Mid-Atlantic, with more than 8 inches reported in Philadelphia and a foot in nearby Newark, Del.," The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Book News: 'Stoner' Created Little Buzz In 1965, But Ignites In 2013

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

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Monkey See
5:49 am
Mon December 9, 2013

After A Full Fall, A Few New TV Choices To Tide You Over

TNT's new period drama Mob City, from The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, is one of several shows and miniseries premiering this month.
Scott Garfield TNT

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 7:18 am

As the holiday season approaches, the TV cupboard may seem a bit bare; the industry winds down like everything else, filling cable and broadcast networks with holiday specials, reruns and also-ran reality shows.

But there are bright gifts, too: TNT offers Mob City, a three-week, lavishly produced noir-ish TV show about cops and crooks vying for control of 1947-era Los Angeles, airing Wednesdays.

On Dec. 8 and 9, A&E presents a four-hour miniseries on Bonnie and Clyde, retelling the story of the Depression-era outlaws and lovers.

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Business
5:49 am
Mon December 9, 2013

New York's Insurance Exchange Readies For Holiday Rush

Joey Cappuccitti, who works at a Maximus call center, talks with a person looking for help with New York's insurance exchange.
Fred Mogul

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 9:55 am

New York's health insurance marketplace has been running relatively smoothly, compared with healthcare.gov, the site the federal government is running for 36 states.

But that's a low bar, and even though about 50,000 New Yorkers had signed up in the first two months, almost every day still brings complaints and glitches. Donna Frescatore, the head of the New York State Of Health, says there are no serious patterns of trouble, just individual issues that the state and its contractors address one by one.

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Music
5:49 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Remembering The Singing 'Mayor Of MacDougal Street'

Dave Van Ronk performs onstage in 1970 in New York.
Sherry Rayn Barnett Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 7:18 am

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Politics
5:49 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Will Seniors Leave Republicans Out To Dry In 2014?

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 7:18 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Some of the Republican Party's most reliable support has come from voters over the age of 65. But a recent survey suggests this could be changing.

NPR's Ina Jaffe went to the Palm Springs to look at a congressional race where we might be seeing this change play out.

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NPR Story
5:49 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Other-Than-Honorable Discharge Burdens Like A Scarlet Letter

Reed Holway spent 13 months in Iraq. He says PTSD brought on a drinking problem when he returned to the States — and that eventually led to a bad-conduct discharge. Vets with "bad paper" have trouble getting any VA health benefits — even for PTSD.
Quil Lawrence NPR

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 10:21 am

Eric Highfill spent five years in the Navy, fixing airplanes for special operations forces. His discharge papers show an Iraq campaign medal and an Afghanistan campaign medal, a good-conduct medal, and that he's a marksman with a pistol and sharpshooter with a rifle.

None of that matters, because at the bottom of the page it reads "Discharged: under other than honorable conditions."

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Shots - Health News
4:48 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Epilepsy Patients Help Decode The Brain's Hidden Signals

Scientists say that epilepsy patients like Bennett have helped them learn how the brain controls movement and emotion.
Amy Standen NPR

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 12:29 pm

Patients with severe epilepsy are giving scientists the chance to see the human brain in action, a view they could never get with an MRI or other high-tech tools.

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Politics
4:47 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Will Obamacare Play Big In 2014? Keep An Eye On N.H. Senate Race

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., on Capitol Hill earlier this year.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 10:54 am

With a new White House push to promote the Affordable Care Act well underway, the question is whether an improved HealthCare.gov site and onslaught of positive talking points will be enough to bolster Senate Democrats facing tough races in 2014.

One re-election fight to watch is Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's in New Hampshire, where she's been taking heat for supporting the new health care law.

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Author Interviews
5:13 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

'Getting Away With Murder': A Study Of Benazir Bhutto's Death

In 2007, Benazir Bhutto — twice prime minister of Pakistan and then-leader of the Pakistan People's Party — was killed in a suicide bombing attack that claimed 38 lives. The factors at play in her assassination, however, reached deeper than many imagined.

In his new book, Getting Away With Murder, Heraldo Munoz portrays the tense political climate that surrounded Bhutto's return to politics and examines the circumstances of her death.

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Code Switch
4:29 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Don't You Dare Call Me A Hipster! I, Sir, Am A 'Hep Cat'

Jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong signs autographs in the Blue Note nightclub in Chicago in 1948.
Edward S. Kitch AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 8:54 am

Aside from racial and ethnic slurs, there aren't many words that prompt a more immediate and visceral response than "hipster." Many associate the term with craft beer, smugness and, of course, Brooklyn. Modern-day hipsters have inspired a huge number of Tumblrs, memes and trend pieces in the media.

It may seem like hipsters sprang up out of nowhere sometime in the late 1990s, but the original hipsters were around several generations before that. And they were strongly associated with another uniquely American phenomenon — jazz.

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Television
4:06 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

The Intended Madness Of Comic Eric Andre's 'Anti-Talk Show'

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 5:12 pm

Late-night comedy show hosts are known for opening their programs in a certain style. David Letterman takes to the stage with a wave and a smile. Jay Leno comes out and shakes hands with the audience.

Eric Andre takes quite a different approach: flying into an uncontrollable rage as soon as the band plays him on and smashing nearly everything on the set.

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Music Interviews
4:06 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Why Would Nick Lowe Make A Christmas Album? Ask Nick Lowe

Nick Lowe's Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family is an album of original holiday songs and some reworked classics.
Zoran Orlic Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 5:12 pm

Not long ago, Nick Lowe was approached by his American record label about releasing a Christmas album. The esteemed UK songwriter, who gave the world "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" and "Cruel to Be Kind," says the idea seemed laughable.

"But I was confused by how snooty I felt when they asked me about doing it," Lowe says. "I think it's a Brit thing, really: Making Christmas records is seen as a not very cool thing to do. And I thinkg it's all bound up with strange ideas from the 1960s, about selling out and things like that."

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Around the Nation
4:06 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Temperatures Dip From Sea To Icy Sea

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 5:12 pm

Frigid weather and freezing rain have beset large swaths of the country. Those below-average temperatures are expected to stay well into the week.

The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Lawmaker Says Snowden May Testify Before EU Parliament

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 11:54 am

A European lawmaker says former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is set to testify before a civil liberties committee of the European Parliament later this month.

Snowden, of course, is expected to talk about the surveillance activities of United States' National Security Agency. Reporter Teri Schultz filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Report Details ATF's Use Of Mentally Disabled In Gun Stings

The seal of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives photographed in 2007.
AFP/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel just published a blockbuster story that's today's must read: Based on court records, police reports and dozens of interviews, the paper details how the ATF used "rogue" tactics — including providing underage youths with alcohol and allowing them to smoke pot — to run storefront gun and drug stings across the country.

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Is Mining On The Moon's Horizon?

Alexander Klein AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 5:27 pm

A U.S. company is taking what it hopes to be a small step toward eventually mining the moon.

Moon Express, based in Mountain View, Calif., just unveiled the design for a small robot spacecraft about the size of a coffee table that it says could move about the moon's surface powered only by solar panels and hydrogen peroxide.

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It's All Politics
1:06 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Debate On Wage And Wealth Gap Heats Up; Solutions Elusive

Protesters in Boston march in the parking lot of a Burger King as part of a nation-wide protest supporting higher wages for workers in the fast-food industry.
Stephan Savoia AP

The national debate about income equality and low-wage labor ramped up this week as fast-food workers across the country rallied for better pay and President Obama assailed the nation's growing income gap as the "defining challenge of our time."

Meanwhile, an $11.50 minimum wage bill was approved in the nation's capital, and giant discount retailer Wal-Mart opened its first Washington stores — accompanied by a flurry of ads defending the company's often-criticized pay and benefits practices.

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Around the Nation
12:19 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Go Ahead And Mail Your Boring Holiday Cards

After he and his son Simon encountered both Santa Claus and Superman in an ice cream parlor, NPR's Alan Greenblatt sent out this holiday photo in 2010.
Courtesy Alan Greenblatt

It's always chic to make fun of holiday letters. People can't win, whether they earnestly recount their fellowship missions to poor countries (self-important), brag about European vacations (must be nice) or simply bore with accounts of school plays or travails in their gardens.

The habit of knocking holiday letters is now not just snark shared between friends, but has become an annual journalistic tradition.

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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

WATCH: U.S. Air Force Band Stages A 'Holiday Flash Mob'

Col. Larry H. Lang conducts the Band's first-ever flash mob at the National Air and Space Museum on Dec. 3.
U.S. Air Force

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 9:26 am

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The Sunday Conversation
11:23 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Husband Finding Peace After A Terrorist Attack

David Harris-Gershon wrote a book about meeting Mohammad Odeh's family, What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist who Tried to Kill Your Wife?
Larry Roberts Post-Gazette

Originally published on Sun December 15, 2013 9:58 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Several years ago, David Harris-Gershon and his wife Jamie were studying in Israel, where they'd constructed their daily life in ways they hoped would protect them from a terrorist attack. They weren't so fortunate.

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Sun December 8, 2013

In Kiev, Protesters Topple Statue Of Vladimir Lenin

Ukrainians break a monument of Vladimir Lenin in center Kiev, Ukraine, on Sunday.
Efrem Lukatsky AP

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 2:06 pm

Anti-government protesters in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev have toppled a statue of Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin.

Instagram user Arthur_potachik posted this video of the moment:

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All Tech Considered
10:27 am
Sun December 8, 2013

TEDWomen 2013: In Innovation, Age Is Nothing But A Number

Record-breaking long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad speaks at the TEDWomen conference in San Francisco on Thursday.
Marla Aufmuth TED

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 11:38 am

Some women are notoriously sensitive about their age. Not Diana Nyad.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Sun December 8, 2013

World Leaders Heading To South Africa To Mourn Mandela

A man holds a portrait of Nelson Mandela outside his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Sunday.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 1:51 pm

More than 60 heads of state have confirmed that they will attend services for Nelson Mandela in South Africa next week, the country's foreign ministry tells Reuters.

The South African government says that includes all living American presidents — except George H.W. Bush — as well as 26 members of Congress.

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