Nation/World

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Smokers In Italy Face Steep New Fines

Feb 4, 2016
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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Unpaid Water Bills In Flint Could Hinder Repairs

Feb 4, 2016

High levels of lead in their drinking water have Flint, Mich., residents relying on cases of bottled water for just about everything. So it may come as no surprise that thousands of them have stopped paying their water bills.

Lynna Kaucheck of the not-for-profit group Food and Water Watch delivered 21,000 signatures to the Flint mayor's office last week calling for a moratorium on drinking water bills.

"All of this is a lot for people to handle, and enough is enough," she said. "Flint residents need relief."

Oregon's New Site To Explore: Valhalla

Feb 4, 2016
Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a new, stricter limit on salmonella bacteria in poultry products. It's a new attempt to make headway against one of the country's biggest, and most intractable, food safety problems.

The world of haute cuisine lost one of its brightest stars over the weekend.

Benoit Violier, a French Swiss chef who many said was the best in the world, died in his home in Switzerland in what appears to have been a suicide. He was 44.

In New Hampshire, the night after the Iowa caucuses, it was hard not to feel the "Marco-mentum."

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio stood on a stage surrounded by more than 700 rowdy supporters, who filled Exeter's picturesque town hall to the brink.

Rubio delivered the same stump speech he's been sticking to for months. But Tuesday night, fresh off his surprisingly strong third-place Iowa finish, the crowd ate up every line.

When you enter the lobby of the Orleans Public Defender's Office, expect a bit of a wait, because receptionist Chastity Tillman will likely be busy on the phone.

"The jail calls. We get them every second," Tillman says.

These days, the idea of home is on the mind of the fantastically gifted singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Rokia Traoré. It's been four years since Mali, Traoré's native west African country, began descending into ongoing bedlam.

Fame can be a myopic beast. Whatever first lands a person in the spotlight is the thing most likely to keep attracting attention ever after. Throughout Vince Gill's late-'80s-to-late-'90s commercial heyday in country's mainstream, it was his sensitive ballads — many with adult-pop sheen, some with modern honky-tonk melancholy, all sold by the lustrous anguish of his singing — that served as his primary calling card. His other strengths took a backseat.

Just before The Suffers' members begin performing, you'll see 20 arms stretched in the air Superman-style, followed by 10 voices. The first counts off, 1 to 10, then shouts long and hard at full lung capacity. That's just the warmup.

A certain musical and spiritual condition defines Wynonna Judd's first album with her band The Big Noise — not to mention the first album of original material in 13 years from one of country music's supreme redheads. That quality is joy. It dominates, not just because Judd is performing with a small group led by her husband, the drummer and producer Cactus Moser, letting loose on songs she hand-selected because she liked them rather than out of concern for padding her remarkable roster of hits.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

A historic trial is taking place in Guatemala.

For the first time, according to rights activists, the country is prosecuting military officials for sexual violence committed during the Central American country's three-decade long civil war, which ended in the 1990s.

In the trial going on this week, 15 women have come forward to accuse two former military officials of systematic sexual abuse in the 1980s.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron promised back in 2010 to bring net migration down to 100,000 people a year. Six years later, it's more than three times that number.

That's one reason the government's Home Office decided that non-Europeans on skilled worker visas — known as Tier 2 visas — are not welcome to stay unless they are making at least 35,000 British pounds (about $50,000 a year).

"If you are a woman who is pregnant living in the U.S., there's one really important thing you need to know: You shouldn't go to a place that has Zika spreading."

CBS Corporation CEO Leslie Moonves has been named executive chairman of the CBS Board of Directors, following longtime chief Sumner Redstone's resignation.

"I am honored to accept the chairmanship of this great Company," Moonves said in a statement. "I want to thank Sumner for his guidance and strong support over all these years. It has meant the world to me."

Last November, Amazon did the unthinkable for an online retailer known for undercutting brick-and-mortar bookstores: It opened a walk-in store in Seattle. Now, there's talk that Amazon plans hundreds of them.

On an investor call Tuesday, Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of mall operator General Growth Properties, said: "You've got Amazon opening bricks and mortar bookstores, and their goal is to open, as I understand, 300 to 400 bookstores."

Two days after finishing second in Iowa, Donald Trump is now alleging that winner Ted Cruz cheated and is threatening to sue over the results.

The confrontational billionaire made his complaints known in his usual way — a series of tweets. The crux of his complaint: the Texas senator's campaign committed "fraud" when it informed caucusgoers of a CNN report that rival Ben Carson was leaving the campaign trail to head home to Florida after the Iowa caucuses, which many speculated meant he might drop out.

Basia Bulat On World Cafe

Feb 3, 2016

Best known for her use of the autoharp, Basia Bulat loves stringed instruments, but she concentrated on keyboards for her latest album, Good Advice, which was produced by My Morning Jacket's Jim James. Bulat says she pushed herself out of her comfort zone to make her fourth album a pop record. Hear the Canadian singer-songwriter perform some of those new songs live on this episode of World Cafe.

Tift Merritt On Mountain Stage

Feb 3, 2016

Tift Merritt returns to Mountain Stage, recorded live on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Grand Marais, Minn. Born in Texas and raised in North Carolina, Merritt rose to the top of the alt-country singer-songwriter scene back in 2002, with the release of Bramble Rose. With an assist from fellow North Carolinian Ryan Adams, Merritt released the Grammy-nominated Tambourine in 2004.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

For some, photography is a vocation. For Catherine Opie, it's also a social liability.

"Staring at people's faces is a problem with me," the artist admits. "I mean, my wife is constantly saying, 'You're staring at that person.' And I'm just like, 'I'm really sorry. I'm making a picture.' And I do like to stare."

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is proposing that $30 million in state funds be used to help pay Flint residents' bills for the city's lead-tainted water.

This comes after a growing outcry from Flint residents about having to pay for water that isn't safe to drink. Residents have been relying on donated bottled water.

Michigan Radio's Kate Wells tells our Newscast unit how Snyder's proposal would work:

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