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1:21 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Government's Empty Buildings Are Costing Taxpayers Billions

A 132-year-old building owned by the federal government, just six blocks from the White House, has been sitting empty for three decades.
Laura Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 9:07 am

On a street corner in downtown Washington, D.C., David Wise is opening a century-old iron gate in front of an old, boarded-up brick building.

Wise is an investigator for the Government Accountability Office, the government's watchdog group. His mission is to figure out why the government owns so many buildings, like this one, that it doesn't use.

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History
1:21 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Without World War I, A Slower U.S. Rise, No 'God Bless America'

Without World War I, the woman's suffrage movement might have been slower to gain traction.
Paul Thompson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 1:45 pm

This is part of an All Things Considered series that imagines a counterfactual history of World War I.

This summer marks 100 years since the start of World War I. Many argue that the conflict was inevitable — but what if it wasn't?

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From Our Listeners
1:21 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Letters: 'The Big Broadcast' And Laughing Down The Hall

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:14 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Time now for your letters. First, two corrections. On Monday, we took you to the South by Southwest Festival in Austin to tell you about something called Oculus Rift. It is a virtual reality headset. And in our story, we mistakenly said that it would be available to consumers in 18 to 20 months. In fact, there is no release date yet for a consumer model. Only the development kit is currently available.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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NPR Story
12:56 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

The Latest From Crimea

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 1:04 pm

Ukraine’s prime minister is in Washington today while people in Crimea are getting ready for Sunday’s referendum on the future of that Ukrainian region. The BBC’s James Reynolds is in Sevastopol in Crimea and joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with the latest.

Note: Please subscribe to the Here & Now podcast to hear this BBC interview.

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NPR Story
12:56 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Will 'Young Invincibles' Sign Up For Health Insurance?

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 12:16 pm

There are just a few weeks left to sign up for health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. Federal officials have stepped up their efforts to recruit younger enrollees between the ages of 18 and 34 — the so-called “young invincibles” who are crucial to make the marketplace work.

The numbers the administration rolled out yesterday showed some gains in that group, but as Sarah Jane Tribble from Here & Now contributing station WCPN in Cleveland reports the numbers are still far below the goal.

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NPR Story
12:56 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Deadline Approaching For Health Insurance Enrollment

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 12:16 pm

This is the first year most Americans will have to have health insurance or face a tax penalty. While some people are exempt from the penalty or will have to pay as little as $95 a person, for others the penalty could actually be quite costly.

That makes Mar. 31 — the last day of the enrollment period — a very important date. NPR Health Policy Correspondent Julie Rovner discusses the details of the tax penalty and other recent updates in health policy with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

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NPR Story
12:55 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Elephants Just Might Be Smarter Than You Think

Elephants in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. (Megan Coughlin/Flickr)

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 1:04 pm

New research shows that elephants can differentiate between ethnicities and genders and can tell an adult from a child. They can do this, according to the researchers, all from the sound of a human voice.

Prof. Karen McComb and Dr. Greame Shannon of the University of Sussex led the study, and said they found that the elephants could also sense threat by the sound of a human voice.

The BBC’s Victoria Gill discusses the new research with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

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NPR Story
12:55 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Ukraine's Prime Minister Comes To Washington

Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk speaks to the media during a meeting to discuss the situation in Ukraine at the European Union Council Building on March 6, 2014 in Brussels, Belgium. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 12:16 pm

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who was appointed as Ukraine’s new prime minister after the pro-Russian President Viktor Yanucovych was ousted, brings his request for more Western aid to the White House today.

He will be meeting with President Obama this afternoon and tomorrow he will speak at the United Nations. Members of the European Parliament debated the crisis today and many of them criticized Sunday’s referendum in Crimea on whether the region should join Russia.

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The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

FTC Launches Civil Probe Into Herbalife Ltd.

Susan Goldman AP

Herbalife revealed on Wednesday that the Federal Trade Commission has opened a civil investigation into the practices of the nutrition company, which sells weight-loss shakes, vitamins and other products.

Moments after Herbalife made the announcement, its stock price plunged. At 1:51 p.m., it had lost 12 percent of its value.

Bloomberg explains that hedge fund manager Bill Ackman accused the company of running a pyramid scheme. Bloomberg adds:

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The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Confusion Reigns In Search For Missing Airliner

There are lots of questions about Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 — and lots of seemingly contradictory answers.
Wong Maye-E AP

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:09 am

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared Saturday. Five days later, there's no word about what happened to it or the 239 people on board.

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NPR Story
12:25 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

DJ Sessions: Twin Cities Melting Pot

Melissa Jefferson, who is known by her stage name Lizzo, is a hip hop artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (lizzomusic.com)

Dave Campbell, host of “The Local Show” on The Current from Minnesota Public Radio, says that the music scene in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, have a melting pot of a music scene — including a vibrant hip hop culture.

Songs Heard In This Segment

Lizzo, “Paris”

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NPR Story
12:16 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Expert Suspects Fuselage Cracking In Missing Plane

An Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency personnel scans the seas aboard a boat on patrol in the Malacca Strait off Aceh province located in the area of northern Sumatra island on March 12, 2014, during the continued search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 1:27 pm

For analysis of the latest developments in the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370, Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Mary Schiavo.

Schiavo is the former Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Transportation. She has also litigated on behalf of plane crash victims’ families in more than 50 cases.

Interview Highlights: Mary Schiavo

On the anger from victims’ families at the latest press conferences

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NPR Story
12:16 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Senators Agree On Plan To Replace Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

A plan to phase out the government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and instead use mainly private insurers to backstop home loans has advanced in Congress.

The plan by Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota, chairman of the Banking Committee, and Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, the committee’s senior Republican, would create a new government insurance fund.

Essentially, investors would pay fees in exchange for insurance on mortgage securities they buy and the government would become a last-resort loan guarantor.

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NPR Story
12:16 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Lessons From High-Achieving Low-Income Schools

Why do some low-income schools succeed where others fail? That’s one of the questions that authors Sonia Caus Gleason and Nancy Gerzon set out to answer in their book, “Growing Into Equity: Professional Learning and Personalization in High-Achieving Schools

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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Man Exonerated, Freed After 3 Decades On Louisiana's Death Row

A video frame grab provided by WAFB TV shows former Louisiana State Penitentiary death row inmate Glenn Ford as he walks out of the prison in Angola, Louisiana, on Tuesday.
WAFB TV/ HANDOUT EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 7:31 am

After 30 years on death row, 64-year-old Glenn Ford has walked out of Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola a free man after a judge voided his 1983 murder conviction based on new exculpatory evidence.

Ford was convicted of killing Isadore Rozeman, a Shreveport man he'd done occasional yard work for. Rozeman, a jeweler and watchmaker, was found dead in 1983.

The Los Angeles Times says:

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