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2:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Hopes Dim For Long-Term Extension To Jobless Benefits

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:33 pm

The Senate is still struggling to find a way to pay for an extension of unemployment benefits for those out of work for 26 weeks or more. Majority leader Harry Reid agreed to bring up five Democratic and five Republican amendments in hopes to winning enough Republicans over to get to the 60 votes needed for passage.

Around the Nation
2:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

In California, Alarm Grows Over Shrinking Water Levels

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:33 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Last week, we were shivering in depths of the polar vortex. Now another sign that Mother Nature is in charge. This time it's California, where right now it should be rainy season. Instead, there's growing alarm over a persistent lack of rain. The state is suffering its third consecutive dry year.

And as NPR's Richard Gonzales reports, there are calls for the governor to officially declare a drought.

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Africa
2:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

On Third Anniversary, Tunisians May Get A Constitution

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Arab Spring that brought those changes to Egypt began in Tunisia, exactly three years ago today. Tunisians overthrew their dictator, prompting a wave of uprisings across the region. But three years on, lawmakers are still struggling to ratify a new constitution and lay the foundations of their country's future. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley is in Tunis and sent this report.

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Politics
2:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Christie Delivers Statewide Address Under Increased Scrutiny

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:33 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Embattled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was back in the spotlight today. The annual State of the State speech came at an awkward moment for Christie. The Republican governor had not spoken publicly since apologizing last week for politically motivated lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. Christie acknowledged the unfolding scandal at the start of his speech.

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Health Care
2:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

The Young And Restless May Cause Drama For ACA

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

After a slow start, the Affordable Care Act is now attracting customers at a healthier pace. The government said yesterday that 2.2 million people have signed up for health insurance under the state and federal exchanges. But there's a serious red flag. A disproportionate number of new enrollees are middle aged or older.

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli on what that means for the program and for insurers.

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Sports
2:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Lake Placid: An Incubator For Winter Olympians

Ski jumper Peter Frenette competed in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. He hopes to make it onto the team again this year.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 8:18 am

Next month, when the Winter Olympics open in Sochi, a surprising number of athletes from the U.S. will come from a collection of tiny towns and villages in New York's Adirondack Mountains.

In the blue-collar towns and resort villages around Lake Placid, I kept meeting locals like Annelies Cook, who will ski and shoot in the biathlon competition.

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Health
1:39 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Drug Tests Don't Deter Drug Use, But School Environment Might

So am I doing this to forget how much I hate my school?
iStockphoto

Schools that do random drug testing say it helps students say no to illegal drugs, while critics say it's an invasion of privacy. But feeling good about school may affect students' drug use more than the threat of testing.

A survey of high school students found that the possibility that they might face drug testing didn't really discourage students from alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana. But students who thought their school had a positive environment were less apt to try cigarettes and pot.

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Gifts
12:37 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Weird Stuff World Leaders Give Each Other

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry holds up a pair of Idaho potatoes as a gift for Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, standing right, at the start of their meeting at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Paris on Monday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:33 pm

You say potato, John Kerry says let's give it to Russia.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Judge Fears NFL Concussion Settlement Isn't Large Enough

Junior Seau sustained many concussions during his career and was suffering from a degenerative brain disease when he killed himself in May 2012.
Otto Greule Jr. Getty Images

A federal judge rejected a preliminary approval of a $765 million settlement over NFL concussion claims.

U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody said she was concerned the settlement may not be enough to cover all retired players.

The AP adds:

"'I am primarily concerned that not all retired NFL football players who ultimately receive a qualifying diagnosis or their (families) ... will be paid,' Brody wrote in a 12-page opinion filed Tuesday morning.

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NPR Story
12:01 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Study Questions Benefit Of Gifted Education Programs

(Steve Ruark/AP)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:12 pm

In 2008, 73 percent of teachers surveyed by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute agreed that “too often, the brightest students are bored and under-challenged in school.”

Gifted and talented programs are in place to remedy that, and they’re heralded as a breeding ground for high-performing students.

Three million kids nationwide are placed in these exclusive programs — and parents view them as important to their kids’ futures.

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NPR Story
12:01 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Detroit Auto Show Warms Up With Hot New Cars

Mary Barra, the new CEO of General Motors, walks to a media scrum on the eve of the 2014 North American International Auto Show on January 12, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:12 pm

The North American International Auto Show in Detroit is chock full of previews of new and experimental cars.

But all eyes were locked on incoming General Motor CEO, Mary Barra. When she takes the reigns later this week, she’ll be the first female chief of a global automaker.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Bellini is at the auto show, and he speaks with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about the buzz.

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NPR Story
12:01 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Project Tracks Ospreys From N.H. To The Amazon

An osprey nest in Umbagog Lake, New Hampshire. (Christine and John Fournier/Flickr)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:12 pm

Ospreys, also called sea hawks or fish eagles, are found all over the world. But when the temperature drops, the birds head for the tropics.

For juveniles, that first migration is a crucible that only 25 to 40 percent survive.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Sam Evans-Brown of New Hampshire Public Radio brings this story of a project that tracks ospreys to learn about the adventures they have between their departure in the fall and return in the spring.

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The Two-Way
11:48 am
Tue January 14, 2014

India's High Court Rocked By Allegations Of Sexual Harassment

Former justices on the Supreme Court of India have been accused of sexual harassment.
Anindito Mukherjee EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:02 pm

India's Supreme Court is set to hear a petition Wednesday against one of its own retired judges over allegations that he sexually harassed a former intern — the second such case to be made public in as many months.

The alleged incidents have cast a cloud over the country's highest court and pressure has mounted for it to comply with its own 1997 rulings requiring panels in the workplace to hear harassment complaints. Critics say such a panel for the Supreme Court itself is long overdue.

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The Salt
11:19 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Tobacco Returns To The Bar, This Time Inside Cocktails

The Step-dad cocktail at Bar Charley in Washington, D.C., features house-made tobacco bitters.
Courtesy of Leo Schmid

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 12:09 pm

Take a sip of the Oaxacan Fizz at Father's Office in Los Angeles and you'll discover the unmistakable taste of tobacco. That's because this cocktail is sweetened with a small amount of tobacco-infused sugar syrup.

"A lot of people say, 'I only smoke when I drink,'" says chef-owner Sang Yoon. "We say, 'Now you can do both.'"

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DREAM Act
11:06 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Washington House Re-Passes College Aid For Immigrant Students

Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (left) and Rep. Larry Haler.
Washington Legislature

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:50 am

It wasn’t all pomp and circumstance on Monday. The opening day of the Washington Legislature included something rare for day one: a floor vote.

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