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Health Care
11:12 am
Fri November 1, 2013

For Some, Health Exchange Is A Breeze. For Others, An Unending Headache

New hires train to take calls at Washington's health exchange call center in Spokane Valley.
Credit Northwest News Network Photo/Jessica Robinson

KUOW's Ruby de Luna explains the successes, and challenges, of the first month of Washington's health exchange.

Washington’s health care exchange got off to a rocky start one month ago Friday: from the temporary shut down on its first day to the recent errors calculating tax credits. Even so, Washington state has fared well compared to the federal Website and even has some fans.

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Government Assistance
10:27 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Food Stamp Benefits Shrink As Congress Debates Further Cuts

Cuts to food stamp benefits could lead to more reliance on food banks like the University District Food Bank in Seattle.
Credit KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

In Washington state, food stamp recipients are being notified that their benefits will be reduced in November. Federal stimulus funding has provided a boost to benefits since 2009, but that funding just expired.

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The Week In Review
10:00 am
Fri November 1, 2013

NSA Spying, Continued Problems With ACA, And One Last Look At The Elections

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

It’s Friday — time to talk over the week's news with The Stranger's Eli Sanders, Joni Balter of the Seattle Times and Crosscut's Knute Berger.

Questions over who knew what and when about the latest NSA spying revelations and troubles with the Affordable Care Act rollout dominate Washington, D.C. The panel weighs in on those stories and takes one last look at state and local races before Tuesday's election. Plus, we get post-Halloween action items from Live Wire host Luke Burbank.

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International Relations
4:43 am
Fri November 1, 2013

U.S. Spying Efforts Sometimes 'Reached Too Far,' Kerry Says

Secretary of State John Kerry.
Fang Zhe Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 10:10 am

Some of the electronic surveillance programs of the National Security Agency have been on "automatic pilot" in recent years and have inappropriately "reached too far," Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday.

Kerry's comments are causing something of a stir.

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Campaign Finance
4:17 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Attn. General Says I-522 Donor Violated Campaign Finance Laws

Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Steve Scher talks with Attorney General Bob Ferguson about the lawsuit that finds No on I-522 donor, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, in violation of campaign finance laws. Penalties are expected after the election is over.

Arms Exports
4:16 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

US Reforms Arms Trade Regulations, Defense Industries Pleased

Flickr Photo/Cliff

Steve Scher talks with Bill Hartung, director of the Center for International Policy’s Arms and Security project, about new reforms announced by the Obama administration this October concerning arms export regulations. Defense industries are behind it, but some worry that the export process will make it easier for arms to make their way to countries with poor human rights records.

Financial fraud
9:41 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Fraud Against Washington Nonprofits Exposed

Source: IRS “990” tax filings compiled by the Washington Post.

White-collar crime often occurs in the very profitable realms of Wall Street and big business. But financial fraud also takes place in the nonprofit world. A Washington Post investigation out this week found more than a thousand nonprofit groups have reported their money going missing in recent years.

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Guns
7:35 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Idaho School District Dumps Plan To Arm Teachers

Quagmar Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:16 pm

Officials at a school district in north Idaho say a plan to arm teachers is off. The proposal has been generating controversy in the Sandpoint area.

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News From Canada
4:03 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

The News From Canada: Columbia River Treaty Disagreement And Flak Over Healthcare.gov

Flickr Photo/Christopher Policarpio

Steve Scher talks with Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer about the Canadian tech firm that's catching flak for problems with Healthcare.gov, a disagreement over the Columbia River treaty and more of the week's news from Canada.

Crime & Courts
4:01 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Tom Hillier, Who Defended Millennium Bomber, To Retire After 32 Years

Tom Hillier, chief federal public defender for Washington's Western District. He plans to retire in February.
Credit KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Tom Hillier is a lanky man with a full head of silver hair and deep-set eyes that can appear vaguely haunted by what he’s seen during his 32 years as a federal public defender in Seattle.

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NSA Leaks
2:56 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

NSA Revelations Could Mean Changes For American Foreign Policy

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Steve Scher talks with political scientist Henry Farrell about the national security concerns that swirl around leakers like Edward Snowden and how publicizing national secrets affects American foreign policy.

USA Freedom Act
2:55 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Congress Considers Restrictions On NSA Domestic Surveillance

Flickr Photo/Chris Hardie

Steve Scher talks with Washington Representative Susan DelBene about USA Freedom Act which could limit the NSA's ability to collect data in the US.

Social Services
7:50 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Daybreak Star Center Struggles After Feds Pull Head Start Funding

Friends celebrate at the 25th Annual Seafair Indian Days Pow Wow at the Daybreak Star Cultural Center at Discovery Park, Seattle, in July 2010.
Credit Flickr Photo/sea turtle

The Daybreak Star Cultural Center in Seattle’s Discovery Park is in financial trouble. Now the United Indians of All Tribes board is trying to raise enough money to stay open through the end of the year.

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Environment
3:44 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Pacific Coast Action Plan On Climate And Energy Ambitious, But Lacking Legal Value

Steve Scher talks with David Roberts, energy and politics writer for Grist, about the ambitious new climate change agreement brokered by Washington Governor Jay Inslee along with the governors of California and Oregon and the Premier of British Columbia. However, the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy has no legal value, leading critics to question its significance.

Adoption Laws
3:36 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

How Do We Better Protect Adopted Children In Washington?

Rep. Mary Helen Roberts

Marcie Sillman talks with Rep. Mary Helen Roberts about  her plans to change Washington's adoption laws to better protect children from abuse. Her last bill died in committee, but she has plans to continue her efforts in the 2014 legislative session.

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