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1:34am

Thu January 22, 2015
Business

Senator 'Astounded' That Nonprofit Hospitals Sue Poorest Patients

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:11 pm

Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, Mo., is changing its name to Mosaic Life Care. It was the focus of an NPR and ProPublica investigation into its billing practices.
Steve Hebert for ProPublica

NPR and ProPublica have been reporting about nonprofit hospitals that seize the wages of lower-income and working-class patients. Now, Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says hospitals could be breaking the law by suing these patients and docking their pay. And he wants some answers.

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1:34am

Thu January 22, 2015
Goats and Soda

Police Fire Tear Gas On Kenyan Kids Protecting A Soccer Field

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:06 am

School kids hold up a sign given to them by activists at a demonstration at Langata Primary Road School.
Brian Inganga AP

Hundreds of elementary schools were protesting the illegal seizure of their playground by a private developer in Nairobi, Kenya, when police fired tear gas into the crowd.

The incident sparked outrage across the city — and on social media, where Kenyans tweeted with the hashtag #OccupyPlayGround.

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1:32am

Thu January 22, 2015
Cities Project

Building Sponge City: Redesigning LA For Long-Term Drought

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 3:44 pm

For thousands of years, city planners have engineered water into submission — think aqueducts.

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5:37pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Around the Nation

California Prisons Aim To Keep Sex Between Inmates Safe, If Illegal

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:13 pm

A Los Angeles County Department of Public Health worker shows condoms for weekly distribution to inmates in the Men's Central Jail.
George Lavender

There's an inconspicuous metal box mounted on the wall of the gym at San Francisco County Jail No. 4.

When Kate Monico Klein turns a knob, the machine releases a condom in a small cardboard packet. Machines like this one — dispensing free condoms — are installed in all of the county's male jails.

"We set [the machine] off to the side, so that people would have a minor amount of privacy," explains Monico Klein, director of HIV services for Jail Health, a division of the county's health department.

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4:20pm

Wed January 21, 2015
All Tech Considered

The Battle Over Open-Internet Rules Shifts To Congress

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:01 pm

President Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to implement a strict policy of net neutrality and to oppose content providers in restricting bandwidth to customers.
Michael Bocchieri Getty Images

In Tuesday night's State of the Union address, President Obama offered a number of ideas for improving the economy. Among them was a nod to the role the Internet plays in economic development.

"I intend to protect a free and open Internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks," Obama said.

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4:13pm

Wed January 21, 2015
The Salt

Why Some GMO Foods Don't Have Genetically Modified DNA

While reporting my story on how foods earn a label certifying them as "non-GMO," I came across a comment that struck me – and it might surprise you, too.

The comment came from Ken Ross, the CEO of Global ID. (He didn't make it into the final story.) Global ID is the parent company of FoodChain ID, one of the companies that traces ingredients to determine whether they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

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3:40pm

Wed January 21, 2015
It's All Politics

Meet The YouTube Stars Who Will Interview The President

Self-proclaimed "Queen of YouTube" GloZell Green.
YouTube

Two days after the State of the Union address, President Obama will sit down for a round of unusual interviews. There's a good chance he'll get a question that none of his predecessors have ever had to answer.

One distinct possibility: "Mr. President, is you OK? Is you good? 'Cuz I wanted to know."

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3:17pm

Wed January 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Justice Dept. Will Reportedly Clear Ferguson Police Officer In Brown Case

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 3:56 pm

Demonstrators remember Michael Brown on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, marching from the apartment complex where Brown was killed to the Ferguson police station. A federal inquiry has found no evidence that officer Darren Wilson violated Brown's civil rights, sources tell NPR.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The Justice Department is poised to declare that former police officer Darren Wilson should not face civil rights charges over the death of Michael Brown, law enforcement sources tell NPR. Wilson, who is white, shot and killed Brown, who was black, in August. Brown was not armed.

"Two law enforcement sources tell NPR they see no way forward to file criminal civil rights charges" against Wilson, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports. She adds, "Those charges would require authorities to prove the officer used excessive force and violated Brown's constitutional rights."

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3:11pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Economy

At Davos, U.S. Economic Recovery Widely Lauded

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

3:11pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Politics

Rep. Van Hollen: Obama's Focused On Helping Middle Class

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

3:11pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Sports

'Deflate-Gate' Is 'Sour Grapes' Or Serious Business, Depending Who You Ask

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:28 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

3:11pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Law

Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Air Marshal Whistleblower

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:30 pm

Former air marshal Robert MacLean blew the whistle after he was informed that missions on overnight, long-distance flights were being canceled. The announcement came just days after air marshals were warned of terrorist threats.
LM Otero AP

The U.S. Supreme Court, by a 7-to-2 vote, ruled in favor of a fired air marshal on Wednesday. In a decision of great interest to federal employees and air travelers, the court said that the air marshal's alert about safety concerns was shielded by the federal whistleblower protection law.

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3:08pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Shots - Health News

E-Cigarettes Can Churn Out High Levels Of Formaldehyde

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 2:55 pm

Vapor from an e-cigarette obscures the user's face in a London coffee bar.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Vapor produced by electronic cigarettes can contain a surprisingly high concentration of formaldehyde — a known carcinogen — researchers reported Wednesday.

The findings, described in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, intensify concern about the safety of electronic cigarettes, which have become increasingly popular.

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3:03pm

Wed January 21, 2015
All Tech Considered

This Is True: Facebook Starts Cracking Down On Hoax News Stories

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 3:45 pm

A Facebook worker at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook announced it will start flagging hoax news stories in users' News Feeds.
Paul Sakuma AP

Facebook's on a mission to make your News Feed a little more truthful.

The social media giant has announced it will start doing more to alert users when stories they're seeing in their feeds are fake. And it will allow users to start flagging hoaxes themselves. But Facebook says it won't remove false stories. And the company says it won't start "reviewing content and making a determination on its accuracy."

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2:35pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Middle East

Scholar: U.S. Drone Use Has Contributed To Yemen's Instability

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

2:26pm

Wed January 21, 2015
News

Voters Said Yes, But D.C. And Congress Continue To Spar Over Pot

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Adam Eidinger, chairman of the D.C. Cannabis Campaign, puts up Initiative 71 posters in October. The measure to legalize possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana was approved by a wide margin of local voters.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

More than 115,000 District of Columbia residents voted in favor of a marijuana legalization ballot initiative in November, putting 70 percent of the city's voters behind the measure that permits residents to possess up to 2 ounces of pot and grow their own.

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2:26pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Politics

Obama Draws Battle Lines In State Of The Union Address

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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2:26pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Politics

Sen. Jeff Flake: Republicans Can Work With President On Trade

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

2:26pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Law

Standard & Poor's Settles In SEC Ratings Fraud Case

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

2:26pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Planet Money

Tired Of Paying For Checked Baggage? You're Actually Getting A Good Deal

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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2:26pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Latin America

Historic Diplomatic Talks Begin In Cuba

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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2:26pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Europe

Police, Counter-Demonstrators Dampen Anti-Islam March In Leipzig

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

2:26pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Economy

Middle Class Economics Dominate Obama's State Of The Union

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

2:26pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Around the Nation

Virginia Searches For A New State Song

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

1:03pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Shots - Health News

Scientists Give Genetically Modified Organisms A Safety Switch

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:37 pm

Scientists reprogrammed the common bacterium E. coli so it requires a synthetic amino acid to live.
BSIP UIG via Getty Images

Researchers at Harvard and Yale have used some extreme gene-manipulation tools to engineer safety features into designer organisms.

This work goes far beyond traditional genetic engineering, which involves moving a gene from one organism to another. In this case, they're actually rewriting the language of genetics.

The goal is to make modified organisms safer to use, and also to protect them against viruses that can wreak havoc on pharmaceutical production.

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