National News

Senate Committee Lays Blame For Benghazi With State Department

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 13:02

The Senate Intelligence Committee has released a new bipartisan report on the 2012 Benghazi attack. The report finds that the attack was preventable. According to the committee, fault lies with the State Department for failing to provide adequate security or heed warnings about a deteriorating security situation. The committee claims that individuals associated with al-Qaida affiliates participated in the attack, but it stops short of saying the attack was pre-planned. The report also does not implicate the "core" al-Qaida leadership.

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Justices Appear Divided On Abortion Clinic Buffer Zones

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 13:00

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of the buffer zones that are often established around abortion clinics. In the courtroom, Chief Justice John Roberts' silence seemed to indicate that he likely will be the deciding vote in the case.

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Boeing Machinists' Plight Marks Changing Times For Labor

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 13:00

The push by Boeing to wring concessions from its unionized workers — including the loss of pensions — echoes what's happened at other big manufacturers and demonstrates the state of organized labor across the country.

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Fed Vice Chairman Nominee Taught Bernanke And Many Others

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 13:00

President Obama has nominated Stanley Fischer to be vice chairman of the Federal Reserve. Fischer trained outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, and he spent much of the last decade running Israel's central bank. If confirmed, Fischer would take over the position being vacated by Janet Yellen, who was recently confirmed as Bernanke's successor.

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Bangkok Protests Roil The Thai Economy

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 13:00

The prime minster of Thailand says she plans to go ahead with next month's elections, despite opposition protests that have blocked much of the center of Bangkok. The anti-government demonstrators want the current, caretaker prime minister to step down, to be replaced with an unelected "people's council". The political turmoil is also impacting the local economy.

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High Court Hears Arguments On Abortion Buffer Zones

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 13:00

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments regarding the constitutionality of the buffer zones that are often established around abortion clinics. Opponents of the zones claim that they violate the free speech rights of anti-abortion protestors.

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Even As Ban Lifts, Many Remain Wary Of Tap Water

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 13:00

Officials say that more than half of the households and businesses affected by last week's chemical spill in West Virginia now have access to safe tap water. But some residents in Charleston, where the ban has been lifted in most areas, are wary of using tap water and are still stopping by bottled water distribution sites.

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Reports Of Arrests And Torture Under Nigeria's Anti-Gay Law

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 13:00

Under a shroud of secrecy, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act on Jan. 7. In Nigeria, the law has become known by many as the "Jail the Gays" law. Melissa Block speaks with Michelle Faul, the Associated Press Chief Africa Correspondent, about the law's ramifications.

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Obama Unveils New Plans To Encourage Manufacturing Jobs

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 13:00

Touting a rebound in manufacturing jobs, President Obama announced a public-private partnership to expand that momentum. He unveiled a manufacturing innovation institute in North Carolina, the first of three similar hubs he proposed in last year's State of the Union address. Though factory jobs are being added, economists say it's highly unlikely that manufacturing can become a significant source of future employment.

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The Science Behind Flying In V Formation

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 13:00

The motivation for flying with other birds in V formation is probably to save energy, say researchers who tracked the pattern of wing flaps in an ibis flock. Each bird in the V catches a bit of lift from the bird ahead.

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Muslim Women Challenge American Mosques: 'Now Is The Time'

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 13:00

Just a few years ago, a woman's place in the mosque was a fringe issue. Now, a younger generation is using social media to draw attention to what it sees as a less-than-welcoming climate at some mosques, and to demand change.

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After Checking Blood Pressure, Kiosks Give Sales Leads To Insurers

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 13:00

People like the convenience of checking their blood pressure at free machines in pharmacies and supermarkets. But at least one company is selling the contact information of people who use its machines to health insurers seeking new customers.

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How to sharpen a knife: A disappearing job

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-01-15 12:53

You go to the drawer in the kitchen, pull out a knife, notice it's a bit dull, and you run it through that knife-sharpener thing you have in that same drawer. In Spain, it doesn't quite work that way. The job of knife sharpener is a tradition over there.

53-year-old Rafael Romero del Campo first took up his trade, as a knife sharpener, 40 years ago. He has no intention of quitting his job, but this trade is dying and he thinks that when he calls it a day, nobody will succeed him.

"I have five children and four grandchildren, and my job as a knife sharpener feeds them all," Romero del Campo says. "The truth is there's no other work. I've been doing it so many years, because I love it."

As part of a BBC series on disappearing jobs, we visit Seville, in Southern Spain, to look at the life of a knife sharpener.

Why The GOP Is Winning The Statehouse War

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 12:37

In an increasing number of states, one party controls both chambers of the legislature and the governor's office. While both parties have contributed to the trend, the Republicans have had a lot more success with it. Reporter Nicholas Confessore credits the foresight of GOP strategists.

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Reports Of New Video Showing U.S. Soldier Held In Afghanistan

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 12:19

U.S. officials have reportedly received a new "proof-of-life" video of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the first to emerge in years.

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How to quit a job without talking to your boss

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-01-15 12:03

This final note, in which I am not, repeat not, quitting my job. (I got in a whole mess of trouble the last time I joked about that.)

But if I were, boy have I found a good way to do it.

It's called the Quit Your Job app.

You decide why you want to quit, it sends an appropriate text to your boss.

Also available from the same company?

The BreakUp text app.

U.S. Official: Afghanistan Could Become 'Narco-Criminal State'

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 12:00

Despite a $7 billion effort to rid the country of opium production, more land than ever before is being used for the illicit trade, says John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction.

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5 Years Ago Sully Landed On The Hudson And Twitter Took Off

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 11:49

On Jan. 19, 2009, Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and his crew successfully ditched their crippled U.S. Airways jet in the river off Manhattan. The 155 people on board were saved. A photo of the floating plane went up minutes later on Twitter. That "changed everything" for the social media site.

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What's America's Problem? 1 In 5 Says It's The Government

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 11:48

In a monthly Gallup poll of American attitudes, dissatisfaction with the political leadership topped all other issues among Democrats, Republicans and Independents. But dissatisfaction with the government was down from a peak of 33 percent last October.

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Blood Pressure Ruckus Reveals Big Secret In Medicine

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 11:46

Although it may be uncomfortable for patients to learn that there are profound disagreements among doctors about medicine, these differences of opinion are common. What is rare is to have these differences explicitly acknowledged, as is happening now with treatment guidelines for high blood pressure.

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