National News

California Hospital Workers Pitch Obamacare To ER Patients

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-14 00:34

Some 5,000 uninsured people go into O'Connor Hospital's emergency department each year. A staffer tasked with helping them find coverage says 70 percent of the people she sees could now get it — if they follow through and apply.

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Discovering Grief And Freedom In A Family's History Of Slavery

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-14 00:32

Robert Goins was tracing his genealogy when he found his ancestors' names listed among livestock and farm implements in a plantation ledger. With that painful discovery, he kept digging until he found a very different story: that of a great-great-great-grandfather who lived as a freeman.

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How do you measure the cost of a toxic spill that turns off the tap?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-01-14 00:10

A saying of Ben Franklin's has special resonance in Charleston, W.V., "When the well's dry, we know the worth of water." Or, when it's been contaminated. Even for residents who don't run restaurants, or need hospital care, the inconveniences added up over five days.

Amanda Hardman appreciates her good luck. She's got a car, so she can get to distribution spots for bottled drinking water. Better yet, her husband has an old house outside of town with a well. Fifteen people from three different households are making the trek for showers.

But the water tank there is limited, so it brought home some everyday lessons in water conservation: "You know, not to leave the water on while you brush your teeth," she says. "Not to leave the shower on while you shave your legs."

And that taking a shower is worth a 30-minute drive each way -- even if that means other chores don't get done, and social life grinds to a halt.

Economist David Zetland wrote "The End of Abundance: Economic Solutions to Water Scarcity." He says West Virginia residents have -- at least temporarily -- flipped to a Third World experience of water. The real cost isn't just the bottled water and the paper plates. It's the time spent getting basic needs met.

"In the developing world, young girls don't go to school because they spend their entire lives gathering water," he says.

Egypt Holds Key Vote On Country's New Charter

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-13 23:20

Egyptians start voting Tuesday on a draft for their country's next constitution. It's a vision for the nation's future and a milestone in a military-backed roadmap put in place after Mohammed Morsi was overthrown in a coup last July.

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Officers Acquitted In California Homeless Death

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-13 23:14

Two former Fullerton police officers who were videotaped in a violent struggle with a homeless man during an arrest were acquitted Monday of killing him. The arrest was captured on a 33-minute surveillance video that was key evidence at the trial.

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Mysteries Persist Surrounding West Virginia Chemical Spill

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-13 17:54

West Virginia officials told residents Monday to flush out their home water systems before using the tap water again, and the ban on the water persists in some places. Tests at the affected water treatment plant show almost no contamination. However, some toxicologists say, the spill shows how little is known about many chemicals in common use.

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Water Bans Lifted In Several West Virginia Areas

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-13 16:49

Some 300,000 water customers have been under a ban since a chemical spill last Thursday. The ban on using tap water was lifted in at least three affected areas Monday.

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Nearly Six Decades Later, Integration Remains A Work In Progress

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-13 16:47

In Little Rock, Ark., a federal judge approved a settlement that brings an end to a landmark school desegregation case. The case dates back to 1957, when nine black students integrated Central High School, which up until that point was all-white. But after 60 years of desegregation efforts, are the classes really integrated?

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Desegregation Pact Gets Judge's Approval In Arkansas

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-13 15:54

A long-running school desegregation fight is over, after a federal judge accepted a settlement reached by lawyers for black students, three Little Rock-area school districts, and the state. Under the deal, the state will no longer have to send yearly payments of around $70 million to aid desegregation.

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California Rep. George Miller To Retire

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-13 15:24

A top ally to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat announced Monday that he will not seek re-election after serving in Congress for 40 years.

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Coffee Myth-Busting: Cup Of Joe May Help Hydration And Memory

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-13 14:56

A new study adds to the evidence that among everyday coffee drinkers, the old wives' tale that coffee will lead to dehydration is really just that: a tale. Another study found that caffeine may help to consolidate memories in the short term, but may not help retrieve old memories.

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Game Over For Nintendo? Not If Mario And Zelda Fans Keep Playing

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-13 14:53

Some analysts say that Nintendo's days are numbered because sales of its new console, Wii U, have been lackluster. But since Nintendo still offers some of the most popular game franchises, the love of Zelda and Mario may keep the company going for a long time.

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Federal Health Care Enrollees: Older Outnumber Younger

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-13 14:50

For the first time, the Obama administration released demographic data about the more than 2 million people who have signed up for private health insurance through the exchanges set up by the federal government. The administration said it hopes the number of young people signing up will pick up steam.

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Google Buys Nest, May Soon Know How Cool You Like Your Home

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-13 14:37

The search giant bought Nest, the home automation startup with smart thermostats and smart smoke detectors that are found in homes around the world. It signals a tipping point for "the Internet of things."

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