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3:59 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Senate OKs Stopgap Spending Bill, Leaving Obamacare Intact

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:17 pm

Tea Party-backed Republican senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee failed to block the Senate from removing language defunding Obamacare from a stopgap spending bill. Democrats proceeded to replace the House spending bill that took away money for Obamacare with their own version that funds the government through Nov. 15, but leaves the Affordable Care Act alone. A federal government shutdown starts Tuesday if both chambers don't agree on a spending plan by then.

Movie Reviews
3:59 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

'Don Jon': Smooth Move There, Mr. Gordon-Levitt

Wonder where he gets that: Gordon-Levitt's Jon, looking a lot like a chip off the old block (Tony Danza).
Relativity Media

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:17 pm

Once a child actor on TV, then an indie sensation, then an honest-to-God movie star going head-to-head with the likes of Bruce Willis in Looper and Leo DiCaprio in Inception, Joseph Gordon-Levitt hardly needs to burnish his LinkedIn resume at this point. But that's not kept him from adding a couple of skills — writing and directing — with his latest picture.

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Your Money
3:59 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Nixed Flood Insurance Subsidy Drowns Coastal Home Values

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:17 pm

In Florida, Louisiana, New York and other coastal states, many homeowners are in shock at new flood insurance rates that are rapidly approaching. After Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy left the National Flood Insurance Program $24 billion in the red, Congress revamped the program--phasing out subsidies. One group especially upset are new homeowners--people who bought a property and are now seeing their flood insurance costs skyrocket, making the property no longer affordable.

Shots - Health News
3:50 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Why Brain Surgeons Want Help From A Maggot-Like Robot

University of Maryland's Jaydev Desai shows off a prototype of a robot that he and colleagues are developing to minimize harm to patients during brain surgery.
John T. Consoli University of Maryland

Brain surgery is a dicey business. Even the most experienced surgeons can damage healthy tissue while trying to root out tumors deep inside the brain.

Researchers from the University of Maryland are working on a solution, and it sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie. They're developing a tiny, maggot-like robot that can crawl into brains and zap tumors from within.

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Movie Interviews
3:24 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

A Brutal Movie From China, Ripped From The Headlines

In one of the four intertwining storylines of the brutal Chinese drama A Touch of Sin, a young receptionist (Zhao Tao) must resort to violence to defend herself.
Kino Lorber

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 7:29 pm

If you want to see modern Chinese life at its darkest, consider A Touch of Sin.

The film is a series of loosely knit vignettes that revolve around themes of violence, greed, sex, power and crime. And there's nothing subtle about the imagery.

In one scene, a corrupt businessman tries to force a receptionist at a massage parlor to have sex with him by beating her with wads of cash — until she stabs him to death.

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All Tech Considered
3:24 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Record Label Picks Copyright Fight — With The Wrong Guy

Law professor Lawrence Lessig, shown here in 2009, is suing an Australian record label for threatening to sue him over an alleged YouTube copyright violation.
Neilson Barnard Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:32 pm

An Australian record label may have picked a fight with the wrong guy. The label sent a standard takedown notice threatening to sue after YouTube computers spotted its music in a video.

It turns out that video was posted by one of the most famous copyright attorneys in the world, and Lawrence Lessig is suing back.

Lessig, a Harvard Law School professor, has lectured around the world about how copyright law needs to adapt to the Internet age. In his lecture, he shows examples of people who have used the Internet to "share their culture and remix other people's creations."

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NPR Story
3:24 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Cuban Athletes Can Finally Go Pro (Outside Of Cuba)

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:17 pm

For the first time in over 50 years, Cuba is letting its athletes sign professional contracts in other countries. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis talks to Robert Siegel about the historic announcement.

NPR Story
3:24 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

States Face Language Barriers To Health Exchange Sign Up

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:17 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

For millions of uninsured people, Tuesday is a big day. That's when they can start signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. But for people who speak little or no English, it may be a difficult process. Illinois, which has one of the country's largest immigrant populations, is working to make sure that language is not a barrier to enroll in. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.

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NPR Story
3:24 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Is The Fed Chair Succession Too Politicized?

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:17 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. There was once a time when naming a new Federal Reserve chairman was a non-event. Well, not this time. The competition between supporters for former Treasury secretary Larry Summers and the current vice chairman of the Fed, Janet Yellen has been a highly public affair.

As NPR's John Ydstie reports, there's concern that the high profile discussion could politicize the Fed succession in a way that could ultimately hurt the economy.

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The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Obama Says He Spoke On The Phone With Iranian Leader

President Barack Obama talks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a phone call in the Oval Office, Sept. 27, 2013.
Pete Souza White House

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:28 pm

During an address at the White House, today, President Obama said that he spoke on the phone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

That detail is important in understanding just how serious the negotiations between the two countries have gotten. That talk was the first time the heads of states of the two countries have spoken directly since 1979.

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The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Police Arrest Six People For Trashing Ex-NFL Player's Home

Former NFL offensive lineman Brian Holloway in front of his home in Stephentown, N.Y., which teens trashed earlier this month.
Michael Hill AP

Police in Stephentown, N.Y., arrested six people in connection with the vandalism that occurred during a party at the vacation home of former NFL player Brian Holloway.

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

New Jersey Judge Rules State Must Allow Gay Couples To Marry

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 2:31 pm

A New Jersey judge says the state must allow gay couples to marry, because the current system of civil unions is unconstitutional.

To deny couples the right to marry runs afoul the New Jersey constitution and the equal protection guarantee of the U.S. Constitution, the court found.

Reuters reports:

"Judge Mary Jacobson in Mercer County Superior Court in Trenton issued the order as part of long-running litigation brought by a group of gay couples against the state.

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All Tech Considered
1:20 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Online Comments, iPad Hacks And The ACC

What to do about trolls in comments sections? It's part of a big conversation in tech this week.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 2:12 pm

It's time for your NPR All Tech Week in Review! Here's a rundown, in case you missed any of the technology and culture coverage on the airwaves and around the interwebs this week.

ICYMI

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The Salt
1:19 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Students Win Seed Money To Make Flour From Insects

MBA students from McGill University in Montreal are building a company to mass produce grasshoppers, seen here at a market in Oaxaca, Mexico.
William Neuheisel Flickr

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 3:55 pm

Mohammed Ashour has a big order to fill: By March 2014, he has to deliver 10 tons of grasshoppers to customers in Mexico.

He and four other MBA students at McGill University in Montreal have a plan to farm insects in poor countries and turn them into flour that can be used in everything from bread to corn tortillas. And on Monday, former President Bill Clinton handed them $1 million to make it happen.

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All Tech Considered
1:09 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Phantom Phone Vibrations: So Common They've Changed Our Brains?

Phantom Vibration Syndrome: That phenomenon where you think your phone is vibrating when it's not.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 9:09 pm

Phantom vibration — that phenomenon where you think your phone is vibrating but it's not — has been around only since the mobile age. And five years ago, when its wider existence became recognized, news organizations, including ours, covered the "syndrome" as a sign of the digital encroachment in our lives. Today, it's so common that researchers have devoted studies to it.

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