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It's All Politics
4:54 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Obama And Health Insurers Eye Each Other Warily

President Obama makes a statement in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Friday, before the start of a meeting with representatives of health insurance companies. The president said he brought health insurance CEOs to the White House to brainstorm ways to make sure Americans know what their coverage options are under the law.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 7:14 pm

In "The Defiant Ones," a classic film directed by Stanley Kramer, two escapees from a Southern chain gang hated each other but were handcuffed together, meaning they could survive only by working together.

Which is pretty much a metaphor for where President Obama and insurance company executives have found themselves all along with the Affordable Care Act.

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It's All Politics
4:37 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

GOP Candidates Split Over Obamacare In Louisiana Race

State Sen. Neil Riser (left) and Vance McAllister are pictured in images provided by their campaigns. The two Republicans are running against each other in a Louisiana congressional special election.
AP

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 7:58 pm

There's a House special election Saturday, but almost no one outside Louisiana has noticed.

Here's why: The race in the state's safely Republican 5th Congressional District will have no impact on the balance of power in Congress.

There's also very little separation between state Sen. Neil Riser and businessman Vance McAllister, the Republicans who are battling to replace GOP Rep. Rodney Alexander, on the major issues.

But there's one notable difference between the candidates that makes the contest worth watching — their stances on Obamacare.

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The Two-Way
4:37 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

JPMorgan Will Pay $4.5 Billion To Investors Of Toxic Securities

JPMorgan Chase & Co. says it will pay a $4.5 billion settlement to investors over mortgage-backed securities.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 5:15 pm

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $4.5 billion to settle claims from investors who lost money on mortgage-backed securities that went sour as the U.S. housing market imploded.

The settlement is with 21 institutional investors and is separate from the $13-billion-dollar agreement reached last month with the Department of Justice to settle civil charges related to wrongdoing by some of JPMorgan's units.

In Friday's deal, Reuters says:

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All Tech Considered
4:27 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Cellphones As Radios: Immigrants Dial In To Native Stations

Boubacar Sanogo from Mali drives a cab in New York City and listens to ZenoRadio on his smartphone — though it can also be accessed using a more basic model.
Margot Adler NPR

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 7:07 pm

A year and half ago, Baruch Herzfeld, an entrepreneur in New York City, had a novel idea: connect immigrants in the U.S. with radio stations in their home country using nothing more than a cheap cellphone.

The result is ZenoRadio.

ZenoRadio employee Atif Enin, who's from Egypt, points to a list of countries, each with a U.S. phone number.

"This is for a local Egyptian station; this is for Lebanese, Moroccan, then Syrian, Yemeni, Algerian, Iraqi and Somali," Enin says.

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Movie Interviews
3:46 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Steve Coogan, Tacking Toward The Funny Side Of Serious

Steve Coogan acts alongside Judi Dench in Philomena, the story of a woman searching for her son and the cynical journalist helping her find him.
Alex Bailey The Weinstein Co.

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 7:07 pm

Philomena is the true story of a retired Irish nurse (Judi Dench) whose child was put up for adoption — against her will, by the nuns at the convent where she gave birth — when she was a teenager, and unwed. Fifty years later, a journalist grudgingly joins in her search for that son. The British comedian Steve Coogan, who also produced the project and co-wrote the screenplay, plays the reporter.

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NPR Story
3:46 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Can You Keep Your Old Health Plan? It May Depend On Where You Live

President Obama met at the White House with CEOs from across the health insurance industry on Friday. Insurers, he says, will be allowed to renew for one more year health policies that don't meet the new national standards set by the Affordable Care Act.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 7:36 pm

President Obama's proposal to try to let more people keep their canceled health insurance policies sounded so simple when he announced it Thursday.

"Insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be canceled into 2014. And Americans whose plans have been canceled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan," he said in unveiling the proposal at the White House.

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Study: Odds Of Being Murdered Closely Tied To Social Networks

Chicago police investigate a shooting in front of the Uptown Baptist Church in August. Five people were shot, one fatally, during the drive-by, in which gunmen fired more than 20 rounds.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 4:06 pm

A team of scientists has confirmed something your parents probably warned you about as a teenager — that hanging out with the wrong crowd can be dangerous.

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Shots - Health News
3:34 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Federal Brain Science Project Aims To Restore Soldiers' Memory

President Obama has pledged millions of dollars to fuel research into understanding the workings of the human brain.
Zephyr Science Source

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 7:07 pm

When President Obama announced his plan to explore the mysteries of the human brain seven months ago, it was long on ambition and short on details.

Now some of the details are being sketched in.

The BRAIN Initiative will include efforts to restore lost memories in war veterans, create tools that let scientists study individual brain circuits and map the nervous system of the fruit fly.

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Television
3:34 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Amazon Opens An Entertainment Door With 'Alpha House'

Mark Consuelos (from left), John Goodman, Clark Johnson and Matt Malloy star as four Republican senators sharing a house in Washington in Alpha House, Amazon's first original series.
Amazon Studios

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 7:07 pm

There are about a dozen reasons I really wanted to love Alpha House, an original comedy series about four U.S. senators sharing a home on Capitol Hill. It premieres on Amazon — yes, Amazon — on Friday.

The biggest reason: often-underrated star John Goodman, playing a politician up for re-election who knows exactly what voters value in a legislator:

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Code Switch
3:34 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

A Jewish Comic And A Muslim Researcher Walk Into A Party ...

Dalia Mogahed delivers a speech after being coached by comedian and author Judy Carter.
Roxana Pop The Chautauquan Daily

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 7:07 pm

This is a story about a pair of unlikely partners.

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NPR Story
3:34 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

After Further Review, MLB Says OK To Instant Replay

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 2:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. At their winter meetings in Orlando yesterday, Major League Baseball owners decided to join other sports, and expand the use of instant replay to adjudicate calls on the field. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins us now to discuss that and other off-season baseball matters. Hi, Stefan.

STEFAN FATSIS, BYLINE: Hey, Robert.

SIEGEL: It's a big step for baseball. How will it work?

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NPR Story
3:34 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Is Running Your Car On Rubbish The Future Of Fuels?

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 7:07 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Environmental Protection Agency today proposed to scale back the amount of renewable fuels in our nation's gasoline supply, biofuels like ethanol made from corn. The EPA is responding, in part, to oil companies that say they're already taking as much ethanol as they can. They say any more and it will hurt quality. But there's another reason for the EPA's action. As NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports, cheap biofuels haven't been developed as quickly as hoped.

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The Two-Way
3:25 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

U.S. Tech Firms May Be Feeling Bite From NSA Spying Reports

Recent disclosures about NSA surveillance have affected U.S. relations with allies and tainted America's image around the world. Now the fallout seems to be creeping into the U.S. tech sector.

Cisco Systems, which manufactures network equipment, posted disappointing first-quarter numbers this week and warned that revenues for the current quarter could drop as much as 10 percent from a year ago — partly as a consequence of the NSA revelations.

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Code Switch
3:19 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Letters From Parents To Their Kids That'll Make You Smile (Or Cry)

This week, we've seen two stories with the theme of how tough parents and tough kids struggle to express their love for one another without, well, saying it aloud.

Many of us have lived these stories. We're the children of immigrant parents, of single moms and dads whose tired sighs at the end of the day we know all too well, of grandparents who stepped in and raised us when their children couldn't, and of parents who just found it hard to share their emotions.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Who Will Destroy Syria's Chemical Weapons? Not Albania

Albania's Prime Minister Edi Rama, in a televised address in the capital, Tirana, on Friday.
Hektor Pustina AP

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 4:26 pm

The United Nations on Friday outlined a plan for destroying Syria's chemical weapons, but there's still no word on who will carry out the delicate task of disposing of the deadly agents.

The plan "sets ambitious milestones to be met by the Government of Syria," said Ahmet Uzumcu, the director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW. "This next phase will be the most challenging, and its timely execution will require the existence of a secure environment for the verification and transport of chemical weapons."

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