Politics & Government

Abortion Bill
7:32 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Ala. Governor Signs Abortion Clinic Regulations

The Governor's Office

Alabama's governor has signed into law stricter abortion clinic regulations.


Gov. Robert Bentley signed the bill Tuesday at the Capitol while surrounded by legislators who supported it.


The new law requires clinics to use doctors who have approval to admit patients to local hospitals. Bentley, who is a physician, said a doctor who can't get admitting privileges from a hospital probably ought not to be practicing in the state.


The bill also sets stricter building standards for abortion clinics, and it gives them a couple of months to comply.

Business
3:34 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Administration Urges Europeans To Ease Austerity Measures

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 8:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. President Obama is preparing to send budget plan to Capital Hill this week and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will be key in selling that plan to Congress.

Right now, Secretary Lew is on another mission: to sell European leaders on the idea of easing austerity to boost economic growth. We reached Secretary Lew in Berlin. Mr. Secretary, welcome back to the program.

SECRETARY JACK LEW: Good to talk to you, David.

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Shots - Health News
1:58 am
Tue April 9, 2013

The 'Hard To Change' Legacy Of Medicare Payments

President Obama's budget plan for fiscal year 2014 may include a proposal for Medicare patients to pay more of their own medical bills.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 8:14 am

The budget President Obama will send to Congress Wednesday is expected to include some $400 billion in reductions to Medicare and other health programs.

And if the word around Washington is correct, it may also include a proposal aimed at winning some bipartisan backing — by changing the way Medicare patients pay for their care.

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It's All Politics
4:25 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Sequester Uncertainty Surrounds Section 8 Housing Program

Members of the American Federation of Government Employees protest mandatory federal budget cuts during a rally March 20 in Washington, D.C.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 5:16 pm

Last week, several media outlets and advocacy groups began circulating the same sad story: Because of sequestration, 60 low-income families in Dane County, Wis., were soon to be homeless.

But the truth is more complicated.

The story began with a blog post written in February by Dane County Housing Authority Executive Director Rob Dicke.

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Politics
3:58 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Changes To Obama's Social Security Proposal In GOP's Court

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama will release a new budget proposal on Wednesday. We already have some idea what will be in it and there are already protests about it from seniors and others who oppose reductions in spending for Medicare and Social Security. One flashpoint is a change in the way the government measures inflation. The switch is to something called a chained CPI or consumer price index and it would result in smaller cost of living adjustments for Social Security.

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It's All Politics
2:04 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Searching For The Sequester In The Middle Of Ohio

In Columbus, Ohio, signs of the sequester were hard to find.
Kiichiro Sato AP

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:59 pm

It's been a little more than a month since the start of the sequester — the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that kicked in because Congress couldn't agree on something better.

Before it hit, there were dire and at times very specific predictions of job losses, furloughs and program cuts — many of them from the Obama administration.

Of course, it's still early. Everything you hear today about the effects of the sequester could and probably will change over the coming weeks and months.

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It's All Politics
1:46 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Guns, Immigration And Budget On Washington's Agenda

Blooming magnolia trees are seen along Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House on Saturday. This week, President Obama is speaking out on gun control, and will release his proposal for the nation's budget.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 2:18 pm

Congress returns from a two-week recess amid reports that a gun deal in the Senate may have gained late momentum; a focus on immigration to include a rally on Capitol Hill; and a budget proposal from President Obama that already has some in his own party fuming.

Here's what's happening on key issues this week:

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The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Britain's Thatcher An Unlikely Icon For American Conservatives

U.S. President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1987.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 2:47 pm

As an icon of the American conservative movement in the 1980s, it would have been difficult to find a more unlikely figure than Britain's Margaret Thatcher, who died Monday following a stroke.

Thatcher became prime minister in 1979, a full year and a half before Ronald Reagan became president. She hailed from a country seen as a hopeless bastion of socialism by conservatives, many of whom, like Reagan himself, were strongly invested in the idea of American exceptionalism.

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The Two-Way
6:39 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Blocked Or Breaking Through? Mixed Signals On Gun Bills

This AR-15 style weapon was on display in March at the 7th annual Border Security Expo in Phoenix, Ariz. It's among the type of weapons that advocates of new gun laws want to see banned.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 7:05 am

If this is President Obama's "make-or-break week on guns," as Politico declares, then it starts with considerable confusion about where things stand regarding the likelihood of passing new gun control laws.

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It's All Politics
2:23 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Some Gun Control Opponents Cite Fear Of Government Tyranny

Hundreds of gun owners and enthusiasts attend a rally at the Connecticut Capitol in Hartford on Jan. 19.
Rick Hartford MCT/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 10:35 am

As the Senate returns from a two-week spring recess Monday, topping its agenda is legislation to try to curb the kind of gun violence that took the lives of 20 first-graders in Connecticut last December.

Recent polls show broad popular support for enhanced background checks and bans on military-style guns and ammunition. But many members of Congress side with gun-rights advocates who oppose such measures.

And those advocates are increasingly making the case that Americans need guns to fight government tyranny.

'A Fringe Idea' Goes Mainstream

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It's All Politics
2:21 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Why Politicians Want Children To Be Seen And Heard

President Obama signs a series of executive orders on gun control Jan. 16 surrounded by children who wrote letters to the White House about gun violence. They are, from left, Hinna Zeejah, Taejah Goode, Julia Stokes and Grant Fritz.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 6:36 pm

President Obama will visit Connecticut on Monday to keep pushing for new federal gun laws. The poster children for this campaign are just that — children.

The president has invited kids to the White House to watch him sign new executive orders on guns. And the images of the kids who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School are a constant reminder of the toll gun violence can take.

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Elder Abuse
6:05 pm
Sun April 7, 2013

Ala. Bills Make It Easier To Prosecute Elder Abuse

Ala. Senator Cam Ward is the senate sponsor of a bill bills that would make it easier to criminally charge people who abuse, neglect or financially exploit the elderly.
Credit Campaign to Elect Cam Ward

Alabama lawmakers have passed bills that would make it easier to criminally charge people who abuse, neglect or financially exploit the elderly.

The sponsors say they expect the governor to sign one of the bills into law once the two slightly different versions are reconciled.

The Senate sponsor, Republican Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster, says only one word in the measure that passed the Senate is different from the House-passed version sponsored by Republican Rep. Paul DeMarco of Homewood.

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Politics
3:59 am
Sun April 7, 2013

Back From Recess, Congress Preps For Gun Legislation Fight

Congress comes back from a two-week spring break on Monday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 11:45 am

The U.S. Senate was scheduled to begin voting on gun control measures this week when Congress returns from recess, but Senate staffers say a bipartisan agreement has yet to be reached on universal background checks. That snarl may end up delaying a vote on gun legislation for another week, as lobbyists on both sides of the debate use the extra time to keep the pressure on.

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Alabama-Medicaid
12:32 am
Sun April 7, 2013

Legislators Start Talking About Changing Medicaid

Lawmakers are considering a bill that will help streamline Medicaid in the state.
Credit Trance Mist / Flickr

Lawmakers are trying to ease the financial burden Medicaid places on Alabama by passing a bill designed to streamline the $5.63 billion program's operational system.

The bill under consideration could change the present "fee-for-service" basis of Medicaid payments to a for-profit, managed care plan or a combination of nonprofit and for-profit companies.

The Medicaid Advisory Committee commissioned by Gov. Robert Bentley does not want to use for-profit managed care companies.

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Metal Coils
12:27 am
Sun April 7, 2013

Feds Strike Down Ala. Law On Hauling Metal Coils

A federal agency has struck down an Alabama law aimed at preventing heavy metal coils from falling off trucks and causing wrecks.
Credit www.fmcsa.dot.gov / U.S. Department of Transportation

A federal agency has struck down an Alabama law aimed at preventing heavy metal coils from falling off trucks and causing wrecks.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found the Alabama law placed "an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce." Passed by state lawmakers in 2009, the law required trucker drivers hauling metal coils on routes that either began or ended in Alabama to be certified in load securement techniques.

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