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Parallels
9:45 am
Tue January 28, 2014

In China's Hugely Indebted Cities, Some Big Bills Are Coming Due

Wuhan, in central China, is in debt to the tune of a reported $33 billion — nearly twice the city's GDP. This 17-mile highway sat dormant for two years after banks cut off funding as Wuhan's debt ballooned. Work on the road resumed last year, but the construction company still hasn't been paid.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 5:55 pm

In recent years, rampant borrowing has driven a significant chunk of China's economic growth. The bill is now becoming clearer — and it's big. Late last year, China revealed that local governments owe nearly $3 trillion – more than the gross domestic product of France, the world's fifth-largest economy.

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The Salt
9:36 am
Tue January 28, 2014

FDA Found Drugs Used In Food Animals To Be 'High Risk'

Beef cattle in a barn on the Larson Farms feedlot in Maple Park, Ill.
Daniel Acker Landov

According to newly released documents, the Food and Drug Administration concluded years ago that many of the antibiotics farmers use on food animals are risky for human health.

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The Record
9:28 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Folk Activist Pete Seeger, Icon Of Passion And Ideals, Dies At 94

Pete Seeger was an environmentalist, an activist and the most prominent folk musician of his generation.
Neilson Barnard Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 1:21 pm

A tireless campaigner for his own vision of a utopia marked by peace and togetherness, Pete Seeger's tools were his songs, his voice, his enthusiasm and his musical instruments. A major advocate for the folk-style five-string banjo and one of the most prominent folk music icons of his generation, Seeger was also a political and environmental activist. He died Monday at age 94. His grandson, Kitama Cahill Jackson, said he died of natural causes.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Obama To Raise Minimum Wage For Federal Contracts

President Obama, working at his desk Monday night on the eve of his 2014 State of the Union address.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 10:06 am

News broke this morning that President Obama will announce during his State of the Union address tonight that he's going to sign an executive order raising the minimum wage in new federal contracts.

And as stories about that were popping up on news sites, one of the president's top advisers was on Morning Edition saying that Obama has "warmed up to" the idea of using such executive orders to advance his agenda.

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It's All Politics
6:49 am
Tue January 28, 2014

5 Things To Expect In Obama's State Of The Union Address

President Obama gestures to Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner before giving his 2013 State of the Union address.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 1:35 pm

As President Obama prepares to deliver his State of the Union speech Tuesday evening, he does it against a backdrop of some of the lowest voter-approval ratings of his presidency, with a divided Congress that has largely stalled his second-term agenda and with Washington's collective focus starting to shift toward the midterm elections and beyond.

Here are five things to expect from the president in his fifth State of the Union speech:

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Politics
6:25 am
Tue January 28, 2014

New Bipartisan Farm Bill Emerges From Long Debate In Congress

The new farm bill includes provisions to help livestock producers hit by natural disasters and extreme weather. Here, cattle stay warm in a barn in Illinois during this month's cold weather.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 7:55 am

Members of the House and Senate have reached a bipartisan agreement on a five-year farm bill that will end months of uncertainty for farmers and agriculture workers, its backers say. If enacted, it would close the gap left when the previous farm bill expired late in 2013, after an emergency extension lapsed.

The Agricultural Act of 2014, which will likely come up for a vote on Wednesday, reflects the many agendas that helped to complicate its creation.

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Pete Seeger, Folk Music Icon And Activist, Dies At 94

Pete Seeger closes out the 2011 Newport Folk Festival.
Anna Webber WireImage

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 10:00 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': A look back at Pete Seeger's life, from former NPR newscaster Paul Brown

Pete Seeger, "a tireless campaigner for his own vision of a utopia marked by peace and togetherness," died Monday at the age of 94.

As former NPR broadcaster Paul Brown adds in an appreciation he prepared for Morning Edition, Seeger's tools "were his songs, his voice, his enthusiasm and his musical instruments."

The songs he'll be long remembered for include "If I Had a Hammer," "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone."

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Books News & Features
3:58 am
Tue January 28, 2014

The Annual Awards For Children's Books Are Out

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 7:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK, the Grammy Awards are behind us. The Oscars are around the corner. And now, we have another award that also gets a lot of attention this time of year, from people who love kids' books.

The American Library Association has announced this year's Caldecott and Newbery Award winners. NPR's Lynn Neary reports.

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Education
3:58 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Political Rivals Find Common Ground Over Common Core

Silver Lake Elementary School in Middletown, Del., has begun implementing the national Common Core State Standards for academics. The GOP largely backs the standards that are rolling out in 45 states, but Tea Party conservatives have been critical — and liberals increasingly have the same complaints.
Steve Ruark AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 11:25 am

Supporters of the new Common Core education standards adopted by 45 states say the standards hold American students to much higher expectations, and move curriculum away from a bubble-test culture that encourages test preparation over deeper learning.

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