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Shots - Health News
2:44 am
Thu September 26, 2013

A Medicaid Expansion In Pennsylvania May Take Time

Susan Mull is a substitute teacher in Lancaster County, Pa. She's lived with HIV for 21 years, the past 13 without health insurance. She says an expansion of Medicaid in Pennsylvania would be "life-changing."
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 7:26 am

In Pennsylvania, more than a half-million people who don't have insurance are waiting to hear whether the state will take advantage of a Medicaid expansion that's part of the Affordable Care Act.

The federal law would allow people earning up to 138 percent of federal poverty guidelines to sign up for Medicaid. But a Supreme Court ruling that largely upheld the law gave states the choice whether to expand their Medicaid programs.

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World
2:43 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Syrian Rebels: U.S. Distracted By Focus On Chemical Weapons

Smoke from heavy shelling rises above buildings in Dara'a, Syria, on Aug. 28.
Ugarit News AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 4:06 am

A satellite cellphone rings for rebel commander Bashar al-Zawi, at home with his family in the Jordanian city of Irbid. It's a rare domestic break for this wealthy businessman turned rebel commander. But he is anxious to get back to his battalion of 5,000 fighters in southern Syria.

They are taking part in a rebel offensive that is squeezing the Syrian army around the city of Dera'a. Military analysts say the fight is one of the most strategically important battles in Syria's civil war, because Dera'a, close to Damascus, is President Bashar Assad's stronghold in the southwest.

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Energy
2:42 am
Thu September 26, 2013

In Wake Of Colo. Floods, A Scramble To Clean Up Spilled Oil

A crude oil storage tank lies on its side in floodwaters along the South Platte River, in Weld County, Colo., on Sept. 17. Hundreds of natural gas and oil wells along with pipelines are shut down by flooding, as state and federal inspectors gauge the damage and look for potential contamination from inundated oil fields.
John Wark AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 4:06 am

The heavy floodwaters in Colorado this month caused more than 37,000 gallons of oil to spill into or near rivers, and the state's oil and gas industry is rushing to fix equipment damaged during the storm. It comes at a time when there's growing public concern about the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing in the state.

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Environment
2:42 am
Thu September 26, 2013

With Murky Water And Manatee Deaths, Lagoon Languishes

Biologists Laura Herren and Brian Lapointe bag red sea grass at Shorty's Pocket, a site in the Indian River lagoon. Manatees have died from eating the toxic macro algae.
Courtesy Brian Cousin FAU Harbor Branch

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 4:06 am

Something is wrong in Florida's Indian River Lagoon.

Over the past year, record numbers of dolphins, manatees and pelicans have turned up dead in the 150-mile-long estuary that runs along Florida's Atlantic Coast. Bouts of algal blooms have flourished in the waters. All the signs point to an ecosystem that is seriously out of balance. The crisis has mobilized scientists, residents and elected officials in Florida.

An Ailing Lagoon

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Around the Nation
2:40 am
Thu September 26, 2013

L.A. Puts Chronically Homeless In The Front Of Housing Line

Homeless people rest on a public sidewalk early this year in downtown skid row area of Los Angeles. The United Way of Greater Los Angeles is attempting to end "chronic homelessness" by 2016 with a model that identifies the neediest cases and provides them with permanent homes.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 7:21 am

An initiative in Los Angeles County is trying to help the homeless by first connecting them with a place to live. The "housing first" model has been used in cities across the country in recent years to combat long-term homelessness.

In L.A. County, the Home For Good project focuses on those who are most at risk, aiming to end chronic homelessness in the area by 2016. Homeless-services providers are gathering information about the population and ranking individuals' vulnerability. Then, the goal is to move the most in need into permanent housing, quickly.

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Sports
2:38 am
Thu September 26, 2013

NBA Rookie Wants To Bring Hope To Greece, And To Milwaukee

Milwaukee Bucks first-round draft pick Giannis Antetokounmpo speaks at a news conference in Milwaukee on June 28.
Morry Gash AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:48 pm

Just a few months ago, most Greeks had never heard of a teenager named Giannis Antetokounmpo.

At 6-foot-9, the baby-faced athlete was the towering star of a minor-league basketball team in an Athens suburb. Born in Greece to a Nigerian soccer player and a high-jumper, he was raised and educated in Athens. He only received his citizenship this May.

And then, on June 27 in New York, NBA commissioner David Stern announced that the Milwaukee Bucks had used the 15th pick in the first round of the NBA draft to select Antetokounmpo, who recently turned 19.

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Music Interviews
1:01 am
Thu September 26, 2013

'You Can Always Come Home': Alan Jackson On Family And Bluegrass

Alan Jackson's The Bluegrass Album combines new originals with some staples of the genre.
Russ Harrington Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 10:06 am

Alan Jackson has achieved huge success in country music, but he's not above trashing his own industry. The platinum-selling star once voiced his frustration with the narrow range of country music that receives radio play by writing a spot-on parody — "Three Minute Positive Not Too Country Up-Tempo Love Song" — that hit all the mainstream marks on the nose.

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Crime
11:01 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Justice Department Pushes New Thinking On Kids And Crime

The Justice Department, along with the Department of Education, is trying to stop what experts describe as a "school-to-prison pipeline."
J. David Ake AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 9:45 am

For a man who spent the bulk of his career as a public defender, Robert Listenbee's new role walking around the halls of the U.S. Justice Department may not be the most comfortable fit.

But Listenbee, who became administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention earlier this year, says his transition has been smooth. And besides, he says, he couldn't resist the "extraordinary opportunity."

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Politics
8:51 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

First Votes Counted In Two Races To Watch

Boston mayoral hopeful Martin Walsh at his primary election night party Tuesday.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 2:48 pm

Neither got much national attention, but two elections worth watching took place Tuesday: a House special election primary in southwest Alabama and a mayoral primary in Boston.

In Alabama's 1st District GOP primary — the only one that really matters in the conservative, Mobile-based seat — former state Sen. Bradley Byrne and real estate developer Dean Young emerged from a nine-candidate field. They'll go head to head in a Nov. 5 runoff primary that pits the GOP establishment against Tea Party forces.

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Culture
7:47 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

States Ponder Costs, Benefits Of Film Incentives

Homeland, the CIA series starring Claire Danes, is just one of many television shows and movies that film far from their putative settings.
Kent Smith Showtime

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 5:47 pm

Showtime's critically acclaimed series Homeland starts its third season next week; the spies and terrorists who weave its tangled storyline will be back roaming the halls of CIA headquarters and the streets of D.C.

Or so you'll think. But Homeland is actually filmed in Charlotte, N.C. And it's all because of money.

About 40 states offer some sort of incentive to lure Hollywood productions to their precincts. But some have begun to wonder if they're getting their money's worth.

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