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Afghanistan
12:40 am
Wed September 25, 2013

U.S. Soldier Fights For Afghan Interpreter Who Saved His Life

Janis Shinwari is seen wearing his body armor in 2008. Shinwari, an Afghan interpreter who assisted U.S. forces, has been waiting three years for a visa to enter the United States. He is now in hiding in Afghanistan.
Matt Zeller

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 7:40 am

Army Capt. Matt Zeller had been told that his Afghan comrades would make a big show of hospitality. He'd read that the Afghan code of honor would mean protecting his life with their own. Sure enough, that's what his interpreter, Janis Shinwari, pledged to him when they met in April of 2008.

"I expected him to say it. I didn't think he'd make good on his promise within two weeks of my arrival," Zeller says. "Literally pick up a weapon and ... save my life," says Zeller.

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Health Care
12:36 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Commander In Chief, Explainer In Chief Tout Health Care Law

President Obama joins former President Clinton to talk about the health care law, during the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting Tuesday in New York.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 8:18 am

President Obama's health care law has so far survived challenges in Congress and the courts. But its biggest test could begin next week. That's when the online marketplaces offering health care coverage to the uninsured are set to start signing people up. The question is, will they come?

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The Two-Way
10:09 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

With A Call For Prayer, Cruz Wraps Up Protest Against Obamacare

Sen. Ted Cruz's anti-Obamacare strategy seemed to fall flat Tuesday with many of his fellow Senate Republicans. They urged him to back down out of concern over a possible government shutdown next week.
C-SPAN.org screen shot

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 10:17 am

Update at noon ET. It's Over:

Saying that "it's fitting that this debate concludes with a prayer" because he believes Americans are pleading with Congress to defund President Obama's health care law, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas just wrapped up his marathon protest on the Senate floor.

Cruz began speaking just after 2:40 p.m. ET Tuesday and abided by Senate rules when he finished at noon today.

"The pleas from the American people," he said of what he sees as the public's opposition to Obamacare, "are deafening."

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Shots - Health News
9:15 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Administration Touts Lower-Than-Expected Obamacare Premiums

Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, the state agency running the state's new health exchange, announced the plans and prices that will be offered by private insurers on May 23.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 8:42 am

Premiums in the health insurance exchanges set to open next week will be lower than anticipated, the Obama administration announced Wednesday.

According to a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services, "premiums nationwide will ... be around 16 percent lower than originally expected," and 95 percent of uninsured people live in a state with average premiums that are lower than expected.

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Monkey See
4:05 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

'Trophy Wife' Is More Than Just A Pretty Face On ABC

Kate (Malin Akerman) pitches in alongside husband Pete (Bradley Whitford) on her stepson's soccer practice in ABC's Trophy Wife.
Danny Feld ABC

One of the strongest new sitcoms on TV this season has the worst name, but its title, Trophy Wife, was intended to be ironic. The show's creators, Sarah Haskins and Emily Halpern, are self-professed feminists who wanted to take on a type generally scorned in popular culture.

The show's eponymous character, Kate, is a reformed party girl trying to find her place in a family that includes a much older husband, Pete, his two ex-wives and three kids. When Kate inadvertently breaks Pete's nose, the situation is expertly handled by ex No. 1, an intimidating surgeon.

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It's All Politics
4:00 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Countdown To Shutdown: 6 Days

Sen. Ted Cruz's anti-Obamacare strategy seemed to fall flat Tuesday with many of his fellow Senate Republicans.
C-SPAN.org screen shot

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 4:23 pm

With just six days to go before the federal government is due to run out of money, it's becoming increasingly clear that Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's fellow GOP colleagues aren't following his lead in the anti-Obamacare fight.

That fact alone raises the odds of avoiding a government shutdown next week. It doesn't mean a shutdown won't happen, but it largely removes one of the major stumbling blocks — at least in the Senate.

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

WATCH: First Pilotless F-16 Fighter Jet

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 3:58 pm

Boeing says it completed a successful test flight of an F-16 fighter retrofitted as a drone last week, the first-ever such pilotless mission.

The original F-16 was built by Lockheed. Boeing modified the aircraft, dubbed the QF-16, so that a pair of ground-based pilots could control it. The test flight took off from Florida and went over the Gulf of Mexico.

Boeing thinks such aircraft could be used to spar with fighter jocks during training maneuvers, a la Top Gun.

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The Two-Way
3:49 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Army Bars New Recruits With Conspicuous Tattoos

A U.S. Army soldier at Outpost Monti in Afghanistan's Kunar province, in Sept. 2011.
Tauseef Mustafa AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 4:28 pm

No visible ink. That's the gist of a new regulation approved by the secretary of the Army that prohibits fresh recruits from showing tattoos while in uniform.

Josh Smith, a reporter with Stars and Stripes, says the rules on tattoos were loosened in 2006 when the Army was looking to increase recruitment.

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The Two-Way
3:26 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Iranian President: 'Prudent Moderation' Ensures Bright Future

Hasan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters, on Tuesday.
Brendan McDermid AP

In a break with his often times caustic predecessor, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani delivered a kind of ode to moderation during his first address at the United Nations General Assembly.

"Prudent moderation will ensure a bright future for the world," Rouhani said, adding that the "recent election in Iran represents a clear living example of the wise choice of hope, rationality and moderation."

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It's All Politics
3:11 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Government Shutdown? Not Over Obamacare, Polls Say

A new survey shows that a majority of Americans want Congress to keep the government running and deal with Obamacare separately.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

A new poll released Tuesday shows that a clear majority of Americans want Congress to keep the federal government operating and deal with President Obama's health care law separately.

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All Tech Considered
2:52 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Accessible Designs Could Help Us All — But Only If Firms Bite

Alex Blaszczuk used Google Glass to shoot this self portait.
Courtesy of Alex Blaszczuk

Here are the basics about Alex Blaszczuk: She lives in Manhattan. She's 26. She has a 20 pound cat. She's a third year law student at Columbia University. And about 18 months ago she broke her neck.

Blaszczuk sometimes jokes that she wishes she'd done it bungee jumping. At least then she says she would have a better story.

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Sports
2:52 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Pirates Make It To Playoffs For The First Time In Since '92

Melissa Block talks to Jerry Micco, assistant managing editor for sports for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, about the Pittsburgh Pirates making the Major League Baseball playoffs for the first time since 1992.

The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Jailed Massey Mine Boss Claims He Was Company's Sacrificial Lamb

A jailed, former superintendent of Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine claims his attorney colluded with attorneys for the company and its executives to avoid testimony about complicity in his crimes.

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Shots - Health News
1:59 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Would A Federal Shutdown Delay Health Care Exchanges?

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz leaves the weekly Senate Republican Policy Committee luncheon Tuesday, shortly before beginning a filibuster against Obamacare.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 5:27 am

Well, it's almost Oct. 1, the day of a threatened government shutdown and the day state health insurance exchanges are scheduled to begin operations.

Those are the online marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act where people can compare health plans and sign up for coverage.

Would closing down the government delay the opening of the health exchanges?

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All Tech Considered
1:52 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

The Mystery Of $600 Million Traded In The Blink Of An Eye

A television monitor on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the decision the Federal Reserve made on Sept. 18, 2013.
Richard Drew AP

Here's a mystery involving physics, technology and the markets that meant the difference between nothing and millions of dollars.

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Airbus Forecast: Asia-Pacific Air Traffic Set For Takeoff

Airbus hopes the global growth in air traffic will fuel demand for its giant A380.
Eric Feferberg AFP/Getty Images

There will be more passenger flights in the Asia-Pacific than anywhere else in the world in the next 20 years, with the region accounting for a third of all new commercial aircraft orders, according to Airbus's latest Global Market Forecast.

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NPR Story
1:46 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Remembering Nirvana's Final Album 'In Utero'

Cover art for "In Utero," Nirvana's third and final album. The album is being reissued to mark its 20th anniversary. (Nirvana)

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s third and final record, “In Utero,” Here & Now speaks with pop culture critic Renee Graham, and Here & Now producer and director Alex Ashlock shares these thoughts:

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NPR Story
1:46 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Ted Cruz Embraces 'Wacko Bird' Label

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 1:42 pm

Freshman U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas began an old-fashioned talking filibuster this afternoon, to try to get the rest of the Senate to go along with his plan to defund Obamacare.

He will probably not be at a loss for words.

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NPR Story
1:46 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

After 21-Year Dry Streak, Pirates Make The Playoffs

Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, left, Starling Marte, center and Marlon Byrd celebrate the Pirates' 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs after a baseball game Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Chicago. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

The Pittsburgh Pirates finally snapped out of their 21-year losing streak and have clinched a spot in the playoffs.

In their game against the Chicago Cubs on Monday, the Pirates won 2-1, allowing them to advance to the playoffs, something the team hasn’t done since 1992.

Lanny Frattare experienced that day all those years ago. Frattare was the play-by-play announcer for the Pirates for 33 years.

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The Salt
1:41 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Global Love Of Bananas May Be Hurting Costa Rica's Crocodiles

A Costa Rican banana worker carries a stalk of freshly harvested fruit on a plantation in Costa Rica, where many of the bananas that Americans eat are grown.
Kent Gilbert AP

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 11:22 am

Americans love bananas. Each year, we eat more bananas than any other fruit. But banana growers use a lot of pesticides — and those chemicals could be hurting wildlife. As a new study shows, the pesticides are ending up in the bodies of crocodiles living near banana farms in Costa Rica, where many of the bananas we eat are grown.

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