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NPR Story
1:05 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Sen. Hoeven: Senate Rule Change Is 'Power Grab'

Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) voted against the so-called "nuclear option" that would make it harder for the minority party to block some presidential nominations. It passed along expected partisan lines. (hoeven.senate.gov)

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 2:24 pm

The Senate voted yesterday to invoke the “nuclear option.” Today we take a look at the potential fallout from that move.

The rule change overturned the requirement for a 60-vote majority to stop a filibuster of most presidential nominees. Now a filibuster can be stopped with a simple majority of 51.

Jim Manley a former Democratic aide compared the move to opening a Pandora’s box. Senator Mitch McConnell said “you may regret this a lot sooner than you think.”

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NPR Story
1:05 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

What Does The Future Hold For Russia's Longest-Serving Political Prisoner?

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a Russian former oil billionaire, was imprisoned on charges of tax evasion and fraud. He is considered the best known Russian political prisoner. (khodorkovsky.com)

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 2:24 pm

Will political amnesty, proposed by the Kremlin’s Human Rights Council, free former oil billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky from prison, 10 years after he was jailed on charges of fraud and tax evasion?

Or will new charges be leveled that could keep the founder of the Yukos Oil Company in jail for years to come?

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NPR Story
2:41 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Will Forte Gets Serious In 'Nebraska'

Will Forte, left, in Alexander Payne's new film, "Nebraska." (FilmNation)

Actor Will Forte is known for his offbeat, sometimes outrageous characters.

For example, MacGruber, the special ops agent with a penchant for blowing up things. Forte created the character during his years on Saturday Night Live and later played him a 2010 feature film.

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NPR Story
2:41 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Paramount To Fight 'It's A Wonderful Life' Sequel

A scene from Frank Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life." (Wikimedia)

Independent studios Star Partners and Hummingbird Productions told Variety they are set to release a sequel to the classic holiday film, “It’s a Wonderful Life” in 2015.

However, Paramount owns the rights to the film.

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NPR Story
2:41 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Central Texas Farmers Could Lose Water Access Due to Drought

Rice farmers in Texas could face a third year in a row of being cut off from water due to severe drought conditions. (Jeff Heimsath/StateImpact Texas)

Half of Texas is experiencing drought conditions, and for the third year in a row, rice farmers in Central Texas may be cut off from water supplies because of severe drought.

The Lower Colorado River Authority has asked the state to approve emergency plans to cut water to farmers in 2014 if reservoir lakes are at less than 55 percent capacity. The lakes are currently 36 percent full.

Homes and businesses would also face water restrictions.

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

The Women In Kennedy's White House

President John F. Kennedy poses with his staff in the Oval Office. The group pooled their funds to buy Kennedy his presidential chair. Jean Lewis stands over Kennedy’s left shoulder. (Courtesy JFK Library)

This month in Washington, D.C., a group of Kennedy-era staffers met for a reunion, including some women who worked for Kennedy the White House.

While Kennedy’s womanizing is well documented, not much is known about his policies on women’s issues or the women who worked for him.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Deborah Becker of WBUR has the story of some of these trailblazers.

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Not Enough (Cod)Fish In The Sea?

Monkfish, one of the "trash fish" species that sustainable fisheries advocates say consumers should be eating more of now that cod is depleted. (Rowan Jacobsen)
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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

The Economic Legacy Of JFK

At the time of John F. Kennedy’s death in November 1963, an employment boom was beginning.

Stocks were soaring, swept up in the emerging “go-go” era on Wall Street. It was a time when investors were falling in love with mutual funds and conglomerates.

So, what exactly did Kennedy do? As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of his assassination, do the experts credit him with having a lasting economic legacy?

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NPR Story
2:03 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Pat Conroy No Longer Hides Behind Fiction To Tell His Family's Stories

Pat Conroy is author of "The Death of Santini." (Jennifer Hitchcock)

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 3:31 pm

Pat Conroy’s troubled family history has been the wellspring of many of his novels, including “The Great Santini” and “The Prince of Tides.”

As he tells Here & Now’s Robin Young, “No writer has been imprisoned by his family like I have, in the history of American letters. I have been writing about this family for 40 years.”

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NPR Story
2:03 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Facebook Helps Reunite Tornado Victims With Lost Mementos

Photo found in Seneca, IL. (From the Facebook page "PHOTOS found from Nov 17, 2013 Illinois Storms/Tornadoes")

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 3:31 pm

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NPR Story
2:03 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Cleanup Continues Across Midwest After Devastating Tornadoes

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 3:31 pm

Dozens of tornadoes struck the Midwest on Sunday, leaving hundreds of homes damaged or destroyed. Now starts the long cleanup process, as families sift through the debris of what used to be their homes.

The American Red Cross and other aid groups are moving in, to provide shelters for displaced residents. NPR’s David Schaper joins Here & Now’s Robin Young with details.

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NPR Story
1:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Japanese Animator's Film Causes Controversy

The latest film from celebrated Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, "The Wind Rises," centers on the engineer who designed the plane used in the kamikaze attacks during World War II. (Studio Ghibli/Walt Disney)

What may be the final film from acclaimed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki is a departure from his earlier fantasies.

“The Wind Rises” tells the story of a real-life airplane designer who created what some say was the best fighter plane of WWII. The film has proved controversial in Japan, and opens briefly in the U.S. this month to qualify for an Oscar nomination.

Allen Yu, KROC Fellowship winner for NPR, has our story.

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NPR Story
1:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Will Sugar Be The FDA's Next Target?

(Ninja M/Flickr)

The Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to further reduce trans fats in processed foods — a move that would require food companies to prove hydrogenated oils harmless before using them in products.

These days, most consumers consider this a good thing, but trans fats have historically been championed as a healthier alternative to butter and lard. It wasn’t until the 1990s that studies began to link trans fats to heart attacks and disease.

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NPR Story
1:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Inseparable Abandoned Dogs Need A Home

(Chester County SPCA)

They say a dog is man’s best friend, but don’t tell that to Jermaine. Jermaine’s best friend is his blind brother Jeffrey. The two are inseparable.

Here & Now’s Robin Young takes a couple of minutes to draw attention to the huge problem of abandoned animals, and the attention that these two 8-month-old pit bull mix dogs have drawn, because of a picture that’s gone viral.

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NPR Story
1:36 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

It's BatKid To The Rescue!

Miles gets a big hug after "rescuing" a damsel in distress. (Mike Pelton/Twitter)

Miles Scott, 5, who in remission from leukemia, is having his wish to be “Batkid” granted by Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area and the city of San Francisco. If you’re on Twitter, you can follow the the hashtag #SFBatKid to see the updates, or you can watch the live stream.

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NPR Story
1:36 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

The Man Behind The Pastels Of Miami's South Beach

The Park Central in Miami Beach, Fla. (Julia Duba/WLRN)

Miami Beach’s South Beach neighborhood is a popular destination for tourists who head to Florida as temperatures start to plummet up north. And when they get there, the first thing many of these “snow birds” notice are the colors: A palette of pastels.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Julia Duba of WLRN has the story of Leonard Horowitz, the man who forever changed the color of South Beach.

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NPR Story
1:36 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Michigan Homeowner Charged In Deadly Porch Shooting

Renisha McBride (Facebook)

In the early hours of November 2, 19-year-old Renisha McBride was fatally shot by a homeowner in Dearborn Heights, Mich. McBride had apparently been knocking on the front door, looking for help after she crashed her car into a parked vehicle about a mile away.

Authorities say the man shot the unarmed young woman in the face while she was standing on his porch. The homeowner originally told police that the gun went off accidentally, but has since said that he shot McBride because he feared for his life.

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NPR Story
1:14 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Learning Websites Vie To Become 'School Of Everything'

All kinds of online marketplaces offer ways to sell your stuff: eBay, Craigslist, Etsy. But what about a place to sell your skills and expertise?

Now sites like Udemy, Skillshare and Lynda.com are in a race to become the “School of Everything.” As more courses appear, the competition among teachers is intensifying.

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NPR Story
1:14 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Texas County Implements New Policy For LGBT Inmates

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 4:55 am

Transgendered inmates in Houston’s Harris County will now be housed based on the gender with which they identify, instead of their biological sex.

The sweeping new policy, designed to protect and guarantee equal treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender inmates, is being implemented by the sheriff of Houston’s Harris County.

The policy is believed to be one of the most comprehensive in the country. Houston has the third-largest county jail in the United States and processes around 125,000 individuals annually.

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NPR Story
1:14 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Pre-Double Mastectomy Dance Party Inspires

Dr. Deborah Cohan recently had a double mastectomy. But moments before, in the operating room, the mother of two turned up Beyonce’s “Get Me Bodied,” and she and the entire masked and scrubbed surgical team danced.

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