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Election 2012
5:18 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Tea Party Spawns New Effort Against Voter Fraud

Reagan George is the founder of the Virginia Voters Alliance.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 1:44 pm

As part of a new campaign, dozens of citizen groups around the country are searching voter registration lists, looking for problems.

They're also training poll watchers to monitor this fall's elections.

Leaders of the effort — spawned by the Tea Party movement — say they want to make sure that elections are free from voter fraud. But critics say it's part of a campaign to suppress the votes of minorities, students and others who tend to vote Democratic.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:05 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Canadian Hospitals That Spend More Get Better Results

In Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario, hospitals that spend more appear to do a better job.
ilkerender Flickr

Canada has long been a favored talking point for debates over the quality of America's health system, alternatively cast as either Eden or Gomorrah.

A new paper adds a shade of gray into the understanding of Canadian hospitals — and the ongoing debate here about whether when it comes to medical spending, less is more.

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Science
4:58 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Tornado Tech: What If Dorothy Had A Smartphone?

This May 3, 1999, funnel became the F-5 storm that damaged thousands of buildings in central Okahoma. University of Oklahoma storm chasers and observers are anticipating the annual tornado season as it approaches the central part of the country.
J. Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 1:44 pm

For many, the only way they learn a tornado is approaching are sirens. In the spring and summer, tornado sirens go off a lot more when twisters roar across Alabama, which has been hit by 900 since 2000, accounting for a quarter of all U.S. tornado deaths.

"I am still surprised that so many people rely on just one source of getting warned, and that has to change," said Jim Stefkovich, meteorologist in charge of the Birmingham office of the National Weather Service.

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Education
4:34 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Spanking Lives On In Rural Florida Schools

Holmes County High School Principal Eddie Dixson says paddling is used for minor offenses like back-talking or consistent tardiness. Students at the school are spanked only by Dixson or the assistant principal, and there is always a witness.
Sarah Gonzalez StateImpact Florida

Spanking in school may seem like a relic of the past, but every day hundreds of students — from preschoolers to high school seniors — are still being paddled by teachers and principals.

In parts of America, getting spanked at school with a wooden or fiberglass board is just part of being a misbehaving student.

"I been getting them since about first grade," says Lucas Mixon, now a junior at Holmes County High School in Bonifay, Fla. "It's just regular. They tell you to put your hands up on the desk and how many swats you're going to get."

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Federal Reserve Says Most Major U.S. Banks Would Survive Severe Recession

Federal Reserve

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 5:46 pm

Update at 4:34 p.m. ET. 15 of 19 Banks Pass Stress Test:

The Federal Reserve says 15 of the country's top 19 banks have enough capital to survive a "severe recession," which it defined as "peak unemployment rate of 13 percent, a 50 percent drop in equity prices, and a 21 percent decline in housing prices."

Reuters reports:

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Looking Up: Pockets of Economic Strength
4:18 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Factories 'Reshore' Some Work From Overseas

AGCO employees work on the assembly line in the company's newly expanded Jackson, Minn., manufacturing plant. The expansion brought the facility's staff from 850 to 1,050 workers and allows the plant to make tractors that were previously made in France.
Jackson Forderer for Minnesota Public Radio

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 1:44 pm

Part of a series

During the worst of the Great Recession, U.S. factory jobs were disappearing at a furious pace. As 2007 began, about 14 million Americans were working in manufacturing.

Three years and one frightful recession later, only 11.5 million were.

But since 2010, employment has been ticking back up, with companies adding about 400,000 jobs.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:17 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Connecticut Considers Letting Health Aides Give Medicines To Homebound

Connecticut is rethinking who should be allowed to give medicines to Medicaid patients cared for at home.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 1:44 pm

Connecticut, like every state trying to reduce health care spending, is looking closely at how it cares for people with chronic conditions.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has promised to move more than 5,000 poor and disabled patients out of nursing homes in five years.

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Latin America
4:04 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Cruising Over Colombia In A Plane From Another Era

A DC 3 stands ready to take off on the runway in Villavicencio , Colombia.
Carlos Villalon for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 11:41 am

The plane flown by Capt. Ricardo Fajardo has been around for nearly 70 years, ever since it was built in California by the Douglas Aircraft Co. at the height of World War II.

But as a red and orange DC-3 hugs the treetops and skims past the Vaupes River in the remote southeastern corner of Colombia, Fajardo says he wouldn't feel more comfortable in any other plane.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:36 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Timing Of Birth Control Coverage May Differ For Students, Profs

Sandra Fluke, a third-year law student at Georgetown University and former president of the Students for Reproductive Justice group there, testifies during a hearing before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee last month in Washington.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Could Georgetown University students like Sandra Fluke have to wait an extra year for free birth control?

There's a reason to ask the question.

Fluke, in case you missed it somehow, is the law student who testified before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee last month about the importance of providing free contraceptive services to students and others at religiously affiliated institutions.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

With Economy 'Expanding Moderately,' Fed Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 2:31 pm

Citing an economy that is "expanding moderately," an improving labor market and subdued inflation — but a housing sector that "remains depressed" — the Federal Reserve just announced it is holding to its current policy on short-term interest rates.

The central bank's policymakers also said they expect "moderate economic growth over coming quarters" and that the jobless rate will continue to "decline gradually."

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