National

Around the Nation
5:19 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Hostage Situation Weighs On Midland City, Alabama

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 12:09 pm

It's been almost a week since the first reports that a man had shot and killed a school bus driver, snatched a five-year-old boy off the bus and is holding him hostage in an underground bunker. Grief and the slow pace of negotiations with the suspect have frayed nerves in the close-knit, rural community.

Around the Nation
5:19 am
Mon February 4, 2013

'Odd Fellows' Work Together On Overhauling Immigration

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 12:09 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The movement to overhaul the nation's immigration system is gathering steam. A bipartisan group of senators and the White House have put forward proposals for comprehensive reform.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Those plans would give undocumented workers a way to come out of the shadows and become legal. They would create a better system for foreigners who want come to the U.S. in years to come, and they would beef up border security.

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Economy
5:19 am
Mon February 4, 2013

U.S., E.U Bilateral Trade Deal 'Is Within Our Reach'

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 12:09 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with talk of a free-trade zone.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: All right. With both sides of the Atlantic suffering economic woes, there is new interest in a free-trade zone between the United States and the European Union.

As Teri Schultz reports, the idea has come up before and hasn't gone anywhere.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
3:36 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Foreclosure Process Hammers Florida's Housing Market

A sign hangs outside a house in Miami in 2010. Currently, Florida's foreclosure legal process can take a couple of years, which critics say is hurting the housing market.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 12:09 pm

A decade ago, speculators in Florida were pumping up a huge housing bubble.

"You couldn't go wrong," Tampa real estate attorney Charlie Hounchell says. In that overheated period from 2001 to 2006, "you could buy a house and make $100,000 a year later by selling it," he says.

But the party ended in 2007 and the hangover persists. The state now has the highest foreclosure rate in the country, beating out Nevada for the first time in five years.

Experts say the legal process in Florida is the key reason for the sluggish pace of foreclosures there.

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World
3:34 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Tsunami Debris On Alaska's Shores Like 'Standing In Landfill'

Trash, much of it believed to be debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, litters the beach on Montague Island, Alaska, on Jan. 26.
Annie Feidt for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 10:51 am

Refrigerators, foam buoys and even ketchup bottles are piling up on Alaska's beaches. Almost two years after the devastating Japanese tsunami, its debris and rubbish are fouling the coastlines of many states — especially in Alaska.

At the state's Montague Island beach, the nearly 80 miles of rugged wilderness looks pristine from a helicopter a few thousand feet up. But when you descend, globs of foam come into view.

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Energy
3:33 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Are Mini-Reactors The Future Of Nuclear Power?

The reactor room at Babcock & Wilcox's prototype reactor outside Lynchburg, Va. The reactor vessel is behind the orange curtain.
Ben Bradford WFAE

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 12:15 pm

The U.S. government is investing millions of dollars in what it considers a promising new industry for American manufacturing: nuclear reactors. The plan is to build hundreds of mini-reactors, dot them around the U.S. and export them overseas.

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Health
6:16 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

Health Care Aides Await Labor Decision On Minimum Wage

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 4:11 pm

Home health care aides are waiting to find out if they will be entitled to receive minimum wage. A decades-old amendment in labor law means that the workers, approximately 2.5 million people, do not always receive minimum wage or overtime.

The Obama administration has yet to formally approve revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act that would change that classification.

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Animals
3:13 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

Wood Stork's Endangered Status Is Up In The Air

A wood stork soars over its nest in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near Fort Myers, Fla., in 2008, as baby wood storks wait in their nest for an adult to bring food.
Peter Andrew Bosch MCT /Landov

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 6:16 pm

The last few years have been especially tough in South Florida for wading birds such as egrets, herons, ibises and wood storks that feed and nest in the region's wetlands.

The problem is there are fewer wetlands, and the last few years have been dry, reducing water levels in critical areas.

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The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

Gun-Control Battle Spills Over To Super Bowl Ads

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 12:49 pm

Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is airing a 30-second spot in the Washington, D.C., area calling for background checks on all gun sales.

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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Man Charged In Death Of 'American Sniper' Author

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 3:40 pm

A 25-year-old man has been charged with killing the author of American Sniper and another person at a Texas gun range.

Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle wrote American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, a best-seller that detailed his more than 150 kills of insurgents between 1999 and 2009. He also set up FITCO Cares, a nonprofit that helps soldiers deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.

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