National

The Two-Way
5:09 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Dying Stars Write Their Own Swan Songs

This composite image shows new details of the aftermath of a massive star that exploded and was visible from Earth over 1,000 years ago.
Chandra X-ray Observatory Center NASA

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 7:48 pm

Alicia Soderberg studies the death of stars. Often, these final moments come as violent explosions known as supernovae. They're spectacular events, but catching one as it unfolds can be tricky.

"You have to be in the right place at the right time, and often we're not," says the professor in Harvard's astronomy department. "So all you can do is do a stellar autopsy and go back and try to pick up the pieces and try to figure out what happened."

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Politics
5:09 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Minimum Wage Fight Takes Shape Across The Map

Trish Gallagher holds a sign for passing motorists to read during a demonstration in support of a higher minimum wage near a Burger King in Boston on Dec. 5. Massachusetts is one of several states considering a minimum wage ballot measure.
BRIAN SNYDER Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 7:19 pm

You never know where you might find a volunteer with a clipboard looking for signatures trying to get a voter referendum on the local ballot – like Ed Flanagan in the town of North Pole, Alaska.

"I'm out in what's called the North Pole transfer station. This facility has about 50 metal dumpsters arranged in a fenced area. Folks back up and throw their household trash in there. This is a very busy place," he says.

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Sports
5:09 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

A Story Of The Boston Marathon Bombing, As Told On Skates

Ross Miner skates during the men's short program at the 2013 Skate Canada International last year. He hopes to qualify for the upcoming Winter Olympics.
Dave Sandford Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 7:48 pm

Ross Miner is among those competing for a spot on the U.S. Men's figure skating team Friday night in Boston. He is a hometown favorite who is bringing some local flavor to his performance — he's going to tell the story of last year's Boston Marathon bombing.

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Politics
5:09 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Tech Companies 'Gob-Smacked' To Find NSA Collecting Data

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 7:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Changes are coming soon to the way the National Security Agency gathers information about people all over the globe. President Obama is slated to speak next Friday about what action he'll take to revamp the NSA surveillance programs, which were revealed in news leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The president has been meeting with stakeholders for several months, including executives from some of the biggest technology firms.

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Around the Nation
5:09 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Chemical Spill In West Virginia Leads To State Of Emergency

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 7:19 pm

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has declared a state of emergency in nine counties because of water contamination. Approximately 300,000 people have been affected as a chemical has leached into the water supply.

Law
5:09 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

U.S. Government Will Recognize Same-Sex Marriage In Utah

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 7:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The Department of Justice said today it will recognize more than a thousand same-sex marriages that took place in Utah recently. The announcement comes despite the state's questions about their validity. Utah is appealing an earlier court ruling that allowed the unions. From member station KUER in Salt Lake City, Terry Gildea has this report.

TERRY GILDEA, BYLINE: News of the federal government's recognition of gay married couples in Utah didn't change the minds of state officials.

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Business
2:46 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

What's Behind The Drop In Unemployment

Shoppers make a purchase at an outlet mall in Los Angeles. Employers added 55,000 jobs in the retail sector in December.
Gus Ruelas Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 3:20 pm

Whether you had a job or were looking for one, December was a gloomy month.

The Labor Department said Friday that for December, employers added only 74,000 jobs — about a third as many as most economists had been predicting. That was the lowest level of job creation in three years — not exactly the news that 10.4 million job seekers wanted to hear.

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Shots - Health News
2:42 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Half Of A Drug's Power Comes From Thinking It Will Work

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 3:37 pm

When you take a pill, you and your doctor hope it will work — and that helps it work.

That's not a new idea. But now researchers say they know just how much of a drug's effect comes from the patient's expectation: at least half.

When patients in the midst of a migraine attack took a dummy pill they thought was a widely used migraine drug, it reduced their pain roughly as much as when they took the real drug thinking it was a placebo.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Same-Sex Couples In Utah Made Eligible For Federal Benefits

Chris Serrano, left, and Clifton Webb embrace after being married on Dec. 20 in the Salt Lake County Clerk's Office in Salt Lake City.
Kim Raff AP

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 3:35 pm

"Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday that the federal government will recognize the 900-plus same-sex marriages that took place in Utah during the two weeks when such unions were legal," NPR's Nina Totenberg writes for us.

That means those couples "will be eligible for all federal benefits," NPR's Carrie Johnson adds.

In a statement, Holder says that:

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Shots - Health News
12:28 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Why Hospitals And Families Still Struggle To Define Death

Erick Munoz stands by a photo of his wife, Marlise Munoz, at home in Fort Worth, Texas, on Jan. 3. She is being kept on life support in a local hospital against the family's wishes.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram MCT via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 1:33 pm

Death seems one of life's few certainties, but the cases of a girl and a young woman who are being kept on life support even though they are legally dead show how difficult it still can be to agree on the end of life.

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