National

The Two-Way
10:02 am
Tue December 10, 2013

GM Says Its First Female CEO Will Take Over Next Month

General Motors executive Mary Barra, seen here in January, will become the automaker's first female CEO. She will replace Dan Akerson, 65, who is retiring.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 2:18 pm

Mary Barra will become the new leader of General Motors in January, the company announced Tuesday. A longtime GM veteran, Barra is currently an executive vice president; her tenure as CEO will begin after current leader Dan Akerson retires on Jan. 15.

Barra, 51, works in the company's global product development unit. She will soon become the first woman to lead a major automaker, as The Detroit Free Press reports.

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Shots - Health News
9:43 am
Tue December 10, 2013

To Get Kids Exercising, Schools Are Becoming Creative

Students at Northeast Elementary Magnet, in Danville, Ill., play around. Fewer than 1 in 5 parents polled said their kids were getting physical education daily.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 2:42 pm

Avery Stackhouse, age 7, of Lafayette, Calif., says he wishes he had more time for phys ed.

"We just have it one day a week — on Monday." There's always lunch and recess, he says. "We play a couple of games, like football and soccer," he tells Shots.

But at Happy Valley Elementary, where he goes to school, recess lasts only 15 minutes and lunch is 45. Between eating and mingling, he says, "there's only a few minutes left where we play games and all that."

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Business
7:29 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Treasury Department Sells Its Stake In GM

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 12:11 pm

The U.S. Department of Treasury has gotten out of the auto business. The government completed its sales of stock in General Motors on Monday.

Law
7:29 am
Tue December 10, 2013

LA Sheriff's Deputies Face Charges Of Inmate Abuse

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 12:11 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And here in Los Angeles this morning, 18 current and former deputy sheriffs are facing federal charges. They're accused of corruption and abusing inmates being held in the largest jail system in the country.

NPR's Kirk Siegler reports.

KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: Federal authorities are accusing the L.A. sheriff's deputies of a pattern of excessive force and civil rights violations inside L.A. County's main downtown jails.

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Business
7:29 am
Tue December 10, 2013

High Stakes For Banks As Volcker Rule Is Finalized

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 12:11 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News, I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Federal regulators have unveiled the final version of what has come to be called the Volcker Rule. It's a big part of the financial reform that went into affect three years ago. It's taken all those years to come up with the language that will set new limits on the kinds of trading that banks can do and cannot do. NPR's Jim Zarolli joins us now to talk about this. Hi Jim.

JIM ZAROLLI, BYLINE: Hi.

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National Security
7:29 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Surveillance Revelations Give Creative Writers Pause

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 12:11 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

For much of this year we've been hearing headlines effectively saying the government is spying on you. Spy agencies like the National Security Agency gather and store phone records, vacuum up emails by the billions, listen in on foreign leaders' telephone conversations and more. Now a nonprofit writers group, the PEN American Center, is exploring whether the fear of surveillance is affecting creative expression.

It's a question our colleague, David Greene, wanted to explore.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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U.S.
6:09 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Leaked Documents Show Government Spying On Fantasy Games

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 12:11 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Spying on Your Second Life.

We already know our personal lives aren't safe from NSA surveillance. Turns out, neither are our virtual lives.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A new leak from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden reveals that intelligence agencies spied on popular online fantasy games like "Second Life" and "World of Warcraft."

An NSA analyst writes, quote, "These games offer realistic weapons training." Like, say, how to cleave an orc with an ax.

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U.S.
5:12 am
Tue December 10, 2013

For Veterans, 'Bad Paper' Is A Catch-22 For Treatment

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 11:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In many ways, military veterans hold a privileged place in American society, but not all vets have access to what goes along with that privilege. In the past decade of war, more than 100,000 men and women left the military with less than honorable discharges, many due to bad conduct related to post traumatic stress disorder. Once they're kicked out of the military, they lose access to benefits like treatment for PTSD.

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The Two-Way
7:07 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Congress Renews Ban On X-Ray-Evading Plastic Guns

Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Bill Nelson of Florida talk to reporters about their effort to renew the ban on plastic firearms, at the Capitol on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 7:56 pm

Congress voted to renew a ban on plastic firearms that can skirt airport detectors, but Republican lawmakers blocked efforts to tighten the restrictions.

The Senate approved the measure by a voice vote hours before it would have expired at midnight. The House voted last week to renew the ban.

As The Associated Press reports:

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It's All Politics
6:45 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Ethics Panel Hands Down Holiday Gift Rules — In Rhyme

The U.S. Capitol Christmas tree is lit against the early morning sky on Dec. 4.
J. David Ake AP

Time was when business-suited Santas would spend December roaming the corridors of Congress, bestowing all sorts of goodies upon their elected friends, prospective friends and staffers: baskets of food, bottles of booze, even high-priced tickets to sports events.

That last item is the kind of thing that sent uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff to prison. It also brought the House of Representatives a new set of ethics rules — stern and often complex limits on accepting gifts.

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