National

It's All Politics
9:26 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Friday Morning Political Mix: Monkeys, Donkeys and the NSA

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 10:48 am

Good morning.

Your erstwhile members of Congress are high-tailing it out of Washington for the weekend (no votes in the House, and the Senate took the day off but promises to return Monday).

But there's plenty to digest.

Fallout from Thursday's House hearing on computer problems marring the health care overhaul rollout. Across-the-pond anger over America's spying on allies. And, yes, donkeys. We'll get to that.

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The Two-Way
9:11 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Nigerian Rebels Reportedly Contact Pirates Who Seized U.S. Crew

A 2008 photo of the offshore supply ship C-Retriever.
Christian Serrano Courtesy of ShipSpotting.com

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 11:43 am

Rebels in Nigeria are reportedly in contact with pirates holding two U.S. crewmen seized earlier this week from the offshore supply vessel C-Retriever, The Associated Press reports.

According to the AP, an email reportedly from the rebel group Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta says the men were captured off the coast of the Nigerian town of Brass, but there were no details of demands or a ransom.

Officials have said the captain and an engineer from the U.S.-flagged vessel were seized during an attack in the Gulf of Guinea on Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
7:34 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Norway Says It Can't Destroy Syria's Chemical Weapons

A convoy of United Nations vehicles at the Lebanon-Syria Masnaa border crossing on Oct. 1 as a chemical weapons disarmament team awaited entry into Syria.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 11:41 am

Norway has turned down a U.S. request to take on the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons, saying it lacks the capabilities to carry out the task.

The country's foreign ministry said it had given "serious and thorough consideration" to the U.S. query but that "due to time constraints and external factors, such as capacities, [and] regulatory requirements," Norway would be unable to fulfill the request.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Fri October 25, 2013

France, Germany Want To Set New Rules For Surveillance

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right) talks with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta on the second day of an European Council meeting in Brussels on Friday.
John Thys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 11:52 am

This post was updated at 10:15 a.m.

A day after reports surfaced that the NSA may have spied on dozens of world leaders, France and Germany are offering to hold talks with the U.S. to establish new rules on surveillance.

"What is at stake is preserving our relations with the United States," French President Francois Hollande said at an EU summit in Brussels, according to The Associated Press.

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Business
3:27 am
Fri October 25, 2013

A Family Bible And Other Heirlooms, Found Online

This poster from 1904 describes Charles Jamieson as a petty thief, crap shooter, "glib talker and general all-around crook and hobo." An online business helps reunite people like Jamieson's descendants with such pieces of their family history.
Joy Shivar

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:43 am

At the recent International Collectibles and Antiques Show in Charlotte, N.C., dealers spread out items in different booths. The warehouse looks like an old-school flea market, except for Joy Shivar's booth.

She's on her laptop, demonstrating JustAJoy.com. Enter a name in a database, and see if something hits.

The website bills itself as a family heirloom exchange for sellers and buyers. That's not unusual — there is eBay, after all.

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Health
3:27 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Clinics Close As Texas Abortion Fight Continues

In July, abortion rights advocates marched in Austin, Texas, to protest legislation that could shut down all but five abortion clinics and restrict abortion rights throughout the state.
Tamir Kalifa AP

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 10:52 am

The fight over abortion in Texas is being played out in federal court, where abortion rights activists are challenging a new state law.

The measure bans abortions at 20 weeks, adds building requirements for clinics and places more rules on doctors who perform abortions. Some clinics have shut down, saying they can't comply with the law set to go into effect Oct. 29.

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U.S.
3:26 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Newtown Residents Demolish A School, And Violent Memories

In June, people gathered in Newtown, Conn., to remember the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 9:55 am

Demolition has begun at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a gunman killed 20 students and six adults last December. Bricks will be pulverized, steel melted down and a new school built at the same location.

Allison Hornak attended Sandy Hook Elementary School as a kid. After college, she returned home to Newtown, Conn., and opened an art gallery that's within walking distance of where the mass killing took place.

Hornak says she has a lot of fond memories of Sandy Hook — like a teacher who let her chew gum in class, and the pathways through the school.

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Around the Nation
3:23 am
Fri October 25, 2013

How To Solve A Sky-High Commuting Conundrum

Commuters headed to Oregon Health and Science University use cars, bikes and streetcars to connect with Portland's aerial tram, which whisks them up and over south waterfront neighborhoods.
David P. Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 5:03 pm

This story is part of a series on commuting in America.

Imagine a hospital on top of a mountain. How would doctors and patients get in and out? In Portland, Ore., commuters don't have to drive up a twisty, two-lane road to get there. Instead, they glide up 500 feet in the air in a gleaming silver gondola.

Portland's aerial tram connects the south waterfront down near the river to the Oregon Health and Science University on top of Marquam Hill.

For nurse Sara Hone, it has changed her commute. "I love it. I can't imagine a time without it," she says.

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U.S.
6:21 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Feds Recast Child Prostitutes As Victims, Not Criminals

The FBI and Department of Justice are working to encourage local law enforcement agencies to view child prostitutes as potential human trafficking victims rather than criminals.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 1:48 pm

Across the country, newly formed task forces made up of local, state and federal law enforcement officers are starting to view what was once seen as run-of-the-mill prostitution as possible instances of sex trafficking.

With support and funding from the FBI and the Justice Department, agencies are starting to work together to identify and rescue sex trafficking victims and arrest their pimps.

The new approach is being hailed by victims of trafficking and their advocates as a much-needed paradigm shift — and, the FBI says, is reaping results.

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Shots - Health News
6:16 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

FDA Seeks To Tighten Controls On Hydrocodone Painkillers

Hydrocodone, sold as Vicodin and other brand names, may face tighter restrictions on prescribing and use.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 6:50 pm

The Food and Drug Administration Thursday announced that it wants the federal government to impose tough new restrictions on some of the most widely used prescription painkillers.

The FDA said it planned to recommend that Vicodin and other prescription painkillers containing the powerful opioid hydrocodone be reclassified from a "Schedule III" drug to a "Schedule II" drug, which would impose new restrictions on how they are prescribed and used.

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