National

U.S.
5:34 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Laws Tightening Abortion Rules Gain Traction In States

Dr. Howard Novick says new abortion restrictions in Texas could force him to close the Houston clinic he opened in 1980. He says he doesn't have the more than $1 million required to convert his office into a surgical center with wide corridors and sophisticated airflow systems.
Pat Sullivan AP

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:31 pm

A judge has temporarily blocked a North Dakota law that would have banned abortions beginning around six weeks, when a fetal heartbeat is detectable. It's one of several state laws passed this year intended to limit abortion.

Those backing the new rules say they will make abortions safer. But abortion-rights advocates say the laws are about politics, not safety.

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Parallels
5:28 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

With An Assist From Smugglers, Cuban Players Make It To U.S.

Cuban baseball players have been defecting to the U.S. in growing numbers over the past two decades. Increasingly, smugglers play a role in getting the players off the island, U.S. baseball agents say.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 8:55 pm

Cigars aren't the only thing smuggled out of Cuba these days.

Cuban baseball players are also a hot commodity, and sports agents in the U.S. say the process is increasingly dominated by smugglers who track down players willing to defect and find surreptitious ways to deliver them to the United States.

"The whole business got pretty much taken over by smugglers," says former baseball agent Joe Kehoskie.

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Shots - Health News
4:19 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Obama Turns To Comedians To Promote Health Coverage

Comedian Sarah Silverman helped get out the vote for Obama in 2008 and 2012.
YouTube

Who needs jocks when you've got Jennifer Hudson and Amy Poehler?

That seems to be the message coming out of the White House following a star-studded meeting yesterday led by White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. Its mission: Figure out how to help promote the Affordable Care Act.

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Middle East
4:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Dempsey Wary Of U.S. Involvement In Syria

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, has outlined the costs and benefits of the military options the U.S. is considering for Syria. The options include training rebels, military strikes and establishing a no-fly-zone. Dempsey offered his assessment in a letter to the top Senator on the Armed Services Committee. He noted there would be "unintended consequences" to any action, a reference to the past decade of military action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Around the Nation
4:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

With Miles Of Blight, What's The Best Way To Reimagine Detroit?

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

Melissa Block talks to Dan Kinkead, executive director of Detroit Future City, about how the sprawling and bankrupt city can start from scratch and reimagine its liabilities into assets.

The Impact of War
4:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Backlog Of Benefit Claims A Big Problem For VA

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

More than two million Americans fought in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the vast majority of U.S. veterans, about 20 million, served in earlier wars - World War II, Korea, Vietnam. And they are the vets who filled up the hall today at the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

JOHN HAMILTON: Comrades, I present to you a fellow combat veteran.

BLOCK: That's Vietnam vet John Hamilton, the head of the VFW, introducing another Vietnam vet.

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Space
4:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

NASA Uses Photo Of Earth From Saturn To Boost Space Interest

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 11:29 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This week, NASA is trying to do its part to raise science literacy. To give people a better understanding of Earth's position in the solar system, the agency's posted a picture of our planet taken from a billion miles away, give or take 100 million miles or so. And joining me now to talk about the picture, and why NASA took it, is NPR's Joe Palca. Joe, good to see you.

JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Good to see you.

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Education
4:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Teachers Hit The Books To Master New Education Standards

Teacher Karen Pate assists math teachers with Common Core materials in Baltimore. As in other states, Maryland teachers are attending trainings to prepare to implement the new standards this fall.
Gwendolyn Glenn WYPR

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

Almost all the states and Washington, D.C., are grappling with a big challenge as the new school year nears: getting teachers up to speed on the Common Core, a sweeping set of new education standards for English language arts and math.

The Common Core will soon apply to most of America's students from kindergarten through high school. The policymakers behind the Core know that it could fail if they don't help teachers make the change. So this summer, the state of Maryland has been hosting what it calls "academies" to do just that.

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Business
4:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Steve Cohen Fights Back Against Claims Of Insider Trading

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

Billionaire Steven Cohen is fighting back. He faces federal charges that he didn't do enough to prevent insider trading at his hedge fund SAC Capital. As The Wall Street Journal reported this morning, Cohen's firm issued a rebuttal, claiming that he never saw an email that's an important part of the government's case.

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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All Tech Considered
3:41 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

See The 10 States With The Fastest Internet Connections

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 4:15 pm

Vermont, New Hampshire and Delaware get a notable benefit of being small: faster Internet connections. In the latest Akamai State of the Internet Report, they top the list of states with the fastest average connection speeds, and make the top 10 states with fastest peak connection speeds, too.

Check out the rankings, which include download speeds measured in megabits per second, and the year-on-year change for those numbers.

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