National News

Kerry Appears To Signal Openness To Iran Role In Syria Talks

NPR News - Sun, 2014-01-05 09:55

The U.S. has long opposed an Iranian role in the so-called Geneva II talks later this month, but Secretary of State John Kerry's comments in Jerusalem may be the first sign that opposition is softening. Iran is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose forces are battling a range of rebel groups, some of them backed by the West.

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The Campaign For Jobless Benefits Begins In Congress

NPR News - Sun, 2014-01-05 08:58

Senate Democrats will ring in the New Year with a vote on a three-month extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed. Benefits for those jobless for more than six months expired on Dec. 28. Prospects for a revival of benefits are uncertain at best in the Senate, and the measure faces even bigger hurdles in the House.

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Pope Francis Says He'll Visit Holy Land In May

NPR News - Sun, 2014-01-05 08:50

He made the announcement Sunday while giving his weekly blessing at the Vatican. The trip would be the pope's second foreign trip, following his visit to Brazil in July 2013.

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Israel's Sharon Fights For Life, But Doctors 'Pessimistic'

NPR News - Sun, 2014-01-05 08:27

The head of the hospital where Ariel Sharon is being treated says the former Israeli prime minister is "fighting like a lion," but his condition is still critical. The 85-year-old has been in a coma since suffering a stroke in 2006.

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U.S. Icebreaker On The Way To Rescue Ships Trapped In Antarctic

NPR News - Sun, 2014-01-05 07:53

The Polar Star, a Coast Guard cutter, is expected to take seven days to reach the 123 crew members still stuck on the Russian and Chinese vessels. Meanwhile, the 52 scientists and paying passengers who were trapped aboard the Russian vessel are on their way home.

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No Relief Forecast After One Of California's Driest Years Ever

NPR News - Sun, 2014-01-05 07:10

While the East Coast is digging out from a major winter storm, California is praying for rain. The state just finished one of the driest years on record, and that has water managers, farmers and others worried.

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At Least 20 Dead In Baghdad Blasts; Fighting In Anbar Continues

NPR News - Sun, 2014-01-05 06:58

A wave of blasts in the capital targeted Shiite areas. The attacks come as Sunni militants step up their campaign against the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Al-Qaida-linked militants have taken over parts of Ramadi and Fallujah in Anbar province.

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New York Weighs Easing Limits On Marijuana Use

NPR News - Sun, 2014-01-05 06:00

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reportedly considering allowing the use of the drug for medicinal purposes. An announcement is expected Wednesday during his annual State of the State address. Medical marijuana is already legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

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'Polar Vortex' Brings Bitter Cold, Heavy Snow To U.S.

NPR News - Sun, 2014-01-05 05:22

The National Weather Service warns of "life-threatening wind chill" in the North and Central U.S. On top of the extreme temperatures, heavy snow is expected Sunday in parts of the Midwest.

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How Media Outlets Sometimes Agree To Agree

NPR News - Sun, 2014-01-05 05:08

Certain issues brook no dissent. But how do media outlets decide if and when a strong enough consensus has emerged to safely dismiss other viewpoints?

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Oh Say, Can You See? A Musical Salute

NPR News - Sun, 2014-01-05 01:33

You've heard it a thousand times, maybe 10,000. Is there any way to make "The Star-Spangled Banner" fresh? Even fascinating? There is (Jimi Hendrix aside). Here is a new one that did it for me — the Jon Batiste version.

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Some Women Decide Their Place Isn't In The Illegal Gun Trade

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-04 14:57

Women play an outsized role in the underground firearms marketplace. Often they handle illegal guns that are not for for their own use, but for men close to them. One Boston program is campaigning against gun violence, drawing connections between "crime guns" and domestic violence.

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Phil Everly: Harmony To His Brother's Melody

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-04 14:20

The Everly Brothers influenced an entire generation of popular musicians. Don's voice usually handled the melody, but Phil gave the higher accompanying harmony to that melody, which defined the brothers' sound. Phil Everly died Friday from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 74.

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Controversial Since Day 1, Bowl Championship Series To End

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-04 14:08

On Monday, the BCS National Championship featuring Florida State and Auburn University will mark the end of the confusing and controversial Bowl Championship Series. Dennis Dodd from CBS Sports speaks with NPR's Arun Rath about what this means for the future of NCAA football.

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Iraq's Anbar Province Under Threat From Al-Qaida

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-04 14:08

Heavy fighting has been reported in the Anbar province of Iraq this week. NPR's Arun Rath speaks to Middle East specialist Kirk Sowell about what it means.

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Saul Zaentz, Oscar Winner Who Feuded With John Fogerty, Dies

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-04 12:41

Zaentz produced few films, but three of them won "best picture" honors: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus and The English Patient. Before making films, he was in the music industry. He and Creedence Clearwater Revival's Fogerty had some bitter legal battles over the singer's songs.

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With Benefits Cut, Unemployed Take Stock Of Dwindling Options

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-04 11:59

Emergency unemployment insurance expired Dec. 28 for an estimated 1.3 million Americans. That includes more than 220,000 Californians. They responded with everything from returning Christmas presents for cash to packing up and leaving the state. Congress could still renew these emergency benefits, as they have multiple times since 2008.

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'No One Controls Fallujah,' Which U.S. Soldiers Fought To Free

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-04 11:07

Al-Qaida fighters are attacking police stations and local officials. Sunni militias, who have battled al-Qaida in the past, are exerting themselves in other parts of the city. Government forces have pulled back, allowing freedom of movement for fighters from all sides.

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Texas Man Becomes Unlikely CFO Of Ragged Kabul Orphanage

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-04 09:51

After decades of war in Afghanistan, the country has thousands of orphans. One home for these children ended up with an improbable benefactor — an Iranian-American who came to Kabul to do rule of law development work, and stumbled into a side project working with disabled orphans.

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Former First Lady Barbara Bush Released From Hospital

NPR News - Sat, 2014-01-04 09:39

She was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital on Monday for treatment of pneumonia. Bush, 88, responded well and is now at home, a family spokesman says.

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