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Updated: 26 min 22 sec ago

Week In Politics: West Virginia Chemical Spill And The NSA

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 3:00pm

Melissa Block speaks with our regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings institution, and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss President Obama's speech on NSA surveillance and the chemical spill in West Virginia

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NSA Reforms Are Big Or Small — Depending On Where You Look

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 3:00pm

NPR Justice Department correspondent Carrie Johnson discusses some of the most significant proposals detailed by President Obama on Friday. The president outlined changes to the way the National Security Administration conducts surveillance. In particular, he proposed modifications to one of the NSA's most controversial practices: the bulk collection of telephone records of calls made by Americans.

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President Obama Proposes Reforms To NSA Surveillance

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 3:00pm

After months of debate about the National Security Agency, President Obama delivered statements on Friday about how the agency collects intelligence. He declared that advances in technology had made it harder "to both defend our nation and uphold our civil liberties." He also announced changes to surveillance policies.

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Tom Coburn, GOP Budget Hawk And Obama Friend, To Leave Senate

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 2:47pm

The Oklahoma senator, a leading conservative, will retire two years early. He's battling cancer, but says his decision is based on his family and serving them by "shifting my focus elsewhere."

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Transcript Of President Obama's Speech On NSA Reforms

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 2:23pm

President Obama delivered the following speech on the results of the Signals Intelligence Review Jan. 17 at the Justice Department in Washington.

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Gen. Dempsey: Better To Get Others To Solve Their Own Problems

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 1:27pm

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff talks with NPR about why it's often better to advise and assist than to get involved militarily. And he looks at the Pentagon's looming budget crisis.

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Is Obama's Jobs 'Crusade' Focused?

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 10:00am

President Obama is hoping to create new manufacturing jobs across the country, but how easy is it to create quality jobs? Host Michel Martin checks in with the Barbershop guys for their take on the week's news.

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Happening Now: Obama Outlines NSA Changes

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 9:57am

Leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden have revealed a great deal about the NSA's surveillance programs. The president is laying out his thinking about what needs to be done differently.

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Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Struck Down

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 8:49am

The state's controversial law threatens the rights of hundreds of thousands of voters, a judge has ruled. His decision is almost sure to be appealed. Republicans champion the law, saying it's common sense to require such identification. Democrats say it targets minorities.

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Congress Blocks Slaughtering Horses For Meat In U.S.

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 7:20am

The omnibus spending bill approved by the Senate Thursday night contains language banning funding for USDA inspections of slaughterhouses for horses. That effectively stops plans to restart the slaughter of horses in the U.S. to export their meat abroad.

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Obama Expected To Say NSA Should Not Hold 'Metadata'

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 6:30am

One change that privacy advocates have been pushing for is that the NSA no longer store the records from millions of phone calls — including those of Americans. Officials are telling Reuters and NPR that the president will endorse the idea of having a third party, not the NSA, hold that data.

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NSA Oversight: Obama Wants Safeguards Against Potential Abuse

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:00pm

Even before Edward Snowden and his leaks made the NSA surveillance programs famous, President Obama had said he wanted a debate about the right balance between security and civil liberties. The Snowden revelations made sure he got one.

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Obama To Announce Changes To NSA Surveillance

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:00pm

The debate over the National Security Agency's surveillance programs and other secret NSA activities revealed by Edward Snowden has set the stage for an important speech by President Obama. What are the most pressing issues and most important questions the president needs to address on Friday when he speaks at the Department of Justice?

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Busy Week For Lawmakers Announcing Their Retirement

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:00pm

There were a flurry of retirement announcements from members of Congress this week. Renee Montagne talks to NPR political editor Charlie Mahtesian about what implications the retirements may have for the mid-term elections.

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With Senate's OK, $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill Heads To Obama

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 5:45pm

The wide-ranging federal spending bill will prevent any gaps in government funding as well as take some of the sting out of automatic spending cuts. The House approved it Wednesday.

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For Obama And Senate Democrats, The Goal Is Mutual Protection

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 3:37pm

For President Obama and Senate Democrats, it's all about mutual aid. The president needs their support to achieve whatever of his remaining agenda he can get through Congress. They need him to help raise money for their re-election campaigns.

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GOP's Gillespie Injects Intrigue Into Virginia Senate Race

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 3:00pm

Republican hopes of picking up the six seats needed to capture the U.S. Senate include a suddenly interesting race. Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican National Committee and a top White House aide to President George W. Bush, announced that he'll challenge popular Democratic Sen. Mark Warner.

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On Eve Of Obama's Recommendations, Intel Panel Member Talks NSA

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 3:00pm

Audie talks with Richard Clarke, a former U.S. cybersecurity adviser and member of President Obama's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies. On the day before the president is set to announce reforms to the government's surveillance activities, Clarke drops by to discuss the group's recommendations.

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When It Comes To Cuts, Pentagon Claims An Eye On The Future

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 3:00pm

The Pentagon responds to backlash about the veterans pension cuts included in the proposed congressional budget deal. The cuts, which extend to survivors' benefits and special compensation for combat, have riled veterans groups and several lawmakers.

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Veterans Groups Speak Out Against Pension Cuts

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 3:00pm

Veterans groups are upset about the cut to military pensions in the proposed budget deal. They see it as a broken promise and a sign that veterans are considered politically expendable.

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