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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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Lawmakers Roll Out Voting Rights Act Fix

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 2:52pm

A bipartisan group of lawmakers took the first step Thursday to patch a gaping hole in the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In June, the Supreme Court eviscerated a key part of the law that allowed for federal oversight of states with a history of discrimination at the ballot box.

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State Health Coverage Sign-Ups Paint A Complex Obamacare Picture

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 2:30pm

Health insurance markets vary across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each one is implementing the health law with varying degrees of failure, success, enthusiasm and hostility. The differences in sign-ups tell the tale.

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Doctors Say Reid Request For Bowel Research Money No Joke

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:29pm

In his new book, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates jabs Sen. Harry Reid for urging Defense Department research on irritable bowel syndrome. But the illness has been a plague on many Gulf War veterans.

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Obama's NSA Speech: Just What Eisenhower Warned About?

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:43am

VIDEO: On Jan. 17, 1961, Ike spoke to the nation about a military-industrial complex. He said "an alert and knowledgeable citizenry" must help safeguard security and liberty. Friday, exactly 53 years later, Obama will speak about surveillance programs that critics say threaten civil liberties.

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In 'Year Of Action,' What Can President Obama Do?

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:00am

President Obama has been pressing forward with his economic agenda, and trying to move beyond the controversy over surveillance by the National Security Agency. Host Michel Martin talks about these and other political headlines with NPR Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving, and Callie Crossley, host of Under the Radar on member station WGBH in Boston.

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White House Seeks Ways To Get Poor Kids Through College

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 7:52am

The Obama administration is convening a summit Thursday, looking for ideas not only to increase college enrollment among low-income students, but strategies for guiding them all the way through to graduation.

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