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Updated: 1 hour 10 min ago

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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Jobs Pitchman Takes Labor Department's Show On the Road

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 2:27am

Raising the minimum wage, extending unemployment benefits and attacking income inequality are all on the Obama administration's domestic agenda. And they all fall under the purview of Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who has only been on the job since July.

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Scandal-Struck Christie To Meet With Sandy Victims

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 1:25am

Gov. Chris Christie, eager to get on with business amid a scandal over traffic jams that appear to have been manufactured by his aides, is meeting with homeowners affected by Superstorm Sandy. At the same time, the Legislature prepares to issue new subpoenas as part of its investigation.

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Obama Nominates Maria Contreras-Sweet To Head SBA

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 5:21pm

Born in Mexico, Contreras-Sweet was the first Latina to serve as a cabinet secretary in California when she led its Business, Transportation and Housing Agency from 1999-2003.

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House Republicans Join In Passing $1 Trillion Spending Bill

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 3:16pm

In a bipartisan compromise, lawmakers approved the 1,582-page spending bill. The Senate is expected to follow suit later this week.

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Senate Committee Lays Blame For Benghazi With State Department

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 3:02pm

The Senate Intelligence Committee has released a new bipartisan report on the 2012 Benghazi attack. The report finds that the attack was preventable. According to the committee, fault lies with the State Department for failing to provide adequate security or heed warnings about a deteriorating security situation. The committee claims that individuals associated with al-Qaida affiliates participated in the attack, but it stops short of saying the attack was pre-planned. The report also does not implicate the "core" al-Qaida leadership.

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Fed Vice Chairman Nominee Taught Bernanke And Many Others

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 3:00pm

President Obama has nominated Stanley Fischer to be vice chairman of the Federal Reserve. Fischer trained outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, and he spent much of the last decade running Israel's central bank. If confirmed, Fischer would take over the position being vacated by Janet Yellen, who was recently confirmed as Bernanke's successor.

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