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Updated: 23 min 56 sec ago

A Newsprint Shortage Hobbles Venezuelan Media

Fri, 2014-01-17 13:00

Venezuela is running out of newsprint and newspapers are shutting down. Media outlets say that it's another form of harassment by a government that often doesn't like what independent media reports.

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In The Long Wait For Aid From Washington, Job Hunters Despair

Fri, 2014-01-17 13:00

After failing to agree upon an extension for federal jobless benefits to the long-term unemployed, Congress is vowing to keep trying. The help can't come soon enough for many of the 1.4 million unemployed who saw their checks suddenly cut off last month.

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Ruling May Mean Bankruptcy For New Orleans School System

Fri, 2014-01-17 13:00

An appeals court ruled against the New Orleans public school system this week — a decision that could bankrupt the Orleans Parish public schools. The five-judge panel ruled that the school board wrongly terminated some 7,000 teachers and other school employees after Hurricane Katrina. For more information, Melissa Block speaks with education reporter Sarah Carr, who has written a book on the changes to the New Orleans school system after Katrina.

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Jerry Brown Declares A Drought Emergency In California

Fri, 2014-01-17 13:00

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency on Friday, amid growing concerns about future water supplies for residents and for farmers. Brown called for a 20 percent voluntary reduction in water use and eased water transfer rights between farmers. However, mandatory measures will still be left to local communities to impose, for now.

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Christie Flies To Florida, Followed By Questions

Fri, 2014-01-17 13:00

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will visit Florida this weekend to raise money for Gov. Rick Scott, his first major fundraising trip as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. The trip may answer some questions about how the scandal over lane closures at the George Washington Bridge will affect his path to the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

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Foreign Fighters Flood Both Sides In Syrian War

Fri, 2014-01-17 13:00

When peace talks open in Switzerland, one common concern between the West and Syria is expected to be the threat of Islamist extremists and the rise of al-Qaida-linked militias. Thousands of Sunni militants from around the world have joined the rebel groups in Syria, but there are other groups of militant foreign fighters who support the Syrian regime. Iraqi Shiites are being recruited in the thousands to bolster Syria's armed forces. Recruiting billboards and social media help portray the fight as an existential battle between Sunnis and Muslims.

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Week That Was: Smart Fridge Hack, Net Neutrality And The NSA

Fri, 2014-01-17 12:54

Your weekly roundup of tech headlines from NPR and publications around the country, including more credit card security breaches and the latest developments with the "Internet of Things." We asked what was in the hacked fridge, but — spoiler alert (pun intended) — we didn't find out.

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

Fri, 2014-01-17 12:47

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

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Pope Benedict Reportedly Defrocked Hundreds Of Priests For Abuse

Fri, 2014-01-17 12:30

The defrockings reportedly took place before the election of Pope Francis in March of 2013. The data was reportedly collected to help church officials testify before a U.N. panel.

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What's Inside This Mystery House In North Carolina?

Fri, 2014-01-17 11:45

From the outside, it's just another 1970s-era house with white columns and green shutters. Thousands drive past the split-level in Raleigh every month without a second glance. And that's just what its owners intended — because this house is far more unusual than its appearance would suggest.

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

Fri, 2014-01-17 11:27

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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Analysts: Credit Card Hacking Goes Much Further Than Target

Fri, 2014-01-17 10:38

Retail analysts say more data breaches like the hits on Target and Neiman Marcus are coming. A new report details how hackers "with ties to the former Soviet Union" stay ahead with "innovation and a high degree of skill."

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Diet Soda: Fewer Calories In The Glass May Mean More On The Plate

Fri, 2014-01-17 10:32

The latest evidence that artificially sweetened drinks may be making us hungrier? Heavier-set people who choose diet beverages are making up the calorie gap at meals and through snacks — especially sweet ones, researchers report.

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Water's Back On For Just About Everyone In West Virginia

Fri, 2014-01-17 10:24

Eight days after a chemical spill led authorities to warn 300,000 people not to use the water coming from their taps, the all-clear has been given. Only those in a few small towns are still being cautioned.

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Do You Have What It Takes To Get A Chinese Driver's License?

Fri, 2014-01-17 09:48

Everyone who applies for a driver's license in China must take a written test; 90 percent is considered passing. The test consists of 100 questions drawn from a pool of nearly 1,000. The test is particularly tough for foreigners — due to the volume of memorization and often sketchy translations.

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How I Flunked China's Driving Test ... Three Times

Fri, 2014-01-17 09:43

NPR's Frank Langfitt recently decided to apply for a driver's license in China. Since he already has a U.S. license, the main requirement was passing a computerized test on Chinese rules of the road. He's been driving for decades, and figured it would be a breeze. He was wrong.

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One Downside Of Home Wart Treatments: Bursting Into Flames

Fri, 2014-01-17 09:09

Home wart-freezing devices can spark fires, the Food and Drug Administration warns, and people have been burned. People also can be injured by using these frostbite-inducing tools too enthusiastically, dermatologists say, damaging skin as a result.

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India Unveils Handgun For Women After Much-Publicized Rapes

Fri, 2014-01-17 09:05

The .32-caliber weapon comes amid a spate of reports about rapes in the country. The gun is named for the victim of a 2012 gang rape and murder in New Delhi. But reaction to the Nirbheek has been mixed.

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Researchers Are Totes Studying How Ppl Shorten Words On Twitter

Fri, 2014-01-17 08:20

The team at Dartmouth College mined 180 million tweets from 900,000 users to understand word clippings — like "awks" as "awkward." The researchers want to understand how such words originate and how they spread.

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News Match Game: Leaders And Tweeters

Fri, 2014-01-17 08:11

Politicians of the world have caught on to the fact that Twitter can help get out the party line.

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