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Stories for December 12, 2013

Momentum Building For Covered California Online Enrollment

Dec. 12
By Kenny Goldberg
2 Comments
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To date, 403,000 Californians have completed their applications for health insurance online. Exchange officials said a majority of applicants report the process has been easy.

American Who Disappeared In Iran Reportedly Worked For CIA

Dec. 12
Scott Neuman / NPR
0 Comments
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The Associated Press reports in an investigative piece that an ex-FBI agent who disappeared in Iran in 2007 and was last seen in a "proof of life" photograph more than two years ago had been working for the CIA, despite official denials from the U.S.

Sen. Boxer Introduces Bill To Improve Short-Term Detention At Borders

Dec. 12
By Jill Replogle
2 Comments
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U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer has introduced a bill that would require U.S. Customs and Border Protection to set standards for holding people in short-term custody.

Wireless Companies, FCC Reach Deal On 'Unlocking' Cell Phones

Dec. 12
Laura Sydell / NPR
0 Comments

U.S. wireless carriers reached a deal with the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday that will make it easier for consumers to "unlock" their mobile phones and use them on a competitor's network.

House Approves Budget Deal; Compromise Heads To Senate

Dec. 12
Bill Chappell / NPR
0 Comments
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The House has approved a bipartisan budget deal to cut around $23 billion from the federal deficit over 10 years while removing the threat of a possible government shutdown until 2015. A shutdown deadline had loomed for Jan. 15.

Conservative Grass Roots Remains Skeptical Of Budget Deal

Dec. 12
Alan Greenblatt / NPR
0 Comments
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John Boehner has had it with fielding complaints from the right.

Federal Judge Orders Removal Of Mt. Soledad Cross

Dec. 12
By Claire Trageser and City News Service
36 Comments
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A federal judge declared Thursday the San Diego government's display of the 43-foot-tall cross on Mt. Soledad is unconstitutional and should be removed.

Boehner Blasts Tea Party Groups Over Budget Deal Criticism

Dec. 12
Frank James / NPR
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Some moments feel like turning points. Speaker John Boehner's rhetorical takedown of his party's Tea Party faction seems like one such moment.

Secret U.S. Stealth Drone Flies Out Of The Shadows

Dec. 12
Scott Neuman / NPR
0 Comments

In retrospect, it should come as no surprise that this story did not immediately appear on our radar: Last week, Aviation Week reported that the classified RQ-180 stealth drone has begun test flights at Area 51.

Navy Investigator To Plead Guilty In Fraud Case

Dec. 12
Associated Press
0 Comments

A senior Navy investigator plans to plead guilty to bribery charges tied to a massive scheme involving an Asian defense contractor accused of overbilling the Pentagon millions of dollars, his lawyer said Thursday.

Long Island Wins Ultimate Faceoff Against Hurricane Sandy

Dec. 12
Christopher Joyce / NPR
0 Comments
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Hurricane Sandy last year did more harm to coastal cities and homes than any hurricane in U.S. history, except Katrina. Most of that damage has been repaired. But there's other damage that people can't see to the underwater coastline, known as the shore face.

Family Of Ga. Teen Found Dead In A Gym Mat Pushes For Answers

Dec. 12
Kathy Lohr / NPR
0 Comments
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Activists from across the country are asking Georgia's governor to support an investigation into the death of Kendrick Johnson, a 17-year-old discovered dead in a high school gymnasium almost a year ago. His body was found in a rolled-up gym mat.

Why Meningitis That Hit Princeton Is Hard To Beat With Vaccines

Dec. 12
Maanvi Singh / NPR
0 Comments
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There's been a lot of talk about meningitis B lately. That's the type responsible for outbreaks at Princeton and the University of California in Santa Barbara.

HAPPY

Dec. 12
0 Comments
HAPPY Tease photo

From 
the
 Academy
 Award® 
nominated 
director 
Roko 
Belic 
("Genghis
 Blues")
 comes 
a 
new
 cinematic 
adventure.
 "HAPPY" 
is
 a
 feature‐length 
documentary 
that
 leads 
viewers
 on
 a
 journey
 across 
five 
continents 
in
 search 
of 
the
 keys 
to 
happiness. 
The 
film 
addresses 
many 
of
 the
 fundamental
 issues 
we 
face
 in
 today’s
 society:
 how
 do 
we
 balance
 the 
allure 
of 
money,
 fame
 and
 social
 status 
with
 our
 needs 
for
 strong 
relationships,
 health
 and
 personal
 fulfillment?
 Through 
remarkable 
human 
stories 
and 
cutting‐edge
 science, 
"HAPPY" 
leads 
us 
toward
 a
 deeper
 understanding
 of
 why
 and
 how 
we
 can
 pursue
 more 
fulfilling,
 healthier 
and
 happier 
lives.

African-American Gun Club Hopes To Help Curb Youth Violence

Dec. 12
Allison Keyes / NPR
0 Comments
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More than 200 people have been killed this year in Baltimore. Most of them were black, and most of them were shot to death, despite Maryland having one of the nation's toughest gun laws. This comes two years after the city recorded its lowest murder rate in more than two decades.

Camp Pendleton Marine Killed In Afghanistan

Dec. 12
By Beth Ford Roth
2 Comments
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Camp Pendleton Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew R. Rodriguez, 19, was killed Dec. 11 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, during combat operations.

A Rush To Reconcile Health Enrollment Data, By Hand

Dec. 12
Elise Hu / NPR
0 Comments
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With just a few weeks left before a deadline to get health coverage, lingering bugs lurk in the part of HealthCare.gov that you can't see. And since time is running out to get things right, health officials on Thursday urged insurance companies to cover some enrollees even if their premium checks haven't come in.

Escondido Golf Course Fate To Be Decided By Property Rights Case

Dec. 12
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
0 Comments
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A battle over property rights in Escondido is headed to court. The case involves the defunct Escondido Country Club golf course and the city of Escondido. The golf course owner wants to develop the property; the city has designated it open space.

California Population Growth Rate Highest In Years

Dec. 12
Associated Press
1 Comment
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New figures show that over the last year, California's population grew by the highest rate in nearly a decade.

Phone Calls On Flights? FCC Holds Open Meeting Today

Dec. 12
Bill Chappell / NPR
0 Comments
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Americans will soon have a chance to comment on the Federal Communications Commission's proposal to allow in-flight cellphone use on commercial airliners. The agency is holding an open meeting Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET to discuss rules that would allow voice calls while jetliners are in the air -- something that's been forbidden on U.S. flights.

Boy Abandoned Near Border Reunited With Mother

Dec. 12
Monica Ortiz Uribe / Fronteras Desk
0 Comments
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A toddler who was abandoned near the New Mexico border earlier this week was reunited with his mother.

UCSD Study Shows Brain Trauma Increases PTSD Risk In Marines

Dec. 12
By Beth Ford Roth
0 Comments
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Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) suffered by active-duty Marines deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan is greatest indicator of whether the Marines will later be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a new study by UC San Diego School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System.

Arizona Detective Resigns Over Resident Status

Dec. 12
Associated Press
3 Comments

A detective for Arizona's state police force has resigned following the discovery that she was living in the country illegally after being brought to the U.S. from Mexico by her family at a young age.

come on down to congress! bob barker endorses in fla. race pbs, npr, ncaa, nfl

Dec. 12
Adam Wollner / NPR
0 Comments
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Former Price Is Right host Bob Barker wants Florida voters to come on down to the polls for Republican David Jolly next month.

Hawaiian Official Who Released Obama's Birth Certificate Dies

Dec. 12
Mark Memmott / NPR
0 Comments
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Loretta Fuddy, a Hawaiian health official who in 2011 was briefly in the national spotlight when she verified the authenticity of President Obama's birth certificate and authorized the release of information about it, died Wednesday in the crash of a small plane off the island of Molokai.

Sriracha Maker Told To Hold Its Sauce For 30 Days

Dec. 12
Mark Memmott / NPR
0 Comments
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Already under orders from a court to partially shut down production because of concerns that spicy smells from its Irwindale, Calif., plant are irritating neighbors' eyes, noses and throats, Huy Fong Foods has now been told it can't ship its Sriracha hot sauce until at least 30 days after bottling.

Tagging Along On A Wisconsin Man's Odyssey To Buy Insurance

Dec. 12
Richard Knox / NPR
0 Comments

Enrollment is picking up in new health insurance marketplaces. But the 365,000 who've signed up as of November 30 is a fraction of just one high-visibility group - those whose previous insurance has been cancelled because it didn't meet Affordable Care Act standards.

18,000 San Diegans Stand To Lose Federal Unemployment Benefits By Year's End

Dec. 12
By Susan Murphy
0 Comments
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Federal extended unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of the month for more than 18,000 people in San Diego who have been jobless for six months or more.

Cartel Members Get Prison For Conspiring To Kidnap San Diego Drug Dealers

Dec. 12
Associated Press
0 Comments

Three members of a Mexican drug cartel who pleaded guilty to planning to abduct three drug dealers who owed them money have been sentenced to spend several years in U.S. federal prison.

Explosions May Be Heard From Camp Pendleton Due To Bombing Practice

Dec. 12
City News Service
0 Comments

Explosions may be heard from Camp Pendleton Thursday as Marine Corps pilots practice bombing.

Big Jump In Jobless Claims Blamed On Seasonal Factors

Dec. 12
Mark Memmott / NPR
0 Comments

Data such as the weekly figures on jobless claims are supposed to be "seasonally adjusted" to account for temporary factors that aren't really connected to the underlying strength or weakness of the economy.

It's 'Not Great,' But House Is Expected To OK Budget Deal

Dec. 12
Mark Memmott / NPR
0 Comments
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The House is expected to vote Thursday on the bipartisan deal that would set spending levels for the next two years, replace many of the indiscriminate "sequester" budget cuts and, in theory at least, take off the table one of the most partisan of the many partisan issues that have contributed to the gridlock in Washington, D.C.

Shifting Gears To Make Bike-Sharing More Accessible

Dec. 12
Joel Rose / NPR
0 Comments
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This story is part of a project on commuting in America.

Newtown Parents Seek A Clearer Window Into Violent Behavior

Dec. 12
Tovia Smith / NPR
0 Comments
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The shooting in Newtown, Conn., last December has left families of the 26 victims, most of them children, struggling to heal in different ways.

High Insurance Rates Anger Some Ski-Country Coloradans

Dec. 12
Eric Whitney / NPR
0 Comments

Some of the biggest ski resorts anywhere lie in U.S. Rep. Jared Polis' Colorado district, dotting the peaks of Summit and Eagle counties, about a hundred miles west of Denver. The area has a high rate of uninsured people and also, it turns out, health plans that are much more expensive than similar plans in surrounding regions. So expensive that Polis, a Democrat, has asked the federal government to exempt some of his constituents from the requirement to buy health insurance.

Scandal May Bring New Oversight To LA County Sheriff's Department

Dec. 12
Kirk Siegler / NPR
0 Comments
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Longtime civil rights attorney Connie Rice has been following this week's indictments against officers in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. She says it points to a subculture of corruption within certain units, much like the city's scandal-ridden police department of the 1990s.