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Stories for June 13, 2013

A Second Chance For A Father And Foster Son

June 13
NPR Staff / NPR
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In 2004, Horace Atwater Jr. took in Adrian Hawkins as a foster child. Adrian was a teenager at the time, "this little, skinny kid, about 14," Horace recalls. "You didn't really have any clothes. You had mismatched socks."

Supreme Court Gene Ruling Splits Hairs Over What's 'Natural'

June 13
Nina Totenberg / NPR
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The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that human genes cannot be patented, upending 30 years of patent awards granted by the U.S. Patent Office. The court's unanimous decision has enormous implications for the future of personalized medicine and in many ways is likely to shape the future of science and technology.

Parties Clash Over California's Budget Transparency

June 13
Katie Orr, Capital Public Radio
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Lawmakers will begin voting on the California budget Friday. But Republicans say they’ll also have to vote on several bills they know little about.

GOP Lawmakers Greet Obama's Syria Step, But Urge A Leap

June 13
Frank James / NPR
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Now that the Obama administration has declared that Syrian President Bashar Assad has crossed a "red line" by using chemical weapons against his own people, another rare bipartisan moment has arrived in the nation's capital.

Lost in 1968 Battle, Marine's Dog Tag Found Again

June 13
Bill Chappell / NPR
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Lanny Martinson was a 23-year-old Marine sergeant in Vietnam when he last saw his dog tags. In the 45 years since, he thought they were gone forever, lost in the mad rush to save his life after he and other Marines walked into a minefield.

5 Things To Know About America's Fastest-Growing Counties

June 13
Charles Mahtesian, Matt Stiles
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The U.S. Census Bureau released its list of the nation's 100 fastest-growing counties Thursday, and here's what we learned: They're mainly clustered in the South and West, and their rapid population gains are fueled by a wide variety of economic and cultural factors including the energy boom, military realignment, Hispanic immigration, student enrollment and changing retirement patterns.

Supreme Court Gene Patenting Decision Could Affect Local Biotech Industry

June 13
By David Wagner
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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that private companies cannot patent naturally occurring human genes. That could affect the patent portfolios of some San Diego biotech companies.

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Jimmy Cliff

June 13
AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Jimmy Cliff  Tease photo

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS continues its longstanding tradition of showcasing the best of original American music. In this episode, reggae legend Jimmy Cliff performs his greatest hits and songs from his LP "Existence."

Under The Radar: Some Pilots Of Small Drones Skirt FAA Rules

June 13
Steve Henn / NPR
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Unmanned drones aren't just a tool for governments anymore. By as early as this year, the Federal Aviation Administration expects to propose regulations opening up the use of small, unmanned airborne vehicles -- or drones -- for commercial use.

Tough New Gun Laws Drive Gun Makers To Move

June 13
Joel Rose / NPR
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Firearms manufacturers are pulling up stakes in at least two of the five states that enacted tough new guns laws following the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year.

Census Data Shows Growth In Multiracial Population

June 13
By Adrian Florido
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The growth rate of multiracial Americans is far outpacing the growth of the U.S. population as a whole.

Report: U.S., Europe Conclude Syria Used Chemical Weapons

June 13
Scott Neuman / NPR

The New York Times is reporting that U.S. and European officials have concluded that Syria has used chemical weapons against rebels.

Great Performances: Paul Taylor Dance Company In Paris

June 13
Great Performances: Paul Taylor Dance Company In Paris Tease photo

At an age when most artists’ best work is behind them, modern dance pioneer Paul Taylor continues to win acclaim for the vibrancy, relevance and power of his recent dances, as well as his classics. Recorded during the Taylor Company’s 2012 performances at the Theatre National de Chaillot in Paris, GREAT PERFORMANCES presents two of Taylor’s enduring masterworks: "Brandenburgs," first performed in 1988 to music from Bach’s Brandenburg concertos #3 and #6; and his 2008 ballet "Beloved Renegade," set to Francis Poulenc’s “Gloria” and inspired by the life and work of poet Walt Whitman.

State Insurance Commissioner Wants To Bar Anthem From Small Business Exchange

June 13
By Kenny Goldberg
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California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said Anthem's pattern of unreasonable rate increases should prevent it from selling policies on the state's small business exchange.

Quadruple Amputee Inspires Boston Marathon Blast Survivor (Video)

June 13
By Beth Ford Roth
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Quadruple amputee Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, who lost all four limbs in an Afghan IED blast, gave advice to a Boston Marathon bomb blast survivor during a recent visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

In Gay America, Optimism Abounds As Stigma Persists, Pew Says

June 13
Bill Chappell / NPR
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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans say they feel more accepted in society than they did 10 years ago, and they're overwhelmingly optimistic that the trend will continue. But a sweeping new Pew Research Center survey also finds persistent levels of stigmatization and secrecy in the community.

New Mexico Seniors Not Getting Enough To Eat

June 13
Deborah Martinez

One out of every five senior citizens in New Mexico isn't getting enough to eat, according to a report from the United Health Foundation.

San Diego Companies Awarded EPA Grants To Study Health, Environment

June 13
City News Service
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Two San Diego companies were awarded grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today to develop technologies that will improve human health and the environment.

Audit: NCTD Lacks Federal And State Compliance

June 13
inewsource

North County Transit District, which relies heavily on state and federal grants for train and bus services, doesn’t adequately monitor compliance with grant guidelines, according to a highly critical audit.

Farm Tours Offer A Close-Up Of San Diego Greenhouses, Citrus Groves, A Dairy And More

June 13
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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The San Diego County Farm Bureau is offering a behind-the-scenes look at how your food and flowers are grown. It's the bureau's fourth annual Farm Day Tour and it's coming up this Saturday.

Unpaid internships in jeopardy after court ruling

June 13
SAM HANANEL / Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Unpaid internships have long been a path of opportunity for students and recent grads looking to get a foot in the door in the entertainment, publishing and other prominent industries, even if it takes a generous subsidy from Mom and Dad.

K-MAX Unmanned Helicopter Crashes In Afghanistan

June 13
By Beth Ford Roth
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An investigation is underway as to why a K-MAX unmanned helicopter crashed in Afghanistan on June 5. The aircraft was delivering cargo to Marines near Camp Leatherneck when it went down.

Scripps: Black Carbon Levels Linked To Climate Change Declining

June 13
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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A new climate study led by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography finds reduced black carbon emissions that come mostly from diesel engines.

Audit: NCTD Is Buried In Paperwork

June 13
inewsource
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The highly critical audit of North County Transit District’s contracts department cited 19 specific deficiencies that inewsource addressed in an overview Tuesday. Each day, inewsource will detail some of the most newsworthy deficiencies.

Judge Reluctantly Approves Government Plan For Morning-After Pill

June 13
Julie Rovner / NPR
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An obviously unhappy Judge Edward Korman has approved the Obama administration's proposal to make just one formulation of the morning-after birth control pill available over the counter without age restrictions.

Federal Judge To Face Rare Review Over Controversial Remarks

June 13
Eyder Peralta / NPR
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The story of U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Edith Jones involves a controversial speech to the Federalist Society, calls of racism, last-ditch efforts to stop an execution and now a rare formal disciplinary review by the Judicial Council of the District of Columbia Circuit.

Death Of Soldier In Afghanistan Under Investigation

June 13
By Beth Ford Roth
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Army Staff Sgt. Jesse L. Thomas Jr., 31, died in Afghanistan on June 10. The incident that caused his death is under investigation, according to the Pentagon.

U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin To Step Down

June 13
Korva Coleman / NPR

After four years on the job, the nation's top doctor is leaving. U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin announced late Wednesay that she plans to step down next month.

Could Brain Scans Reveal The Right Treatment For Depression?

June 13
Nancy Shute / NPR
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Finding the right treatment for depression can be a struggle. People find relief with the first treatment only 40 percent of the time. Trying different antidepressants or therapies can take months, which means months of suffering.

Explosion, Fire Reported At Chemical Plant Near Baton Rouge

June 13
Scott Neuman / NPR
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An explosion reportedly touched off a fire at a Louisiana petrochemical plant, but police say they aren't sure yet how many people might have been hurt.

Weekend Preview: 'Extraordinary Chambers,' San Diego Oysterfest And The Big Bite Baconfest

June 13
Midday Edition
Evening Edition

This Father's Day weekend has lots to offer; from a festival celebrating all things bacon to a set of back-to-back concerts by a local funk band.

Wildfire In San Bernardino National Forest Slowly Grows

June 13
Associated Press

A Southern California forest fire continues to grow and has now burned an outbuilding in a remote and rugged area east of Los Angeles.

San Diego Schools End Cafeteria Worker Gifts

June 13
Associated Press

San Diego schools have canceled a program that gave shopping gift cards, chocolates and movie passes to cafeteria workers using money from a program to feed needy children.

Natural DNA Cannot Be Patented, Supreme Court Rules

June 13
Mark Memmott / NPR

In a decision that could have broad-reaching effects on the future of science and medicine, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that:

New York Hospitals Shelve Rivalries For Proton Beam Project

June 13
Jenny Gold / NPR

During the recent debate in Washington, D.C., over whether to let to local competing hospital systems build rival proton beam therapy centers, an obvious question was raised: Why not team up?

Now He Tells Us: 'Tang Sucks,' Says Apollo 11's Buzz Aldrin

June 13
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Hey, we were told in the '60s that we'd grow up to be astronauts if we drank Tang and that our heroes loved it!

Sharp Hopes To Give Free Health Screenings To 5,000 People

June 13
By Kenny Goldberg
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From now until September, Sharp HealthCare is offering free health screenings at 60 locations.

Assembly Considers New Drug Sentencing Bill

June 13
By Kenny Goldberg
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Prosecutors would have the discretion to charge people arrested for simple drug possession with a misdemeanor under a bill making its way through the California Assembly.

Development of Alternative Fuels Surpassing Expectations

June 13
Amy Quinton, Capital Public Radio

A new report shows alternative fuels are developing more quickly than expected, due in part to California's low carbon fuel standard.

RealtyTrac Foreclosure Data Out On Thursday

June 13
Steve Milne, Capital Public Radio

Once a mainstay in the top five states with the highest foreclosure rates, California has dropped to 11th in the nation.

Native Americans Receive Checks From Massive Class Action Settlement

June 13
By Tristan Ahtone

Native Americans in the Southwest have received more than $96 million as a result of the nation's largest class action lawsuit against the federal government, and an additional $312 million is expected to be sent out this fall.

Colorado Fires: New Evacuations, More Homes Burned

June 13
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Update at 11:25 a.m. ET. Number Of Homes Destroyed Rises Sharply:

So Far Not So Bad As Storms Head East, But Threat Remains

June 13
Mark Memmott / NPR
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The good news is that "a massive storm system originally forecast to affect one in five Americans from Iowa to Maryland surged Thursday toward the Mid-Atlantic after largely failing to live up to its billing in ferocity through the Upper Midwest."

How To Invest In Real Estate Without Being A Landlord

June 13
Uri Berliner / NPR
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NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments -- alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.