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Stories for November 21, 2013

Tease photo for San Diego Scientist Struggles To Fund Iconic Climate Change Graph

San Diego Scientist Struggles To Fund Iconic Climate Change Graph

Nov. 21
By David Wagner

For more than 50 years, scientists have used the Keeling Curve to plot the rise of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere. But with funding increasingly hard to come by, the project's future is uncertain.

Charges Are Dropped In Florida Cyberbullying Case

Nov. 21
Bill Chappell / NPR

Florida officials have dropped the charges against two girls who had been accused of bullying Rebecca Sedwick, a 12-year-old who jumped to her death after being taunted and bullied online. Police say the girls will receive counseling.

San Diego Tourism To Get Additional $6M In Its Coffers For Advertising

Nov. 21
By City News Service

The new agreement will provide the Tourism Marketing District with an extra $6 million to use for promotion, with $4 million held back to establish a reserve account.

Tease photo for America's Test Kitchen From Cook's Illustrated: A Slow And Easy Thanksgiving

America's Test Kitchen From Cook's Illustrated: A Slow And Easy Thanksgiving

Nov. 21

Host Christopher Kimball and test kitchen cooks Bridget Lancaster, Julia Collin Davison, Rebecca Hays and Yvonne Ruperti deconstruct America's favorite recipes to reveal the secrets to foolproof cooking at home.

Filibuster Vote Marks Escalation In D.C.'s Partisan Wars

Nov. 21
Frank James / NPR

You thought things were bad in the Senate before? Well, they might have just gotten worse after Thursday's vote by Democrats to significantly defang the filibuster on presidential nominations -- the so-called nuclear option.

A Quick History Of Filibuster Flip-Flops

Nov. 21
Adam Wollner / NPR

Senate Democrats invoked the "nuclear option" today, meaning they changed the rules so that it takes just a simple majority to cut off debate and move ahead on the president's executive and judicial nominees.

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Prepare For Cabin Noise: FCC May End Ban On Phones During Flights

Nov. 21
Bill Chappell / NPR

The Federal Communications Commission is proposing a change to allow travelers to make phone calls as they fly on jetliners in the U.S. The agency's new chairman, Tom Wheeler, calls the current ban on the use of cellphones during flights "outdated and restrictive."

Covered California Health Exchange Rejects Insurance Policy Extensions

Nov. 21
Associated Press

The Covered California Board of Directors voted 5-0 on Thursday to hold steady on its current approach, defying President Barack Obama's recent flip on one crucial aspect of the Affordable Care Act.

Consumer Group Says Obamacare Cancellations Blown Out Of Proportion

Nov. 21
By Kenny Goldberg

Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of individual policyholders nationwide won't be left out in the cold due to Obamacare, says consumer group.

Tease photo for Covered California Enrollment Strong Among Young Adults, Weak Among Spanish-Speakers

Covered California Enrollment Strong Among Young Adults, Weak Among Spanish-Speakers

Nov. 21
By Megan Burks

Covered California administrators are happy with the rate of young people enrolling in new health plans but said they have some work to do enrolling non-English speakers.

Tease photo for Senator Boxer Says Records Possibly Missing On San Onofre

Senator Boxer Says Records Possibly Missing On San Onofre

Nov. 21
Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer said Thursday that federal regulators might be improperly concealing documents on a long-running investigation at the now-closed San Onofre nuclear power plant.

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Moved By Kennedy's Death, The Boston Symphony Played On

Nov. 21
Theo Balcomb / NPR

A visit to the symphony: It's often a solitary experience that can, in truly important moments, become communal -- as it did in Boston on Nov. 22, 1963.

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Dow Jones Index Closes Above 16,000 For First Time

Nov. 21
Bill Chappell / NPR

The Dow Jones industrial average tacked on 109 points Thursday for a gain of less than 1 percent. But the small rise brought a big milestone, as the industrial index closed above 16,000 for the first time in its history. The index had touched the mark earlier this week but fell short by the day's end.

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Unrelenting Poverty Leads To 'Desperation' In Philly Schools

Nov. 21
Eric Westervelt / NPR

Studies show the many ways poverty undermines learning: Lower-income kids enter kindergarten with poorer language skills than kids from middle- and upper-income homes.

'Nuclear Option' Vote Marks Tectonic Shift In Senate Rules

Nov. 21
Ron Elving / NPR

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's move Thursday to make possible the confirmation of presidential nominees with a simple majority marks a tectonic shift in the rules and folkways of the Senate.

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Marking Kennedy Assassination, Dallas Still On 'Egg Shells'

Nov. 21
Wade Goodwyn / NPR

Friday's 50th anniversary of assassination of President John F. Kennedy is an important moment for Dallas: The city wants to use the occasion to demonstrate how much it has changed.

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Number Of Homeless Declines Again, But Gains Aren't Universal

Nov. 21
Bill Chappell / NPR

The number of homeless people in the U.S. shrank from 2012 to 2013, according to a large government study, but homeless numbers rose in New York and California.

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ATF Chief Faces Tough Challenge At Troubled Agency

Nov. 21
Carrie Johnson / NPR

For the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, nothing seems to come easy.

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Food Stamp Program Doesn't Guarantee Food Security, Study Finds

Nov. 21
Maanvi Singh / NPR

Just as the food stamp program has been hit with funding cuts, a small study out of Harvard has found that the program isn't doing enough to ensure that its participants get a complete and nutritious diet.

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Personhood In The Womb: A Constitutional Question

Nov. 21
NPR

Should a pregnant woman whose behavior has been deemed to endanger her fetus be legally punished or forced into medical procedures against her will? A study released earlier this year reported that pregnant women across the country are being subjected to arrests and incarceration; detentions in mental institutions and drug treatment programs; and forced medical interventions, including surgery.

Tease photo for Camp Pendleton To Hold Tree Lighting Celebration On Saturday

Camp Pendleton To Hold Tree Lighting Celebration On Saturday

Nov. 21
By Beth Ford Roth

Thanksgiving is still a week away, but Camp Pendleton is showing off a bit of Christmas spirit early this year. The base is hosting its "2013 Tree Lighting Celebration" on Saturday evening.

Tease photo for Carol Burnett: The Mark Twain Prize

Carol Burnett: The Mark Twain Prize

Nov. 21
By Jennifer Robinson

Carol Burnett — comedic icon and all-around performing legend — is the guest of honor when, for the 16th year, the comedy world convenes in Washington, D.C., to toast this year’s recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The all-star cast includes Julie Andrews, Lucie Arnaz, Tony Bennett, Tim Conway, Tina Fey, Rashida Jones, Vicki Lawrence, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short and Rosemary Watson. The program features comedic highlights from Burnett’s half-century in show business.

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GOP Enraged After Filibuster Vote, But Does It Change Much?

Nov. 21
Liz Halloran / NPR

The political class was aflame Thursday with outrage (Republicans) and triumph (Democrats) as Senate Democrats voted to hem in the minority party's ability to filibuster most presidential nominees.

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Women Pass Marine Training, Clear First Hurdle To Combat Role

Nov. 21
Tom Bowman / NPR

More than 200 Marines have been training since late September in the pine forests of North Carolina. They've been hiking for miles carrying 87-pound packs and assault rifles, sleeping in the field, attacking mock enemy positions.

Alabama Pardons Scottsboro Boys In 1931 Rape Case

Nov. 21
NPR

"Today, the Scottsboro Boys have finally received justice."

California Health Exchange To Release Enrollee Details

Nov. 21
Associated Press

California's health insurance exchange is set to provide the first detailed information about the roughly 60,000 people who have signed up for coverage since open enrollment began.

Tease photo for Elderly Korean War Veteran From California Detained In North Korea (Video)

Elderly Korean War Veteran From California Detained In North Korea (Video)

Nov. 21
By Beth Ford Roth

Merrill E. Newman, an 85-year-old Korean War veteran from Northern California, has been detained in North Korea after visiting the country with a friend. Newman was arrested for reasons unknown on Oct. 26, and his family is desperate to contact him.

Tease photo for  John F. Kennedy's Legacy In San Diego

John F. Kennedy's Legacy In San Diego

Nov. 21
By Megan Burke, Maureen Cavanaugh, Patty Lane, Amita Sharma

Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. We explore his legacy in San Diego.

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Debate: Has The Right To Bear Arms Outlived Its Usefulness?

Nov. 21
NPR Staff / NPR

If Americans were writing the Constitution over again in 2013, would it make sense to include the right to bear arms? Or has it become outdated?

Tease photo for Nashville 2.0: The Rise Of Americana

Nashville 2.0: The Rise Of Americana

Nov. 21

Experience a variety of musical genres through the vibrancy of Nashville’s Americana music scene. Artists appearing in "Nashville 2.0" are listed here in alphabetical order: Alabama Shakes, The Avett Brothers, Billy Bragg, Laura Cantrell, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Rosanne Cash, The Civil Wars, Elizabeth Cook, Rodney Crowell, Dawes, Jerry Douglas, John Fullbright, Shakey Graves, Emmylou Harris, The James Hunter Six, Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires, Jim Lauderdale, The Lone Bellow, The Mavericks, The Milk Carton Kids, Buddy Miller, Mumford & Sons, Shovels and Rope, Richard Thompson, and Dwight Yoakam.

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Kennedy Cousin Skakel Gets Bail As He Awaits New Murder Trial

Nov. 21
Krishnadev Calamur / NPR

Michael Skakel, a cousin of the Kennedy family, was granted bail Thursday and expected to be released from prison as he awaits a new trial in the 1975 murder of his neighbor Martha Moxley.

Will Senate Democrats Deploy The 'Nuclear Option?'

Nov. 21
Mark Memmott / NPR

The debate has begun on the floor of the Senate over whether Majority Leader Harry Reid and his fellow Democrats can exercise the so-called nuclear option. That's the catchy name for a change in the Senate's rules that would make it much harder for Republicans to filibuster many of President Obama's nominees -- most notably those he chooses for seats on federal courts.

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Yellen's Nomination To Fed Gets OK From Senate Committee

Nov. 21
Mark Memmott / NPR

By a 14-8 vote that saw three Republicans join 11 Democrats in saying "aye," the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday morning approved the nomination of Janet Yellen to be the next head of the Federal Reserve.

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A Son's Death Reveals Chasms In Emergency Mental Health Care

Nov. 21
Rae Ellen Bichell / NPR

Parents who have a child struggling with serious mental illness live in fear that the worst will happen.

JFK's Fateful Last Night And The Latino Vote

Nov. 21
By David Martin Davies

As the nation remembers the last tragic day of John F. Kennedy’s presidency, many Latino voters of that era reflect on what the 35th president meant to their emerging political bloc.

Tease photo for Squatters Built Tijuana, But They Still Frustrate City Planners

Squatters Built Tijuana, But They Still Frustrate City Planners

Nov. 21
By Jill Replogle

Squatter settlements largely shaped Tijuana's explosive growth in recent decades. But how did these settlements evolve into fully-functioning neighborhoods?

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What I Saw: A Photographer's Last Dispatch From The Philippines

Nov. 21
David Gilkey / NPR

NPR photographer David Gilkey has photographed in extreme situations -- from the surge in Afghanistan, to bombings in Gaza, to the tsunami in Japan, but he was shocked at what he saw in the village of Barangay 68 in Tacloban City, Philippines.

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Taking Off Will Be Tricky After Jet Lands At Wrong Airport

Nov. 21
Mark Memmott / NPR

Before we all take our daily dose of "serious" news, there's this:

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In Tornado-Ravaged Illinois 'War Zone,' Veterans Find A Mission

Nov. 21
Alan Greenblatt / NPR

Lots of people in and around Washington, Ill., are referring to the areas devastated by Sunday's tornado as looking like a war zone.

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Kids Pay The Price In Fight Over Fixing Philadelphia Schools

Nov. 21
Claudio Sanchez / NPR

This is the first in a three-part report on Philadelphia schools in crisis.

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How HealthCare.gov Is Giving A Once-Obscure Bill A Boost

Nov. 21
Elise Hu / NPR

As federal tech launches go, it's not just HealthCare.gov that didn't take off. A report from IT research firm the Standish Group finds that 94 percent of federal IT projects come in late, over budget or get scrapped completely.