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Stories for September 23, 2013

Cost Of San Diego Infrastructure Backlog Unknown

Sept. 23
City News Service
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The oft-used value of $898 million attached to the backlog of San Diego's infrastructure projects is obsolete and probably seriously understated, according to a new report presented to the City Council today by the city's Independent Budget Analyst.

After Drop, Number Of Immigrants Illegally In U.S. Levels Off

Sept. 23
Hansi Lo Wang / NPR
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The latest estimate by the Pew Research Center puts the number of immigrants living illegally in the U.S. at 11.7 million.

Former Exec, 77, Says He Earns His Old Hourly Rate In A Week

Sept. 23
Bill Chappell / NPR

A former advertising executive's story of relying on two part-time jobs to help him get by during retirement is attracting attention and impassioned comments at Bloomberg News.

California Hospitals Face 'Hard Decisions' Under Medicare Payment Changes

Sept. 23
Pauline Bartolone / Capital Public Radio

California hospitals say a move toward performance-based reimbursement under the Affordable Care Act is forcing them to make some hard decisions.

NRC Preliminary Report Cites SoCal Edison, Mitsubishi In San Onofre Leak

Sept. 23
By Susan Murphy
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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission cited Southern California Edison and its equipment manufacturer, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, for design flaws that led to San Onofre’s failure in January 2012.

Fake Reviewers Get Zero Stars From New York Attorney General

Sept. 23
Laura Sydell / NPR
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No doubt most of you reading this post have looked at Yelp or Google+ Local to check the user reviews before you tried that fish store, bakery or even dentist. On occasion, you may have wondered if some of those reviews were too good to be true.

8 Things To Know About A Government Shutdown

Sept. 23
Adam Wollner / NPR

By next week, the federal government runs out of money.

Online Review-Rigging Firms To Pay Fines In Yogurt Shop Sting

Sept. 23
Bill Chappell / NPR
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The practice of writing fake online reviews has landed 19 companies in hot water in New York, where the attorney general announced penalties Monday over what he says are attempts to manipulate consumers.

Ten People Murdered At A House Party in Ciudad Ju谩rez

Sept. 23
M贸nica Ortiz Uribe / Fronteras Desk

A celebration after a victorious baseball game in the Mexican border city of Juárez was interrupted by gunfire, resulting in the death of ten people.

A Young Afghan War Survivor Touches Two American Lives

Sept. 23
Gloria Hillard / NPR
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When Staci Freeman and her sister Jami Valentine first took in a child ravaged by war in Afghanistan last year, Arefa was a 6-year-old in Hello Kitty shoes, who quickly turned the daily routine of changing her head bandages into a counting game.

IRS Official At Center Of Political Scandal Will Retire

Sept. 23
Scott Neuman / NPR
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Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official who ran the division engulfed in a scandal over special scrutiny of Tea Party and patriot groups seeking tax exemption, will retire.

Texas Fighting Affordable Care Act Rollout

Sept. 23
David Martin Davies / Fronteras Desk
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SAN ANTONIO - The Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Exchanges go live online Oct. 1. This is where many people without health insurance can pick a plan and enroll. Policies vary by state, but in Texas state leaders are unabashed in doing all they can to hobble what both sides refer to as "Obamacare."

Former Qualcomm Exec Charged With Insider Trading

Sept. 23
Associated Press

A former senior executive at Qualcomm Inc. has been charged with insider trading, accused of buying shares of the wireless technology company before major announcements.

Skeletons Of The Sahara

Sept. 23
Skeletons Of The Sahara  Tease photo

Explorer and scientist Paul Sereno made an extraordinary discovery in the middle of the Sahara desert: While prospecting for dinosaur bones, he stumbled across an ancient human cemetery more than 5,000 years older than the Egyptian pyramids. Who were these people and what were they doing in the middle of the desert? How did they live and die? What can this mystery tell us about our planet? And why are there two distinct groups of people here, existing thousands of years apart?

Appeals Court Mandates Change To Mass Hearings For Border Crossers

Sept. 23
Jude Joffe-Block / Fronteras Desk

PHOENIX - Federal courtrooms in Tucson and Yuma, Ariz., will be adjusting the way they conduct mass hearings for immigrants charged for illegal border crossings.

San Diego Interim Mayor Todd Gloria Gives An Update On City Business

Sept. 23
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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San Diego Interim Mayor Todd Gloria sits down to talk about his busy month.

Detroit Has Many Strays, But 'We're Not Tripping Over Dogs'

Sept. 23
Mark Memmott / NPR
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While there's a serious dog problem in Detroit, the initial results of an effort to count the number of homeless canines in the city indicate there are far fewer than the 50,000 strays that some news accounts have talked about.

Navy Fires Carrier Air Wing CO Due To Alleged 'Inappropriate Relationship'

Sept. 23
By Beth Ford Roth
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The commander of the San Diego-based USS Carl Vinson strike group, Rear Adm. David Steindl, has relieved Capt. Jeffrey Winter of his duties as commander of Carrier Air Wing 17.

The Adventists 2

Sept. 23
The Adventists 2  Tease photo

In Haiti, "The Adventists 2" examines the faith-based support given to victims after the devastating earthquake. In Brazil, young missionaries bring much-needed medical support to the most remote regions. In Malawi, Africa, a hospital opened in 1902 as a leper center today treats thousands with HIV-AIDS. In China, a state-of-the-art hospital exemplifies the collaboration between a conservative religion and a facility of a communist state. And in the Dominican Republic, a team of volunteer doctors and nurses travel annually to a remote part of the world to perform operations and offer critical care to the poor.

Apple Sells 9 Million New iPhones In Opening Weekend

Sept. 23
Bill Chappell / NPR
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Sales of its new iPhone 5s and 5c models have surpassed other iPhone releases and exceeded initial supply, Apple says. The company says it has sold 9 million of the phones since their launch on Friday and that "many online orders" will ship in coming weeks.

How Cross-Border Trucking Firms Fight The Drug War

Sept. 23
By Jill Replogle
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For drug smugglers, getting a truckload of illegal narcotics past border authorities means potentially huge profits. But they're often up against two levels of security: that of U.S. law enforcement, and that of private export and shipping companies.

Rescue Suspended For Two Missing Coronado-Based Navy Helicopter Crew Members

Sept. 23
By Beth Ford Roth
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Navy officials announced this morning they are suspending search and rescue efforts for two crew members missing since their MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter crashed in the Red Sea on Sunday. The helicopter was assigned to the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6, based at Naval Air Station North Island.

U.S. Soldier Dies In Texas Of Injuries Suffered In Afghanistan (Video)

Sept. 23
By Beth Ford Roth
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Army Spc. James T. Wickliff-Chacin, 22, died September 20 at Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas of injuries he suffered last month. On August 12, an improvised explosive device detonated near Wickliff's dismounted patrol during combat operations in Pul-E-Alam, Afghanistan, gravely wounding the young soldier.

Entomologist Gives Behind-The-Scenes Tour Of The Insect World

Sept. 23
Midday Edition
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Explore the wonders of the insect world as entomologist Dr. Michael Wall takes us behind the scenes of TheNAT's entomology department.

Citations Pending For San Onofre Nuclear Plant Flaw

Sept. 23
Associated Press

The manufacturer of steam generators at California's shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant and the utility that runs the facility will be cited by federal regulators for a flawed design.

To Succeed At Breast-Feeding, Most New Moms Could Use Help

Sept. 23
Nancy Shute / NPR

The majority of new mothers try to breast-feed. But it's not easy.

Monday News Clips: What We're Reading

Sept. 23
Frank James / NPR
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We're kicking off a new morning routine in which we'll get the day started on NPR's "It's All Politics" blog by sharing a handful of political stories that caught our interest or that we'll be watching.

Death Of U.S. Soldier In Afghanistan Under Investigation

Sept. 23
By Beth Ford Roth
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The military is investigating the "non-combat related" death of Army Sgt. William D. Brown III, 44, in Laghman Province, Afghanistan. Brown passed away on September 19.

Boston Police Chief Is Stepping Down

Sept. 23
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, who became a nationally known figure as he led his department's response to last April's bombings at the Boston Marathon, announced Monday that he's stepping down after seven years in the job.

$3.9 Billion U.S. Defense Contract Includes Missiles For UAE

Sept. 23
Bill Chappell / NPR
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The U.S. Defense Department has awarded a rich military contract to Lockheed Martin, agreeing to pay more than $3.9 billion for a missile-defense system. The deal calls for a maximum of 110 high-altitude interceptor missiles for the United States, and 192 versions of the missiles for export to the United Arab Emirates.

San Diego Woman, 26, Among Those Wounded In Kenya Attack

Sept. 23
Associated Press

A 26-year-old woman from San Diego was among those wounded when armed gunmen attacked a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

Second Opinion: I'm Nearing Medicare Age. Can I Get Gap Coverage?

Sept. 23
By Megan Burks
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A retiring microbiologist considers how to fill a gap in coverage before she's eligible for Medicare.

Trio Says Making Public Harassment Allegations Against Filner Was Wrenching

Sept. 23
Midday Edition
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Former Councilwoman Donna Frye and lawyers Cory Briggs and Marco Gonzalez said they had hoped to keep their letters calling on the mayor to resign private.

Students' Dream For Temporary Urban Park Survives Filner's Resignation

Sept. 23
By Claire Trageser
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Recent graduates from NewSchool of Architecture and Design want to build an urban park at Market Street and Park Boulevard with a beer garden, farmers markets, event space and a dog run.

How A Pregnant Woman's Choices Could Shape A Child's Health

Sept. 23
Jon Hamilton / NPR
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Pregnant women hear a lot about things they should avoid: alcohol, tobacco, chemical exposures, stress. All of those have the potential to affect a developing fetus. And now scientists are beginning to understand why.

Smart Teenage Brains May Get Some Extra Learning Time

Sept. 23
Shankar Vedantam / NPR
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John Hewitt is a neuroscientist who studies the biology of intelligence. He's also a parent. Over the years, Hewitt has periodically drawn upon his scientific knowledge in making parenting decisions.

Scripps College Honors Ex-Rep. Giffords For Public Service

Sept. 23
Doreen McCallister / NPR
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Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was honored over the weekend for her service to the public by Scripps College. Giffords' alma mater awarded her the school's highest level of recognition: the Ellen Browning Scripps Medal.