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Stories for January 2, 2014

DOJ Expected To Defend Health Law's Contraceptive Mandate

Jan. 2
Scott Horsley / NPR
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The Justice Department will answer a challenge Friday morning to a controversial provision in the new health care law. It requires most employers that offer health insurance to include birth control at no cost.

Year In Review 2013: Top San Diego education stories

Jan. 2
Evening Edition
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It was a big year for education in San Diego and across the country in 2013. KPBS Evening Edition host Peggy Pico highlights some of the biggest changes going into effect this year.

Medicaid Expansion Boosted Emergency Room Visits In Oregon

Jan. 2
Julie Rovner / NPR
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Giving poor people health insurance, the belief was, would decrease their dependence on hospital emergency rooms by providing them access to more appropriate, lower-cost primary care.

Snapchat Security Breach Affects Millions Of Users

Jan. 2
By David Wagner
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The private messaging app Snapchat just got much less private for millions of users after the app got hacked through a known security flaw.

Arrest Made In Murder Of California Priest

Jan. 2
Scott Neuman / NPR
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Arrest Made In Murder Of California Priest Tease photo

Police have a suspect in custody in connection with the murder of a popular priest in Northern California whose body was found on New Year's Day with unmistakable signs of "blunt-force trauma," authorities say.

Tonight's Meteor Shower: Live, From Space, It's The Quadrantids

Jan. 2
Bill Chappell / NPR
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Despite weather that might cloud the skies in some areas, forecasters say this year's Quadrantid meteor shower is worth getting up for, citing lunar conditions that will darken the night sky.

For The Unemployed, Ideas To Help Bridge The Gap To Work

Jan. 2
Chris Arnold / NPR
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When members of Congress return to work next week, at the top of the "to-do" list is whether to renew emergency unemployment benefits. An extension of the benefits expired at the end of the 2013, which means 1.3 million out-of-work Americans are no longer getting unemployment checks.

A Sharp Rise In Earthquakes Puts Oklahomans On Edge

Jan. 2
Joe Wertz / NPR
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For the past three decades, Oklahoma averaged about 50 earthquakes a year. But that number has skyrocketed in the past few years. In 2013 -- the state's most seismically active year ever -- there were almost 3,000.

Partisan Evolution Gap? Politically Insignificant, GOP Says

Jan. 2
Liz Halloran / NPR
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A new national survey showing that the share of Republicans who believe in evolution has tumbled from 54 to 43 percent over the past four years comes at an inopportunetime.

Kevin Faulconer endorsed for San Diego mayor by life-sciences trade group

Jan. 2
By City News Service
2 Comments

The holiday stand-down in the San Diego mayoral race ended Thursday when the trade group for Southern California's life-sciences industry endorsed San Diego City Councilman Kevin Faulconer.

Defying GOP Leaders, Rep. Trey Radel Won't Resign After Rehab

Jan. 2
Greg Allen / NPR
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It was November when Republican Trey Radel, a first-term congressman from Fort Myers, Fla., was charged with cocaine possession -- a misdemeanor in Washington, D.C. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year's probation.

Newspapers: 'Whistle-Blower' Snowden Deserves Clemency

Jan. 2
Scott Neuman / NPR
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These words from The New York Times about former NSA contractor Edward Snowden:

Marine Sgt. Jacob Hess Is First US Military Death In Afghanistan In 2014

Jan. 2
By Beth Ford Roth
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The military is investigating the death of Marine Corps Sgt. Jacob M. Hess, 22, who lost his life in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on New Year's Day. Hess is the first U.S. service member to die in Afghanistan in 2014.

Obamacare Brings Medicaid To Skid Row's 'Ugly Reality'

Jan. 2
Sarah Varney / NPR
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If you were led blindfolded a few blocks east from Los Angeles' grand City Hall, you would know instantly when you entered Skid Row.

Check Out This Gingerbread Recreation Of Bin Laden's Compound

Jan. 2
By Beth Ford Roth
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Dubbed Gingerbottabad, Military Times calls it "the most infamous, and delicious, terrorist compound of the holiday season."

Flu season in San Diego County higher than last year, says health department

Jan. 2
By City News Service
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Flu season in San Diego County higher than last year, says health department Tease photo

The flu rate in San Diego County is up about 150 percent compared to last year, and infections might be peaking early.

Cabrillo Bridge in Balboa Park closed to vehicles until April 2014 for retrofitting

Jan. 2
By City News Service
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The city of San Diego has started tram service to get people around Balboa Park. Museums and other cultural institutions around the west side of the park will remain open during the duration of the $38-million bridge project, which is scheduled through April 30.

California High Court OKs Law License For Undocumented Immigrant

Jan. 2
Scott Neuman / NPR
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California's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that an undocumented immigrant from Mexico should receive a license to practice law in accordance with a new state law.

Task Force Recommends New Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines

Jan. 2
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
2 Comments
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The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force said lung cancer screening for many chain-smokers and former smokers should be done with a CT scan instead of an X-ray.

Video - First Person To Buy Legal Pot In Colorado? Iraq War Veteran

Jan. 2
By Beth Ford Roth
1 Comment
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The very first person to ever buy legal marijuana in Colorado is Sean Azzariti, a Marine veteran who served two combat deployments in Iraq. Azzariti says marijuana helps alleviate his post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.

Alleged Hackers Explain Reasons For Posting Snapchat Data

Jan. 2
Bill Chappell / NPR
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Some 4.6 million Snapchat usernames and matching phone numbers were published online late Tuesday, a week after the hacking research group Gibson Security posted instructions for how to access Snapchat users' information.

California Bullet Train In Limbo After Legal Setbacks

Jan. 2
Associated Press
17 Comments

Recent court rulings against the $68 billion high-speed rail project have created confusion about the bullet train's prospects.

California Supreme Court Grants Law License For Immigrant

Jan. 2
By KPBS and Associated Press
3 Comments
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The California Supreme Court decided to grant a law license to a man living in the United States illegally who graduated from law school and passed the state bar exam.

Weekly US Unemployment Benefit Claims Fall To 339K

Jan. 2
Associated Press
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The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dipped 2,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, evidence that layoffs are low and hiring will likely remain steady.

San Diego State University Joins College Bans On Smoking

Jan. 2
By Kenny Goldberg
1 Comment
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San Diego State University is now a smoke-free campus. The new non-smoking policy was years in the making.

New California Law Requires Doctor's Note For Vaccine Exemptions... But There's An Out

Jan. 2
By Claire Trageser
25 Comments
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A new law went into effect Jan. 1 making it a little harder for California students to skip required vaccinations. But there's still an easy way out for parents who don't want their kids to get shots.

100 Million People In Path Of 2014's First Wintry Blast

Jan. 2
Mark Memmott / NPR
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100 Million People In Path Of 2014's First Wintry Blast Tease photo

From the upper Midwest, through parts of the Mid-Atlantic and on up through New England, the first big winter storm of the year is expected to affect up to 100 million people over the next 24 hours or so, The Weather Channel says.

Why The Cod On Cape Cod Now Comes From Iceland

Jan. 2
Rachel Gotbaum / NPR
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Good luck finding local cod in Cape Cod, Mass.

'Good Behavior' More Than A Game To Health Care Plan

Jan. 2
Kristian Foden-Vencil / NPR
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Behaving well in elementary school could reduce smoking in later life. At least, that's what Trillium Community Health Plan hopes, and it's putting money behind the idea.

Punishing Inmates With 'The Loaf' Persists In The U.S.

Jan. 2
Eliza Barclay / NPR
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In many prisons and jails across the U.S., punishment can come in the form of a bland, brownish lump. Known as nutraloaf, or simply "the loaf," it's fed day-after-day to inmates who throw food or, in some cases, get violent. Even though it meets nutritional guidelines, civil rights activists urge against the use of the brick-shaped meal.