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Stories for January 9, 2014

Sportswriter Who Let Readers Fill Out Hall Of Fame Ballot Is Banned

Jan. 9
Bill Chappell / NPR

After it was revealed that he used his Baseball Hall of Fame voter ballot to pass along the suggestions of readers of the sports site Deadspin, Dan Le Batard has been stripped of his membership in the Baseball Writers Association of America. He is also banned from all future Hall of Fame votes.

Qualcomm Moves Beyond Phones At CES

Jan. 9
By David Wagner
Tease photo

Qualcomm may be known as the company that makes the stuff inside smartphones. But the company didn't roll out any new phone chips at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

Alcoa Will Pay $384 Million Penalty For Bahrain Bribes

Jan. 9
Bill Chappell / NPR

In what's being called one of the largest U.S. anti-corruption settlements on record, Alcoa and an affiliate it controls have agreed to pay millions in fines and criminal and civil penalties. The companies acknowledge paying bribes to royal family members in Bahrain.

Kevin Faulconer Endorsed By San Diego Coalition Of Pastors

Jan. 9
By City News Service

A coalition of pastors in southeast San Diego pitched their support behind Coucilman Kevin Faulconer in the mayoral race.

FATHER BROWN: Series One

Jan. 9
FATHER BROWN: Series One Tease photo

Based on the short stories by G. K. Chesterton, FATHER BROWN follows the kindly cleric as he solves crimes in his community. It is a quintessentially English world: drawing rooms in large country houses, miles of countryside, village halls and secret gardens, as well as country fairs, railway stations and rural parish churches. Each episode sees the enigmatic priest investigate a crime in his own particular way, using intuition and psychology. Father Brown discovers the truth of a crime by looking into the truth of the soul – the passions, dark secrets, hidden desires.

Food Firms Trim Trillions Of Calories From Packaged Treats

Jan. 9
Michaeleen Doucleff / NPR
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It sounds impressive: Major food companies have slashed 6.4 trillion calories from packaged foods they sold in 2012 compared with 2007, a study reported Thursday.

A Newly Potholed Bridge Pops Up On Christie's Road To 2016

Jan. 9
Frank James / NPR
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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has found the George Washington Bridge in his way on the road to a potential 2016 presidential run. Right now, it's still an open question whether he'll get over it.

Navy Secretary Mabus Thanks San Diego Shipbuilders For Work

Jan. 9
By Dwane Brown
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U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus spoke to San Diego shipyard workers Thursday about national and local issues impacting the shipbuilding industry.

California Doctors Praise Governor's Move, But Say Medi-Cal Pay Still Too Low

Jan. 9
By Kenny Goldberg

California doctors are praising Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget, which eliminates a retroactive Medi-Cal pay cut, but many say they still can’t afford to treat Medi-Cal patients.

NBC San Diego To Leave Downtown Studio By 2016

Jan. 9
By City News Service

The NBC affiliate in downtown San Diego announced Thursday it is planning tp leave its Horton Plaza location for a suburban site by 2016.

White House Picks Choctaw Nation To Fight Poverty In Okla.

Jan. 9
Hansi Lo Wang / NPR
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Fifty years after President Lyndon Johnson declared his "War on Poverty," President Obama issued his own plan to combat poverty Thursday with the nation's first five "Promise Zones."

Every Job In America, In 1 Graph

Jan. 9
Quoctrung Bui / NPR
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Whatever Friday's monthly jobs report says, it won't change the big picture. There are roughly 137 million jobs in this country. About two-thirds of those jobs are in private-sector services; the remaining third are split between goods-producing jobs (mainly manufacturing and construction) and government work (mostly at the state and local level).

Gov. Brown Unveils 2014 California Budget, Says Prudence Is Key

Jan. 9
By City News Service
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Gov. Jerry Brown said Thursday in San Diego that California's finances are healthy, but long-term liabilities require a prudent state budget in the upcoming fiscal year.

Gates Memoir Could Prove Helpful To Hillary Clinton In 2016

Jan. 9
Frank James / NPR
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In his new memoir, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates made a fairly serious charge against Hillary Clinton that likely will hound her if she decides to run for president in 2016: that she admitted in his presence that there were political considerations in her opposition the U.S. military surge in Iraq.

California Budget Increases Spending On Groundwater

Jan. 9
Amy Quinton, Capital Public Radio

The new California state budget commits $8 million in funds in order to help manage groundwater better.

Amiri Baraka, Poet And Co-Founder Of Black Arts Movement, Dies At 79

Jan. 9
Neda Ulaby / NPR
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One of America's most important -- and controversial -- literary figures has died at the age of 79.

The FBI's Comey On Snowden: 'Confused' By Hero Talk

Jan. 9
Carrie Johnson / NPR

FBI Director Jim Comey says he's "confused" by reports that characterize NSA contractor Edward Snowden as a "whistleblower" or a "hero" because, he says, all three branches of America's government have approved the bulk collection of U.S. phone records, one of the most important revelations in Snowden's cascade of leaks.

Nuclear Missile Officers Reportedly Implicated In Drug Probe

Jan. 9
Scott Neuman / NPR
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Two U.S. Air Force officers with authority to launch nuclear-tipped Minuteman 3 missiles, have reportedly been implicated in an illegal-narcotics investigation.

Tech Ventures in Georgia Prosper As Health Care Law Kicks In

Jan. 9
Jim Burress, WABE
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Georgia is fighting the health care law at every political turn.

Writer And Activist Amiri Baraka Dies At Age 79

Jan. 9
Bill Chappell / NPR
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Amiri Baraka, the writer who was born LeRoi Jones, has died at age 79. Baraka's career spanned art and activism: He was an influential poet and an award-winning playwright who didn't shy away from social criticism and politics.

Indian Diplomat At Center Of Row With U.S. Leaves The Country

Jan. 9
Krishnadev Calamur / NPR
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The Indian diplomat whose arrest in New York sparked a diplomatic row between India and the U.S. left the country Thursday even as a grand jury indicted Devyani Khobragade on visa fraud and other charges.

MARTHA BAKES: Special Breads

Jan. 9
MARTHA BAKES: Special Breads Tease photo

Join Martha as she shares her secrets for making three of her all-time favorite breads. First, an Irish soda bread that she serves every St. Patrick’s Day, always a hit. Next: an olive and cheese loaf — a no-knead bread that’s baked in an enameled cast iron pot. Then a simple and delicious bread called Sally Lunn. And finally, a memorable custard-filled cornbread.

Gates Unleashed: Ex-Defense Chief Goes Scorched Earth On Congress

Jan. 9
Liz Halloran / NPR
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Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made international news this week with the release of a memoir that serves up a big helping of unvarnished criticism of his former boss, President Obama.

Space Music: How To Hear Solar Flares From The Moon

Jan. 9
Bill Chappell / NPR
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We've been following the coronal mass ejection that headed toward Earth after an intense solar flare was emitted from the sun earlier this week. And now NASA tells us that such events can be heard, in a sense, by tuning in to CRaTER Radio, a "sonification" project that uses data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to generate musical sounds and stream them on the Internet.

San Diego Padres announce 2014 Opening Day opponent

Jan. 9
By City News Service
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Are you ready for some baseball? The San Diego Padres start the 2014 season at home, facing the Los Angeles Dodgers.

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Queens Of The Stone Age

Jan. 9
AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Queens Of The Stone Age Tease photo

Queens of the Stone Age performs rock anthems from its latest LP ... "Like Clockwork." Their set list includes "Millionaire," "No One Knows," "My God is the Sun," "I Sat by the Ocean," "In the Fade," "If I Had a Tail," "Little Sister," "Smooth Sailing," "Go With the Flow," "The Vampyre of Time and Memory" and "A Song for the Dead."

NSA Says It Would Welcome Public Advocate At FISA Court

Jan. 9
Mark Memmott / NPR
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The National Security Agency "would welcome" the creation of a public advocate's position at the court that oversees its electronic surveillance programs, says its outgoing deputy director.

What It Means To Be ‘Black While Blue’

Jan. 9
Liam Dillon, Voice of San Diego
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SDPD Detective Sgt. Benjamin Kelso says racial relations within the department and in the community have improved since his fellow officers racially profiled him two decades ago. But he says the department is far from post-racial.

Gov. Jerry Brown Addresses California Drought

Jan. 9
Amy Quinton, Capital Public Radio

Gov. Jerry Brown has said he will do whatever he can in order to try and alleviate the dry conditions hitting California.

Government Tech Problems: Blame The People Or The Process?

Jan. 9
Elise Hu / NPR
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Thanks to epic problems with HealthCare.gov's rollout, the federal government's out-of-date technology processes have received more attention than most of us could have expected. The main doorway for millions of Americans to get health insurance was unusable for two months, but that screw-up is just one in a long line of government IT failures. In the flood of embarrassing government tech anecdotes that have come out since, we've learned a key federal agency still relies on floppy disks.

States May Recognize Same-Sex Marriages, But Navajo Nation Won't

Jan. 9
TELL ME MORE STAFF / NPR
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Same-sex marriage is banned in 32 states, but it is allowed in 18 states and in Washington, D.C. Though just this week, these marriages were stopped in Utah while the state appeals an earlier court decision allowing them.

Video - Two Dead, One Still Missing After Navy Helicopter Crash

Jan. 9
By Beth Ford Roth
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The Navy has confirmed that two crew members are dead and one is still missing after their helicopter crashed Wednesday morning off the coast of Virginia.

Inbreeding found in S. California mountain lions

Jan. 9
Associated Press

Three mountain lion kittens born last month in the Santa Monica Mountains were inbred, a wildlife expert said, marking a troubling sign for a population penned in by the urban sprawl of metropolitan Los Angeles.

EPA To Require S. California Offshore Fracking Reports

Jan. 9
Associated Press

Federal environmental regulators will start requiring oil and gas operations off the Southern California coast to report chemicals discharged into the ocean from fracking.

How Long Is Too Long? Congress Revisits Mandatory Sentences

Jan. 9
Liz Halloran / NPR
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Mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug dealers were once viewed as powerful levers in the nation's war against drugs, a way to target traffickers, and punish kingpins and masterminds.

Review: 'Birth Of The Living Dead'

Jan. 9
By Beth Accomando
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George A. Romero didn’t invent zombies but he defined them for the modern age in 1968 with his low-budget film “Night of the Living Dead.” Now a new documentary, "Birth of the Living Dead" (playing Thursday and Friday night at the Digital Gym Cinema) looks at the making of this cult classic.

The Case Against Clemency: Expert Says Snowden's Leaks Hurt Security

Jan. 9
Scott Neuman / NPR
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A former NSA general counsel tells NPR's Morning Edition that Edward Snowden advertised his theft of government secrets as an act of civil disobedience and should take responsibility.

Gov. Brown Visits San Diego To Propose Billions In New Spending

Jan. 9
By Susan Murphy
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Gov. Jerry Brown will visit San Diego on Thursday to discuss his 2014-15 budget proposal, which includes an increase in spend­ing on schools, health­care and wel­fare for poor Cali­for­ni­ans.

Abandoned Homes Plague Tijuana’s Outlying Suburbs

Jan. 9
By Jill Replogle
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The estimated 50,000 abandoned homes in Tijuana are dragging down home values and quality of life in many of the city's outlying suburbs.

Review: 'Lone Survivor'

Jan. 9
By Greg Magnus
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Based on actual events, "Lone Survivor" is a gripping film about four Navy SEALs who never stopped fighting despite overwhelming opposition — until only one was left to tell the tale. It opens nationwide Jan. 10.

San Diego's Ecosystems On Exhibit At Natural History Museum

Jan. 9
Midday Edition
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A new exhibit at the San Diego Natural History Museum displays San Diego's rich ecosystems in all their beauty and complexity.

Behind The Scenes: 'Hot Guys Dancing'

Jan. 9
By Beth Accomando, Nicholas McVicker
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Diversionary Theater wanted dance on its program but couldn’t risk losing money. That’s when organizers came up with "Hot Guys Dancing" (the latest edition opens tonight and runs through Sunday).

The Fruits Of Free Trade: How NAFTA Revamped The American Diet

Jan. 9
Ted Robbins / NPR

Walk through the produce section of your supermarket and you'll see things you'd never have seen years ago -- like fresh raspberries or green beans in the dead of winter.