NPR News



Mon January 26, 2015
It's All Politics

Abortion Vote Shows How Much Democrats' World Has Changed

Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., announces he will vote to pass the health care reform bill after President Obama agreed to sign an executive order reaffirming the ban on the use of federal funds to provide abortions, March 21, 2010.
Alex Brandon AP

This week, Congress returns with House leaders vowing to revisit the anti-abortion bill they pulled off the floor last week. The ban on abortions after 20 weeks was withdrawn when it appeared there weren't enough Republican votes to pass it.

Why did it need quite so many Republican votes? Because the GOP can no longer count on a contingent of Democrats to help out on abortion-related votes.

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Mon January 26, 2015
The Two-Way

U.S. Drone Strikes Target Suspected Al-Qaida Militants In Yemen

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 2:38 pm

A U.S. drone strike on suspected al-Qaida militants in Yemen killed at least three people, just days after the U.S.-backed government resigned in the face of an uprising by Shiite Houthi rebels, effectively leaving the country with no government.

The Associated Press reports that the strike, which occurred in the central province of Marib, targeted a vehicle carrying three men near the border with neighboring Shabwa province, an al-Qaida stronghold. The news agency also quoted an al-Qaida member as saying two of the slain fighters were Yemenis, one Saudi. Here's more:

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Mon January 26, 2015
Book Reviews

These 13 'Almost Famous Women' Stirred Up Trouble, Or Trouble Found Them

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 2:17 pm

One of Megan Mayhew Bergman's short stories is based on the life of dancer and actress Butterfly McQueen.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Almost Famous Women is the kind of "high concept" short-story collection that invites skepticism. These stories are about 13 historical women whose names you mostly might sort-of recognize. Beryl Markham, Butterfly McQueen and Shirley Jackson are slam-dunks, but Romaine Brooks and Joe Carstairs are a bit blurrier. While the family names of Allegra Byron, Dolly Wilde and Norma Millay betray their relation to important figures, we don't know what they did. And who the heck was Hazel Eaton or Tiny Davis?

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Mon January 26, 2015
Author Interviews

'Ghettoside' Explores Why Murders Are Invisible In Los Angeles

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Mon January 26, 2015
The Two-Way

India's Modi Makes A Name For Himself — Literally — In Meeting With Obama

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 3:02 pm

An up-close shot of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's suit reveals its telltale lettering: his name, in stripes of gold down his jacket.
Prakash Singh AFP/Getty Images

There are many ways in diplomacy to make a name for yourself. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to have taken this message literally.

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Mon January 26, 2015
Shots - Health News

Pediatricians Say Don't Lock Up Teenagers For Using Marijuana

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 2:04 pm

A marijuana bud displayed in Denver. Don't legalize pot, the pediatricians say, but don't lock teenagers up for using it, either.
Seth McConnell The Denver Post/Getty Images

Across the country, efforts to make marijuana more accessible have quickly gained traction. Medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states, and recreational use is also legal in four states and the District of Columbia.

Science, however, hasn't quite caught up. Largely due to its illegal status, there's been very little research done on marijuana's health effects. And researchers don't fully understand how pot affects the developing teenage brain.

This may explain the why the nation's pediatricians have changed their recommendations on marijuana and children.

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Mon January 26, 2015
The Two-Way

Greece's Left-Wing Prime Minister Takes Charge

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 3:31 pm

Newly sworn-in Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras enters his new offices in Athens on Monday.
Orestis Panagiotou EPA/Landov

Alexis Tsipras, who led his left-wing Syriza party to a momentous win in Greece's parliamentary election, was sworn in today amid fears about what his win means for the country's bailout agreements with the European Union.

Reporter Joanna Kakissis in Athens, who is following the story, tells our Newscast unit that Tsipras now leads the first anti-austerity government in Europe. She adds:

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Mon January 26, 2015
The Two-Way

'Quad Copter' Flew Into, Crashed On White House Grounds, Secret Service Says

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 3:34 pm

The Secret Service released this photo of a "quad copter" that crashed on the White House grounds Monday. The agency says the copter's operator reported crashing it this morning.
Secret Service

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

The Secret Service has identified a device that was found overnight on the White House grounds as a "quad copter." The agency says the person who had been operating the device reported that it crashed after they lost control.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, the Secret Service said an individual called around 9:30 this morning to "self-report" the crashed copter. The agency adds that the person has been cooperative, and that the incident seems to stem from "recreational use of the device."

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Mon January 26, 2015

Competency-Based Degree Programs On The Rise

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 2:22 pm

LA Johnson/NPR

Competency-based education is in vogue — even though most people have never heard of it, and those who have can't always agree on what it is.

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Mon January 26, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Is There Something Uncanny About Machines That Can Think?

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 12:09 pm


Thinking machines are consistently in the news these days, and often a topic of discussion here at 13.7. Last week, Alva Noë came out as a singularity skeptic, and three of us contributed to's annual question for 2015: What do you think about machines that think?

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