Politics

3:47am

Tue December 16, 2014
Parallels

Kurdish Officials Worry About Kurds Joining The Islamic State

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 6:15 pm

The Iraqi town of Halabja is dominated by Kurds, the group that has been fighting the Islamic State in northern Iraq. However, some Kurdish residents have been slipping away to join the Islamic State.
Yahya Ahmad Reuters/Landov

In the northern Iraqi city of Halabja, near the border with Iran, we knock on the door of a 16-year-old boy who disappeared. His family says he lied to them, saying he was going on a picnic with a teenage friend. But they never came home.

"He disappeared in May," says the boy's older sister. "A few days later a letter arrived in his handwriting. It said, 'I'm in Syria. Don't look for me.' "

The boy, like most everyone in this city, is a Kurd, most of whom are Sunni Muslim. He joined the so-called Islamic State, a Sunni Muslim extremist group also known as ISIS.

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3:28am

Tue December 16, 2014
Shots - Health News

Alaska's Governor Eager To Expand Medicaid

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 7:31 am

Valerie Davidson was appointed health commissioner by Alaska's Gov. Bill Walker to help him expand Medicaid in the state. She'll look for middle ground with Republicans to get it done, she says.
Lori Townsend/Alaska Public Media

Alaska's new governor won his election in one of the tightest races in the country, a race that was too close to call even a week after election night. Bill Walker, who ran as an independent (unaffiliated with the Republicans or Democrats), took office on Dec. 1, after campaigning on the promise that he would expand Medicaid as one of his first orders of business.

To make good on that, he'll have to face a Republican-controlled legislature that hasn't been willing to even consider the idea.

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6:44pm

Mon December 15, 2014
The Two-Way

The U.S. Has A Surgeon General, For The First Time In 17 Months

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 7:14 pm

More than a year after he was nominated, Dr. Vivek Murthy was confirmed as the next surgeon general Monday. Back in February, Murthy testified about his nomination before a Senate panel.
Charles Dharapak AP

A job that's been open in President Obama's administration since July of 2013 was finally filled Monday, as the Senate voted to confirm Vivek Murthy as America's new surgeon general.

The tally was 51-43, ending a confirmation process that began after Obama nominated Murthy to the post in November of 2013 — yes, that's one year ago.

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4:59pm

Mon December 15, 2014
Politics

Senate Set To Vote On Surgeon General Nominee

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 6:17 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

4:20pm

Mon December 15, 2014
The Two-Way

Tennessee Governor Moves To Expand Medicaid Coverage

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 12:45 pm

Gov. Bill Haslam announces his proposal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee at the state Capitol in Nashville Monday.
Erik Schelzig AP

Following the lead of other Republican governors, Tennessee's Gov. Bill Haslam is moving to expand Medicaid in his state, using federal funds from the Affordable Care Act. Haslam announced the plan Monday morning; it'll be debated by the legislature next month.

From Nashville, Bobby Allyn of member station WPLN reports:

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10:23am

Mon December 15, 2014
U.S.

Is Ted Cruz Running For President ... In 2008?

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 1:37 pm

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on Friday, as the Senate considered a spending bill.
Lauren Victoria Burke AP

Yes, we know the 2008 presidential election is years in the past and will not come around again. The question is, does Sen. Ted Cruz know this?

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4:19am

Mon December 15, 2014
Politics

'Warning Shot': Sen. Warren On Fighting Banks, And Her Political Future

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. (right), a member of the Senate banking committee, and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ranking member of the House financial services committee, express their outrage to reporters that a $1.1 trillion spending bill that was passed in Congress contains changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank law that regulates complex financial instruments known as derivatives.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Updated at 9:30 a.m. ET

Sen. Elizabeth Warren failed to stop a change in bank regulations last weekend, but she raised her profile yet again.

The Massachusetts Democrat tells NPR that her fight over a provision in a spending bill was a "warning shot." She intends to continue her fight against what she describes as the power of Wall Street, even though that fight brought her to oppose leaders of her own party.

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3:25pm

Sun December 14, 2014
The Two-Way

Cheney On Harsh Interrogation: 'I'd Do It Again In A Minute'

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 3:51 pm

Former Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, in September. Cheney has been highly critical of the bipartisan Senate report
Cliff Owen AP

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is standing by his spirited defense of harsh interrogation techniques used against terrorist suspects during the George W. Bush administration.

Given another chance to authorize such methods, Cheney declared on NBC's Meet the Press today: "I'd do it again in a minute."

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7:47am

Sun December 14, 2014
Politics

Senate Passes $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 12:18 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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7:47am

Sun December 14, 2014
National Security

Two Views Of The CIA's 'Enhanced' Interrogations

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 6:06 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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