Politics

5:14pm

Thu July 18, 2013
The Two-Way

GOP Won't Defend Ban On Veterans Benefits For Same-Sex Couples

U.S. Army Captain Michael Potoczniak (right) embraced his partner of 10 years Todd Saunders as they obtained their marriage license at City Hall in San Francisco on June 29.
Stephen Lam Reuters /Landov

House Republicans, who defended in court the Defense of Marriage Act only to see it struck down by the Supreme Court last month, have now decided not to try to defend a similar law that denies veterans' benefits to married, same-sex couples.

BuzzFeed, which broke the news Thursday of the GOP's decision, reports that:

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5:07pm

Thu July 18, 2013
Politics

Lawmakers Work To Finish Deal On Student Loan Rates

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:31 pm

A bipartisan group of senators announced a deal Thursday to protect college students from an interest rate hike on federal student loans. Those rates doubled on July 1, and lawmakers raced to forge an agreement before most students begin taking out loans for the new school year.

5:07pm

Thu July 18, 2013
Health

State By State: How Health Law Will Affect Premiums

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:31 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In that speech today on the health care law, President Obama made a point of highlighting some good news the administration got yesterday.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: State officials in New York announced that average premiums for consumers who buy insurance in their new marketplace will be at least 50 percent lower next year than they are today. Think about that, 50 percent lower.

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5:07pm

Thu July 18, 2013
Politics

Obama Pushes Back Against Efforts To Undermine Health Law

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:31 pm

President Obama gave a White House address Thursday, flanked by Americans now paying less for health insurance or receiving reimbursements from health insurers under Obamacare. It was a response to recent efforts by House Republicans to repeal or undermine the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

4:24pm

Thu July 18, 2013
Politics

IRS Hearing Turns Tables With Auditor In The Hot Seat

Congress held yet another hearing on the IRS targeting scandal Thursday. But unlike previous hearings, where the IRS took the brunt of the tough questions for flagging conservative groups, Thursday's hearing saw the auditor whose report sparked the whole proceedings get equally tough questions from Democrats. They accuse him of neglecting to point out that liberal groups received similar scrutiny. Audie Cornish gets the latest from NPR's Tamara Keith.

4:07pm

Thu July 18, 2013
The Two-Way

EPA, Labor Nominees Confirmed

By 59-40 vote mostly along party lines, the Senate on Thursday afternoon confirmed Gina McCarthy as the next head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

That followed a 54-46 vote early in the day to confirm Thomas Perez as Labor secretary.

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3:37pm

Thu July 18, 2013
Shots - Health News

World's Biggest Virus May Have Ancient Roots

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 6:14 am

Pandoraviruses were discovered lurking in the mud of Chile and Australia, half a world apart.
courtesy of Chantal Abergel and Jean-Michel Claverie

Researchers have discovered the largest virus ever, and they've given it a terrifying name: Pandoravirus.

In mythology, opening Pandora's Box released evil into the world. But there's no need to panic. This new family of virus lives underwater and doesn't pose a major threat to human health.

"This is not going to cause any kind of widespread and acute illness or epidemic or anything," says Eugene Koonin, an evolutionary biologist at the National Institutes of Health who specializes in viruses.

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2:04pm

Thu July 18, 2013
Politics

The United States Of Dynasty: Boom Times For Political Families

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 3:23 pm

Liz Cheney walks off the stage with her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, after addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2010.
Cliff Owen AP

Another day, another political dynasty.

This latest one is taking shape in Wyoming, where Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, announced Tuesday that she's challenging incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi in the 2014 Republican primary.

Her announcement is a fitting prelude to the next four years, when voters will witness America's political royalty in its full glory.

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5:07am

Thu July 18, 2013
Politics

Congress Takes Renewed Aim At Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 7:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

For the first time since the housing crash, lawmakers are getting serious about dismantling the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They were rescued with $190 million bailout. Two prominent senators - a Democrat and a Republican - have a bill that's attracting some bipartisan support. A separate Republican bill is being introduced in the House today and a third may soon come from Democrats. NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

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5:07am

Thu July 18, 2013
Business

Wall Street Poised For Bernanke's Senate Panel Testimony

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 7:45 am

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke continues his two-day monetary policy testimony on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, the chairman appeared before the House Financial Services Committee.

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