Shots - Health News
9:15 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Administration Looks To Give Labor Unions Health Tax Relief

Union member Tom Stensberg holds a sign thanking Congress for the Affordable Care Act during a rally hosted by the AFL-CIO at the U.S. Capitol in May 2010.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 8:17 am

Weeks after denying labor's request to give union members access to health law subsidies, the Obama administration is signaling it intends to exempt some union plans from one of the law's substantial taxes.

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The Two-Way
9:02 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Astrodoomed? Famed Houston Stadium May Fall To Wrecking Ball

An interior shot of the Houston Astrodome taken in 1990. The stadium was "the first fully air-conditioned, enclosed, domed, multipurpose sports stadium in the world," according to the Texas Historical Association.
Tony Duffy Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 12:46 pm

Voters in Houston on Tuesday rejected a bond referendum that would have allowed Harris County, Texas, to borrow $217 million that it could then spend on turning the Astrodome into one very large convention and exhibition hall.

The vote was 53 percent against the referendum, to 47 percent in favor.

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Earthquakes
8:44 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Trying Again: Oklahoma Lawmaker Seeks Better Earthquake Insurance Info

State Rep. Mike Shelton (D-Oklahoma City)
Credit Oklahoma House

Following a rash of earthquakes, a state lawmaker says he plans to file a bill to require insurance companies to notify Oklahomans whether their policies cover property damage caused by earthquakes.

Rep. Mike Shelton of Oklahoma City filed a bill last year that would have required insurance companies to notify Oklahomans who are purchasing or renewing an insurance policy whether the policy covers losses caused by earthquakes. Shelton says the measure was opposed by the insurance industry and died in a House committee.

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Soaring Personnel Costs Threaten Readiness, Hagel Warns

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 7:57 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel talks with NPR's Steve Inskeep

Health care and retirement costs that already account for a large part of the U.S. military's budget and are on a path to go even higher could leave the nation with "a military that's heavily compensated, but probably a force that's not capable and not ready," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel tells NPR.

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Native American
8:07 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Veronica's Parents Seek Legal Fees From Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma Dad

Dusten Brown with his daughter, Veronica, before her return to her adoptive parents in South Carolina.
Credit Cherokee Nation

Attorneys for the adoptive parents of a 4-year-old girl caught up in a custody dispute are seeking $1 million in legal fees from the Cherokee Nation and the girl's biological father, who is a member of the tribe.

Attorneys representing Matt and Melanie Capobianco have filed paperwork seeking the legal fees incurred while fighting the lengthy custody battle over 4-year-old Veronica.

In September, Dusten Brown handed Veronica over to the Capobiancos after the Oklahoma Supreme Court lifted an emergency stay keeping the girl in Oklahoma.

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NPR News Investigations
8:00 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Secret Persuasion: How Big Campaign Donors Stay Anonymous

A composite image shows part of the NPR/Center for Responsive Politics reporting team's whiteboard at NPR headquarters that was used to map out how Wellspring connects to other social welfare groups. (Click the enlarge button to see a full-size image.)
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 3:48 pm

Part two of our "Secret Persuasion" story reported with the Center for Responsive Politics. Read the first part here.

As tax-exempt organizations become a vehicle of choice for big political donors, one powerful appeal is the anonymity. Federal laws allow tax-exempt groups — unlike political committees — to withhold their donor lists from disclosure.

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Your Election News In Five Headlines

Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who won a close election Tuesday to become Virginia's next governor, hugged wife Dorothy at the campaign's victory celebration in Tysons Corner, Va.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 9:57 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: A roundup of election results

Here's a cheat sheet about Tuesday's elections, starting with the most surprising news:

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Democrat Holmes Blasts Fallin
6:25 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Governor's Criticism Misconstrued

Credit Okla. National Guard / Flickr.com

 A spokesman for Gov. Mary Fallin says the governor's recent criticism of a report on the new A-F public school grading system should not be construed in any way as a threat to educators.

Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz said Tuesday that the governor, school superintendents and teachers "are all on the same side."

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Million Mask March
4:23 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Protest At Capitol Takes A Turn For The Worse

Credit courthouselover / Flickr.com

An Oklahoma Highway Patrol official says four men and a woman have been arrested at the Oklahoma state Capitol after a protest turned raucous and participants knocked over barricades.

Maj. Rusty Rhoades says the five were arrested early Tuesday afternoon on complaints of destruction of state property, obstruction and violating their protest permit. Their names were not immediately released. Rhoades said they were being transported to the Oklahoma County Jail.

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Higher Education
3:23 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

College Officials Say Oklahoma Schools More Efficient

Credit Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Oklahoma's higher education chancellor says the state's 25 colleges and universities are on track to save $451 million in five years.

Chancellor Glen Johnson told members of a legislative panel Tuesday that the state's higher education institutions have made it a priority to reduce their operating costs between 2011 and 2015.

Johnson says the savings are due to energy conservation, changes in salaries and benefits and changes in some university positions.

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