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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Shots - Health News
2:13 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Wondering If You Need A Strep Test? Crowdsourcing Might Help

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to skip the strep test sometimes?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 1:35 pm

Most sore throats aren't strep. But because strep bacteria can in rare cases cause rheumatic fever, people often feel like they should get tested for possible strep infection.

It might be possible to skip that step someday by checking whether your neighbors have been getting strep throat, researchers say. Aside from reducing the cost and inconvenience of needless clinic visits, the neighborhood strep check could reduce the risk of being needlessly treated with antibiotics.

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Elections
1:57 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Oklahoma Early Voting Days Shifting To Thursday

Voters line up in Tulsa for early voting - October 31, 2008.
Credit thefixer / Flickr Creative Commons

The days for early voting are changing in Oklahoma, thanks to a new state law.

Beginning this week, voters can cast in-person absentee ballots at their county election board offices on Thursday and Friday before an election.

Early voting on Saturdays will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., but only for state and federal elections. Because next week's election is a special election, not state or federal, there will be no early voting on Saturday.

Previously, early voting days were Friday, Saturday and Monday. The new state law took effect last week.

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Politics and Government
1:05 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Oklahoma Senator Coburn Has Recurrence Of Cancer

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)
Credit U.S. Senate

A spokesman for Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn says the lawmaker has had a recurrence of prostate cancer and is undergoing further evaluation and treatment.

Spokesman John Hart said in a brief statement to The Associated Press on Tuesday that the 65-year-old Republican will be out for the rest of the week but will be back "as soon as he's able, hopefully next week."

Coburn was treated for the same thing in 2011 and returned to work within days. He's also survived malignant melanoma and colon cancer.

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World Views
12:14 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Economic Lessons Europe Learned (Or Didn’t Learn) During The 20th Century

People walk past the former barrier between East and West Berlin after the Fall of Berlin Wall in November 1989.
Credit Raphaël Thiémard / Flickr Creative Commons

Listen to Suzette Grillot's conversation with Boston University historian Jonathan Zatlin.

Allied powers divided war-torn Germany into four zones of occupation after World War II, with three of those zones uniting in 1949 to form what became known as West Germany.

The Soviet Union controlled the fourth zone, and East Germany remained within the Eastern Bloc’s sphere of influence for the next four decades.

Boston University modern European historian Jonathan Zatlin says the divided nation served as a tripwire for all the tensions of the Cold War, and that Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin worried a united Germany posed a security risk.

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Oklahoma Watch
11:31 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Hospitals: Patients Eligible For Free Care Fail To Complete Paperwork

Wagoner Community Hospital
Credit Wagoner County Economic Development Authority / State of Oklahoma

At least 40 nonprofit or government-owned hospitals in Oklahoma spent less than 1 percent of their net patient revenues caring for those who couldn’t afford to pay their medical bills, records show.

The data, obtained by Oklahoma Watch and analyzed and reported with the Tulsa World, covers 2011 and 2012. Some hospitals reported spending below 1 percent during both years while only one year of data was available for others.

Most of the hospitals with charity care below 1 percent had negative operating margins but a few did not.

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