Special Report: Auditing The Disaster Aid For 2013 Tornadoes And Storms

Federal public-assistance funds are paying for the rebuilding of Plaza Towers Elementary School, in which seven children died in the May 20, 2013, tornado. The school is expected to open next month.
Clifton Adcock Oklahoma Watch

The tornadoes and storms that devastated Oklahoma and killed 34 last year triggered the release of tens of millions of dollars in federal and state aid that will keep flowing for years.

To date, the federal government has approved up to $257 million in disaster assistance of various kinds to help re build damage and help victims of the winds and flooding that struck between May 18 and June 2, 2013, and to mitigate future risks.

The state has contributed an additional $10.5 million, and private insurers are paying about $1.1 billion. Charities also have pumped in aid.

The relief aid stemming from Disaster No. 4117, as it is called by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is arriving through several channels, heading ultimately to state and local agencies, contractors, businesses and individuals.

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TED Radio Hour
9:01 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Are Droids Taking Our Jobs?

Andrew McAfee speaking at TEDxBoston.
Sheryl Lanzel TED

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 1:57 pm

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Do We Need Humans?

About Andrew McAfee's TEDTalk

Robots and algorithms can now build cars, write articles, and translate texts — all work that once required a human. So what will we humans do for work? Andrew McAfee looks at recent labor data to say: We ain't seen nothing yet.

About Andrew McAfee

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TED Radio Hour
9:01 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Will Man's Best Friend Be A Robot?

Cynthia Breazeal speaking at TEDWomen conference.
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 7:36 am

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Do We Need Humans?

About Cynthia Breazeal's TEDTalk

Why do we use robots on Mars, but not in our living rooms? Cynthia Breazeal realized the key was training robots to interact with people. Now she builds robots that teach, learn — and play.

About Cynthia Breazeal

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NPR Story
9:00 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Do We Need Humans?

Can we improve technology and preserve human dignity?
Thinkstock

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 1:46 pm

We've been promised a future where robots will be our friends. But are we ready for how those innovations will change us as humans? In this episode, TED speakers consider the promises and perils of our relationship with technology.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

National Security
9:00 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Is All The Talk About Cyberwarfare Just Hype?

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says the danger of a devastating cyberattack is the No. 1 threat facing the U.S. He made the assessment Tuesday on Capitol Hill before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats.
Susan Walsh AP

U.S. government pronouncements about the danger of a major cyberattack can be confusing. The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, and the head of the U.S. military's Cyber Command, Army Gen. Keith Alexander, delivered mixed messages this week while testifying on Capitol Hill.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Book News: Geithner Writing 'Behind The Scenes' Story Of The Financial Crisis

Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's new book promises to give us the inside dope about reaction to the financial crisis.
Win McNamee Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Gasoline Pushed Consumer Prices Up Sharply In February

Handles on a gas pump in Brooklyn.
Jonathan Fickies Landov

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 9:05 am

Consumer prices jumped 0.7 percent in February from January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The increase was fueled by a 9.1 percent surge in gasoline prices. Gas prices alone accounted for about two-thirds of the overall rise, MarketWatch says.

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Fri March 15, 2013

More Problems Aboard Carnival Cruise Ships

The Carnival Dream docked in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, in December 2010.
Andy Newman AP

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 12:53 pm

For the past month, management at Carnival Cruise Lines has been in a nearly constant state of damage control.

In the past week alone, three of the cruise line's giant floating playgrounds have experienced embarrassing malfunctions that have at least inconvenienced, if not angered, many passengers.

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The Two-Way
7:06 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Son's Coming Out Leads Sen. Portman To Reverse On Same-Sex Marriage

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.
Justin Lane EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 12:40 pm

Saying that he has reconsidered the issue in the two years since learning that his son is gay, Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio announced Thursday that he no longer opposes same-sex marriage.

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The Two-Way
6:36 am
Fri March 15, 2013

'Over A Year Or So' Before Iran Could Develop Nuclear Weapon, Obama Says

President Obama on Wednesday at the Organizing for Action dinner in Washington, D.C.
Aude Guerrucci DPA /LANDOV

Putting a more specific estimate that he has in the past on the issue of how long it might take Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, President Obama has told Israel's Channel 2 TV that it could happen in "over a year or so" if efforts to dissuade Iran do not succeed.

The president also said that while he wants to resolve the issue diplomatically, he is keeping "all options on the table."

For its part, Iran has long said its nuclear program is only aimed a peaceful uses for that energy source.

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StoryCorps
5:52 am
Fri March 15, 2013

A 'Good Enough' Dad And His Special Son

Tim Harris (right) and his father, Keith, visited StoryCorps in their hometown of Albuquerque, N.M.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 9:53 am

In Albuquerque, N.M., there's a restaurant called Tim's Place. It's named after Tim Harris, a young man with Down syndrome who started the business in 2010 with help from his dad, Keith.

Six days a week, Tim greets each customer at the door. He calls it the world's friendliest restaurant.

The day Tim's Place opened "felt awesome," Tim, 27, tells his father on a visit to StoryCorps. "I wanted to own a restaurant ever since I was a kid. That was my dream."

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