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Oklahoma Watch

Questions Deepen Over Cash Shortfall At State Health Department

The Oklahoma State Department of Health went more than a year without a chief financial officer, and questions later arose about whether the agency overestimated revenues and used restricted federal funds to fill the gaps, sources told Oklahoma Watch. However, a former chief financial officer at the agency said he had no knowledge of restricted funds being used to cover shortfalls. Complicating the agency’s finances was a struggle by state information technology officials to integrate the...

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Civil Penalties At Stake In BP's Trial

Feb 20, 2013

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. BP faces trial next week in a civil lawsuit to fix blame for the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. It's the 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico.

MONTAGNE: Eleven rig workers were killed and nearly five million barrels of oil spilled. Some of the oil drifted onto beaches and wetlands from Florida to Texas.

The movie Beasts of the Southern Wild is a fairy tale of a film. It might not seem to have much in common with documentaries about evangelical Christians in Uganda or the billionaire Koch brothers. But these films were all funded by a not-for-profit group called Cinereach. It was started by a couple of film school graduates who are still in their 20s. And now, with Beasts, it has a nomination for Best Picture at this year's Oscars.

Increasingly, people are continuing to work past 65. Almost a third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 are working, and among those older than 75, about 7 percent are still on the job. In Working Late, a series for Morning Edition, NPR profiles older adults who are still in the workforce.

Sticking to a diet is a challenge for many people, but starting next year, Americans may have an even bigger, financial incentive to keep their weight in check. The new health care law includes a provision that would allow employers with more than 50 employees to require overweight workers who do not exercise to pay more to cover their insurance costs.

Some employers, inspired in part by the success of shows like The Biggest Loser, are already designing weight-loss programs that use money to succeed where willpower has failed.

Even people who've never been to New York can tell you how to hail one of the iconic yellow cabs there. You just raise an arm and flag one down.

But the city wants to change that. Following the lead of cities like San Francisco and Washington, D.C., New York wants to permit passengers to use smartphone apps to find a cab.

Since Mayor La Guardia established New York's modern taxi system in 1937, there have been two big innovations in cab hailing: the whistle and the red light bulb on top of apartment building awnings.

These have certainly been dispiriting times for those who admire athletes, who proclaim that sports build character. The horrendous shooting by Oscar Pistorius is of course, in a category mercifully unapproached since the O.J. Simpson case, but the Whole Earth Catalog of recent examples of athletic character-building is certainly noteworthy.

It's looking increasingly likely that $85 billion of automatic federal budget cuts known as a sequester will come to pass if Congress doesn't act by March 1.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This week on our program, we're going to hear from the directors of the five films nominated for Best Short Documentary at the Oscars, from life in the throes of breast cancer to life as a can collector on the streets of New York.

About 1 in 5 Medicare patients who leave the hospital come back within 30 days. Those return trips cost U.S. taxpayers a lot of money — more than $17 billion a year.

In October, the federal government started cracking down on hospitals, penalizing them if too many of their patients bounce back.

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