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2013: The Year In Political Screw-Ups

NPR News - Tue, 2013-12-31 09:30

If anything defined 2013, it was the political misstep. Between the broken promises, personal scandals and federal government shutdown, it was a year that left voters frustrated and, in some cases, appalled.

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Cruz Green Eggs And Ham: Political Hit Or Miss?

NPR News - Tue, 2013-12-31 09:27

Texas Senator Ted Cruz was a political hit or miss, depending on whom you ask. Host Michel Martin and guests talk about Cruz and other politicians of note for this year's 'Tell Me Awards.'

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As 2013 Winds To An End, So Do The Tweets Of 1963

NPR News - Tue, 2013-12-31 08:45

Since June, we've been "live-tweeting" moments from 1963 as if they were happening today. That includes "replays" of the March on Washington, the Birmingham church bombing and President Kennedy's assassination.

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How NAFTA Helped The Mexican Billionaires' Club

NPR News - Tue, 2013-12-31 08:34

When the North American Free Trade Agreement was being negotiated, supporters promised it would increase the income of Mexicans. And the middle class did grow over the past two decades. But it's clear that the country's ultrarich are its big winners.

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How Deflating: Huge Rubber Duck Goes Flat In Taiwan

NPR News - Tue, 2013-12-31 08:20

The giant inflatable is supposed to project peace and harmony. But Tuesday, it suddenly burst. This isn't the first time that one of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's floating works of art has gone pffff.

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From Pandas To Health Care: The 13 Numbers Of 2013

NPR News - Tue, 2013-12-31 07:40

NPR has been taking a look at the numbers that tell the story of 2013. These 13 reflect the highs and lows of the year, from deadly wildfires and the war in Syria, to football stadiums and same-sex marriage.

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Rival South Sudan Factions Agree To Talks, Cease-Fire

NPR News - Tue, 2013-12-31 07:37

The conflict pits the country's president against his former vice president, who is accused of plotting a coup. But the violence in the oil-rich nation also has tribal and ethnic dimensions that threaten the world's newest country.

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Has Tim Tebow Found His Right Place At ESPN?

NPR News - Tue, 2013-12-31 07:25

The quarterback won fans across the nation a few years back, but hasn't been able to build a solid NFL career. He'll be a college football analyst on TV. Does that sound like the right move for him?

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Happy New Year! The Celebrations Are Underway

NPR News - Tue, 2013-12-31 06:00

The new year has arrived in Australia, New Zealand and other places in the Pacific. As 2014 begins around the world, we'll watch for highlights of the celebrations. Among the things to watch for: Dubai's bid to set a new world record for biggest fireworks display.

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'Twerk' And 'Selfie' Top Latest List Of Words That Need To Go

NPR News - Tue, 2013-12-31 05:15

What words are you sick of hearing? The wags at Lake Superior State University are out with their annual nominees. Others include "hashtag" and "twittersphere."

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Animal Loses Head But Remembers Everything

NPR News - Tue, 2013-12-31 04:42

They look like fettuccine come to life — little flatworms that glide along riverbeds and perform miracles. Chop off their tails, they grow them back. Split them in half, they grow whole again. But chop off their heads, and not only do they grow new heads, but those new heads contain old memories! Whoa!

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Singing, Stomping, Stranded Explorers Prep Antarctic Helipad

NPR News - Tue, 2013-12-31 04:34

Icebreakers haven't been able to reach the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which is trapped in ice. As soon as the weather clears, it's hoped that a helicopter will be able to reach the scene and then carry passengers to other ships nearby.

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Michael Schumacher Showing 'Surprising' Improvement

NPR News - Tue, 2013-12-31 03:32

The retired Formula One race car driver suffered a severe head injury Sunday while skiing in France. Doctors say Schumacher suffered bruising throughout his brain. They can't yet predict whether he will recover, but they're more optimistic. He's had a second surgery.

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Doctors: Not enough Alaskans getting flu vaccines

Southeast Alaska News - Tue, 2013-12-31 01:08

ANCHORAGE — Too few Alaskans are getting an annual flu shot, doctors say, with some patients claiming they are too healthy to need a vaccination and others saying the side effects scare them away.

“Every year you get hundreds of thousands of people in the United States alone who are hospitalized as a result of influenza infection,” said Dr. Joe McLaughlin, Alaska state epidemiologist. “You don’t get that with the common cold.”

This week, Alaska state health officials began tracking adults who die from the flu, KTUU-TV reported.

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Texas transplant to North Pole finds her calling in tamales

Southeast Alaska News - Tue, 2013-12-31 01:08

FAIRBANKS — Just a few minutes after the “open” sign lit up Thursday at Outlaw Tamales, owner Cylle Pompa was already worried that supplies were running low.

A car had just pulled up and ordered four-dozen pork tamales from the tiny North Pole food hut. A few minutes later, another vehicle arrived to put a dent in the chicken tamale reserve. Eight-dozen more tamales had been pre-ordered and were waiting for pick-up.

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Juneau flu cases have quadrupled in last week

Southeast Alaska News - Tue, 2013-12-31 01:07

Reported cases of influenza in Juneau have quadrupled in the last week, says a nurse at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Kim Vermedal, a registered nurse and the hospital’s infection prevention specialist, said that this year’s flu season started a little later than usual.

“It’s not too late to get vaccinated,” Vermedal said. “We don’t know how long this season is going to last, but it could last into March.”

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Weaker-than-predicted aurora on display

Southeast Alaska News - Tue, 2013-12-31 01:07

FAIRBANKS — This has been a lower-than-expected year for the aurora borealis, though it’s not yet clear what impact, if any, that might have on tourists that visit the Fairbanks area to see the northern lights.

Fairbanks had received coverage in major trade publications, including The Lonely Planet and National Geographic, advising readers that this would be a good year to see the aurora.

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New ADOT deputy commissioner named

Southeast Alaska News - Tue, 2013-12-31 01:06

John Binder was named deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Transportation Monday.

“John brings to the department proven leadership and management from his time with the Air Force. He has a wealth of aviation education and experience and strong Alaskan roots,” DOT Commissioner Pat Kemp said in a statement.

Binder will be responsible for overseeing the State of Alaska international airport system and the Division of Statewide Aviation, which includes 252 state-owned rural airports.

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Handful of new laws taking effect in new year

Southeast Alaska News - Tue, 2013-12-31 01:06

JUNEAU — Several new laws are taking effect in Alaska with the new year, the biggest of which centers on the state’s oil production tax.

The oil-tax cut pushed by Gov. Sean Parnell and passed by lawmakers in April was the biggest legislative story of 2013 and could be one of the biggest political stories of the coming year. The tax cut is the subject of a referendum, and voters will decide in August whether to keep or repeal it.

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Feds announce test sites for drone aircraft

Southeast Alaska News - Tue, 2013-12-31 01:06

LAS VEGAS — Six states were named Monday by federal officials to develop test sites for drones — a critical next step for the burgeoning industry that could one day produce thousands of unmanned aircraft for use by businesses, farmers and researchers.

Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia will host the research sites, providing diverse climates, geography and air traffic environments as the Federal Aviation Administration seeks to safely introduce commercial drones into U.S. airspace.

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