The bill that prevented the nation from plunging over the fiscal cliff did more than just stop income tax increases and delay across-the-board spending cuts. It also included several provisions that tweaked Medicare and brought bigger changes to other health care programs.
Among the more than 80 House freshmen who were sworn in this week, there were several who had been there before — including Florida Democrat Alan Grayson.
After starting his first term four years ago, Grayson quickly made a name for himself with biting comments targeting Republicans — like when he said during the health care debate: "If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly."
His national stature didn't prevent him from being defeated in 2010. But now Grayson is back.
Good morning. I'm David Greene. Don't play with the iPad if Mom tells you not to, especially if Mom's a prankster. Eight-year-old Kenyon was looking at a car on eBay. Mom told him he accidentally bought it for $50,000.
KENYON: Is that true? Did I?
MOM: I'm afraid so.
GREENE: She posted his reaction on YouTube.
KENYON: It was a Mustang. I didn't mean to buy it.
You've seen this happen, maybe done it yourself. You approach an intersection, the light turns yellow, but instead of slowing to a stop, you accelerate and blow through. Chinese authorities have now outlawed this practice. New rules say yellow is the new red. It means stop. The change has prompted vocal protest, even at the official Chinese news agency. One Chinese critic says the new rules are contrary to Newton's First Law about momentum.
Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:47 am
Michigan's Mackinac Island was fought over by France, England and the United States. The 200-year-old city in northern Lake Huron is a popular tourist destination. But the demolition of old buildings has raised a fierce debate about how to hold onto the past while profiting from it.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
Farmers and ranchers across this country expected to start the year with a new farm bill in place. This is an important piece of legislation to many people. It sets agricultural policy for the next five years.
And that brings us to today's last word in business: melty money.
The Bank of Canada released new hundred dollar bills in 2011. The high-tech bank notes are made of polymers. They're sort of like plastic bills. The goal was to make them indestructible. They were put through a lot of tests. They were put through the wash, frozen, boiled. But some Canadians who have their hands on the money say the plastic bills melt when subjected to extreme heat.
Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:50 am
On Friday, new unemployment numbers will be released for December. In last month's report, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent, a four-year low. For a preview of the labor market prospects for the new year, Steve Inskeep talks to Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, an international consulting firm.
A 32-year-old Bay Area prosecutor will be sworn in to Congress on Thursday after ousting a 40-year incumbent.
California Democrat Eric Swalwell — who will be the second-youngest member of Congress — capitalized on his opponent's gaffes and used old-fashioned door-knocking and high-tech mobile phone outreach to win votes.
His first challenge in Washington might be getting people to pronounce his name correctly. Even senior members of California's congressional delegation have gotten it wrong, saying "Stallwell" instead of "Swalwell."
Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 8:26 am
The Hardy family goes back generations in a tiny neighborhood called Gerritsen Beach at the southern end of Brooklyn. For them, Superstorm Sandy has created something like an extended family reunion.
Their 2 1/2 bedroom house is currently just barely livable. They removed a fallen tree, replaced drywall, fixed the electricity and heat, and threw down rugs to keep the dust and mold from overwhelming them until they do the work the house really needs.
The Hardy family is more closely knit than a lot of people could stand.