All Things Considered for Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Notices Canceling Health Insurance Leave Many On Edge

President Obama repeatedly said that anyone who likes their current health insurance policy would be able to keep it. But insurers have sent hundreds of thousands of cancellation notices to people who buy their own coverage — and some of them face significantly higher costs to get new policies under the Affordable Care Act.
The latest complaints about the health law center around the question of whether you can keep your current health plan if you like it. There actually are rules associated with the law that try to protect that right. Here's a primer on those rules.
Jon Stewart's news-driven comedy show has mined many a joke from the Affordable Care Act's rocky rollout. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans spoke with All Things Considered's Audie Cornish about whether the mockery could have a real impact on younger viewers' responses to the health care law.

What Does The Fox Say? 'It's Halloween'

Fox costumes are on the rise this year thanks to a Norweigan duo's YouTube video gone viral: "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)."
In the Northern California town of Santa Rosa, a sheriff's deputy shot and killed a 13-year-old Latino boy holding a toy gun shaped like an assault rifle. Hundreds of protesters have marched to demand a transparent investigation into the case.
The small tourism-dependent community of Estes Park, Colo., had a tough tourist season this year due to fires, flooding and the government shutdown. The resulting tourism decrease has also affected the town's hospital, where the cost of keeping staffing at normal levels comes at a higher cost these days.
Federal Reserve policymakers wrapped up their two-day October meeting Wednesday by announcing that they will maintain the Fed's $85 billion per month bond purchase program. The central bank's statement said that conditions in the labor market have "improved" and inflation is modest. But, in explaining the decision to maintain the stimulus, the statement pointed to a slowing housing market and said that fiscal policy is "restraining economic growth."
Against the backdrop of big uncertainties business are facing — everything from the future of fed policy and leadership and gridlock in Washington to the effects of Obamacare, inflation and unemployment — Robert Siegel talks with Pat Meyer, president and CEO of windows and doors maker Pella Corporation for an on-the-ground sense of how businesses see these uncertain economic times.

Texas' Voter ID Law Creates A Problem For Some Women

A strict voter ID law being tested in Texas is having unexpected consequences. It requires the name on voters' official ID to match with the name on their voter ID card. That's causing problems for some women, whose names changed because of marriage or divorce.

ACLU Report Questions 'Suspicious Activity' Reporting

The American Civil Liberties Union has obtained internal documents from the federal government's anti-terrorism programs — relying on "suspicious activity reports" — that suggest that state law enforcement officials and others have repeatedly questioned their value.
As the world series continues at Fenway Park in Boston Wednesday night, so will bed-time battles with young Sox fans. The post season has left many kids — and adults — on the East Coast struggling to keep their eyes open at work and school.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified on the Affordable Care Act before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. She began with an apology for the plan's troubled rollout — but then defended the law and rejected calls to extend the enrollment deadline.
President Obama traveled to Boston Wednesday, where he spoke at Fanueil Hall about the Affordable Care Act. The site of his speech is significant as the hall where then-governor Mitt Romney signed the state's health law, which was the model for the federal plan. Like Obamacare, the Massachusetts plan had a rocky rollout. Its an analogy the president touts, though one that only goes so far.
The New York state attorney general's office has opened an investigation on department stores Barneys. The retailers are in hot water after recent claims of racial profiling of African-American shoppers.
The Indian IT company Infosys has tentatively agreed to pay the U.S. government $34 million for alleged immigration violations.
Oil production in the U.S. is booming, and that's making it harder to get crude oil from the field to the refinery. With pipelines filled to capacity, energy firms are turning to rail networks.
It's been a year since Hurricane Sandy knocked the mid-Atlantic states for a loop. Scientists say that as sea level rises, such storms are likely to occur more often. But the new, more realistic flood maps could boost flood insurance rates. Will politics trump science?
Business owners in lower Manhattan are taking matters into their own hands to prepare for when flooding threatens, hardening buildings and investing in barriers they can put up on their own to create a dry perimeter around their properties. Sea level rise is expected to make the area much more prone to inundation in just a few decades.

Read 'Matilda' With NPR's Backseat Book Club

In November, NPR's Backseat Book Club is reading Matilda by Roald Dahl. It's the story of an exceptionally gifted girl who outsmarts her cruel parents and the brutish school headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, with the help of her magical abilities and her kind teacher Miss Honey. Read along with us and send your questions to backseatbookclub@npr.org.
Istanbul inaugurated the world's first continent-connecting train line this week. It's not the Orient Express, but the subway does make real an idea first proposed in the mid-19th century.
At the Old Bailey Courthouse in London Wednesday, the prosecution laid out the case against former journalists of the now-defunct British tabloid News of the World.
Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, an unlikely scene unfolded as a bust of Winston Churchill was unveiled in Statuary Hall Wednesday. The entertainment: Roger Daltrey. Who? Yes, Roger Daltrey of the 1960s rock band The Who.
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