All Things Considered for Tuesday, December 17, 2013

President Obama met with tech leaders Tuesday at the White House. The subject was the troubled Affordable Care Act website and the challenges of federal procurement. The president also tapped one of their own to take over the overhaul of HealthCare.gov: Kurt DelBene, a former Microsoft executive and husband of Rep. Suzan DelBene.

How The U.S. Helped Fight The Global AIDS Epidemic

Ten years ago Congress approved a $15 billion plan to combat HIV in developing countries. Since then, the global health initiative has funded HIV treatment for nearly 7 million people and prevented hundreds of thousands of babies from getting infected during childbirth.

A Majority In U.S. Favor Legal Pot, But Will That Stick?

Colorado and Washington state are setting up legalized marijuana markets, and advocates are celebrating. But there are signs of discontent. Even a founder of a marijuana legalization group says there's a possibility of a popular backlash.

Diary Of Influential Nazi Given To Holocaust Museum

The diary contains handwritten notes by Alfred Rosenberg, a top aide to Adolf Hitler who helped shape Nazi ideology. Sara Bloomfield, director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, says it took 17 years to procure the diary.
The second part of NPR's series on maritime Britain begins on a small ferry en route to the storm-lashed island of Lundy. The island, just three miles long, is where pirates once awaited their prey. Today, there are just over two dozen permanent residents, all employed by a conservation organization that protects the island. Lundy has a pub, a small fire department and publishes its own stamps. Bells have been re-hung in the tower of an old gothic church, and since then some 2,000 bell ringers have made pilgrimage to the island.

Letters: Shipping Forecast-Inspired Music And Nostalgia

Audie Cornish and Melissa Block read emails from listeners about Philip Reeves' report about the BBC's Shipping Forecast, a maritime weather forecast treasured by sea-farers and land lubbers alike.
Free-diving is a risky sport, involving swimming deep into the ocean without the aid of air tanks. But after a diver's death in November, some free-divers worry that the sport's governing body is still not doing enough to prevent common injuries and reel in overambitious competitors.
Walmart, one of the country's largest corporation, is selling Occupy Wall Street posters online. The company has itself been the target of occupy demonstrations advocating for higher wages. On sale are large, panoramic posters of protesters camped out at Zucotti Park in New York City, where the movement started in 2011.
The Senate advanced the bipartisan budget deal Tuesday, essentially making final passage inevitable. It will tamp down the budget wars for two years (although another deadline looms in January). The deal has received less than enthusiastic support; Republicans grumble about spending and Democrats grumble about expiring unemployment benefits.

Judge Rules Against NSA Bulk Collection Program

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ruled the National Security Agency likely violated the Fourth Amendment in its controversial bulk phone collection program for Americans. The decision, which will be appealed, nonetheless represents a symbolic victory for opponents of mass surveillance.
In the six months since leaks about NSA surveillance began, the intelligence community has struggled to cope with the ramifications of the unauthorized disclosures. With the scandal still reverberating, we take a year-end look at how NSA contractor Edward Snowden got the documents, the scale of what he took, what other categories of documents might still be revealed.

Russia Agrees To Financial Massive Bail-Out For Ukraine

Moscow has agreed to a massive financial bail-out for Ukraine, including big discounts on natural gas supplies from Russia and billions of dollars in loans. The deal will buy some time for embattled President Viktor Yanukovich, but it's unlikely to solve Ukraine's weeks-long political crisis. Tens of thousands of demonstrators continue to occupy the main square in Kiev, protesting Yanukovich's refusal to sign an agreement with the European Union, and his turn toward Russia. Critics are asking what strings are attached to Russia's largesse, and economists question whether it's a good deal for anyone.
GlaxoSmithKline says it will stop paying doctors to speak on its behalf at conferences and will also stop paying for doctors to attend conferences where marketing takes place. The company is also changing the way it compensates its global sales force. Some of the changes will go into effect by early 2015, others will take a bit longer.
Two decades ago, labor unions warned that the North American Free Trade Agreement would drive away U.S. jobs and push wages down. Today, unions feel as strongly as ever that NAFTA was a mistake for U.S. workers, but quantifying the factors behind the decline in the middle class is no simple matter.
Some of the most heated protests in San Francisco have been over big, sleek buses — private shuttles that Silicon Valley tech companies like Google and Facebook use to get their city-living employees to work. They've become a symbol of the city's changing socioeconomic landscape.

Israeli Startup Offers Kids Social Media Training Wheels

Most social networks require users to be at least 13. But Itay Eshet's daughter, like many kids, wanted to join Facebook when she was just 10. So Eshet created a site just for younger kids, designed to protect them from bullying and other risks while teaching them to navigate social media safely.
NPR's Melissa Block talks with director Lucy Walker about her documentary The Crash Reel, which follows snowboarder Kevin Pearce from a devastating accident through his rehabilitation from a debilitating brain injury.
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