All Things Considered for Thursday, April 17, 2014

President Obama met Thursday with insurance company executives and a separate group of insurance regulators from the states, discussing their mutual interest in administering the new health care law.
The president has visited Prince George's County, Md., four times this year. It is the most affluent county with an African-American majority. It also happens to be very close to the White House.
Kepler-186f is almost the same size as Earth, and it orbits in its star's "Goldilocks zone"-- where temperatures may be just right for life. But much is unknown because it's also 500 light-years away.
The Supreme Court has recently ruled that mandatory life sentences, without parole, for juveniles are unconstitutional, but states have varied in how they've complied with these decisions.
Rita Izsak, the United Nations' special rapporteur on minority issues, discusses her recent visit to Ukraine.
Israel has been largely silent about Russia's muscling in on Ukraine. The tiny country — with a Russian Jewish foreign minister — seems to want to preserve its good relations with Moscow.

Harmony-Loving Sisters Keep It Retro

The Secret Sisters' new album, Put Your Needle Down, displays their sophisticated, timeless sound and the country-twang influences of their hometown, Muscle Shoals, Ala.
The Los Angeles Register is a newspaper that just launched this week. Despite dropping newspaper sales, Ben Bergman of KPCC reports that the publisher thinks there's still an audience for print.

Big Stars Don't Always Guide TV Shows To Success

CBS is planning a one-hour season finale for Robin Williams' The Crazy Ones. It was one of three sitcoms built around big established stars this season, all three of which suffered in the ratings.
When Poppy Tooker was a kid, her favorite dish was her great-grandmother's Peas in a Roux. Only years later did Tooker discover that canned peas — not fresh or frozen — were the key to the recipe.
Diplomats from the United States and Europe gathered in Geneva Thursday to discuss how to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. Secretary of State John Kerry and his counterparts from Russia, Ukraine and the European Union spoke for more than five hours on the issue.
In eastern Ukraine, demonstrators supporting a unified Ukraine are rallying just blocks from where pro-Russian militants are occupying a government building.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he hopes he won't have to move troops into Ukraine to protect the local Russian-speaking population, but he reserves the right to do so.

First Embryonic Stem Cells Cloned From A Man's Skin

Scientists based their technique on the one used to create the sheep Dolly years ago. These cells might one day be useful in treating all sorts of diseases.
The master of magic realism was the region's best-known writer. His novels were filled with miraculous events and characters; love and madness; wars, dreams and death. He died Thursday at 87.
The search continues for survivors and answers in the South Korean ferry disaster. NPR's Anthony Kuhn offers details on the latest developments.

When Being Pregnant Also Means Being Out Of A Job

Thirty-six years after Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, employers still have very different interpretations of what they're required to do to accommodate expectant mothers.
In another installment of the Spring Break series, Noah Adams visits the Serpent Mound in southern Ohio. It's not a burial site; it's a massive, grass-covered snake effigy, created a millennium ago.
Director Jonathan Teplitsky speaks about his film The Railway Man. It tells the true story of Eric Lomax, a British Army officer who was a prisoner of war during World War II at a Japanese labor camp.
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