Morning Edition for Thursday, November 14, 2013

Members of Congress are unlikely to adopt one measure that many victims say is essential: taking away from commanders the ability to decide whether to pursue assault cases. Members of Congress say that step would undermine order and discipline in the ranks, and the Pentagon agrees.

6 Ideas Being Floated To 'Fix' Obamacare Sign-Up Woes

As technical problems with the government's new health insurance marketplace slow the pace of sign-up, a variety of "fixes" have been proposed. But some of these would create their own challenges. In rough order from least to most disruptive, here are some of the ideas.
Opium poppy cultivation has hit a record level, according to a new U.N. report. Western countries have been trying to eradicate the poppies for years. Yet it remains the single largest economic sector in places like the southern province of Helmand.

U.S. Military Helps Transport Typhoon Survivors

Stories of survival are still emerging from the Philippines following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan. The U.S. military has been playing a major role helping the area recover. Survivors say if not for U.S. Marine transport planes, they would be trapped in Tacloban.

Contractors Lobby For Alternatives To Military Cuts

Congress has a little less than two months to head off $20 billion of cuts to the Pentagon budget. It's the second wave of mandated sequestration that kicked in this year. Military contractors say more cuts would be catastrophic.
In the northern Rockies of Montana, wildlife is a part of daily conversation. Fishing alone generates $250 million a year, and the pursuit of trout brings in most of that money. But record droughts and declining snowpack mean streams are becoming less habitable for this revered fish.

U.S. Oil Production Surpasses Foreign Imports

The U.S. produced more crude oil than it imported in October. That's the first time that has happened since 1995. The U.S. is still a long way from energy independence, but the trend is decidedly positive.

Fracking Boom Gives U.S. Geopolitical Leverage

Steve Inskeep talks to Gregory Zuckerman, a senior writer with The Wall Street Journal, about how the fracking boom has given the U.S. power in pushing for an agreement with Iran on its nuclear weapons program. Zuckerman is the author of The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters.

Will Bitcoin Ever Rival U.S. Dollar?

Bitcoin is an online currency backed by nothing except faith that others will accept it. A young American couple wondered how far could they could push it. The Wall Street Journal reports the couple traveled to three continents, and managed to persuade merchants everywhere to accept the currency. Almost everywhere — they did go hungry for a night in Stockholm.

Health Care Registration Numbers Are Revealed

The Obama administration says just about 100,000 people managed to choose health plans through the federal and state health exchanges during their first month of the program. Critics say that shows the law is failing. But most analysts say the first month's numbers wouldn't have meant very much, even if the federal website had been working properly.
The first woman to be nominated to head the Federal Reserve takes the witness chair on Capitol Hill Thursday morning for her confirmation hearing. Janet Yellen's challenge will be to reassure her Democratic supporters that she's focused on job creation, while convincing at least a few Republicans that she'll keep inflation in check.
The official death toll from the typhoon is expected to keep rising — thousands are still missing. Aid continues to come into the Philippines from around the world, but its flow is being hampered by poor logistics. The central government is being blamed for not doing more.
Agents at the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have spent months testing new plastic weapons, and report the guns can be lethal and hard to detect. The findings come just as a federal law that requires guns to be composed of at least some metal to help people in schools and airports detect them is set to expire.

How Best To Manage Workplace Bullying

Some form of hazing or bullying seems part of sports and military culture but what about in office environments? Linda Wertheimer talks to Gary Namie, director of the Workplace Bullying Institute, about what subtle forms of bullying can take place in the workplace.

Rep. Waxman Weighs In On Affordable Care Act Problems

Steve Inskeep talks to Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman of California about the lower-than-expected number of Americans who successfully signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. A growing group of Democrats are backing a Republican plan to delay the penalties or allow Americans to keep their current plans.

How The Sharing Economy Is Changing The Places We Work

The sharing economy is already changing several sectors: housing, transportation, retail. In some cities, it's changing the way we work. As more people start their own enterprises, they're shunning traditional offices and choosing to share space instead.
Souleyman discusses the importance of musical experimentation in an unlikely setting. In conversation with NPR's Renee Montagne, the Syrian electronic musician also expresses his desire to perform in his homeland again.

Fake Cop Devours Real Donuts In Florida Shop

Dunkin Donuts offers a discount for police. But one officer returned multiple times and even brought his family in for some treats. The manager suspected he was no cop and the real police caught up to him.

Happy Birthday Prince Charles

The heir to the British throne turns 65 on Thursday, making him eligible for his government pension. The prince plans to donate his $175 a week to charity.
Find an archived Episode: