Morning Edition for Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Midwest Tornadoes Send Residents Scrambling

The cleanup continues across the Midwest, where dozens of tornadoes struck on Sunday. The Illinois town of Washington appears to have been hardest hit. The mayor says as many as 500 homes were damaged or destroyed by a tornado that cut a path about an eighth of a mile wide from one side of the town to the other.

Wisconsin Chooses Its Own Path To Overhaul Medicaid

Wisconsin is taking a unique path on Medicare. The state's Republican governor rejected federal funds to expand Medicaid coverage. But Wisconsin is also bringing more people into Medicaid while moving others to private insurance on the health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.

Tina Brown's Must-Reads: On Survival

In the latest edition of Word of Mouth, NPR's Steve Inskeep gets recommendations from Daily Beast editor Tina Brown on the subject of survival.

More Aid Reaching Remote Areas Of Philippines

Displaced typhoon survivors in Tacloban are still trying to get a handle on their lives being turned upside down. Many will be dependent on aid for months to come.

A New Life For An Old Slave Jail

Lewis Henry Bailey was freed from slavery in Texas and began his journey home back to Virginia by foot 150 years ago. The jail where he was sold to slave dealers as a child is now a museum and the offices of a local Urban League chapter just outside of the nation's capital.
It's been 40 years since the Supreme Court accepted what became a landmark case about school desegregation. The case was controversial because it involved busing students between a largely African-American city and its white suburban areas. The city was Detroit and the ruling helped cement differences between urban schools and suburban ones.
The cyber-currency was at the center of a Senate panel hearing Monday. Senators are looking into the way Bitcoin was used by the illegal drug marketplace that called itself Silk Road. But even with the scrutiny, Bitcoin investors drove the virtual currency to record highs.

The Surprising Cultural Stamina of Pokemon

Fifteen years ago, pocket-sized characters known as Pokemon arrived on American shores from Japan. The cute creatures were suddenly everywhere: television, video games, card games and a movie. But few people imagined that in 2013, the stars of the characters and franchise would still be going strong.

Anticipated China Announcement Fuels Certain Stocks

The Chinese government announced last week that soon families will be permitted to have two children — if one of the parents is an only child. They haven't announced when that policy change will occur. Still, on Asian markets, stock prices of baby formula, diaper and stroller companies all soared on Monday in anticipation.

JPMorgan, DOJ Expected To Settle Over Mortgage Abuses

The Justice Department is said to be announcing on Tuesday a $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase. The deal centers on mortgage securities issued in the run-up to the financial crisis.
A congressional directive requires U.S. detention centers to fill 34,000 beds per night. Supporters say it ensures that the nation's immigration laws are being enforced. But critics say housing a fixed number of immigrants at any given time is inhumane, inefficient and too expensive.

Study: Commuting Adversely Effects Political Engagement

Researchers think an increase in commuting may be partly to blame for widespread political disengagement among many Americans. As stressed-out commuters disengage, they leave the political arena to the most partisan voters.

'You Just Get Used To It': An LA Commuter's Diary

About 10 percent of working Americans carpool to work. For two years, Neville Amaria was one of them. He spent two to three hours a day in the car with as many as four co-workers squeezed in alongside him. Now his office has moved closer to home. Here's an audio diary from the last morning of his carpool.

Iranian Cultural Attache Killed In Beirut Blasts

A car bomb at the Iranian embassy in southern Beirut killed two dozen people and highlighted the spillover tensions from the civil war in Syria next door. Steve Inskeep talks to Anne Barnard, the Beirut bureau chief for The New York Times.

NSA Releases 1,000 Declassified Documents

The director of the National Intelligence has released another set of previously secret documents about NSA surveillance programs. The released followed a freedom of information request by the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The documents, many heavily redacted, reveal more about NSA programs.

Technology Outpacing Policymakers, Needs Of NSA

The controversy over the National Security Agency's surveillance programs has exposed a problem in the oversight of those programs. Changes to adapt have come so fast that legislators, judges, policymakers and technology firms can't keep up, and major gaps have appeared in policymaking and legislating.
To mark the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, Steve Inskeep talks to historian Eric Foner, whose book, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, won the Pulitzer Prize.

Brooklyn Writer Live-Tweets Couple's Breakup

Brooklyn writer Kyle Ayers says he was on his apartment rooftop when he witnessed a breakup. So he decided to tweet what the man and woman were saying.

Word Of The Year: Selfie

The Oxford Dictionary says the smartphone self-portrait perfectly captures 2013.
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