Morning Edition for Monday, January 6, 2014

The Senate on Monday voted to confirm Janet Yellen as the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve. But it delayed at the last minute taking a procedural vote on extending federal jobless benefits.

Polar Vortex Blamed For Dangerously Cold Weather

A phenomenon called the Polar Vortex is responsible for one of the nation's coldest periods in two decades. David Greene talks to Andrew Freedman, senior science writer for Climate Central, an independent non-profit organization researching and reporting on the science and impacts of climate change.

High Court Stops Gay Marriages In Utah

The U.S. Supreme Court issued the order on Monday and it puts gay marriages on hold until an appeal is decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Utah had been allowing gay marriages since Dec. 20.
The vice principal of a suburban Seattle Catholic school says he was fired for marrying a man. The school's lawyer says the administrator resigned when he was told he'd broken the rules. Students have been protesting the school's anti-gay-marriage policy, but legal precedents appear to be on the side of the school and diocese.

Detroit Barber Fails To Break Haircut Record

It's actually not that surprising that Detroit barber Brian 'B-Dogg' Price didn't get enough volunteers to help him break the record for most haircuts in one hour. The current record is 34. Would you like a haircut that took less that two minutes?
The invasive species of fish has already taken over parts of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. There are fears it could decimate native fisheries in the Great Lakes. A new report detailing options for keeping Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes indicates it would be costly and could take decades.
John Rizzo, who guided the CIA through more than three decades of crisis and controversy, has written a new memoir called Company Man. He talks with NPR's Renee Montagne about the origins of the infamous "enhanced interrogation techniques" that emerged after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Microsoft Reveals 'Epic' Xbox Sales

Microsoft announced sales of its new Xbox One topped 3 million units by the end of 2013. In a blog post, the company called it "the most epic launch of Xbox by all measures." The third generation console was available a week before Thanksgiving.

In Gaming, A Shift From Enemies To Emotions

Many of these "empathy games" focus on smaller, more personal stories about everyday people. Today's developers grew up with the medium, says one designer. For them, it's "natural to consider that you can have a game about anything."

'Class Trumps Race' When It Comes To Internet Access

A new study finds that income and age play a larger role in access to high speed Internet than race. But, among lower income African Americans, smart phones are often a way to make up for not having a broadband connection at home. But using a mobile device as a primary means of accessing the Internet has drawbacks.
Colorado's retailers may be allowed to sell marijuana but under federal law, the state's banks cannot knowingly do business with them. This has forced marijuana merchants in the state to operate almost solely in cash.
Health care spending continued to rise in 2012, but it did so at a relatively low rate for the 4th year in a row. The report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Spending said overall spending on health care increased 3.7 percent over the previous year.
Lawyers for thousands of patients who had to have their defective hip replacements removed have reached a settlement with the company that made the faulty device. Many patients, however, aren't satisfied, and consumer advocates say the case illustrates what's wrong with how the government regulates implantable medical devices.
A new book reveals details of the historic 1971 burglary of an FBI office in Media, Pa. The theft of documents exposed domestic surveillance abuses committed by J.Edgar Hoover's FBI. The Bureau never solved the case. Now, for the first time in four decades, the people behind the burglary have told their story.

Owner Of Confiscated Raccoon Runs For Tenn. Governor

Mark Brown's raccoon Rebekah was confiscated after he posted videos of him dancing and showering with his pet. Tenn. law prohibits keeping native animals captured in the wild as pets. Brown tried but failed to get the law changed.
No. 1 Florida State defeated No. 2 Auburn 34-31 in Monday night's final BCS Championship game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. There will be a playoff system next year.

Millions Forced To Cope With Frigid Weather

The coldest temperatures in years and gusty winds that blasted the Midwest are expected to travel as far south as Brownsville, Texas, and Central Florida. The arctic air has caused temperatures to drop 20 to 40 degrees below average in several states and forced businesses and schools to close.

Can't Stand The Cold Snap? Don't Go To Antarctica

You think it's cold? You ain't seen nothing! Imagine what it's like at science's coldest places: from the Eastern Antarctic Plateau to the moons of Saturn to the coldest labs.

Blowing Bubbles And Other Cold Weather Experiments

Morning Edition listeners test the physics of extreme cold with some home-made science experiments.
Pioneering Hong Kong movie producer Run Run Shaw has died. His studio popularized the kung fu genre that influenced Quentin Tarantino and other Hollywood directors. He was 106.
There's little talk of God at "Sunday Assembly," but you will find community, music and skepticism. There are now almost 30 congregations in several countries, offering what the British founders of the movement call "the best bits of church, but with no religion and awesome pop songs."
Find an archived Episode: