News From NPR

The Two-Way
11:13 am
Wed December 11, 2013

U.S. Suspends Some Aid To Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 3:53 pm

This story was updated at 12:59 p.m. ET

The U.S. government has suspended all non-lethal aid to the Western-backed military wing of the Syrian opposition.

The suspension, which was announced Wednesday, began on the weekend after Islamist rebel groups seized control of warehouses containing communications equipment and other aid items.

NPR's Deborah Amos, who is in Beirut, filed this story for our Newscast unit:

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Debate Club: Blocks Are The Best Toys Ever

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 8:16 am

Resolved: That blocks are the best toys ever.

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Asiana Pilot Was 'Very Concerned' Before California Crash

The wreckage of Asiana Airlines flight 214 on the runway at San Francisco International Airport last July.
National Transportation Safety Board Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 6:07 am

The pilot of an Asiana Airlines passenger jet that crashed in July at San Francisco International Airport has told investigators he was "very concerned" about trying to land there, The Associated Press writes.

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Health Care
10:10 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Exchange Enrollment Growing But Still Short Of Forecasts

The Obama administration just released the latest sign-up numbers for its troubled health insurance exchange website. Enrollment picked up last month, after a disastrous start in October. Still, the number of people signing up for coverage is below the administration's original forecasts.

Politics
10:04 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Pensions Become Less Certain For Government Workers

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn smiles during the signing of the pension overhaul legislation bill on Dec. 5 in Chicago. Looking on from left are Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington; Senate GOP leader Sen. Christine Radogno; Rep. Darlene Senger, R-Naperville; Rep. Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs; House Speaker Michael Madigan and Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 11:18 am

Federal workers have reason to be nervous. The budget agreement announced Tuesday — if it passes — would raise revenue by making employees contribute more toward their pensions.

It's part of a trend. Governments at all levels have been cutting back on pension benefits in recent years, in an attempt to fix funding problems caused by the recession and years of fiscal mismanagement.

In many cases, states and localities have made benefits less generous. But that has, for the most part, only affected newly hired workers.

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