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2:54 am
Wed January 29, 2014

On The Plains, The Rush For Oil Has Changed Everything

Diners at Lonnie's Roadhouse Cafe eat breakfast before heading to work in Williston, N.D.
Annie Flanagan for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:49 pm

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

On a Sunday at dusk, Amtrak's eastbound Empire Builder train is jampacked, filled with people heading to their jobs in North Dakota towns like Minot, Williston and Watford City.

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It's All Politics
2:50 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Inside The State Of The Union: What The President Proposed

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:49 pm

After a long spell of partisan trench warfare and gridlock, President Obama called for "a year of action" Tuesday as he focused on themes that are central to his second-term agenda. The changes he proposed in his annual State of the Union speech were relatively modest, but flashes of ambition showed in his promise to move forward, with or without Congress, to address issues of income inequality.

Here's what President Obama proposed on the policy front:

Minimum Wage

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It's All Politics
2:34 am
Wed January 29, 2014

5 Things We Learned From The President's Speech

President Obama delivers his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
Larry Downing Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 9:21 am

Much of what was in President Obama's fifth State of the Union address was expected — it was signaled for days leading into the speech. Even so, there were a few revealing moments.

Here are five that stood out:

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It's All Politics
12:37 am
Wed January 29, 2014

From Establishment To Tea Party, Republicans Rebut President

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., rehearses the GOP response to the State of the Union on Capitol Hill. She delivered it Tuesday following the president's speech.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 9:23 am

Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the highest-ranking female Republican in the U.S. House, occupied a coveted spot Tuesday night: She delivered the televised rebuttal to the president's State of the Union.

Yet the Washington congresswoman and mother of three young children didn't have the spotlight to herself. She faced competition from within the ranks of her own party, a stark reflection of the divisions that have riven the GOP.

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The Two-Way
12:02 am
Wed January 29, 2014

WATCH: Obama Tells The Story Of A Wounded Soldier

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 1:19 am

There was one moment during President Obama's State of the Union speech on Tuesday that overcame all the bitter division and cynicism of Washington.

It happened when Obama spoke about Army Ranger Cory Remsburg, who was almost killed by a roadside bomb during his 10th deployment to Afghanistan.

Sitting next to first lady Michelle Obama, Remsburg received two minutes of applause from the chamber.

Despite surgeries and struggles Remsburg never quit, Obama said.

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