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The Two-Way
10:03 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Enrollment Through Federal Health Market Surges In December

Alicia Martinez tries to sign up for a health care plan at a Miami Enrollment Assistance Center on Dec. 20, in Miami, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 1:49 pm

The White House released new figures on Sunday that show a surge in the number of Americans who have signed up for health insurance through the federal marketplace.

According to a blog post by Marilynn Tavenner, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator, 1.1 million Americans have signed up for coverage since the marketplace opened in October.

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Politics
8:59 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Family Leave Laws Enacted In 10 Cities And States In 2013

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 11:12 am

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This month, NPR's been looking at some of the numbers that bring 2013 into focus. Today, the number 10. That's how many cities and states have passed laws guaranteeing access to some kind of family leave this year, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families. That group's long championed such leave policies. And joining us now to talk about such trends is Vicki Shabo, the partnership's director of work and family programs. Welcome.

VICKI SHABO: Thank you, Jennifer. It's so great to be here.

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Politics
8:59 am
Sun December 29, 2013

John Kerry's Ambitious First Year

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 11:12 am

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

Secretary of State John Kerry helped broker the deal to remove chemical weapons from Syria. He's been in his State Department post since February, and in that time has had a full portfolio - Syria, Iran, another attempt at Mideast peace talks. To better gauge how John Kerry's performed during his first year on the job, we called David Ignatius. He is a columnist for the Washington Post. Thanks so much for joining us.

DAVID IGNATIUS: Oh, happy to be with you.

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Middle East
8:59 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Security, Logistics Problems Plague Syria's Weapons Removal

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 11:12 am

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

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Middle East
8:59 am
Sun December 29, 2013

'Terrorist' Label Is A Massive Setback For Muslim Brotherhood

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 11:12 am

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Sun December 29, 2013

At Least One Rocket Fired From Lebanon Hits Israel

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 2:10 pm

Putting a dent in a cease-fire that has lasted for seven years, at least one rocket fired from Lebanon landed in Israel on Sunday. The rocket did not cause any damage and the Israeli military responded with artillery fire.

The New York Times reports:

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Animals
8:27 am
Sun December 29, 2013

To Save The Black Rhino, Hunting Club Bids On Killing One

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 11:12 am

Fewer than 5,000 black rhinos are thought to exist in the wild, and in an effort to preserve the species, the Dallas Safari Club is offering a chance to kill one.

The Texas-based hunting organization is auctioning off a permit to hunt a rhinoceros in Nambia. It's a fundraiser intended to help save the larger population.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Blast At Russian Train Station Leaves At Least 15 Dead

Russian firefighters and security personnel inspect the damage at a train station following a suicide attack in the Volga River city of Volgograd, Russia.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 10:32 pm

At least 15 people were killed on Sunday when a suspected female suicide bomber detonated an explosive device inside a train station in Volgograd, Russia.

Russia Today, a government-funded, English-language news outlet, reports that authorities are treating the incident as a terrorist attack. RT adds:

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Thousands Still Without Power As More Snow Due To Fall

Maine resident Jim Ridley uses a flashlight to get his mail Thursday. Thousands may be without power well into next week if snow and ice hit the state Sunday night.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 1:25 pm

A massive post-Christmas package of precipitation is headed up the East Coast today. The storm is predicted to dump snow and ice from Boston on up and promises to vex residents already a week without power since the last winter storm.

The storm is carrying drenching rain through the Carolinas, Mid-Atlantic and southern New England during the day. The downpour will reduce visibility and make travel difficult, according to Accuweather.com.

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Education
5:09 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Closing The 'Word Gap' Between Rich And Poor

In Virginia this summer, Arlington Public Schools transported students in poor neighborhoods to community libraries for group readings. Studies say children from low-income families may hear roughly 30 million fewer words by age 3 than their more affluent peers.
Bill O'Leary The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 11:12 am

In the early 1990s, a team of researchers decided to follow about 40 volunteer families — some poor, some middle class, some rich — during the first three years of their new children's lives. Every month, the researchers recorded an hour of sound from the families' homes. Later in the lab, the team listened back and painstakingly tallied up the total number of words spoken in each household.

What they found came to be known as the "word gap."

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