8:11am

Wed April 16, 2014
Politics

Legislature Approves Free Community College for Tennessee Grads

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam's signature proposal to create a program that would cover tuition at two-year colleges for any high school graduate is headed to his desk.

The House approved the plan 87-8 Tuesday, a day after the Senate approved the legislation 30-1.

Called "Tennessee Promise," the legislation is a cornerstone of Haslam's "Drive to 55" campaign to improve the state's graduation rates from the current 32 percent to 55 percent by 2025 to help improve overall job qualifications and attract employers to the state.

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7:02am

Wed April 16, 2014
The Two-Way

In Ukraine: Reports Of Soldiers Switching To Pro-Russia Side

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 1:49 pm

Men sit on an armored personnel carrier in Slovyansk, Ukraine, on Wednesday. A Russian flag flies from it. When some Ukrainian forces approached the city, locals say, they were persuaded to hand over their vehicles to pro-Russia protesters.
Gleb Garanich Reuters/Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from Kramatorsk, Ukraine

Confusion continues to reign in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russia gunmen remain in control of many government offices even as the Ukrainian military sends in troops, tanks and armed aircraft in an attempt to dislodge them.

According to NPR's Ari Shapiro, who is in eastern Ukraine, locals who are pushing to separate from the central government and join the Russian Federation claim that at least some Ukrainian troops are refusing to move against them.

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6:03am

Wed April 16, 2014
The Two-Way

Rescue Crews Dive For Hundreds Still Missing After Ferry Accident

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 5:05 am

Rescuers head toward the ferry Sewol off the southern coast of South Korea on Wednesday. It sank while on a trip to a resort island. Several hundred people, most of them high school students and teachers, are missing.
Yonhap News EPA/Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports about the ferry accident
This post is being updated as news comes in.

Unsuccessful in their attempts to find the missing in a sunken ferry off the southern coast of South Korea overnight, rescue divers resumed their search at day break Thursday, Jason Strother reports from Seoul.

A day after the boat began to sink, the cause of the accident is unclear and less than half of the passengers who were on board have been rescued, Strother tells NPR's Newscast Desk.

Most of those unaccounted for are high school students who were on a trip to a resort island.

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2:43am

Wed April 16, 2014
Science

A T. Rex Treks To Washington For A Shot At Fame

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 3:33 pm

Pat Leiggi (right) of the Museum of the Rockies prepares to move a leg bone of the T. rex at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
Maggie Starbard NPR

This week, scientists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History will start unpacking some rare and precious cargo. It's something the Smithsonian has never had before — a nearly complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

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2:41am

Wed April 16, 2014
Paying For College

How One Michigan City Is Sending Kids To College Tuition-Free

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 3:33 pm

Paying for college presents a tremendous hurdle to many families, from wading through paperwork and navigating financial aid to understanding the long-term implications of college debt.

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2:40am

Wed April 16, 2014
Shots - Health News

Is Obamacare A Success? We Might Not Know For A While

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 3:33 pm

Hundreds in California rushed to get health insurance just before the deadline.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

After months of focusing on how many people have or haven't signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, we now have a rough total (7.5 million), and everyone's keen to get to the bigger questions: How well is the law working? How many of those who signed up have paid their premiums and are actually getting coverage? How many were uninsured before they signed up? And just how big has the drop been in the number of uninsured people?

Unfortunately, the answers to some of these questions simply aren't knowable — or, at least, not knowable yet.

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2:40am

Wed April 16, 2014
Around the Nation

As La. Coast Recedes, Battle Rages Over Who Should Pay

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 3:33 pm

Man-made canals built for the oil and gas industry cut through wetland. The industry argues those canals aren't to blame for coastal erosion.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Louisiana's coast is disappearing at the rate of about a football field an hour. Since the 1930s, the Gulf of Mexico has swallowed up an area the size of Delaware.

You can see the water encroaching in Delacroix in St. Bernard Parish, less than an hour southeast of New Orleans. Here, a narrow crescent of land known locally as the "end of the world" is where the road abruptly comes to a dead end; in the distance, you see the tops of now-submerged trees.

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2:37am

Wed April 16, 2014
Around the Nation

After Losing A Leg, Woman Walks On Her Own — In 4-Inch Heels

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 3:33 pm

Heather Abbott of Newport, R.I., shows off her "high-definition" prosthetic leg, which allows her to wear high heels and skirts.
Stephan Savoia AP

Returning to watch the Boston Marathon was never a question for Heather Abbott. After losing her leg in the bombing last year, watching the race is just one item on a long list of things she did before and intends to do again. Also on that list: wearing 4-inch heels.

"Sometimes, I think: Why am I doing this to myself? Because I could just wear regular flat shoes," Abbott says. "I don't want to give things up that I love to do, so I'm going to get used to it and figure it out."

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5:30pm

Tue April 15, 2014
The Two-Way

In India, Landmark Ruling Recognizes Transgender Citizens

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 5:08 am

An Indian eunuch in the eastern city of Bhubaneswar dances Tuesday to celebrate the Supreme Court's ruling recognizing a third gender category.
Biswaranjan Rout AP

India now has a third gender.

The Supreme Court has recognized the country's transgender community as being in a third neutral category — neither male nor female.

In handing down the ruling, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan said, "Transgenders are citizens of this country ... and recognition as a third gender is not a social or medical issue but a human rights issue."

Article 15 of India's Constitution guarantees that no state can discriminate against citizens on the basis of religion, caste, race or sex.

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Susan is the deputy news director who handles assignments and planning by the news staff. She's also a general assignment reporter who began her career at MPBN working at the State House in 1992. Since then she has covered major political and environmental stories, winning national awards for her beat reporting twice from the Society for Environmental Journalists. Her coverage of labor issues, including an investigative series on independent contractors, has also been recognized by the Public Radio News Directors, Inc and by the Associated Press. Susan is a graduate of the University of Montana where she got her first job in public radio news while still a student.

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