5:15pm

Thu January 3, 2013
The Two-Way

Kansas Presses Sperm Donor To Pay Child Support

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:36 pm

A Kansas man's decision to donate sperm to help a lesbian couple conceive a child in 2009 has landed him in a complicated legal case, as a state agency is now pursuing him for child support payments. William Marotta, 46, is asking a judge to dismiss the case, which has grabbed national attention.

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4:36pm

Thu January 3, 2013
Energy

Wind Industry Secures Tax Credit, But Damage May Be Done

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:10 pm

Wind turbines dwarf a church near Wilson, Kan. Although Congress voted to extend a wind energy tax credit, the temporary uncertainty dealt a blow to the industry.
Charlie Riedel AP

The wind energy industry is dependent on something even more unpredictable than wind: Congress. Hidden in the turmoil over the "fiscal cliff" compromise was a tax credit for wind energy.

Uncertainty over the credit had lingered long before the last-minute political push, causing the industry to put off further long-term planning. So while the now-approved tax credit revives prospects for an industry facing tens of thousands of layoffs, don't expect to see many new turbines coming up soon.

Growing Uncertainty

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4:07pm

Thu January 3, 2013
Movies

E-Vote Hiccups Delay Oscar Balloting

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:10 pm

Accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers prepare ballots for last year's Oscars mailing. Glitches in a new online voting system have prompted organizers to push back this year's balloting deadline.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

Voting for this year's Oscar nominations was supposed to have closed today — but it's been bumped a day, in the wake of complaints about the new online voting system put in place by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Hollywood Reporter analyst Scott Feinberg tells NPR's Audie Cornish that the system was supposed to make life easier for academy members.

"Going to e-voting would allow voters to vote from anywhere in the world, if they're on vacation or whatever during the holidays, and just make the process itself more streamlined and efficient."

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3:34pm

Thu January 3, 2013
Shots - Health News

Utah And 6 Other States Get Feds' OK To Run Insurance Exchanges

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 3:39 pm

Utah got the go-ahead to run its own insurance exchange, but the federal blessing may not last.
iStockphoto.com

In a surprise, the Obama administration said Thursday that it has given Utah a conditional OK to run its own health insurance marketplace.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, has resisted making major changes to the state's existing marketplace, which was built before passage of the federal health law and is geared to small business.

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3:15pm

Thu January 3, 2013
The Two-Way

DNA Links Bloody Handkerchief To French King's Execution

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:28 pm

Scientists have established the authenticity of a cloth dipped in the blood of France's King Louis XVI. A memorial depicts the executed king and Queen Marie-Antoinette at Saint-Denis, near Paris.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

In France, a team of scientists says that a piece of cloth that was reputedly dipped in the blood of Louis XVI is genuine. Louis XVI was executed 220 years ago this month, during the French Revolution.

The handkerchief had been stored for years in an ornately decorated gourd, as Tia Ghose writes at Live Science.

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2:55pm

Thu January 3, 2013
U.S.

Hit-And-Run Deaths Increase, But Culprits Hard To Capture

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:10 pm

Officers Carol Mitchell and John Hill investigate the death of a disabled teen who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in Los Angeles.
Gloria Hillard for NPR

Pedestrian and cyclist fatalities are increasing nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Los Angeles and New York City have the highest rates of those deaths.

In Los Angeles, where the car is the major mode of transportation, hit and runs involving pedestrians occur almost daily. But these crimes can be the most difficult for law enforcement to investigate and solve.

People Don't Want To Get Involved

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2:49pm

Thu January 3, 2013
U.S.

For Many Kids, Winter Break Means Hungry Holidays

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:10 pm

Tamara Burney's kindergartners eat lunch in the Hillview Elementary cafeteria in Jefferson County, Ala.
Dan Carsen WBHM

Holidays are typically a festive time, with breaks from the routine, meals with loved ones, maybe even some gifts. But for many families across the U.S., the season comes with intense stress: Roughly 1 in 5 families with children are not getting enough food.

For some, free or reduced-price school meals have become a major source of basic nutrition. When schools close for the holidays, many of those families struggle to fill the gap.

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2:48pm

Thu January 3, 2013
The Salt

Drought Puts The Squeeze On Already Struggling Fish Farms

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:10 pm

Catfish swim in a tub outside the Osage Catfisheries office.
Kristofor Husted KBIA News

This year's drought delivered a pricey punch to US aquaculture, the business of raising fish like bass and catfish for food. Worldwide, aquaculture has grown into a $119 billion industry, but the lack of water and high temperatures in 2012 hurt many U.S. fish farmers who were already struggling to compete on a global scale.

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2:20pm

Thu January 3, 2013
U.S.

The Phantom Tax That Made The Deficit Look Better

The alternative minimum tax created a "useful fiction," as one analyst says, by appearing to shrink budget deficits.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

As Americans continue to sort out the contents of the fiscal cliff legislative package passed by Congress Tuesday, they are finding elements they like and some they hate.

There's one exception. Everyone is glad Congress finally found a permanent fix for the alternative minimum tax.

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2:06pm

Thu January 3, 2013
The Two-Way

Transocean To Pay $1.4 Billion In Gulf Oil Spill Settlement

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:10 pm

The Transocean Discoverer Enterprise drill ship collects oil from the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil well as workers try to stem the flow of the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, June 12, 2010.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig where 11 men died in April 2010, has agreed to pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties to resolve Justice Department allegations over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

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