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Michele Norris & Robert Siegal
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3:02pm

Thu November 28, 2013
Shots - Health News

Breaking Up With HealthCare.gov Is Hard To Do

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 3:43 pm

Lara Imler has tried to cancel her enrollment on HealthCare.gov, but to no avail.
Annie Feidt Alaska Public Radio Network

Enrolling in HealthCare.gov is not easy, and it's been particularly difficult in Alaska. Just 53 people enrolled in the first month.

Anchorage hair stylist Lara Imler is one of the few who got through, as we previously reported. But Imler discovered problems with her application, and now she wants to cancel her enrollment.

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3:02pm

Thu November 28, 2013
Afghanistan

When Most U.S. Forces Leave Afghanistan, Contractors May Stay

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 3:35 pm

A helicopter from the American security contractor DynCorp provides air support as members of an Afghan eradication force plow opium poppies on April 3, 2006, in the Helmand province, Afghanistan.
John Moore Getty Images

Should the Afghan government sign a security agreement, the U.S. plans to keep between 6,000 and 9,000 American troops in Afghanistan even after the U.S. and NATO's combat mission officially ends late in 2014.

Beginning in 2015, the remaining troops would train Afghan soldiers and mount operations against any remnants of al-Qaida.

But they wouldn't be the only ones who stay behind: U.S. troops would almost certainly be outnumbered by civilian contractors.

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3:02pm

Thu November 28, 2013
Music

The Electric Bassist With An In-House Composer

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 2:15 pm

Steve Swallow switched from acoustic bass to bass guitar in 1970, and hasn't looked back.
Klaus Muempfer Courtesy of the artist

Steve Swallow started playing jazz as a teenager. While a student at Yale University, he played mostly in with Dixieland bands. And then the 20-year-old bassist got a gig with the avant-garde-leaning pianist Paul Bley at a nearby college, went home, went to bed — and dropped out.

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1:03pm

Thu November 28, 2013
Shots - Health News

Brain Cells 'Geotag' Memories To Cache What Happened — And Where

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 5:13 am

Benjamin Arthur for NPR

Think back to an important event in your life: a graduation, a birth, a special Thanksgiving dinner. Chances are you're remembering not only what happened, but also where it happened. And now scientists think they know why.

As we form so-called episodic memories, the brain appears to be using special cells in the hippocampus to "geotag" each event, researchers report in Science. The process is similar to what some digital cameras do when they tag each picture with information about where the image was taken.

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3:40pm

Wed November 27, 2013
Parallels

Born In The U.S., But Struggling To Acclimate In Mexico

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 9:04 am

The Francisco Villa Public School is a big, cement block of a fortress in an eastern Tijuana neighborhood just south of the Mexico-U.S. border.

Many of the nearby houses are patched together out of discarded materials, like old garage doors. The roads are unpaved and deeply rutted.

The school bell pierces the dusty air as girls in pink jumpers and boys in navy sweaters stream out of class. For 45 middle school students here who were born in the United States, the sound of the bell is one of the few things that are familiar.

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